I arrived in Paris this morning after a 6 hour red eye flight from NYC. Unbelievably I had a great sleep on the plane, mostly thanks to a tablet of Benadryl…don’t judge. Believe it or not I slept through the entire flight, even through the midnight snack and the early morning breakfast, they still remember how to treat passengers on International flights!
When I arrived safe and sound and went through customs where unfortunately I wasn’t able to get my passport stamped :(, my friend Cat was standing at the exit, and greeted me with a resounding “Dude!!!!”. It was great to see her, we hadn’t seen each other in at least a year, and the last time I did we had an impromtu photo shoot at the abandoned Navy Yard in Brooklyn, it was a little creepy but a total blast, you can check out the pics here.
After we met her beau Olivier and drove through the center of Paris we settled in at her apartment and had a few French staples, wine cheese, and in my case, a beer.
I have been to Paris before, in college many moons ago, it was here that an ex boyfriend unceremoniously showed up to apologize a previous bout with the cheats, and where like a love sick homing pigeon I left my study abroad program to follow him back to the states. I still remember the telegram.
“Oceans I would cross. Tears I would cry. Words I would utter, to say I apologize.” What a sap, but at the tender age of 18, I ate it up!
After bread, cheese and beer, Olivier, Marc, Cat and I, my homies for the trip, decided to go on a bike ride. I really didn’t know what to expect, I thought that we would stop by a little shop in the ‘hood and rent bikes by the hour from a little French man in a fedora smoking a cigar. Instead what I saw blew my mind! A fully automated bike rental station!
The Velib is Paris’ public bike system where you pay One Euro (~$1.35) and get the bike for a 24 hour period, not too shabby.
I LOVE New York, but the Velib made me feel like my urban digs were definitely inferior.
We biked everywhere, to the Jardin Du Luxembourg, which is absolutely INCREDIBLE!
The only was to push around sailboats in the fountain is the old fashioned way, with a stick!
And here is the little house for the Jardin du Luxembourg ducks. How cute is that?
And then we headed off to the Pantheon, not to be confused with the one in Rome, this one is the final resting place for French luminaries, Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Émile Zola, Jean Moulin and Marie Curie.
All the bike riding made us thirsty so we headed to a local dive bar to grab a drink!
And after an impromptu rain shower, I was in the mood for some Soupe à L’oignon Gratinée or in English, French Onion Soup. This one was just PERFECT!
Then it was back to the Velib stand to pick up a few bikes for our evening ride back. The moral of the story is, when in Paris do as the Parisians and rent a Velib. Everyone is doing it!!!
Stay tuned tomorrow for my underground adventure to the Catacombs under Paris. Hopefully I can keep my flip cam dry enough to take a little video!
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