In 2003, I traveled to Paris, France for a month and ended up living there for nearly a year. So, when my husband suggested Paris for our next getaway I was stoked (do people still say that?). In the weeks leading up to our vacation, I told him stories of all the fun we would have and the places I would take him and, this being his first time in Paris, he was eagerly awaiting the trip as well.
Finally, the day arrives for us to take off to France! We arrive at the airport, board our flights and arrive in Paris without a hitch. We were even lucky enough to fly first class! And that pretty much ends our streak of excitement, at least for a good 24 hours.
We’re no strangers to renting vacation homes through online sites like VRBO and Airbnb and so far we haven’t had any issues. We’ve rented apartments in Venice, Rome, Santorini and Barcelona so we know what we like and how to tell the good from the bad. However, this time I was tricked, bamboozled, led astray. From the moment we walked in, the apartment didn’t meet our expectations. 1. It smelled like the Indian restaurant downstairs. 2. The furniture was stained/soiled (not sure from what but I don’t want to know.) 3. There was mold/soap scum/dirt in the bathroom. 4. I could go on but I won’t.
Our original plan was to stay for 6 nights and we paid for 4 nights up front and would pay the remaining balance the night before check out. The first day was rough as all I could talk about was how disappointed I was. I even spent a good hour looking for a new place stay. After realizing we had nowhere else to go we unpacked and decided to get out of the apartment to soak up the September sun. We made the best of the first day/night and woke up early the next morning to hit the town. Our stops included the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysse, Pont Alexandre III bridge, Arc de Triomphe, Palais Royal, Montparnasse and so much more. You know, all they stuff they say you have to do in Paris.
After zipping around the city for at least 10 hours we returned to the apartment only to find it more disgusting than we remembered. Long story short (too late!), we booked a hotel online, threw our crap in a bag and checked into a hotel at 5:00 in the morning. We’re still negotiating our refund for the 2 nights we didn’t stay.
After shaking off the apartment debacle, we decided to leave a couple of days early since we had to pay for a hotel in addition to the $500 we had already paid for the apartment. I’m happy to say that days 3 and 4 were the best two days we spent in Paris.
Overall, we had a great time in the city of love and we will certainly go back. We were a bit bummed that we had to cut our trip short and missed out on Versaille and Provins but that’s just another reason to return.
Come back next week for a more detailed account of our Paris experience.