Day One

Trip leaving from Seattle was uneventful. Caught an early flight out with industry-trailing American Airlines to Paris with a stopover at JFK. Service on AA did not disappoint. Which is to say that it was just as good as you would expect of any second-tier third world country airline. I, as apparently everyone else, politely turned down the $5 lab turkey and pseudo cheese stuck between two slices of wonder bread on the first leg of the trip.

Arrival at Paris also uneventful. Had the unusual – well really EXCEPTIONAL – luck to be the first whose bags came off the carousel in baggage claim. Now, when does that happen to anyone? With that sort of welcome I half expected the French president to give me a personal welcome and carry us into Paris on a litter riding on the shoulders of slaves. Strangely, that did not come to pass. Instead, we were charged 13 euros a head to ride the bus into downtown where we had to connect with the metro to take us to our hotel.

This is when things became more eventful. This time I’m traveling unusually “heavy” with two floppy duffle bags of around 25 pounds each and a backpack weighing another 25 pounds. Walking around with all this shit isn’t fun but I had to. It can be cute to get lost in a foreign city with all the legendary charm of Paris but when you’re jet lagged and dragging that much weight… not so much.

Eventually we got on the right train and at long last got to the hotel. A little 9 by 14’ room with two hard foam single mattresses pressed against each other and a bathroom with no shower curtain for a hundred euros a day but liveable enough otherwise.

We allowed ourselves to succumb to the effects of jet lag, a 9 hour time zone difference, in the late afternoon then woke up to the last rays of daylight to go have dinner. Found a hole in the wall Restaurant Chinois and with my marginal French got us our first hot food since the states. We scored our first chocolate. An amazing bar whose taste can only be appropriately described as a mouth orgasm. A convenience store across the street (and a Fromagerie (cheese!)) rounded out what we needed for the rest of the night.

From Dana’s bottomless pill factory she produced some muscle relaxants to knock us out at a decent time with the hopes of kicking the effects of jet lag overnight.

Day 2