This was a trip of sleeping only on buses and seldom in beds, and we woke up super early in the morning, got pastries at the bakery across the street and headed over to the Eiffel Tower. It was so, so, so cold and I was terribly unprepared. Thanks, Billie Holiday - April in Paris had me totally not ready for rainy, cold weather. We froze under the Eiffel tower for probably an hour before finally getting to ascend to the top. Naturally, we had champagne on the top floor feeling all too fancy and silly and cold.
We headed over to Notre Dame, which was utterly breathtaking. I lit a candle and accidentally stole the lid - which I think I might make into a Christmas ornament just to get back some karma points. We also had lunch in a creperie in St. Michele with a cat in it, which was quite possibly the most adorable thing ever.
Kissing Oscar Wilde’s grave has been a life-list moment for me for a long time. The tradition is that while donning bright red lipstick, you would kiss the headstone. About two years ago, the grave was cleaned and glass was put around it, but I was determined still to make it. We wondered through Pere Lachaise cemetery for a while, somehow missing all the important graves (Jim Morrison, Chopin, and Edith Piaff were all ones I wanted to see), but the cemetery is huge and tombstones covered in moss are piled upon one another in no particular pattern or system. As we found our way to the back, I was totally disheartened that we didn’t find Oscar Wilde’s grave. We knew it was near closing time, and I’d be damned if I missed both the Mona Lisa and Oscar Wilde. A few minutes before, a man in a little van had driven around and given everyone a 15 minute warning. Crushed, I made my way towards the exit. Behind us, a honking go kart came to escort us out. With that - Laura spotted the glass covered grave maybe 30 feet from us, and we ran as fast as our tired little feet could carry us - throwing on the red lipstick like kids who got into their mom’s make up. We kissed the grave so quickly and ran back out, I never even really got to enjoy it - but we were all giggles. Life list moment, achieved.
We walked the Champs Elysees during the golden hour, and even the panhandlers and flyer hander-outers seemed pleasant. We watched the sun go down at the Arc de Triomphe and the sky was so beautiful I had to pinch myself to believe it wasn’t a backdrop.
At the recommendation of my French friend and co-worker, we headed to a cramped, hidden Irish bar where musicians gathered once or twice a week for an Irish music jam session. We each ordered a pint of Guinness (naturally), which was perfectly poured in three steps. After the second, I took the glass and was scolded by the French bartender for not drinking it right and instructed to give it back. We walked down a tiny, shaky set of wooden stairs and into the crowded basement, pints in hand, stepping over banjos and concertinas and tapping feet.
It was an entire day of finding Ireland in Paris.