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102 avenue de St. Mandé - 12ème Arrondissement 75015 Paris - 2BR/Big Living room/Full kitchen/1BA      

To check Availability for L'appartement à Paris, click here

This 19th century building is located in the 12ème Arrondissement on Avenue de St. Mandé in a traditional French neighborhood on the East side of Paris. This is an area of wonderful food shops with an open air market two days a week on Cours de Vincennes -- only a short walk away.  Modern supermarkets are just minutes away at la place de la Nation. Located on the 2nd floor this apartment overlooks a courtyard, has beautiful parquet, oak floors and is 770 sq. feet in area. The apartments entry hall, with storage space and phone, leads to the kitchen/dining room, living room and bathroom. The two bedrooms are off the kitchen. All rooms have at least one French window (all double glazed) and most windows have shutters for privacy.  The living room contains a very large sofa, two chairs, a coffee table, two side tables, a plush wool carpet, lovely decorative fireplace. Other features include:

Unlike most rentals, we also provide full guides for:

For more information please send mail to antoine@aesystems.com or paris@aesystems.com

If you want to see the location of the apartment, click on the métro map. It is full size métro map. We are the red dot on the East side (right) of the city near Picpus on the light green line six and near Porte de Vincennes on line one (yellow.). metro_deux.gif (242311 bytes) 

To get a better view please click on any of the thumb nail shots below to see the full photo. Some of these are large, 3MB+ photos, so be patient. My server is fast, but your LAN may not be.

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Dates Available for 2015:

To check Availability for L'appartement à Paris, click here

This is an online calendar program that shows available dates until the end of 2015.

Where do I get my passport?

The major post offices in the San Diego area offer passport services. The problem is that you have to stand in long lines for the forms, and then you stand in long lines when you submit the paperwork. The offices in La Jolla on Wall Street, Midway, Carmel Mountain Post Office, and the Poway branches offer passport services. As of January 23,2007 everyone, including children, need their own passport to get back to the United States.

The main US Treasury web site is http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html . Fees for adults are now $110 and $80 for children under 16. This fee is what the US Treasury charges. Add another $60 for expedited processing. You can renew an old passport for $110 as well, and just mail in the forms.There are still local fees for processing. When you arrive to the passport offices with you pictures, birth certificate, etc. and paperwork bring your checkbook. You will make out two checks. One to local agency and one to the passport authority. Be sure to bring real, certified birth certificates, marriage licenses, and other forms of government verified ID to prove US citizenship. The requirements are clearly spelled out in the passport paperwork and on the web site above. Do not, for example, bring a statement of birth. Bring the validated birth certificate. If you don't you will only delay the processes.

As a faster alternative the city of San Diego has Community Service Centers. At these centers you can do everything from pay parking tickets, pay a water bill, and yes, get your passport paperwork processed. The hours for passport work are very limited. So please call to get the hours before you arrive and find that you must come back the next day. The closest center in my part of the city is:

3840 Valley Center Drive, San Diego 92130 in Carmel Valley. Call (858)552-1607 for the passport service hours and general information. This is great,one stop place and will save a lot of time. AAA is only two blocks away, near the 56 and I5 junction, for your passport photos! 

Costco also does passport photos.

For a complete list of passport offices in the San Diego area use this link http://iafdb.travel.state.gov/ .

What is the best way to get there?

Depending on what time of year you travel air fare can be quite a bargain or quite painful. In the winter, which is off season for the airlines and for the apartment, a round trip coach ticket from San Diego, SAN, to Paris, CDG, can get as low as $650. In the summer time coach prices might be $2000 or more. If you are a mileage nut, such as myself, and want to upgrade your coach ticket to first class with your miles, the prices are higher. This is true for all the carriers. Airlines will charge you miles and money to upgrade from discounted coach fares. They want to get a minimum amount of revenue for that first class seat. You will not get a miles only upgrade for that $700 coach ticket. Sorry. It won't happen.

My favorite airline for this trip was Continental Airlines. It is now United, since the two merged. They offer good service, a reasonable price, and a clean connection. United offers a lot of flights each day between San Diego and Houston, Chigaco, Newark, Dulles, and SFO, major hubs for international routes. So if something happens on the way back, you can still get home that day. They have great routes into Europe and will treat you as a human being. Remember that price isn't everything. Try to get the best product for the lowest price. Cheap airlines are cheap for a reason. Your major costs on your trip will be food and lodging. So use a reliable carrier that will get you and bags there and back. 

I used to recommend American as another carrier into Paris. Howwever, they filed banktruptcy at the end of 2011, fly massively old, noisy planes, and are cutting many routes. They are also cutting emplyee benefits which will make grumpy for flight attendants.  They are now merged with US Air. Ick. Stick with Continental/United or Air France if you want to fly from LAX. Time, qaility, and money -- you can only pick two of the three. The last one is what it is. 

United Airlines 1st class upgrades  American Airlines 1st class upgrades
Fare class upgrade policy and fees  Fare class upgrade policy and fees
Fare class letter designations  Fare class letter designations

Also keep in mind that United and Lufthansa all full partners. United moved to the Star program at that point. So if you have elite status, or a slug of miles on one of these carriers you have the same status on the others. It might be handy if your favorite carrier is out of seats or can't match your schedule. As of the spring of 2005 Continental ( now United) has all of their partner frequent flyer seats visible from their web site. This is a nice feature. For example, I looked at a free ticket to Paris on Continental's web site. The outgoing leg was with Continental via Newark. The return was with United to Washington but with United from IAD back to San Diego. It works. I have flown to Frankfurt and then to Paris to get my upgrade over the water at a better price. 

Do not take the some partner flights if you want to be in first over the water. Air Canada's business class is much lower in quality than United's for the long legs. Call it "first class lite." United will try to route you through IAD or ORD, which are not happy airports. If you want a better experience, I recommend traveling via Houston IAH or Newark EWR. SFO isn't bad but usually has full planes. The airports and planes are better, newer, and the airlines have a better schedule. Other partnerts, such as Austrian Air, are fantastic. 

Whatever airline you chose please allow enough time on the way back to get through passport control, pickup your bags from the luggage carousel, pass US Customs, recheck you bags, GO BACK THROUGH SECURITY FOR THE DOMESTIC FLIGHT, and get to the connecting gate. Houston is pretty good in this respect, however the total delays can easily be over a hour. United also flies to Paris via Newark with different flight times than the Houston connection. IAD is horrid for customs.  Dulles IAD has no TSA precheck lane after you clear customs, so plan on delays. 

Another nice feature with United is that they are partners with the French rail system, SNCF. So, you can book a ticket from San Diego to Lyon (airline code XYD), for example, on the United site and get mileage for the Paris to Lyon segment. The cost of the extra leg is cheaper than buying it separately. The service only works to some of the larger French cities.

Right now United offers as great deal on first class travel to Paris. From now through the end of  2015, you can get a first class ticket for about $3300. Over Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks, the price is even lower, if you pick the correct dates. The normal cost is over $7500. There are some restrictions. The biggest restriction is that the tickets must be purchased well before your travel date. Trust me. If you can scrape up the money, it is a good investment to be rested and relaxed when you travel 9+ hours. Jet lag is really reduced. You will be able to see the city when you land on your first day! Isn't that the idea of the trip? Click here for more information. They also offer an unadvertised special first class rate of about $3350, 1/2 of the normal cost, if you book with 50 days advanced notice, and travel mid week to mid week until mid next near from San Diego to certain cities. This is a promotion to try and boost business travel from the certain markets.

Move your dates around a bit, and you can save a lot of vacation money. Don't get stuck on the weekend to weekend tale pattern. Everyone wants to travel on those dates, and the airlines know this. United has a +/- 3 day feature for picking travel dates. Their web site will generate a 10x10 matrix for you to pick the best fare.  Or you can pull up the whole month view as shown below. This chart is for flights from SAN to CDG in 2012, but the nothing has changed except the total. Notice how the airfare is generally lower if you leave on a Tuesday or Wednesday. It also goes up once you get near Memorial Day. Changing your departure date can save you serveral hundered dollars. 

You might also want to be flexible on your arrival city. You can save money and enjoy another venue for a few days. London is only a short train ride or flight away from Paris, for example. The Eurostar can take you from London to Paris in under three hours. British Airways and Air France have many flights between London and Paris but only through Heathrow, LHR. A couple of years ago I traveled to Paris via London. The round trip ticket to London was $900. The ticket to Paris would have been $1450. Even with the cost of the extra flight to Paris, $200, I saved about $300 and added miles to my Alaska Airlines account at the same time.

Zurich, Switzerland is also another city you might want to try. Some carriers offers tickets for 120€ within most of Europe which is often cheaper than the train fare. They have a very small volume limit on carry on, however. EasyJet, for example, limits you to 20 KG per person not per bag. You might consider landing in Zurich, staying a few days, and then travel to Paris where you would fly back to the USA. This is called an open jaw ticket by the airlines. The online reservation systems support this feature.

Routing via Brussels or Frankfurt are also good options, since these are major hubs for the Star Alliance partner arilines.. It means an extra leg, but it might also mean a better price or being able to get that upgrade over the water.

Frequent flyers may have enough points to get to Paris, but seats may be unavailable. Don't give up. Try another city. For example, United and American have the standard economy and first class seat free tickets blocked out to Paris most of the summer. There are seats available to London and Zurich, however. United also has extra flights to Heathrow and often has upgrade seats on that route. A lot of the major carriers have more seats available for their elite members. You also have a better chance to use those miles if you travel mid week to mid week rather than trying to travel only on weekends. Leaving the US on a Tuesday or Wednesday is usually your best bet.

Just remember that the airlines want you to cash out your miles at about one cent per mile. In the winter a Europe ticket might only cost $750. In the summer, however, the tickets can be $1,900 and above. You are not going to get a coach ticket to Europe in the middle of peak tourist season for 50K miles. Don't whine. The planes are full. Why would they give you a free ticket for only 50K miles? After Labor day things loosen up quite a bit for free travel.

Be flexible, and you can save some money and add something extra to your vacation at the same time.

Testimonials

-Thanks again for all your help. Chez Estrada was a wonderful way of seeing Paris.  Rick and Barb

-Your apartment worked really well over there, much better than a hotel. Even though I have half a million Marriott points, 
I still would opt for your place.   - Bob

-Thanks again for the hospitality. Everything was greas, as usual, and we all had a fantastic vacation in France.  - Eric

08/31/15 ( le 31 août 2015 )