Three Little Kittens Who Won't Be Needing Mittens

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Quispamsis, New Brunswick, Canada
Surely May in the UK and Europe will be warm enough that we won't be needing cold weather clothes! We are definitely 3 now as Sue has joined us and we're all madly counting the days. I've got Sue added to our free walking tour in Paris and Brussels and have requested, but not yet received, an additional ticket to the Ceremony of the Keys.

Planning is progressing well and all our hotels are also booked . Now, all bookings are cancellable in the event a great deal presents itself, or the Queen offers us a room at Buckingham Palace, but as it stands we are staying at the following:

The Castleton near Paddington Station in London has a triple room consisting of twin beds plus a sofa bed. The fight is already on over who gets that sofa bed...seems everyone wants it! This hotel offers a "full english" every morning included in the price, and of course, wifi so I can blog throughout our stay.

In Paris, it will be the Hotel D'Espagne which offers a triple room with three single beds. Knowing how small the rooms are in European hotels, I'm certain there won't be room for much more than the beds! Although they offer free wifi, our price does not include a breakfast. You can purchase the breakfast for 8 E/person. From what I've read about the offering, we will likely take a pass on this and venture out to the various cafe's and bakeries. Now, this was not the hotel I had originally selected. That was the Hotel Crimee. Why did I change my mind you ask? Well, a couple of reasons really. I learned that the D'Espagne is an equidistance from the Gare du Nord, where our train will arrive, as the Crimee. Both are 8 minutes away, but D'Espagne is 8 minutes CLOSER to the center of Paris, where the Crimee is 8 minutes further away. They are both near a Metro station, so that wasn't an issue . But, the deciding factor, above all else, was that the D'Espagne is located across the street from the Au Limonaire which is a wine bar and cabaret. This place is reported to have the most inexpensive wine in all of Paris and nightly live, local entertainment. You know where we'll be spending our evenings!

In Brussels I have the Floris Hotel Arlequin Grand Place. This hotel is practically IN Grand Place, and that is the area we want to be in Brussels. Unfortunately, Brussels hotels don't seem to offer triple rooms that actually have 3 beds in them. Here we have to live with 2 double beds and free hot and cold breakfast buffet. Wifi is not free, so blogging will have to be done from a local cafe or bar.

Lastly, we have one final night in London before heading for home. For this night I opted for "cheap and cheerful" near the St. Pancras station where the Eurostar arrives and departs. This hotel is called the Carlton and offers a room with one double and one twin bed, free wifi and an included "full english" in the morning . St. Pancras station is on the same tube line as Heathrow, making for a very easy transfer to the airport for departure home.

A lot of our entertainment has been booked. We had the Book of Mormon already arranged and have added the Phantom of the Opera to our repertoire. This is the 28th year for Phantom in London, so you know they've got it right by now!

Unfortunately, I just got word yesterday that our free fashion show in Paris is not going to work. It was reported to be held every Friday, but it seems they must have changed their schedule to every second Friday. They offered me tickets for the week before and the week after we are in Paris...but the Friday we are actually fashion show. Oh well, it's not like we haven't got a thousand other things to do! I'm now on the hunt for Moulin Rouge tickets. They, however, won't be free!

Next on the schedule is booking our train tickets. I've been advised by a friend who was born and raised in London that to book the Eurostar as soon as possible as the London to Paris trip, in particular, tends to be very busy.

Fifteen weeks and counting!
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Oh my but I am getting so excited. Everything looks so awsome. Sue I told Katrina in Vegs that it would be our challange to make a wine lover out of Katrina while we are there. Our location in Paris will give us the advantage.
I am sure if we fail she will find something liquid there that she will like.


Not to worry, Fay. You know I'll find something to drink. Perhaps a blackberry margarita like the one I had in Vegas ;)