Six more days, and I'm in Paris, Y'all!  Hard to believe it's been 34 years since I was last there.  Paris was the 9th stop out of 10 in our whirlwind, 29-day tour of Europe, on our way home from living overseas the first time.  Sometimes I wonder how we were still even speaking to each other at the end of it all.  If I'd been the same little girl he'd married -- the one who had been brought up to believe that happy couples were supposed to like all the same things, and go everywhere and do everything together -- we would have been on our way to divorce court at the end of that trip.  Fortunately for the both of us, I had matured a bit by then.  I'd learned that time apart can make you appreciate time together all the more.  So we gave each other a bit more space than we had on our honeymoon.

It being the 70's and all, our trusty guidebook on this trip was that classic, Europe on Five Dollars a Day, only I think our version might have been $10, or even $20.  Whatever the going rate, you can rest assured, ours was not a luxury tour!  We hit ten major cities in Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, France and England.  Since we had no reservations anywhere, we'd arrive at the airport or train station with our big wheelless suitcases, take a bus or subway to whatever area of town the guidebook recommended, and trudge from door to door until we found a place with a vacancy.  After the first few cities, we managed to buy a couple of wheeled carts that we could strap our suitcases into, but then you had to give up half the space in your suitcase to pack them inside it, when you went on a plane or train.

Anyhoo, as you can well imagine, buy the time we got to Gay Pah-ree, we were more bedraggled than gay.  In fact, we were exhausted, and I had a raging sore throat and a bad case of laryngitis.  We had to take a bus and two subways to get to the area where the bargain hotels were, only to find that all of the book's top recommendations were full.  We ended up in a dumpy room on the 5th floor (no elevator, of course), sharing one bathroom with everyone else on the floor, and with a bed that sagged so badly in the middle, neither of us could manage to stay on our own side!  And yet, there's just something about Paris...

In three short days we managed to cram in the movie Annie Hall, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, the Folies Bergere, shop the Rue de Rivoli, eat at some really bad restaurants, and one or two really good ones, see the works of the impressionists at the Jue de Paume museum, tour Versailles and Notre Dame, and spend a bit of time sitting in a cafe on the Champs Elysee.  It was terrible.  It was wonderful.  I remember telling each other that someday, when we were stinkin' rich, we would come back and do Paris in style.
Who comes home from a month in Europe weighing 5 or 10 pounds less than when they started?  People who follow the book Europe On $10 A Day!
Well, somewhere along the way, our priorities changed.  My idea of "doing Paris in style" this time will simply involve a better mattress, a lot less running around to famous sites, and a whole lot more sitting and watching.  Oh, and deffinitely better food! (though it will probably be of the neighborhood cafe, bistro, bakery variety, not the Michelin Star variety)
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Reviewed by juragan asem
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Rating : 4.5