Originally posted November 17, 2017.
You, like most of us, have a certain amount of money to spend, thus choices must be made. Once you have been to France, my guess is that you will agree the additional expense is worth it. I have heard it said for years that the French do not like Americans and are hard to get on with. Without reservation I will tell that this is nuts. If you show up in sweats, white Reeboks, a baseball cap and a ‘tude, your ticket will get punched, and especially so if you have made no effort to speak some passable French. Yes, many in Paris speak English, but the French are all about protocol and a slovenly appearance and a loud and demanding demeanor is not appreciated.
The hotel staff at five star French hotels is without equal. There is no way I can properly convey to you the warmth and professional skill at hotels like Hotel Ritz Paris and Le Bristol. In fact the multi-lingual staff at Le Bristol were dressed so splendidly and acted with such aplomb that the staff made the guests by comparison look like a squad of bowling ally attendants and gunrunners. And this crowd often arrives in a stretch limo, debarking as if they have just exited an all-day NFL tailgating trashing.
OK, so you know in advance that a trip to Paris in no way should be considered a budget outing. And you will promise yourself that you will not take center stage in Paris in sweats and sneaks. And no fanny packs or you may as well tack an Ugly American sign to your back. Finally, promise yourself that you will work on your French greetings, bistro wording and directions. No, you do not need to turn into Mr. French guy, but a rudimentary foundation of French will get you a long, long way with the most gracious and professional hosts in the world. I promise you will find this to be so.
Now then, click here for some great books that will help you on your way. My suggestion is that you buy all your books in Kindle format from your Amazon account for download to your iPad or Kindle. I have offered powerful warning against checking luggage, which you simply will not be able to wrestle with on the high-speed French TGV trains. Hence no room for books. And yes, you want to take a high-speed rail trip. In my next post, I’ll detail for you from A to Z where to go first and, how long to stay, where to stay, where to eat, what days not to travel (you’ll owe me big for this tip) and exactly how to execute your majestic rail adventure. Start planning today because you simply are going to France, are you not?
November 14 2017