Memories of Paris

Guess where, 2003
Guess where, 2003

We were in Paris for a weekend. Cindy had presented at an international conference of parole/probation officers in Manchester, England, and I had taken vacation time to go along. Most of her trip was paid for by the conference, so we only had my expenses, except for the side trip to Paris after the conference.

This was the year of the heat wave in Europe that killed a number of people. Air conditioning was not widespread anywhere we went or stayed. We were there at the beginning of the heat wave, before things got really bad. We (Cindy and I along with Kipp and Pat from the probation department) took a train from Manchester to London, and then took a train under the English channel to Paris.

After a harrowing taxi ride from the train station to our hotel, we arrived around midnight only to find that they had given our rooms to someone else. They put us up in a cheaper place next door in the student quarter. We were tired, but Cindy was hungry so we went out looking for food. Cindy bought something from a street vendor and then decided to sit at an outdoor table of a restaurant, even though they were trying to close for the night.

The next morning we took a tour of the city via a mini-van, rushing from one place to the next with little time to see much of anything. I think we spent more time at Montmartre than anywhere else, and that was fine. In the afternoon we decided to walk around the city as much as we could. I don’t know how far we walked, but I estimated at the time that it was about fifteen miles. Of course, it could have been my tired feet and legs that made that estimate. We did some shopping, saw Notre Dame, saw a number of statues and fountains, and saw the Louvre.

At Notre Dame Pat and Kipp decided to climb to the top. Cindy and I decided to skip that, so we went a sidewalk cafe where I ordered a beer and Cindy ordered ice water. My beer was brought to me, but Cindy had to ask the surly waiter for her water three times before he grudgingly brought it.

Unfortunately we arrived a the Louvre after they were closed, so we saw very little. So, after walking around the outside of the building and going down under the pyramid, we walked back to hotel. If my memory serves me correctly, we stopped on the way back at another restaurant and ate dinner.

On Sunday we flew home. I hope we can go back sometime when we have more time, and don’t have to rush from one place to another. Maybe in a couple of years.