Bonjour mes amis!
Yep, that's me getting all Frenchy on you.
I'm absolutely loving it here in Paris.
I touched down at 6:40am yesterday and made my way to the abode of my first couch surfing host, Viviane, in Montrouge just south of Paris (near Montparnasse).
Feeling groggy with jet-lag, I couldn't imagine doing much other than stopping myself from falling asleep before my desired bed time of 8:30pm (what am I, eight or eighty eight?).
Viviane was heading out to a late afternoon appointment and offered me a ride to Montparnasse station, which is where our TdF tour ends next month. I thought it'd be a good idea to acquaint myself with the local area, not to mention pass time till snooze o'clock.
It was sunny and gorgeous when we left the house and I happily skipped along the streets of Paris during my reconnaissance. Okay, I didn't skip on the outside - but I was certainly skipping on the inside.
I did a timed run from the hotel to the Arc de Triomphe (French spelling) in order to calculate the time required to get the non-riding guests to meet up with the riders for our tour group photo.
As I surfaced from the metro the sun was low, bathing the arch in a warm glow (ooh that rhymes). It was gorgeous. Now that I was there, my brilliantly planned jet lag recovery sleep downgraded to a good idea that was never going to happen.
After several self portraits that I can't upload to my computer because Patrick pinched my card-reader, I started walking down the Champs Elysées. I had a slow-motion moment when voices quietened and I could hear my thoughts, "I'm in Paris. I. Am. In. Paris.".
Though this is not my first time - that was spent with five hours at Gare de Lyon waiting for our lost party to return (pre-mobile phone days). The second time rained consecutively for four days and we saw most of the city from the shelter of a dry hop-on-hop-off bus.
As soon as the aforementioned slow-motion moment passed, I continued on walking and walking and walking. I meandered for hours until I reached la Tour Eiffel. By that stage the sun had just set, and dusk painted the tower in an orange blaze. Magical. Spectacular.
Being completely thrown by daylight savings, it was past 10pm when I made my way home. By that stage it was getting cold. Very cold. When I exited the Montrouge station to walk a few blocks home, the wind was howling and I was freezing. I was so cold that I wished I could somehow be instantly transported home, or be instantly warm. Lucky for me one of those wishes was instantly granted.
I was walking past a charity donation bin that was full to the brim. Bags of clothes had been jammed in the opening hatch, which was bulging with plastic billows that spilled out onto the ground below. I noticed a bold houndstooth pattern that I simply had to explore further.
It turned out to be a three quarter length wool coat in immaculate condition, complete with dry cleaning tag stapled to the back-of-the-neck label. It was in a word, très chic (okay, two words). I slid my hands into each sleeve and pulled it over my shoulders. It fit like a glove. Snug.
Instant warmness, not to mention Parisian style straight out of Vogue. Fabulous. In fact, so fabulous that I struck a pose and took this self-portrait (in lieu of the ones I can't retreive from my memory card). The shiny gold curtain is the makeshift wardrobe in my bedroom, ahem, 'couch-room' - très glamour.
Until tomorrow, give thanks for wishes coming true - even if they were second on your list.
If you a. love me, b. love my blog, c. love this post or d. all of the above - please SHARE