There were 20 of the 27 in the group on the same United flight. When most of the group are on the same flight it makes it easier for us to arrange transportation to the hotel. United is returning nonstop service from San Francisco beginning in a few weeks. I’m pretty sure that’s the way I will be traveling. If you are in the Bay Area let me know if you want to join me and I will keep you posted when I see a good fare. I doubt if we will have a group flight from SFO since all are coming from all over the United States and we must have at least 10.
Upon touch down I switched on my French cell, made contact with our driver, a very nice African brother. Oh man, he didn’t speak English so that meant I had to speak French. Later I called him and advised we were o our way to Baggage Claim. After clearing Immigration, we collected our luggage, made our way towards Sortie and voila, there was our driver with a Black Paris Divas sign. The group had been given instructions that if they were rolling with our bus to/from hotel, then 1 suitcase, 1 carry on is allowed. There is nothing worse than having a very large bus with plenty of compartment space for all only to be defeated because too many people brought too much luggage. Or even if you are more than one being picked up in a sedan… the trunk can only hold so much… or so little 🙂
Morning rush hour traffic was brutal this morning. Just imagine a taxi meter running in stop and go traffic. A private pick up is the way to go. Who wants to try to figure out, “Which way do I go”? “Do I have the correct amount for the ticket”? Wow, I’ve got to handle my own luggage on and off the train and its commute time? And lastly; after getting into the city; now I have to get a taxi to the hotel.”
We all sat back and relaxed as the driver made his way in stop and go traffic to our hotel in the 16th arrondissement. First-timers were wide-eyed and full of excitement as they watched Parisians go about their business.
Upon our arrival we discovered the hotel was completely booked the night before which meant we all would have quite a wait before our rooms would be ready. This tour had 5 returning participants that didn’t mind one bit. They had places to go and people to see.
Dinner tonight was at Babylone; a restaurant we’ve been frequenting since the early 90’s. It’s French West Indian; it’s fun, wild and crazy, the food is awesome and they love “Kate” (Kat). Incidentally, there happens to be 2 photos of “Kate” on their wall of fame…. yes; right alongside past guests like Marvin Gaye; Snoop; Diana; etc. The next blog will tell the story of how my name has been changed to:
Kate Commerce. I’m lovin’ the sound of it.
Tomorrow is a full tour day: City sightseeing AND African American Historical tour all by private bus.
A demain, (see you tomorrow, Kate Commerce 🙂