“Isn’t Three Days in Paris Enough?”

OK, I’ve had my second shot and there have been no side effects. Things finally seem to be turning around. I have damn sure had enough of hanging around and not being permitted to travel. 

One good sign: the Rail Passengers Association appears ready to resume  semi-annual meetings, which are not only informative, but enjoyable as, I suppose, any gathering would be when a group of people with the same interests get together. Tentative dates are four days in Washington next April.

My first draft of an itinerary won’t fly. It’s five weeks– too long to get past my “supervisor” now, but my strategy will be to argue for a five-week trip, grudgingly agree to three weeks, then—at the last minute—find reasons to stretch it back to four. 

I am creating a check list for Paris . . . things to see and do that I skipped on previous trips for reasons both good and bad. For instance, there’s a tour about life in Paris during the German occupation in World War Two. That’s going to be a must-do  on this visit. 

Another is a museum dedicated to the French resistance that I have missed on two prior visits . . . once because it was closed for renovation and once because the hotel receptionist said it was hard to find and she was right. This time I shall persevere.

It was a painful decision, but I have decided not to take the Simplon Orient Express from London to Vienna. This train has been on my bucket list for many years, but it’s very expensive. Also, their promotional video stresses that their guests are expected to “dress for dinner”. I’m quite sure that means a tuxedo for the men, although an acceptable alternative would apparently be a dark grey or navy business suit.

My goodness, I haven’t owned a business suit of any color—let alone a tuxedo—for probably 40 years! The best I could do would be considered business attire in Hawaii: grey slacks, nicely polished leather loafers, and an “aloha shirt”—short sleeved, with a tasteful, not-too-colorful tropical pattern. And tucked in. That’s very important, because if the shirttails are out, that’s considered to be casual dress, clearly not acceptable on the Orient Express.