A Little Tour...
This is where we stayed. Mercure Hotel Monmartre. I borrowed this picture from the internet. What a nice Hotel! The view was amazing. From the room you could look down all of the narrow, winding streets full of little tiny cars. It truly was a city that never slept.
Again, another borrowed picture. This is exactly what our view from the room looked like. It was amazing! The windows in the rooms are nothing like the windows of hotels here. You opened them up and that was it. No safety barriers what so ever. There was a ledge that you could sit on and look out. We would sit up there at night, drink a glass of wine and marvel at the fact that we really were in Paris!
There was some sort of unrest going on in Paris while we were there which was a little nerve racking. Bombs were being placed in random places throughout the city so there were absolutely no trash cans outside, you could not go up the Eiffel Tower, couldn't get near the Arc de Triomphe, and when you got on the metro you were advised to look under your seat. A little disconcerting but what the heck! We were in Paris!
The travel planners kept us really busy. A tour every day. Huge dinners every night. I've never seen dinners like that. Course after course and they would go way late into the night. There was never a dull moment either. The men that were on the trip cut no slack when it came to teasing. They didn't care that their wives were there. Rick was constantly the object of their teasing. By that time most of the wives had accepted me and took me under their wings.
So, that's about the whole story. We were kept constantly busy. We saw Castle Versailles, The Louvre, took a trip down the Seine River at night in the rain (quite romantic), toured Notre Dame, danced at the Lido, and ate, ate, ate! Oh and drank wine. That was one of my biggest worries about the trip. I didn't like wine! They don't serve Coors Light and I was told that if you don't drink the wine you insult your host. Mr. Paris promised me I didn't have to drink it. Just take a sip and push the glass over to him. Well, after one sip, there was another, and another! Guess what? I like wine. Especially their wine!
During our farewell dinner we were all talking about our favorite part of the trip. Everyone had their stories. One of ours was about Gary and Laurie. We spent most of our time with them during the week and had quite a few little side trips on our own. Reading the metro maps was a challenge to say the least. Heck, I can't even read an English map.
But Laurie had it down pat and she was anxious to see as much as she could. The metro was always crowded and once they stopped you better make up your mind, get on or get off. That's it, no time to ponder the map. Well, Laurie didn't say a word to anyone and just jumped off. By the time Gary realized his wife was gone, too late! The doors close and off you speed to the next stop. We could only watch the panic on her face when she realized she was the only one that got off.
Sorry about the size of the pictures, again borrowed from the Internet. At the next stop Gary flew off of the train and took off running down the long narrow platform screaming for Laurie. It was funny and scary. There were some characters, to say the least, hanging out down there. It ended well, he found his wife and we were off!
My favorite farewell story is this...Rick's co-worker, friend, and traveling buddy on business trips Tim, thought it would be hysterical to ask this...
"Well, Mr. Johnson this has been a heck of a first big date for you and Kim. How are you going to top this one?" I think it left Mr. Paris speechless for a minute and then he said, "I don't know, but I'm certainly going to work on it!"
So, that's it! We went home, went back to work, and continued to see each other on weekends. Did he top the first big date? You bet he did! He won the trip again the following year and we were off on another adventure. The funniest part was that most of the people that were on the first trip were also on the second trip including his buddy Tim. Of course, he had to ask, "how are you going to top this one Johnson?" Mr. Paris didn't skip a beat, he looked at everyone and said, "I'm going to marry her!"