Observations on our trip to Paris/Avignon 2021

  • This trip was an impulse buy. We booked it because airfare was at its lowest that I could tell through next April/May. AND we met a new friend Kimiko in Chicago during the pandemic. She lives in Paris but stayed next door to our Chicago apartment during the lockdown. She offered up her extra room in Paris whenever we wanted to visit. It was an offer we couldn’t refuse. 
  • We were some of the first tourists back in France (thanks, Pandemic?). Typically crowded spots were almost empty (e.g. The Champs de Mars, the Place de la Concorde all the way to the Louvre, etc). It made it feel surreal; like we won a travel lottery. 
  • Because so few are traveling yet from the US to France, our plane was only at 30% capacity. Tina and I both got a four-seat row and were able to spread out on the way there and back. 
  • You need a negative RT-PCR test as well as your vaccination card to travel abroad. If you aren’t vaccinated, you need to provide proof of a reason to be there.
  • In the past several trips, we view Paris as a place to get over jetlag and then launch into another area of the country. Before this trip, we booked AirBnBs in  neighborhoods further from touristy areas. And we tried to blend in as locals. But this trip was different. 
  • Our friend Kimiko whom we met during the pandemic in Chicago was the difference. She was our insider scoop into new friends, restaurants, bars and experiences. 
  • Kimiko is a unicorn. She’s that character in a movie who you think can’t really exist. She can break the barrier with a French person faster than you can say baguette. 
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