Paris, Part Un

Here it is, day three in Paris and I’m finally blogging. Things are going very well; the weather is cooperating fabulously, Mike doesn’t want to kill me yet (unless he’s hiding it well), and Mark is being the most gracious host.

We left Boston at 6:45PM on Saturday. I wasn’t able to sleep on the flight so I managed to watch King Kong and The Incredibles in their entirety (I also didn’t take as much Ativan as I normally do to control my restlessness).

Upon arriving at the airport RER (commuter rail station) I soon realized that all of my praise for Parisian public transit efficiency was completely unfounded. There was only one agent available to sell tickets to a line that drifted out of the ticketing area and into the main terminal space. It took nearly an hour for us to get a ticket (and I get so imptatient).

We finally boarded (an express, at least) train into Paris – getting of at St. Michel (Notre Dame). I love getting out of the train here, walking up the stairs and having Notre Dame Cathedral right around the corner.

Mark welcomed us with open arms and a lovely table full of croissant, fresh pastries and fresh-squeezed orange juice. Shortly thereafter we were on the subway heading to the American Cathedral (which is by the Champs Elysses) to pick up the spare key to his apartment. We took the subway back the Marais and walked it’s streets taking in the sights.

Mike and Mark took naps that afternoon and I went down to the eastern tip of Ile St. Louis where the local gay boys hang out nearly nekkid and watch the boats go by (I was not one of the nearly nekkid, I must add). After about an hour and a half of reading and resting, I got up to return to Mark’s. On the way there, I ran into Mike and Mark (up from their naps and ready for dinner).

We went to a local creperie on Ile St. Louis before all going to Open Cafe – a little gay bar in the Marais. We tried hooking Mark up with this handsome fellow – but we all chickened out on approaching him to assist Mark. However, when we were leaving, the gentleman literally walked into me. So, I was the only one to get physical and verbal contact with him. Mark was tres jealous.

I finally got to sleep after 48 hours (YIKES) on Sunday night. I slept until noon on Monday before Mike and I began exploring Paris by foot. We spent some time in the Marais (again) and went to the Centre Pompidou (modern art museum). The lobby felt like my junior high school gymnasium – but the upper levels were interesting – mostly because of the views they afforded of Paris. As you took the glass tubed escalators up along the exterior of the building, you could see the steeples of distant churches appear (including Sacre Cour) and then the Eiffel Tour. However, only two floors of this gigantic museum were open that day. We did get to “enjoy” a little performance art video about Joan Collins and Dynasty, though.

After sitting by the Fountain Igor Stravinsky and the nearby run-down Saint Merri Church, we grabbed some food and sat on a bench in Place de Vosges to restfor an hour or so before heading to the market for groceries.

OK – I’m getting sidetracked but this simply must e said: the french love their chocolate. It’s in everything, I swear. My croissants? chocolate. Milk? chocolate. They even take our standard cereals and add chocolate. Frosted Flakes….avec chocolat. Special K…avec chocolat. I purchased Kellogs All Bran…avec chocolat. I’m in constipation heaven – but ít’s all worth it.

Last night we all went to dinner in the Latin Quarter at a place called the American Diner (an English menu and setting) before settling in and watching “Out on the Town”. Mike and I had intended to head out to a bar (The Bear Den) but were too tired.

Oh – speaking of things nocturnal….it’s day light here until nearly 11PM! It’s dusk around 10:30, but you can still see blue sky. It doesn’t get 100% dark until just after 11PM, though! YAY

Of course, none of this is helping with my jet lag.

Now it is Tuesday and we’re needing to figure out what to do. More importantly, we need to figure out what to do next week before we head up to London. We’ve got Monday thru Thursday to entertain ourselves somehow…somewhere. Mark offered to let us stay at his place and go out on day trips (or overnight trips). He’s so sweet.

And that’s where we stand now. I’ve taken a few photos so far – but not enough to warrant posting. I hope to post more regularly now that I’m settled.

I’m on vacation and too lazy to check for typos so what you see is what you get. Mwah!

5 Comments

  1. Comment by Mark on June 20, 2006 8:25 am

    Glad you’re having fun, pumpkin (avec chocolat!). How is your skin healing? Are the Parisians pointing at you?

  2. Comment by Brad on June 20, 2006 9:16 am

    C’est magnifique!

  3. Comment by chrispy on June 20, 2006 10:57 am

    gawd, stuck with nothing to do en france? gee whiz. i still say you owe it to yourself and mike to see aix en provence, or to explore the southern coast of france. remember, john and i maintain that the BEST food we had in france was in marseille (even though the city itself is a bit ‘eh’)…..bonne chance whatever you do!

  4. Comment by karyn on June 20, 2006 2:24 pm

    You want to talk about tres jealous?! Je suis vert avec envy and sans chocolat! Take lots of pictures and not just of architecture! I want to see the Seine and the Eiffel tower dammit, and the Louvre and all that touristy stuff!

    Les francais do love their chocolate. Enjoy it while you can.

    And remember – you want une creme, not un cafe au lait. ( The former gets you a cup of coffee with cream. The latter gets you a vat of scalding latte. Seriously. Like a thermos.) Oh wait. You don’t drink coffee. Well.. there goes my one piece of practical advice.

    Wish I were there , glad you’re having fun. Be careful. Le Mwah, Le Mwah!

  5. Comment by Veselka Slut on June 20, 2006 6:42 pm

    I want to see all the nearly nekkid Parisian boys on Ile St. Louis.

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