We woke up [very late] Saturday morning and seized the day. Katie met her friend for some touring about and I decided to go for a run. Once again the weather was absolutely perfect and I figured I could see more of Paris running than walking.
Instead of following a predetermined route, I decided just to take my phone with me and run everywhere nearby that Google Maps showed green space. This took me up to Les Invalides, over through the Jardin des Tuileries, along the Champs-Élysées, and back via a pedestrian area along the Seine.
I could have kept going for hours! Parks, parks, everywhere is something I really love about old European cities. They really appreciate green space, not only for its beauty but also for the social purpose it serves. I think citizens feel more invested in their community when they spend time out enjoying it with myriad neighbors, which is exactly what was happening on this gorgeous day! So many people were out walking, picnicking, napping, or just sitting and chatting as I ran by – it was inspiring!
Of course, there is a downside as well. Although I love parks, parks everywhere in European cities, I loathe smoke, smoke everywhere. It’s hard to walk anywhere without stumbling unwittingly into a cloud of smoke, and that happens even more frequently when running. That’s OK, though; it’s usually easy enough to hold my breath until the air is clear again.
With my run behind me, I showered up and made my way over to the theater to tailgate for Buffett’s second concert. The floor section for the Saturday night show would be standing instead of seated, so there was actually an advantage to arriving early and staking out a good place in line.
The tailgate was a lot of fun and I met many other international Parrotheads – from Canada, Italy, Holland, and – of course – the US. We chatted, played Jimmy Buffett music, and – of course – imbibed. My beverage of choice this time around was a very nice Sauternes. Considering that I had eaten exclusively chocolate all day, I was living a very literal “dolce vita” until I also opened up some cheese as well.
Eventually Katie and her friend came to join me in line. They hopped right into the tailgating and, before we knew it (Time usually flies at a Buffett tailgate!), we were being let into the venue. We were pretty close to the stage, maybe 20 feet away, which made for a great concert. Jimmy mixed up the set list a little bit from the previous night so that it kept even those of us who attended both concerts guessing.
After the concert the girls struck out to get some Champagne and watch the Eiffel Tower lights while I stuck around to see Jimmy leave the venue. He was very personable and gracious, signing many autographs on his way out. Afterward I walked back to our apartment, which took nearly an hour, but it was a great walk. In a pedestrian-friendly city, just walking along the streets is a fun experience regardless of the time of day.
Sunday morning we woke up in time to have a parting breakfast with Mom before I hopped on the train to Switzerland. Eggs, snails, salmon, sardines . . . the waiter actually brought over an additional table just for my order! What can I say, I didn’t know when I would next have true French cuisine, so I was trying to stock up!
It was just a brief trip to Paris but, as always, it was a grand time. Paris is not an inexpensive place by any stretch of the imagination, but you certainly get what you pay for. Au revoir, Paris, until next time!