4:50pm Land Charles de Gualle. Wow, what a difference from landing at Heathrow. The innate sense of style is everywhere. Gone are the images of the Starbucks-to-go cups that greeted me in London.
There are cafes with saucers and plates. Everyone is chic. I debate taking a cab for $50 or a train for $8. I choose the train. One hour late, I climb up from the underground rail in the shadow of the Notre Dame I am out of my mind excited. All the previous memories of countless trips to Paris coming rushing back.
- single girl solo traveler of the Patagonia catalogue style, with beau as a backpacker, sleeping on trains
- with beau again to cycle the Loire river valley
- as a single mom with a 10 month old
- with new husband and son
It has been since pre 9/11 and it is as exciting as the first time, perhaps even more. Now I am here as an invited guest...more than just a tourist.
7:00 PM: I arrive at Hotel Pont Royal on the Left Bank. The handsome greeters hands me my hand addressed invitation to the Emmanuel Ungaro show! My name is written in calligraphy on the envelope and on the invitation. Merci! I take the invite and room key to room 105. Lolita waits for me. She arrived 7 hours earlier. (I had a passport setback...a story for another time). I drop my bags and we had head out for the evening. No time to change or primp; we must get started. I toss on my Dean Hutchinson wool scarf and Margaret O’Leary trench. Lolita has on skinny jeans and tan Prada boots that reach her knees. Since Lolita is 6'2" she is all Prada boot. (bitch)
I soon learn that bed head and 3 day old hair is the norm in Paris. No big hair blowouts here or boob jobs (that are now a sure sign of an American girl). We walk to a cafe and have cocktails and catch up. We stumble through the French menu and manage to order; a double espresso, margarita, wine. Done now. Off to the Marais to a new restaurant. We are flanked by a couple of beautiful gay French men that prove flirtatious and funny. One was a chef in London . We enjoy a long dinner (3 hours) and talk to the men and the couple on either side of our table. At midnight we return to the hotel for some sleep. Sleep 1:30am