Wednesday, August 13, 2003

We went this evening to an advance screening of Le Divorce which had a really good ensemble cast. Kate Hudson, Glenn Close (who was absolutely stunning), Stockard Channing, Matthew Modine, Bebe Newirth, Sam Waterson (I think that is his name), as well as many others whose work I might not be familiar enough with for name recognition.

I remember a few years ago picking up the book at B&N as a possible read. Not sure why I did not get it.

I thought the movie was nicely done though at one point about two thirds through it was feeling rather long. Regardless of that, I really liked the feeling of life in Paris and all the cultural differences. It definitely made me want to return for an extended period of time if that is ever possible.

My first visit to Paris was in 1999 with my girlfriend and her sister and a friend of her sister. We took a two week girls trip to Switzerland and had a fabulous time. While we were there, we were fortunate enough to spend 28 hours in Paris.

My girlfriend's sister's (K) husband, effectively my brother-in-law had a good school chum living in Paris at the time of our visit. He was the general mgr for 3M Europe at the time. We flew into Paris early in the day on Saturday and he met us at the airport to take us to our hotel. He then waited for us to check in and took us to our first stop, dropping us off with directions to his house via metro. He dropped us at Pere le Chez(sp?) Cemetary. We walked around finding the tombs of the famous, including Edith Piaf and Jim Morrison. I cannot remember who else, but I have some less than remarkable photos of the place.

After the cemetary, we split up. E and I went to the Eiffel Tower, and K and her friend went to Notre Dame I think. E had been before and done the Eiffel I think, but she wanted me to see whatever I wanted to see. I told her we could visit the Louvre (she is an artist, remember), but she said since she had already been to Europe and seen most of the touristy stuff it was for me to pick. Knowing we were only to be there 28 hours, I chose the Tower. There was no way I would be my first time in Paris and not go up the Tower!

The line was long, but it was a cool sunny day. When we first arrived in the square we had crepes from a street vendorwith Nutella and bananas, but after we were in line a bit we realized we were still hungry. E went and grabbed us a ham baguette and it served to tide us over until dinner. The view from the top was spectacular and I could have stayed up there all day were it not so windy.

After the Tower, we went back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. We were to meet up with our host at his house and he and his wife took us to dinner at a quaint local restaurant. We were seated and the drinking began. Between us we drank 4 bottles of wine and 2 of champagne, as well as various mixed drinks and brandy after dessert. the meal was 4 course, and fabulous, and really the entire experience was very bohemian and pleasant. We had been there for nearly four hours and were all feeling no pain. Despite our inebriated state, we were all surprised when the bill was only about $50 US per person.

After dinner, Don took us to Harry's bar, one of Hemingway's regular haunts, and then to some Irish pub where he went with K's husband. I had to teach the bartenders there how to mix a margarita.

It was a most memorable night, and we had the most gracious hosts. The following morning we hauled our asses out of bed to go to Mont Marte, where artists gather to create and hawk their wares. We bought two lovely small pieces and sat with a glass of wine at a cafe on the square. Also while up there we walked around outside Sacre Coeur and listen to two Chinese men with guitars performing the song by Four Non Blondes What's Up(What's Going On)in French. That struck me as particularly funny.

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