Bonjour to Buongiorno
Eurotrip 2012 has officially been booked. So after years of talking about taking a trip to Europe we finally found the time to go. As much as i would have loved to take a month to take the Eurail from country to country we just didn’t have that much vacation time and money honestly to do it. We had 10 days to fill up and filling huge chunks of time on a train didn’t seem worth it. We chose the two most important destinations for us which ended up being Paris and Italy.
The itinerary ended up being leaving LAX on wednesday evening and arriving in Paris on Thursday evening. Sunday we fly from Paris to Rome where we spend a few days before taking a train to Florence for a few days and lastly one full day in Venice.
We decided not to book a tour because we wanted to be able to adjust the trip to what we wanted to do and not feel ushered to things that we might not care for. I really had no idea what to do in either of the two locations so a few months ago i decided to make a double experiment by trying out Pinterest for the first time, to create an idea board of things to do, places to eat, and sites to visit. It became a really useful tool to visualize each thing, while giving a reference of where you found it. You can check it out here http://pinterest.com/thechimmy/euro-trip/ .
The next part was finding places to stay. Of course if we could, we would stay at hotels at all the the places but man those places are expensive. I found a vacation rental online through numerous failed attempts, but each failure directed me to another possible available rental. Finally we found a studio situated in the heart of Paris near OpÃ©ra and Bourse neighborhood. Joy used Venere.com to book a couple b&b’s, and a hotel for our last night in Venie. We figured we better have a established final spot so that we could clean up and get to the airport easily on our last days in Europe.
The trip also happened to fall on my birthday so we needed somewhere nice/fun to go so after seeing this little restaurant called Frenchie on Bordain’s No Reservation 100th episode special and reading about it in a Bon Appetite magazine it looked really good. The hard part was that they only take reservations by phone between the hours of 3-5pm and from what i read they don’t always pick up the phone. This left me worried as 1 i had to call between 6-9am our time. Second i had to call France so had to load up my Google Voice number with some money and lastly i don’t speak French. My co-worker Chrissie helped me out by at least teaching me how to say, je voudrais fair une rÃ©servation pour dÃ®ner mais je ne parle pas franÃ§ais. Vouz parlez anglais which translates to, Hello i’d like to make dinner rsvp but i do not speak French, do you speak english? The first day i tried calling no one picked up but the second day someone did, but i chickened out of the entire phrase by saying instead, bonjour parlez-vous anglais, or Hello, do you speak english? Thankfully they did, and a reservation was made.
That was our first Euro Adventure and i’m sure many more to come. Its just two months away and i can’t wait to get my fill of cheese, wine, foreign languages. I also created a google maps of things in Paris which is quite a lot of things for 2 and a half days but i figured its better to be ready than have any lost thought of what to do.
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