Sixteen hours. It is surely some sort of record for both Mary Lou and me. That is how long we slept in our hotel in Paris after our arrival yesterday. In all honesty, we both woke up a couple of times, once for an hour or so, to check emails and read about the Super Bowl. It is still a lot longer than the normal forty winks.
I always have a harder time flying east than west. Normally we fly overnight, with the hopes of sleeping on the plane as much as we can. Then we try to stay up as late as we can to minimize the effects on our body on being in a different time zone.
We arrived in Paris at 10:30 a.m. After checking into our hotel, we walked over to see Cathedral of Notre Dame, a place we always have visited in Paris. It was heartbreaking to see the effects of the April 2019 fire that caused so much damage. At the same time, it was encouraging to see how much progress they have made.
The restoration of this magnificent building will take years. Some question if it can, in fact, be done. However, all of Paris and much of the world still has hope that this iconic building can be rebuilt using new techniques and technology.
While some are frustrated at the slow pace of the reconstruction of the Cathedral, they forget that it took almost 200 years to build the original building. Parts of the structure are over 850 years old, so it is unrealistic to construct it exactly as it was built even with the construction and engineering advances of today.
Following that emotional visit, we made our way to a sidewalk café for lunch (dinner? breakfast?). Our first meal in Paris almost always includes French Onion soup. It was delightful. The accompanying Caesar Salad was a perfect compliment.
Back to the hotel for what we hoped would be a nap of a couple of hours. We had no idea how long our siesta would be.
We both woke up at 8:30 local time. We briefly discussed going out on the town before rolling over and going back to sleep. After another four hours we woke up again. It was now one o’clock in the morning and we had already had eight hours of sleep.
Our hotel has excellent internet and we both surfed the web and checked our emails and texts. I even had a phone call from a local repairman at our house who had forgotten we were seven time zones away.
It is amazing that you can be over 4,500 miles away from home and speak to someone on your cellphone like they are next door. We accepted an invitation for a Valentine’s Day dinner via text. Technology, for better or worse, has indeed made the world a smaller place.
So, sixteen hours after first putting our heads on the pillows we are getting up for our first full day in Paris. Feeling more than fully refreshed we are ready to visit old haunts and explore new ones. We will have breakfast before heading over to the Eiffel Tower where we will have lunch in one of its restaurant, Le Jules Verne.
This visit is a delayed retirement trip , an early 42nd Anniversary trip, and a Valentine’s trip all rolled up into one adventure. More to come next week about our journey. In the meantime, if you need us, just text, email or give us a call. We are as connected as ever.
In the meantime, bonne journée. Have a good day.
Dan Ponder can be reached at