Sometime in the beginning of last November, my husband phoned me and told me we had a bunch of miles that would expire if we did not use them by January 1!
Well, that wouldn’t do. I knew we had to use the miles for Christmas vacation–but Christmas was only 5 weeks away.
The airline we had miles on (American Airlines) was booked for the only days we could use the free miles.
I hate miles.
But I persevered. We had miles to use!
I found an Air Tahiti flight (a partner of AA) out of LAX direct to Paris and I grabbed four seats. We were going to Paris for Christmas.
Then I panicked. Finding the four of us a hotel room during Christmas was going to be challenging and expensive. I decided to try something I had never tried before and began to look for an apartment to rent. My experience with Paris hotels has never been great. Tiny rooms, bad attitudes, or stuffy old hotels.
I started my search on VRBO and HOMEAWAY but stumbled on a website called www.chezvous.com. I was attracted to it for two reasons, they only had a limited number to choose from thus less overwhelming and they were located in Sausalito, right near my house.
I picked a small apartment on Rue Suger in the 6th Arrondissement and one block away from Rue de Buci, the street with all the small food shops in the left bank.
Before we left, Paris had been hit by major a snowstorm which made it even more magical.
And there were absolutely no crowds at any of the tourist attractions. Of course I ran out to the Christmas markets and bought trinkets for the family so there would be presents under the tree which also meant I needed a tree. So I stopped at a flower shop on Rue de Buci and bought branches of pine trees and laurel to decorate our apartment.
I really felt like I was living in Paris!
What a great experience to share with the family. Even midnight Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral was remarkable and not the hassle I had heard it would be.
And the evening of Christmas Day comes alive in Paris. I didn’t expect that– all the bars and restaurants re-open and young people fill the streets for yet another meal to be enjoyed with friends and family. And we were happy to comply!