My observations of Parisians so far: they are very put together. Head to toe, fashionable, smart looking and extremely polite. I’ve been greeted with a bonjour by complete strangers more times than not. The smoking situation I was warned about seems to be restricted to outside for the most part. We’ve only encountered indoor smoking once and it wasn’t that big of a deal. The dog poop is true, you do need to watch your step as it seems that cleaning up after your pet is not a common practice. LOL
Day 3: (merry christmas) we started early. The photographer in me wanted to get to the Arc De Triomphe before full sun hit it, so we did our “normal” walk to the Eiffel Tower and caught a cab from there. Dark quiet streets made capturing a sleeping Passey easy, and M broke out his GoPro to do some video taping of our day.
It was Christmas Day so the Champs Élysées was buttoned up tight – no shops open except the tourist knick-knack shops and a few cafés. We ended up walking the full stretch of the Champs Élysées to the grand Palace, across the Ave du Winston Churchill towards the Hotel Invalides. Our goal was to walk back to the Eiffel Tower to see it from the park side. When we arrived, there were more people there than I’ve ever seen. Maybe a Christmas Day tradition – thousands of people. We were on high “pick-pocket” alert, but didn’t expect to get swindled by two cute girls asking for blind/deaf donations. Oh well – let’s hope the money makes it to right place!!
It wasn’t until after we crossed the river Seine on our final few blocks home that the sky opened up and dumped on us royally! We had walked nearly 5 miles, me with a 20lb camera backpack on and only my North Face vest. This walk and the downpour was going to get the best of me.
Once home we prepared for our Christmas evening and planned on spending it at the Ritz with the number 1 rated bartender in the world – but we got to the Ritz only to realize it was closed for renovations. Our Uber driver was quick to find an alternative and hotel Costes was perfect. The bar was dark and sexy, with fancy decor and very “established” clientele. Our dinner was delicious – la Tigre is what M ordered (the house specialty) and he was NOT disappointed!! I had a spicy lobster pasta that was equally delicious. The wine recommendation was perfect (definitely more than we spend normally – but it was Christmas, and this is Paris).
Once we were back at home – all hell broke loose with my health.
Day 4: sick as a big, hairy, wet, smelly dog. A cough that won’t stop, fever, chills, blazing headache and back pain (which could have been from lugging my camera bag). Day four is a total loss. I slept ALL DAY, M panicked – no language skills, didn’t want to leave the house without me (but dude, I wasn’t moving), starving to death. He did get to a pharmacies and explain my symptoms for a round of meds that made a tiny dent in how I felt.
Day 5: still carrying around that big, smelly dog of illness, but I was able to at least get out of the house for breakfast, and my own visit to the pharmacy. Different approach to meds, and these seem to be doing a little better. Oh and we’ve added sinus pain to the list. The short trip out to eat was a lot so back to the apartment we went for a 5 hr nap. (I never sleep this much). And in the afternoon we headed out to La Marais district where the shopping was plentiful, but the restaurant we had in mind didn’t exist. Mediterranean food it was, and if you know me – the day I pass up shopping is definitely a sick day.
Back home we came – feeling a little successful at even going out at all I though we’d find this secret neighborhood designer store that our AirBnB host gave me insight to. 5 minute walk from the apartment should have been doable, and it was on the way there. Coming back was up hill and the wheezing took full control! We did find a few cute gifts for friends back home so I count it as a success.
Day 6-10 will be closely monitored for activity as my cold from hell either progresses or subsides. We are off to get round three of meds – these recommended by Emi (who knows the power of NyQuil). Wish us luck and a speedy recovery!!
xo – n&m