Subject: Back from France, Paris hotel and getting around
Dear Folks: I also have just returned from a wonderful trip to France: Paris (just about same time as Ellie in Maryland -- too bad we did not know a fellow traveler was there!) Then south to Nice and St. Tropez. Here are some of my impressions and tips.

We found our hotel in the National Geographic Traveler article, Hotel Beaubourg, (Metro Rambateau) immediately across the street from the Pompidou...we could practically touch it. We loved the location. Charming, accommodating, small hotel. Lovely decent size size room (walls fabric-covered) and good bathroom with partition for showering and some shelf space. Interesting vaulted breakfast room, pretty settings, wonderful woman serving us, continental breakfast was included, full choices available for a charge. We asked at the hotel, via email, to arrange for the Airport Shuttle to meet us. The hotel did this and sent us confirmation. It worked well and just a few minutes after our 800 number phone call to the shuttle company a van showed up, then a second one. The drivers had a (lively) discussion about the various passengers and we were switched to the second van and shortly were at the door of the hotel. After Paris we were flying from Orly to Nice, so asked the hotel to again arrange one, but the shuttle company they know was fully booked! So if you are doing it, arrange as soon as possible. The hotel called us a cab for the trip to Orly and that was fine too and about the same price. We used the metro and RER during our stay. We found all manageable and useful and luckily we had no problems. We bought a carnet (reduced package of tickets) so never felt we could not switch gears and directions as our plans changed or we got enticed somewhere. Of course, we walked and walked as well. We found Paris, the folks at our hotel, and interacting in general helpful, warm, lively and fun.

I would be happy to share more about what we saw, where we went and where we ate if anyone has questions.

Maddy Northampton, MA