Mike and I landed in Paris ready for a rowdy day in the air. We had a helicopter tour booked just a few short hours after arriving at our hotel, so we settled in and hopped in a cab after eating at a Turkish restaurant nearby. That’s kicking France off right…right?
We walked into the hangar only to hear that, “unfortunately,” our flight to Versailles had been cancelled. Now, Mike and I are pretty easy going and typically have no trouble finding something fun to do, but this threw the remainder of our stay into a scheduling clusterfuck. We rescheduled our flight for two days later and set off into Paris to explore. We accompanied our wanderings with a cacophony of ramblings, mostly admiring the city and figuring out what the hell we should do, given our newfound free time.
Hitting the real-life shuffle button, we moved all sorts of stuff around and wound up at the Louvre two days early. We asked a lady near the glass structure to take a picture of us, and she said, flat-faced and expressionless, “No.” We’d never experienced such a dead-faced reaction to a photo request, so we opted instead for a selfie and entered the building. Confession: I’m not a fan of art museums–sue me. But it was entertaining to watch Mike meander through the exhibits armed with his GoPro. In between spurts of following Mike, I slowly trudged through the halls pretending to be interested in the displays.
We left the Louvre and walked through the city with no particular destination in mind (romantic, right?!). A quick stop for dinner introduced us to escargot, which was decent enough to make me want to write this sentence, but underwhelming enough to make this sentence plenty of description. We passed the Eiffel Tower and some beautiful ships on the River Seine. I remembered my previous visit to Paris and had an idea. I steered Mike in the direction of Montmartre and the Basilica of Sacré Coeur. We weaved and bobbed through Paris side streets, ascended a steep street adorned with bars and restaurants full of people with drinks in hand. As we made our way closer to the Basilica, we heard faint accordion music and passed glorious houses that probably cost more money than I’ll ever see. Once we approached the basilica we found the source of the music and walked to the front of the structure to find marvelous views of the city below us.
By the time we finished taking in the vista below us, Paris nightlife was in full swing. We walked through a bustling neighborhood lined with cabarets, bars and thousands of Parisians. We walked in the general direction of our hotel, guided but not too concerned by the directions in front of us. That attitude turned into a necessity, though, when our phones died.
In this situation, my instinct was to panic. Mike’s was to go with the flow, enjoy the evening, and somehow find our hotel. His outlook tapered my panic minimally, but I bucked up when I realized I had memorized our hotel’s address–something Mike, I’m sure, had not done.
Bolstered by our forced screenlessness, we bought cigars and smoked them as we strutted through the heart of Paris. Our bodies burned out as the cigars did, and we hailed a cab back to our hotel and crashed, ready for our penultimate day in Europe.