See the zombies in this picture? The two jet-lagged dorks who are wandering through one of the liveliest sections of Paris? You won't find us in this pic, but we were there, hunched over the BEST hot, French-onion soup ever made, trying to remember who we are and how we really got here.
Hey, if you have ever stayed awake for 24+ hours, you know what I am talking about...
It all started for us on Wednesday afternoon. After boarding the 6:00 p.m. non-stop flight to Paris (love this Delta hub city!) Ron and I entered some strange time warp, a portal to the European Traveler's Twilight Zone!
Night enveloped us at 37,000 feet somewhere over Greenland, The oldest team of flight attendants I have ever seen (how much seniority do they need to be working the Paris non-stop?) controls the lighting and orders everyone to lower their window shade...they tell us it is so they can show the THREE back-to-back movies we have already seen while frenetically serving complimentary beverages, dinner, snacks, water, snacks, more water, breakfast, more water....and I am supposed to sleep????
After hours of repeated seat-shifting, pillow-folding and, uh ZERO sleep, I check my phone to see it is 2:00 a.m....fantastic! All of a sudden, some dumb-ass rebel defies the flight-attendant Nazis and lifts his window shade (gasp)...the blinding sunshine floods in! It's 9:00 a.m.???? WHAT? Seven hours gone.....phhhhhhht!
We arrive at Charles De Gaulle in a fog. Herded like sheeple (baaaaa) we march with the other scare-haired, unwashed masses through customs and then on to baggage claim. Now we trek through the longest terminal on earth to the RER train terminal to Paris.
Can you imagine how worldly and super-cool Ron and I feel when we emerge from the bowels of the dilapidated, puke-smell train station onto one of the busiest streets in Paris schlepping two huge soopcases, a Netbook, two backpacks and a neck pillow? Hard to look cosmopolitan when you are this lost, trust me. Standing in front of a huge map trying to decipher directions in a foreign language is pretty humbling.
Oh God, let's just get to our well-researched boutique hotel, nestled on that quiet street recommended in all the reviews, and SLEEP! But Oh Contraire! The room we sent 50 e-mails arranging? Wrong room, not cleaned yet. We have two other options on the 2nd or 6th floor, Not clean either....So sorry, je desole....merci fucking beaucoup! We plop in the lobby and drink red wine as fast as the balding hotel manager can bring it to us.
Finally, we collapse in a room about the size of Andrea's walk-in closet albeit with the European elegance we have learned to appreciate. Ron snores; I out-snore him. We awake after a few hours to the dusk of Paris, and want to explore. We drag our muddled minds and asses onto the streets.
The City of Light is stunning.... and then some. It has its own smell, and we quickly tap in again to our love for its elegance and excitement. (The women here are unpretentiously gorgeous and it is a fashion workshop walking among them). We head for Notre Dame, not far from our hotel. We breathe in the invigorating cool night air.
Holding hands, we cross the Seine, walking through alleys filled with pubs, restaurants, souvenir shops, and architecture unlike anywhere else on earth. We sit in front of one of the world's most beautiful cathedrals and watch young performers throw fire batons and blow flames high into the air. People gather to applaud their skill and throw money into a hat.
On our walk back, a waiter beckons us into his cozy cafe and serves tureens of French Onion soup that warm us body and soul.
We survived our "dooblay-day" and are already excited to see what tomorrow holds...