Well, again, thanks to all for your input -
At considerable expense (to us) I re-routed our trip to avoid the Metro strike . . .
We were on the mainland in Florida so we flew Miami to London Heathrow. We were standby on the airline I used to work for - had hoped for business class, but settled for premium economy. We didn't have seats together but slept most of the way so it wasn't like it mattered -
0nce in London, arriving November 26th, we took the "underground" to our hotel. We booked a place in Strattford because of the proximity to the Eurostar station and the departure time for our train on November 28th which was 7:55A due to our original plan to go to Budapest on the 28th. It all worked out - we did the Hop On Hop Off bus tour on the 27th and had the best fish and chips EVER at Harrods!
Once off the Eurostar in Paris on the 28th we took the Metro to our hotel - there was a station a very short distance from our hotel.
Our hotel was walking distance to the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, etc., or a short Metro stop to wherever we wanted to go. My partner WAS pickpocketed but he yelled "Where's my wallet??" loudly and quickly and the girl (three girls working together) 'dropped' it as though she'd found it and handed it to him -
On December 1st we flew to Budapest (took the Metro to the Charles de Gaulle airport) arriving to our BEAUTIFUL Parisi Udvar Hotel about 8:30P - we had dinner in the hotel restaurant and awoke to a beautiful snowfall! I'd wanted to go to the thermal baths in the snow, but my partner talked me out of it and I found a FABULOUS restaurant for Chicken Paprikash - we went to the Szechenyi Thermal Spa the next day and they said it was extremely busy the day before! It was an easy ride on the subway to get there and no pickpockets!
We went to the Christmas market and it was wonderful!
On December 5th we flew from Budapest to Prague and once in our room saw on CNN about the Metro strike we'd avoided - it wasn't pretty! That's when we became aware that going back to Paris on December 7th for our flight (standby) to JFK was probably not a good idea . . . air traffic control had decided to participate in the strike so who knows what might have happened?!? Which is the beauty of standby - you can change things (including dates and places) without any cost penalties and you're not stuck in the bubble of full fare travelers trying to compete for seats - so once again, I re-routed our trip.
Instead of going from Prague back to Paris, we went to London. And then we flew (standby) from London (Heathrow) to JFK on the 7th of December - this time we got business class . . . sooooo comfy!
Unfortunately we lost a day in Europe, but it would have just been to a hotel at the CDG airport. But, we got an extra day in New York and it was another place my partner had never been to -
All in all, it was a GREAT trip! We saw a little bit of four countries, more of NYC than otherwise planned, and the best part: we got to where we were going without problems!!!
One caution: DON'T use Jayride as your airport-hotel-airport transportation. It doesn't go as planned (finding them when you land mostly because they're not on time) and they cost more than other services you might be able to book through your hotels.
VERY EXCELLENT TRIP overall!!!