One of the hotel associations that Natasha occasionally checks out in her travel planning routines was holding an anniversary online sale a couple of weeks ago. The promotion offered tremendous discounts on short stays at upmarket member hotels. Even though I do not have vacation days left this year, a weekend trip is not out of the question. So, we gave some thought to possibilities.
Among the destinations with hotel nights on sale, there were several of our big favorites – Rome, Barcelona, Venice, Florence – as well as a few cities that are high on our must-see list: Stockholm, Budapest, Lisbon. The problem with every one of those is that getting there requires a couple of hours of flying, which brings a one-way door-to-door trip to somewhere around 6-7 hours (an hour+ to get to the airport two hours before the flight on one end, getting through customs and baggage reclaim plus however long it takes to get to the city center on the other end, in addition to the actual flying time). I am very averse to spending 12 or more hours related to the air travel for a one- or two-night stay anywhere.
One destination, though, was only about 5 hours away door-to-door – and that by either car or train.
(Ok, Amsterdam is almost within the same timescale – if by car – but in a toss-up between Amsterdam and Paris, the French capital wins easily for us.)
Yes, after several sessions of debating possibilities, we thought to ourselves: Why fight it!? We love Paris and we can get there easier than to most other places. Paris, on y va!
Alas, the online sale was a disaster. It was advertised much more widely than the membership in the association, and the deal was so attractive that the number of people trying to log on at the prescribed time easily overwhelmed the server hosting the association website. The group later sent us – and I assume everyone else – an email, apologizing for their ineptitude in managing that promotion and promising to make it up to us – and I assume to everyone else – in some unspecified ways at a later date.
We are not holding our breath for that. But we can’t let the decision to go to Paris expire in the shuffle. Natasha and I are booking a short visit independently. With my Mom expected in London in a few weeks, we can even book a trip for just the two of us.
Mmm, a couple of days in Paris for just Natasha and me! That will be heavenly!!