More rain. So today we decided to just wander and watch people.
Our waiter at lunch was the perfect start. When we first got there, he motioned us to a table the size of a postage stamp squeezed between two other postage stamps with normal sized people. There was another table on the other side of the restaurant that was a tiny bit bigger.
"Here." He insisted.
"Can we sit there?" We asked.
"That one's a little bit bigger..."
"I guess we will sit here," I said. He was actually a friendly enough guy (for a Parisian). He said Merci once. I liked his sailor duds. I asked him if he was a fan of The Village People. He wasn't amused ... must have been my accent. I took this picture of the cafe and this girl (I call The Poser) decided to get in the picture. She was sitting forward when I aimed and then leaned back as soon as I snapped it. She's not a Parisian. She's a new version of a Valley girl. If you …
We walked for 10 straight hours. (It rained for the last three)
Our Target: The Louvre
Our Mission: To meet our Undercover Guide ... Jessica ... who will meet us at the Arc du Carrousel at precisely 2:30PM to take us behind the scenes at The Louvre for a look at the "Hidden Masterpieces".
10:00 AM: We start at our hotel eating one of our four free breakfasts. Well ... I say free ... they are actually included in the "special" price of the room. I think it's like 3 million francs or about $10.59. Kidding ... more like $3 million and 10 francs. (What do I know? They use euros anyway. The exchange rate is better for Americans this week ... I think we get an additional $.30 on the dollar so Debbie felt like a diamond encrusted Rolex watch for only $15,000 was a good deal today. She only looked at it, I think.)
11:00AM: We begin our journey walking toward the Opera House (a place that Debbie heard was a must see). Along the way, we check out the architectural work on…
We realized something today. Paris is dark when you wake up at 8 AM and it gets dark when it's about 3 in the afternoon. The city has light for about 5 or 6 hours a day.
It should be called the City of Dark.
But light or dark ... this place is really cool (actually it's pretty "cold" for a cool place). Magnifique! I mean it ... The food rocks and the people are attractive and skinny (which by the way kinda ticks me off since they eat a lot of bread and butter and pastries and drink all day long). Must be either good genes or they smoke themselves skinny.
So ... Let's get back to a basic question: How the heck did Paris get the name City of Light???
Answer: Paris was nicknamed the "City of Light" (not City of Lights as some people think it's called) originally because it was a vast center of education and ideas during the Age of Enlightenment.
In 1828, Paris began lighting the Champs-Elysées with gas lamps. It was the first city in Europe to do so, and…
Been trying to get together with them for over a year ... it took a trip to Paris to make dinner plans. Harry was my neurosurgeon (set up my Cyberknife treatments and told me recently on my annual visit: "Just as I suspected ... you have nothing up there.") and Jeffrie (his wife) works with Debbie in real estate.
The restaurant was called Au Petite Sud Ouest. It sits right behind the Eiffel Tower and serves nothing but duck and goose.
I told the owner that she should change the name to "Duck, duck, goose."
She looked at me as if I was from a different planet.
Harry hit a home run with her when he asked for tobasco sauce for his foie gras and his duck cassoulet. "No Monsieur! No tobasco ... no ketchup and no mayonnaise either!"
By the way ... foie gras is not the celebration where you watch parades and throw beads to women who raise up their blouses. It's actually duck's liver. People pay big bucks …
So we decide at the last minute to fly stand-by to Paris.
Those who know us are not surprised. Those who don't ... think we are idiots. Personally, I side with the latter group. But, undaunted, we continue to brave the Delta Airways ... hoping against hope to get space available and not spend days waiting at the airport.
This time it worked! Praise be to you-know-who!!!
We actually flew to Paris in BUSINESS CLASS.
Yes ... that's right ... Business Class ... the Class of Class. Okay ... so I'm obnoxious about it. The years of having others look at us in disdain for being "Non-Revs" ... the cheap, low life, airline employees that get to fly for free ... finally paid off.
Here I am sitting comfortably in my Biz Class seat.
I checked all the toys that were close at hand. Thought that this was an earphone but it turned out to be a reading light.
These were the real earphones. They live next to the goody bag filled with special treasures like sleep mask, toothpaste, too…
Funny ... the "kids" are 25, 28 and 33. But I still call them kids.
On Thursday, we had a day out together. Beautiful day ... Alissa and Nikki and I walked downtown. Nikki took about 328 pictures of everything from clouds to light poles. It was like she had never been to Florida before ... you'd never know she grew up here.
Actually ... they were just beautiful.
Here are a few:
We stopped along the way to get a bite to eat ... A couple of omelets later ... we were on our way to the movies. In the lobby, there were big cut outs of the Chipmunks.
Alissa asked Nikki the question first ... "Which chipmunk did you relate to the most?"
Nikki ... "What ... Alissa? You didn't really ask me that did you?""
Alissa (giggling) ... "I wanted to be Alvin ... but somehow I always came back to Simon."
Nikki ... "I was always about the size of Theodore"
Okay ... so I had to pose with Alvin ... just ... because.
My good friend Marsha sent me a very cool way to differentiate Christmas and Chanukah. Here are the TOP TEN:
1. Christmas is one day ... the same every year. Chanukah is eight craaaazzzzy days and falls on the evening of the 24th of Kislev (whenever that is). Jews never know until a non-Jewish friend asks them when Chanukah starts (forcing us to look at a calendar so we don't look like complete idiots). There are Jewish calendars that Jews get in the mail ... if you plant a tree in Israel or give to the World Jewish Congress.
2. Christmas is a major holiday. Chanukah is a minor holiday with the same theme as most Jewish holidays "They tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat".
3. Christians give wonderful presents like jewelry, stereos, perfume ... Jews get underwear and socks.
4. There is only one way to spell Christmas. (Xmas doesn't count). No one has decided on Chanukah, Chanukkah, Chanukka, Hanukah, Hanukkah, Honker .... whatever.
"It's me ... Joel ... your son."
"Do you want to go out to lunch today?"
"I just ate lunch."
"Wait a minute ... what time is it?"
"Oh ... I just ate breakfast. You can take me to lunch."
"I can? Thanks ... I'll be there at 12."
He was patiently waiting in the lobby when I drove up. His walker was stuffed with his treasures ... magazines, pieces of random papers, probably a week old bagel.
"Ready?" I asked.
"Where are we going to eat?"
"Wherever you want."
"I read about a place in Largo called Big Jim's. They said that they have the best philly cheese steaks in the world. Ever hear about it?"
"No. Is that where you want to go?'
"I don't really have an appetite."
"Would you rather not go out to eat?…