I have to confess my first impression of the city was less than enthusiastic. We'd flown overnght in a cramped airline for nearly nine hours. Our seats were three across. Calvin sat to my left and the seatmate to my right had the breath of an orangutan--and I hesitate to make that comparison for fear of insulting the orangutan. The thirty-something male was on his way to ski in Russia, or so he told me while I held my breath in hopes of avoiding the noxious fumes eminating from his mouth.
Once on the ground, we were delayed in customs while they searched our luggage. Later, we were hiking down a concourse of Charles DeGalle Airport when the new carryon I'd bought from AAA's literally exploded--the seams ripped, causing its contents to spill onto the floor, one wheel popped off and I went into hysterics. I leaned against the wall and laughed like a lunatic. Calvin failed to see the humor in the situation, but not this exhausted old gal. I was in full-giggle-mode.
Our driver was waiting, holding a large sign with our name printed on it. I walked over to him and in my six-word French vocabulary haltingly told him we were the Davis's. He replied in rapid-fire French. I turned to Calvin, who is fluent in the language, to interpret. My husband is very hard of hearing--except when I'm angry about something and grumbling under my breath, THEN he can hear just fine, but that's a topic for another time. Calvin stood in front of the French driver, listened to what he had to say, then turned inquisitive eyes on me. "What did he say?" Oh, I knew we were going to be in trouble. Calvin, who spoke French, couldn't hear it. I could hear it, but couldn't begin to repeat it. Oy!
The driver hefted our luggage into the back of his van and we began the hour-long journey from the airport to our hotel on rue Bertholett. I had no idea we'd have to drive through the slums of Paris to get to the beautiful parts featured in all the pictures. Here in America, most large cities have down-trodden sections in the middle with the more appealing areas on the outskirts. Paris is the exact opposite. Their high-rent district is in the middle of the city. I suppose I was just too fatigued to appreciate the ride. What I desired most by that point was a bed in a quiet room. What we didn't know was the extent of a health condition I had at the time. Really, I should never have made the trip. But I did and certainly haven't regreted pushing myself. Oh, the lovely places I saw.
Unfortunately, we could not get into our room on our first day in Paris until 4:00 that afternoon and it was shortly after ten when we checked in. The hotel allowed us to stow our luggage in a special closet for weary travelers like us who arrived too early. No problem Calvin insisted. We'll just walk and see the city. Did I mention I wanted a bed? So for six hours we walked and sat at cafes and saw the sites. Part of me did, anyway. The other part was whining for a place to lie down.
The windows in the sitting room open to a lovely wrought iron balcony covered in ivy and jasmine.
I might even cook a few meals in our small Parisian kitchen.
Mostly, you'll find us at cafes, sipping espressoes and absorbing French culture.
PARIS IN SEPTEMBER...I CAN'T WAIT!!!