My wife and I are on the trip of a lifetime. She turned 50 last week, and I wanted to give her something special. And we between us we had 120,000 frequent flyer miles on US Airways that were going to expire at the end of 2016, so last fall we committed to this trip. It part of my sabbatical from teaching. Julie will fly home on Monday and I will go on to the University of Heidelberg. Here is the day to day activities, if you are interested.
We arrived at the Orly airport about 9:30 a.m. on Sunday April 24 after a rather uncomfortable flight on British Airways. Just before boarding the plane I finally learned that the Trustees had indeed promoted me to full professor and awarded tenure. That was a huge relief, and this trip is in part celebration. We took a taxi (cheaper than expected) straight to the hotel and our room was ready in a few minutes. It was the Hotel Mercure Notre Dame-Sorbonne, just a block from the Cluny medieval museum. It was a tiny room with no dresser, so we are living out of our suitcases. There is barely room to turn around in the shower, but other than that it is clean and pleasant. We can see the top of the Pantheon from our window. We are in the heart of the Latin Quarter, which got its name because students at the University of Paris had to speak Latin in the old days. It is still a university neighborhood. We took a nap since we had almost no sleep the night before. And then we went for a walk that took us to Notre Dame Cathedral. The weather is unseasonably cold and wet. We packed raincoats, but I wish I had packed the winter lining. The two sweaters I brought are getting lots of wear. Since we are here for a week we decided to take it very easy our first day and just walk around the neighborhood. Since we had not eaten since the flight, we had an early dinner at French restaurant with an alpine theme. Beef bourguignon for me and duck orange for Julie. We both got the French onion soup which is just called onion soup here. Mine food was good, but I preferred Le Bonne Soupe in NY. The house wine was very good – Gamay. The most amusing part of the evening was looking up to see a large moose head overlooking Julie. I wasn’t sure if we were in France or Canada. Julie booked tickets for us for a dinner cruise on the Seine for Monday night. We Skyped the girls, turned in early, and slept till after eleven the next day.