Paris France: As God is my Witness….
According to Margaret Mitchell, the amazing writer of Gone with the Wind, the Southern gentry would go on these epic trips. Many a newlywed couple would head out for their honeymoon and come home with their newborn baby. I guess that it was easy to drop in on someone when they had a houseful of slaves taking care of everything. And since the visitor’s only job was to be a gentleman or lady and think about the family fortune, why not shack up with relatives and friends for a year?
Don’t worry, we aren’t going to show up on your doorstep and stay for a year, but in this year of travel, we’ve not only managed to partake in generous hospitality (more on that later), but we’ve been fortunate to visit many friends on this trip, which doesn’t happen much in our modern American life. We’ve seen our ESI friends, Don & Nancy, Tom & Andrea, our parents, Ute & family, and now my friend Kimberly who is honeymooning in Paris with her wives. It was fantastic seeing Kimberly, Monique and Sheri and getting to catch up and take them to a couple sights around town.
We rented a couple of apartments during our three week stay, and our current landlord invited us out to lunch at a Corsican restaurant. We joined Jean-Felix, his friend Nicole, who has been our translator for this transaction, and her son Olivier for a wonderful meal of grilled salmon, ravioli and plenty of wine.
Before lunch, Nicole and Olivier took us to a fantastic market where hundreds of stalls were selling fruits vegetables, cheeses and meats.
My other Scarlett moment is really getting to see Paris. Remember Rhett would bring Scarlett back the latest in Parisian fashions as he boldly dodged the blockades in the harbors? And on their honeymoon he wined and dined Scarlett throughout the City of Lights? Well since this is my first trip to Paris, my guide/translator, Rhett, aka Andy, has taken us to the highlights of Paris.
We’ve seen the Arc de Triomphe,
strolled down the Champs Elysses, and wandered through the throngs of people at the Louvre.
We’ve also checked out the creepy catacombs,
taken a day trip to Euro-Disney, celebrated Dylan’s birthday
and the end of taking our malaria pills,
and watched the students marching against some new labor law proposal, stuff that I bet Scarlett didn’t get to do on her trip here!
In 1990 I came to Europe with an open jaw ticket, a eurail pass and $800 in my pocket. Having so little money was particularly painful in Italy, where I would press my nose on the glass at restaurants featuring menus of homemade pasta, osso bucco and many earthy delights. In Venice, there were these tiny white bread sandwiches that had the creamiest fillings, but I could only afford one or maybe two at a time. This not only explains why I dropped 10 pounds in my three months in Europe, but I swore, like Scarlett, shaking my hand at the sky, “As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again,” or in my case, I will never ever come back to Italy without enough money to eat like the Italians. It’s just too stupid and painful. So after 3 weeks in Paris we leave for Rome, with a fistful of euros earmarked for some great Italian food, and I’m not even wearing a dress resembling a curtain. Ciao and au reviour from the Continent.