Subject: Return from France!
Hi All!

We have been back a week and I'm slowly working on all my is great but it takes time to see the least when you work slowly like I do. I have hundreds and love to play with them!

I think I'll start with our hotels....we were happy with all five and felt all the research and help from you all made the trip. Thanks!

In Paris we stayed four nights at the Regent's Hotel on Rue Madame near Luxembourg Gardens and St. Sulpice. (There is another Regent's closer to the river.) Loved the area because so much is happening. The hotel was nice..we had a large room with a double bed, new bath, plenty of room to spread out. Our friends weren't as happy as they had a very small room with no place to put suitcases and barely enough room to open W/C door. Prices were 85 and 95 euros. Breakfast at 7 euros. A lot of laughs the whole trip over no shower curtains or walls around shower/bath. The guys had a hard time keeping the water in the shower! Good breakfast, nice people.....not a fancy place but we don't do that on these trips.

Moved on to Aix-en-Provence to the Hotel le Manoir for four the old part of the city, finally we found it and without getting taken out on the narrow streets...a lovely place with a courtyard to park in.....This used to be a monastery and there is a lovely garden type room in back with photos of the restoration, still has vaulted ceilings. They serve breakfast out there in the summer when it's warm. We had two double rooms. The first night we couldn't get our handshower to work. Asked the lady at the desk and she pulls up a faucet and spigot to show us how to turn it on. (Obviously she had had the question before!). Our rooms were right over the front door looking out into the couryard....I loved watching the comings and goings). Rooms were 70 euros each. Breakfast was 7 again and included cereal and yogurt. Old building so had high ceilings, nice wallpaper and curtains. This is THE place in the price range, I think, in the area....lots of visiting professor groups, business men and Americans. One young French couple biked up the night we arrived with a 9 mo. old baby in an attached buggy behind a bike and took off the next AM in the rain the same way!

Next we spent two nights in Annecy in the French Alps at Hotel de Palais de I'Isle in the old town...another gem we thought. Our double rooms, at 81 each, were large with bath and W/C in a hallway within the room. Two windows looked out onto the old town street. Breakfast was 8 euros, I think, and included cheeses, cereal and yogurt. The smallest reception area ever....a perfect place....the market was on the day we were leaving just down the street so we bought lunch stuff for our day. Very nice, modern, sleek antiques here.

Then two nights in Lyon at the Hotel des Artistes at 95 euros for a nice double looking out over the Place des Celstins. The other room was a little smaller and was 86, I think. Breakfast was 8 and had fruit, kiwis, apples, bananas, yogurt, cereal, cheese etc. This is near the Saone River across from the old town and next to the Bellecour Square....very convenient. English TV! I like to check out CNN or BBC every day just to see what's going on....esp. in these times. We were surprised since this was a city hotel.

Finally we spent two nights in Burgundy at a wonderful inn outside of Avalon (near Vezelay), the Moulin des's an old mill and quite charming. One large room with balconies looking over the river (really a stream) at 74 euros and a smaller one with window looking over the stream for 61. Many other rooms up to 110 euros, suites etc. We had dinner there both's a wonderful restaurant, quite large.....full each night. A great waterwheel is lit and turns outside the dining room. They do turn it off at 11 PM! We were the only Americans there....met people from Belgium and Italy who were quite friendly as was the staff. A nice lounge area with tables for wine/coffee late afternoon. I love the cafe au lait in France.....good and strong!

Well, there are our hotels...I'll try to put together interesting things we did and learned soon.

Again thanks to everyone for advice during our planning.

Ellie in Maryland (DC)