Have I mentioned my husband planned our trip and each day before we left the hotel, in addition to patching my heels with moleskin, I was asked, “Do you have the itinerary?”
Today’s itinerary would take us on the ten cent tour of Paris via bus 69. Bus 69 has no A/C and we still opted to take it, because Rick Steves said it’s an inexpensive way to see a lot of tourist destinations without taking cabs or the metro. Rick is made of sterner stuff than I, that’s for sure.
I was seriously miserable and frantically fanning myself with the itinerary. (What do ya’ know? It IS totally useful!) We’d almost get moving fast enough to feel a breeze through the barely open windows when the bus stopped again to do what buses do – let people off and on.
I will admit, driving through the narrow streets of the little neighborhoods was a different perspective than I’d experienced in the past via cabs. Unfortunately, I think our tour was less successful than Rick’s because we didn’t know where we were exactly and were having to refer to the book (via smart phone) to determine if we were passing anything of interest or not.
Robert took pity on me in the early afternoon and we hopped off to eat at a cafe on a busy street. When is doubt – feed and drink Ann. That’s our motto. Cafe D’arsenal was exactly what I needed. We took our time, ate croque monsieur and had a glass of rosé while watching the world go by on a lazy Friday.
Oops. Wait. Remember the yellow jacket from Day One? It found me again. Landing all over my plate and wine glass. Lazy time = over. We jumped back on the bus to reach our destination – Pere Lachaise Cemetery.
We fumbled with the trusty (cough) Rick Steves app after entering the cemetery. Quite a few other people were there obviously looking for Jim Morrison. I was so distracted by everything else I saw, namely tombs, open tombs, collapsed tombs, tombs with opens doors, tomb doors with so many cobwebs I didn’t stop having invisible spider heeby-jeebies for the next 6 hours – I didn’t care if we found Jim or not. I was more concerned about what might find us. Why were all these open? Had the inhabitants flown the coop? Robert and I couldn’t resist edging close to a large crack in one concrete structure and peering into it to see if there was anything to see. There wasn’t. Probably all for the best, as I would definitely not have been able to outrun anyone that day.
We made our way over to say hello to Oscar Wilde. I was sad to see they’d enclosed his tomb and cleaned the lipstick kisses off of it. (Although I’m sure the family having to pay to have it cleaned all the time was probably a pain.)
Back on the bus – and to our new favorite cafe – D’aresenal. It was nearly 5:00 on Friday evening so we made ourselves comfortable and had another glass of rosé. Or two. Then, for some reason, possibly because we scrunched together to open up an additional table for the host, he brought us our check and another glass each. Hiccup.
At this point we decided we were too worn out to go to the Louvre (which was open until 9:45 that night and the next item on the itinerary) and decided we’d better just get some dinner. We entered Chez Denise – a loud, crowded restaurant and bar and were squeezed in at the end of a long table. Here we experienced our first truly French waiter. We also learned that, unlike in the states, the customer DOES NOT always know best. Robert ordered beef jowl and I ordered cod. I took one bite of that cod and pushed the plate away. It was what I technically call, “Icky.” When the waiter eventually ran out of other people to serve, he returned and looked at my full plate with one raised eyebrow. Robert told him it wasn’t fresh.
The waiter said, “Yes. It’s fresh.”
“No. It is not,” Robert chuckled a bit.
“Yes it is,” Monsieur Waiter snapped. “Where are you from?”
“Texas,” Robert responded. I knew we’d just lost.
He whisked the plated fish away, still proclaiming its freshness. When our l’addition arrived the full price of the week-old cod was proudly displayed. He’s lucky I’d had those three glasses of relaxing, mellow rosé before coming to dinner. And those two glasses with dinner. I’m surprised I didn’t hug him. That would’ve been the final insult, I’m sure.
Day 4 (when Amy (the Countess Magnificent-Joy) & Dave join us for fun and games) AND possibly Day 5 up next!