Our Air France flight was unevenful, but we were very glad we had bought Premium Voyager seats - 40% more room and some little extras, too. 9+ hours on a plane is a long time and I especially appreciated the extra space. Our flight arrived on time and we were met with a wheelchair at the gate for Mom. The nice thing about having a wheelchair "driver" is that he takes you to the front of the line, so we got through passport control very quickly & our suitcases were already at baggage claim when we got there. (Premium Voyager gives you "prority" baggage handling as well as 2 bags per person with no additional charges.) However, we did have to wait awhile for Mom's walker to come off the plane. We had checked it at the gate in SeaTac, but we had to pick it up in baggage claim. The shuttle service I reserved didn't show up -- fortunately, we did not pre-pay. We got a very comfortable taxi (VW station wagon) with a very pleasant driver. The traffic was terrible, which probably explains what happened to our shuttle. It took over an hour to get to the hotel. Our flight came in at 8:25 and we arrived at the hotel at 11:00 -- about what I figured, and not bad considering the traffic.
We had a minute of concern about Mom's walker --besides it taking so long to get off the plane that we thought it may not have gotten on the flight -- when the cab driver got it out of the car the wheels were locked together and we were worried that it might have been bent, but the driver was able to get them unlocked -- whew!
When we arrived at the Hotel Henri IV in the Latin Quarter, our room was ready, so we were able to put our feet up for a few minutes. On the hotel's website, there's a picture of a room with a view of a church right across the street, and that's the room we got! St. Severin Church is right across from the hotel and our room looks out over the flying buttresses. The room is small, but comfortable with a nice bathroom.
After a short rest, we went to visit the church, then had lunch at L'Auberge St. Severin, which is on a pedestrian street that is very touristy. The food wasn't spectacular, but my salad with toasted goat cheese was good as was the sorbet for dessert. Mom enjoyed her onion soup and apple tart. The main courses weren't worth writing about. We walked around a little bit, then headed back to the hotel.
Mom took a nap while I ventured out. We're in a very interesting neighborhood with narrow cobbled streets and some interesting old buildings, but it is very touristy in some places and and there are a lot of shops and restaurants, cafes, etc. operated by people from North Africa and the Middle East. Our hotel is about a block from the Seine and Notre Dame is just across the river. It's really a good location for what we want to do. I browsed some of the book and poster vendors along the river, but didn't buy anything. I sat on a bench where I could enjoy a view of Notre Dame for awhile and did some people watching. Then, I spotted Shakespeare & Company, the famous English bookstore, which is just around the corner from the hotel, and popped in for a minute before going back to the hotel.
The weather has been very nice today -- sunny and it got quite warm while I was walking around. We were surprised at how green everything is -- they've had a lot of rain this year.
So far so good. We're in Paris!