I have this friend, we'll just call her Rosana She has the misfortune of being my
drinking buddy. We would go out, have one too many margaritas and
then fantasize about going someplace crazy (like Bangkok or Rome) for a weekend.
All fun and good, but eventually we did it enough times that it started to get
Nothing is worse than that.
Finally I get tired of just talking about it and tell her to pick a city. So, she picks Paris. Now, Rosana is really uncomfortable with the whole idea but eventually, in a moment of weakness, she succumbs.
I put the tickets on 24 hour hold so we can both check our schedules. The last words out of her mouth are, "I wont change my mind."
I go home and realize that the cheap seats are almost gone, so I panic and hit the buy button. Two minutes later I get the message from her that she's changed her mind. She thought about, realized how uncomfortable with the idea she is and doesn't want to go.
Many painful conversations ensue, but she is sure. She is not going.
Now I have two totally non-transferable, non-refundable, non-changeable tickets to Paris. Go alone? Wow, what could suck worse then springtime alone in Paris?
Enter my e-mail buddy Teresa from Barcelona. I tell her the story to which she replies, "Wow, weird chick. By the way, I'll go."
So, now I'm off for a week-long e-mail blind date in Paris.
Unfortunately Rosana and I went out for dinner last night and she forgot to give me the Paris guidebook so I have no idea what I'm doing. Hey, what's a Franc worth anyway? I buy a guidebook in the airport bookstore and start figuring stuff out. The plan is to meet Teresa under the Eiffel Tower. Neat.
The Eiffel tower is rad. Someone told me it was overrated, but I totally disagree. It's bigger than I thought, and much more beautiful. Teresa is shorter than I thought, and as beautiful as I expected.
We find a hotel and then we are off to Notre Dame, which, like everything else in Paris, is undergoing restoration and is covered in aluminum siding and scaffolding. The stained glass is amazing though.
Dinner of French Food at a random place on the walk back to the Hotel.
The Louvre is in an old Palace, huge, and maze like. We spent half our time just trying to figure out where we were.
After the museum, a walk in the rain down the Champs Elysees from Place de la Concorde to the Arc De Triomphe, then back to the Eiffel Tower at sunset. I was gripped out of my mind on the elevator ride up the tower. I think I would have been more comfortable outside the elevator.
From the top of the tower we watch the lights come on as the city comes and goes between the clouds. Very beautiful, and perhaps even romantic if not for the obnoxious German teenagers and the image planted in my head by Rachel before I left.
Dinner of Italian food on the walk back to our hotel.
Through the Latin Quarter and St Germain searching for the Musee Du Cluny, a medieval art museum housed in a 14th century manor built on top of first century Roman ruins.
The sense of age and history is tangible. For me, it's impossible to wander around the old buildings and not wonder about the hundreds of years of footsteps that have preceded mine.
Dinner of Indian food in the Bastille district before a long walk home at 2 in the morning.
Sacre Coeur is amazing. We ascended the 3 foot wide spiral staircase to the base of the huge dome where we were treated to stellar views of Paris.
Teresa's final night with me in Paris, dinner of fondue in the Latin Quarter.
I manage to leave my wallet in the cab on the ride back to the hotel. Replacing all the things that need replacing in the two days I have left in Boulder should remind me not to do that again.
My final dinner in Paris, more Italian.