Caitlin Wright Binning - My Summer Vacation 1999

A Vacation in London and Paris with Tim

September 23, 1999: Tim and I had a fantastic trip. We hated to rejoin the real world after 2 weeks of unabashed playtime.

The trip sort of evolved from a general idea in May of taking some kind of vacation into a birthday celebration in London and Paris. In early June I was still talking about getting away anywhere for even a few days and Block Island looked tempting. Sometime in the new few weeks, Tim got the idea that he might like to go to England, but nothing was definite. By the end of June we were trying to plan a trip for the first week in September...maybe to London, maybe to Mexico or Carribean. We got our passport photos and then everything fell into place.

On July 8, I noted, "Tim is giving me a vacation for my birthday, a few days in London and then a few in Paris. the first week of September." 

Then it was a reality.

London reminded us a lot of Washington, oddly enough -- the traffic and interesting mix of people. We stayed near Princess Di's palace, so we saw the uncountable numbers of flowers, notes and all other manner of memorabilia folks had left there, and the crowd gathered to pay respects was impressive. We were also near Notting Hill so went to a huge carnival there - 1 1/2 million other folks were there too. We did all the required tourist things. Then we headed by train to Paris.

We liked Paris also. It was weird to navigate in a foreign language but we did okay. Parisians do have a different sense of hygiene, so subway riding was a malodorous experience. We rode a boat down the Seine which gave a marvelous view of the world and took oodles of photos.

I had the best meal of my life, essentially a barely warm, mostly raw, piece of filet mignon with a Roquefort cheese sauce. I dragged Tim back there a 2nd time because my mouth was in love.

Champs d'Elysses was a tourist trap of mega shopping, very tacky so we spent only 45 minutes or so there. It was more fun to wander streets and explore neighborhoods.