Paris, we will miss you.

Begin/end the day in: Paris, FR / Phoenix, AZ, US
Transportation: Paris to Phoenix via London on BA. BA in-flight service was a bit better than the last time we did the LHR-PHX route. One certainly wouldn’t confuse the service with that you find on Hawaiian, but better than before.
Main events: Fly to Phoenix. As previously noted, we stayed out a bit late last night so it wasn’t easy getting going this morning
Culinary highlights: I had a traditional English breakfast at LHR T5. Sausage, bacon, eggs, beans, tomatoes and mushrooms. How can you go wrong with that plate? They did omit the black pudding, though.
What we learned today: In a departure from our Paris routine, we decided to use an airport shuttle service offered through the hotel. The walk and suitcase drag to the Luxembourg RER station was only a couple of blocks, but it did involve a couple of set of stairs. Given the hour of our departure, the couple of extra Euro for the 8-passenger van ride seemed worth it. Wow, were we wrong! For openers, than van arrived about 15 minutes late making all of our rushing to get packed up rather pointless. Once in the van, we spent the next twenty minutes dashing around the Paris streets picking up additional fares and filling every seat in the cramped, bumping ride. It was hot and my stomach was feeling the effects of our Saturday night indulgences. The half-hour jostle to CDG seemed like two. Next trip it’s definitely back to the RER—it arrives on time and even when it’s crowded, it’s a straight shot to the airport.
Calabash: I’d forgotten how crappy food choices on the secure side of CDG terminal 2A. €13 for two coffees, marginal croissants and a glass of juice—all served in a most unappetizing (and un-French) atmosphere.

Lodging:

Hale Nani

Splish, splash…

This is my first time in Venice and like almost everyone I was aware of the canals, but I’d never really thought about how the environ impacts day-to-day life. After board my first Vaperetto—the city bus operated totally by boat—it occurred to me that almost everything is transported by water. If you call the fire brigade, it has to get to you by water. If you need a new refrigerator, it arrives by water. Need ½ cubic yard of gravel? That comes by boat. Having refreshment near the Rialto bridge this afternoon, I got a first-hand look at this Water World system in action. Within a two minute period, two ambulances roared past pushing up enormous wakes that smashed Vaperetto into docks and sent tourist-laden gondolas into E-ticket pitch and rolls. I’m still not sure this idea of building a town atop a mud flat was a good idea.