At first, he was concerned about the language barrier, so he looked up the most important conversational words and phrases. They included: bon jour, au revoir, Ou sont les toilettes (Where are the restrooms?) pardon, s'il vous plait (please), and merci. More importantly, l'eau distillee which means distilled water. This is an integral component of his traveling CPAP machine (for sleep apnea), which he dragged with us, but never bothered to use.
We were determined to see everything we could in just four days, so we packed our most comfortable walking shoes, and took off. We began our tour along the magnificent shops of the Champs- Elysses, It was surprising to see how many American stores were thrown into the mix including Banana Republic, and Starbucks. Since we were on a mission to cover a lot of territory, we just window shopped, and continued on to the Arc De Triomph, and the Eiffel Tower.
|The Eiffel Tower|
Mr. Prepared even downloaded a free iPhone app which enabled us to have audio tours of the Louvre, Musee d'Orsay and the Palace of Versailles. Our friend advised us to purchase a discounted museum pass to visit all of the above which helped us avoid the long lines. We also walked over to Notre Dame Cathedral, and strolled through both the Jewish and the Latin Quarters.
|Notre Dame Cathedral|
That night I noticed something very disturbing. When we were viewing our photos, hubby looked fine, but my hair had taken on a brand new persona. Though the Chicago humidity gave me carefree curls, for some reason the humidity in Paris left me flat and lifeless. In some of the photos, my hair looks like it was drawn in with yellow crayon, and my teeth are more horse than human. Suddenly, it hit me. I'm in one of the most romantic cities in the world, and I look like Gary Busey's twin. My husband did a great job of disguising his displeasure, as he snored peacefully during my breakdown.
|The Siene River|
As I walked the streets of Montmartre resembling a wet rat, a barmaid asked my husband if he was famous. Of course she couldn't remember who he reminded her of, but she ruled out my guess of Dustin Hoffman.
Since we couldn't get tickets to Moulin Rouge, we went to a similar show at Le Lido. I was mesmerized by the topless showgirls who looked almost identical from the neck down. The only difference being, that some had more ribs sticking out than others. My favorite act was a man who carried a lifelike floating head, that was seemingly interchangeable with his own. We were sitting close to the stage, and neither one of us spotted any wires.
Despite my hair, and a few days of lousy weather we still had a wonderful time. We never found out who my husband's mysterious celebrity look-alike was, and I was happy to leave mine in Paris.
|At our hotel before braving the weather|