BJ is going to blog about our daily travels. I'm editing a little but his musings on our daily activities are the fruit of many hours of planning a trip of a lifetime. I'm sure after it is all over, I'll have some metaphorical, sentimental reflections, but for now, I'm thankful he is taking the time to record the details.
BJ’s Travel Journal Paris 2016
Day 1) After much obsessive behavior (thanks Mirapex), I found a great deal on Business class flights to Paris. As our dear friend Dani said the whole flying experience was Ohh LA LA: easy access. great service and food. And best of all we both got great sleep.
We arrived in Paris around 11 and even with the good sleep, we were both tired. We got to the hotel and checked in and decided we were also hungry, so food was in order. We wandered around what I describe as “theme park” looking streets due to the fact they are so magically Parisian. Quaint shops and food everywhere and an eclectic group of restauranteurs selling their food. We settled on a cafe and thoroughly enjoyed the people watching. Man purses are everywhere.
Appetizers and drinks were next. I ordered escargot( quite good) and Sarah ordeded a cheese plate (that she didn’t finish) that would feed an army. We witnessed a lovers’ quarrel and enjoyed the singing of two local performers.
We are getting our bearings, our quick run out to breakfast took an hour, damn all the streets look the same but get me to the Seine and I am golden.
(We took this picture for Molly Mae -- this lady's outfit was over-the-top and she had stiletto heels on. no one buy us even seemed to notice)
I had insisted on taking a walking tour of Hemingway's old neighborhood and it was great. Our Bristish guide Chris was charming.
We were with folks from Australia, New Zealand, LA, New York ( the dad looked like David Foster and worked for CBS sunday morning as a producer). We toured the Latin Quarter near Mont Mount. We visited where James Joyce wrote Ulysses, and learned about his kind publisher Sylvia Beach. Douglas Bates IV sent us a copy of “A moveable feast” and I enjoyed it thoroughly. As we walked up to a cafe (former hotel) where Hemingway wrote, I remembered scenes of his tales -- in winters he talked about looking up at the chimneys before buying a bundle of wood as to not waste money if they were not warm being that the fire would never heat up. I was touched to know that before the guide told the story I was already looking up at the chimneys. Some scenes of our walking tour:
We had a lovely lunch (avocado shrimp and crab salad, salmon pasta, chocolate mousse) at the cafe where Hemingway wrote in a studio he rented a few floors up.
We then took our first ride on the subway. Sarah wanted a bottle a water and I had to buy an eclair (so freaking good) from this bakery where the water was.
On to the Louvre. This place is freakin huge.... Everything is in French, and we will go back and rent the english tour. The art of all styles from ancient Egyptian to Greek and Roman to the Mona Lisa are mesmerizing. . . unless you are with an Asian tour group then the mona lisa is a one in a million selfie stick opportunity. We lasted 2 hours and it was close to closing so we needed to leave. This was an adventure -- they force you to walk through a mall complete with an apple store to get out of the Louvre.
We needed a drink, and what a treat it was. We sat street-side at a quant bar and had beers and wine. We had the weirdest “onion ring-esq” calamari. I notice the lady next to me sketching cafe scenes on a paper with charcoal. We started chatting and she was lovely to visit with. Google her work “ Pernelle Duvillet painter” it was a true Europen experience chatting with her and a great way to wind down from a great day.
For dinner we were both pretty tired, since we walked over 20,000 steps. We decided on a wonderful Italian restaurant recommended to us by our hotel staff. I had mushroom linguine and Sarah had spinach ravioli. It was a scene from lady and the tramp, a side street cafe with only outside seating, red wine and delicious pasta. Now to sleep, paris awaits us tomorrow.
If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast. -Ernest Hemingway