Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Impromptu Itinerants

Approximately two weeks ago, I received a facebook message from one of my awesome friends who lives in Los Angeles. We met when we both studied abroad in London together over 10 years ago and have been amazing friends ever since. She wrote to me because her and her mother were planning to come to Paris a mere week later, due to their once in a life time opportunity to have standby tickets to an airline for a year. Well then done and done, they best be traveling every other day! I was beyond thrilled especially because after my cousin was here for the weekend, I wasn't expecting anymore visitors until late fall. I was also thrilled because I haven't seen this lovely lady in several years, and we always have the best time together. Like so many of mes amis, she and I have one of those friendships where even if we don't see each other for years, when we meet again it's as if I wandered over from next door to girl gab like we do every day. Though I only met her mom once at the end of our London studies, I knew she was fabulous too, and I geared up for half a week of ridiculousness as the three of us blondes were to party hard about town.

Coming off a crazy weekend with Hot Blonde Cousin, I admit I was already exhausted and dehydrated, on top of which the Parisian weather had decided to turn bitchy New Yorker on me, leaving us with temperatures in the 90s and a whole lot of sweat to show for it. But the one thing I know full well about my good friend is that when visiting or traveling, there is no room for sleep. You get up, you go, you stay out late and you don't waste a moment on exhaustion. Because I had one of my extra special visa appointments in the day amidst some students as well, we planned to meet down in the 5th arrondissement where we could hit up Rue Mouffetard and not worry about reservations or time of day. The only difficulty? A long day out on the town meant my friend's phone had died and we quickly found out that even if it hadn't, her phone would just not send texts or calls to a foreign number. After waiting about an hour near the metro for them, she was finally able to ask a random passerby to let her call me on her phone, and I waited another hour while they maneuvered from the Eiffel Tower, through the Parisian metro, and finally emerged from the underground to my waiting hugs. This is one of the times you realize that technology, however many faults, is a really useful tool when trying to manage a strange city and find friends in foreign places. Nevertheless, we had a lovely French dinner while catching up and planning the rest of our fun filled week.

The next day, mother and daughter were off to Versailles while I had several students to attend to. I invited them over to my apartment in the evening for snacks and drinks so that they could see my tiny little studio and the upscale lifestyle I have grown so accustomed to (har har)... Per usual, I provided a lovely spread of nibblies to feast on and washed it all down with wine, wine, and more wine. After that, we decided to go check out my jazz saxophonist friend who was playing in an area of town I frankly never go to. The timing was perfect, however, because by the time we made it there, we had about 45 minutes to watch the music, chat with the band a bit after, then catch the last metro and rest up for the following day.

My dear friends were staying up in Montmartre and found the absolute cutest little place on airbnb to rest their heads. I admit, I was swooning and jealous, and wanted to email the owner to ask if she would like to switch apartments with me. In the end, though, there were quite a few little quirks to the place (like the fact that the door just would not close in the heat) and I figured I might be better off living in my dream neighborhood when I have a bit more cash in hand. On Friday morning we decided to wander through their immediate surroundings, see the Moulin Rouge, Sacré Coeur, etc... Since I recently started my tour guide job, I am rather lucky that I know a lot about this neighborhood, so I was able to point out some interesting spots as we made our way up the hill. Moulin Rouge is something that my friend and I have shared since our days abroad when we would literally act out songs from the movie almost every day. Perhaps this fact, supported by her awesome mother who is always up for new adventures, is why we walked back to the Moulin Rouge only minutes after stepping away so we could put down astronomical amounts of money to see the show that night... Another story for another day...

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