Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Photo Journal Through my Paris Journey

What. A. Whirlwind.  

Seriously.  We were watching some movie (I can't remember which... and I don't want to waste time trying to remember...) where the setting was France, WW II.  I don't know what it was about the movie, yes I do... it was FRANCE... we were just suddenly inspired .... we HAD to go to France.

S and I had talked about going to Paris several months ago, but the timing with work, school, and kids was never quite right.  With her job at The Company getting a flight there is nearly free and not too difficult at this time of year.  So, it was decided, on Sunday evening around 9pm that we would go to Paris - the next day!  Our flight left Monday evening at 6:30pm.

It seemed okay at first.  I'm an online, distance learner.  As long as we found a place to stay with internet access, I could take my exam that was due on Tuesday at 11pm CST.  That's right, we hadn't had a place to stay.  We were just getting on a flight.  To another country.  With no place to stay.  With no guarantee of internet access.  And I had to take my first exam in nearly 24 hours... with a 7 hour time difference.

I started to freak a little on the ride to the airport.  I got a little queasy.

I was very relieved to have my nausea pills on the ride there.  And after about 18 of them I started to feel better.

S did okay drinking fizzy water - that was so very Parisian of her.
We laughed because we were practicing our French Accents by pronouncing the name of the water: LaCroix.  I don't speak French really... but I speak French Accent.  That's basically English with a really snotty French Accent.  Turns out that S and I travel really well together.  We both like to laugh, a lot.  Mostly at ourselves.  And it's mostly things that I'm sure no one else would laugh at.  Sometimes I blog about it... I wonder if anyone else gets a chuckle.  But there is a LOT I just keep to myself.

So on the flight there, I got an upgrade to Business Class.  I declined it, of course!  I did not want to fly for like over 8 hours up there in Business Class by myself!  The point of the long, overnight flight, I thought, was being inappropriate underneath the little airplane blankets.  I even wore a dress.  ~Shrugs~
I mean... Don't those First and Business Class seats look like weird Alien Pods?  I'm actually afraid of them a little.  On our flight home, I was upgraded to FIRST Class, and I declined that too, and I thought S was going to either A.) have a heart attack or B.) cry a little.  Both would have embarrassed me, so I'm glad she refrained.  She said no one else in her life ever would have done that "for her."  Isn't that ... ... ... I don't know what that is.  Maybe sad.  Who wouldn't want to sit next to their wife?  She said, "Give it a few years.  You'll take the upgrade eventually."  I don't know about that.
Once I explained all of this to her, the under the blankey cuddling, a smile widened across her face.  Another "a'ha moment" I think Oprah calls it.  (S loves Oprah... it's a source of contention between us at times.)

What can I write about the flight?  It was long.  Boring.  There were a few flight attendants that S knew, and of course I made fun of her... until we got a First Class blanket and a First Class dessert from one of them.  I studied Pharmacology for like 3 hours.  I have never studied anything that long in my life.  I watched two in-flight movies.  Oh!  I'm almost leaving out the best part.  The very sour looks we got from the man sitting across the aisle to our left... and the blatant stares we got from the man sitting across the aisle to our right.  It was funny at first.  I wanted to photo them.  Then it was annoying.  Then I think S just got pissed by the end of the long flight.
We found a super-affordable place to stay in a neighborhood only a block or two from the train station.  Very convenient.  Here's a little peak at the view from one of the windows.  Nice right?  Mhm.  Fucking noisy as hell.  The second night we asked the owner for a room on the other side of the building.  Off the street.  Where our window faced the courtyard.  Much wiser.
It was a pretty modest place.  But I really did not care!  We were in Paris.  No work.  No kids.  No school.  OH FUCK.  It's TUESDAY!  (And I left my nausea pills in S's car at the airport.)  Yes.  School was waiting for me.  But so was the bed... I needed a nap in the worst way.  And nap we did.  S woke up twice to yell at 

1.  The maid.

2.  Some worker men doing electrical work in the hallway.

When it was just starting to get dark out, we got up and I decided I really needed to finish my Pharmacology studies.  The hotel claimed to have "Wi-Fi" in the "lobby," and S went to check to make sure it was reliable.  We were both in desperate need of coffee.  I asked her to bring back something... latte... espresso... anything...  And apparently the only thing you can get "take away" (that's French for "to-go") is at McCafe.
I am not even laughing kids.  

This is serious shit.

My first fucking night in Paris, France and I'm in a fucking "modest" hotel room, studying Pharm, and drinking a goddamn McCafe

The lobby's Wi-Fi service proved reliable, and I was able to log into my school's secure server and access my exam.  I scored an 86% even though there were Frenchmen smoking cigarettes, eating smelly sandwiches, and watching French news programming at a volume level that can only be described as MORE THAN DISTRACTING.

The next couple of days and nights are a blur.  We mostly slept all day (thank god we got the quieter room after the first night) and would stay up all night fucking.  We tried really hard to do cultured things like go to museums.  But I found a way to make even that inappropriate.   

Exhibit A:  The loo and Le Louvre:
I thought it would be nicer.  Although, given the other public toilets I visited on my trip... this one was suitable.

Exhibit B:  Extended Breastfeeding.  

I think this kid needs to wean.  Seriously.  And that girl in the photo wouldn't smile and almost ruined my shot.

S wanted to get those headsets so we could have that guided tour in English.  I said no.  Instead I made her pretend we were at a gallery picking out things for our new home we were moving into.  She agreed at the end my way was more fun, but incredibly inappropriate.  I tried to get her to climb on top of the Winged Victory of Samothrace for an incredible photo shot.  She wouldn't.  She's so shy!  

Anyway... it was a good time.  We laughed until our sides hurt.  We stayed until we were bored... and thirsty (not long).  
The wine was fabulous.  We enjoyed this little refreshment in the park right before we caught the train to Pigalle, which is Paris' red light district for anyone unaware.  Yes, I did see Moulin Rouge.  It's like if one goes there... that's what one must see... like when one visits the Louvre one must see the Mona Lisa.  LOL!  It's the Mona Lisa of Pigalle.  

What did we do in the Red Light District?  

1. Buy lube of course.

2. Buy amazing mini cupcakes filled with delightful, creamy goodness.

3. Eat snails.

4.  More wine.
5.  Visit Sacre-Coeur Basilique.  We lit a candle for our very special friend Bebe's sister who is very sick right now.

6.  Shopped like tourists.  We bought - socks, hats, magnets, a watch, chocolate, a bottle of wine... 

7.  Ate a Panini sandwich while walking to the train.

8. Asked a waiter to cork our wine because we had no opener in our room!

9.  Brought a small Greek pizza back to our room, with our wine and chocolate and had another amazing feast!
10.  Tried our lube.  All night long.  We weren't disappointed. 


BabyCatcher2b said...

I fucking love this.

Elle said...

Why... thank you! Our first International Excursion proved successful!! (Now we have travel size lube.)

The Gardener said...

im still not 100% sure you went....

AtYourCervix said...

Hysterical!!! What an amazing trip you (both) were able to take on such a short notice.

And the lube, oh my, the lube. You crack me up!

S said...

First: I can't believe you chose to sit in the village with me and deny your upgrade to first class... THAT is true love.

Second: When asking for directions to the Louvre always say "LA Louvre"

Third: Never let me eat bread. Even if we are in Paris.

Fourth: I can't believe you posted a photo of our accoutrements.

Fifth: When can we go on our next adventure?