Sunday, October 9, 2011
Day 90: Je t'aime......
Leaving Tangier was an exercise in patience. There are two gates at the airport and it took FOREVER to check in, get our passports stamped and go through security. Why is it that every single human being in line had a major problem with their tickets/papers?! We didn't have time to eat breakfast and we were both very hungry so we ended up buying a crappy sandwich on the plane and split it. Then tried to sleep and couldn't...but a couple hours later we were in Paris! I've been dreaming my whole life of Paris. Ever since I was a little teeny tiny girl I dreamed of coming to the city of lights. The romance! The intrigue! All the beautiful women lounging around, nonchalantly smoking cigarettes and purring softly in French, making fun of American tourists... What's not to love?
We had directions from the hotel and got on the bus, to the metro, to the 18th arrondissement. When we were reading reviews of the hotel we booked online we were shocked to see that some people actually posted that they thought "the neighborhood was a little dark for my taste". Do people actually live their lives with thoughts like this? That's a whole other issue, but we really didn't think anything of it. The neighborhood was vibrantly ethnic which was a refreshing change of pace. The first comment I made when we got on the metro was I was so happy that Paris was a city that actually had different kinds of people in it. I was beginning to think I was in the twilight zone when traveling through Europe because everyone looks the same! Finally we were in a city that had some diversity.
We stayed at the hotel Ramey, it was clean, cute and the staff was very nice. We crashed for a couple hours and woke up famished. I had remembered seeing a pizza place between the metro stop and the hotel so we went back there to eat. I know, you must be thinking why would we eat pizza in Paris. Because we were beyond starving. This is always what happens, we get up early on the days we have to travel, eat almost nothing all day and then it's 6pm and I'm ready to gnaw my own fingers off so I don't pass out and we eat at the first place we see. We were greatly rewarded for this decision though. It wasn't really pizza, the dough was fluffy and we got Brie and blue cheese. I love cheese, I could eat cheese morning noon and night (which is what I did for the next 3 days) so this was a slice of heaven.
After dinner I did a little laundry in the bathroom sink and showered and got ready to go out. We were still really exhausted. I think 3 months of travel were catching up to us all at once, unfortunately, in Paris. I could tell Bill was especially beat so we decided just to go see the Arc de Triumph that night and then come home and get a good nights sleep.
We got to the Arc around 9. We had rode the metro to The Victor Hugo stop which was a little too far but I didn't care, we were in Paris! We took our time walking past numerous shops with me oohing and aahhhing along the way. The coolest thing we saw was a chocolate shop that had a life size orangoutang completely made of chocolate! It was the moment I knew I could love this city forever.
We walked over to the Arc and spent a lot of time admiring it, walking through and around it. The city was all lit up, we could see straight down the Champs Élysées in both directions. As we were walking around the Arc the tip of the Eiffel tower popped up from behind some trees. I started exclaiming " ooooooo! Oooooooo! Ooooooooo!" It was the most magnificent thing I had ever seen and I immediately burst into tears. This also, in addition to the cheese eating, would happen many times in Paris. When people ask me about our time there I'm going to say that I cried and ate cheese. Best vaca ever. Bill was a little confused as to what was going on and when he tried asking me about it but I was speechless. He followed that by reminding me that I hadn't even seen the whole thing yet. It was at this point I think he knew I was going to be in the best mood of my life for the next couple of days and it was, in turn, making him really happy as well.
We wandered down the Champs E as far as the Louis Vuitton store which I let out many more ooooohhhhhs and ahhhhhhs at the goods in the window, then we got on the metro to go home. We went to bed and I dreamed of Eiffel towers and fancy leather handbags, all the things a girl could ever want in life.