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 deTriomphe, 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!"
Well, I haven't commented on this weeks Nashville Star because, honestly, I wasn't overly impressed. I am still sticking with my choices though. I certainly didn't like Gabe's choice of Livin' La Vida Loca but I think the pureness in his voice came through. "Pureness", is that a word? Melissa, still the best of the women I think. The young girls, the duo and the trio, good but still need lots of stage time. I'm quite the critic aren't I! It'll be interesting to see the outcome.
On the diet front, 2 pounds this week. And, I was told to step up the cardio. Walked twice as fast this morning and didn't enjoy it half as much. It's work now! Yuk!
And I still haven't found my pictures. They must be in the basement and I know they'll turn up, it's just a matter of time.
You can't believe how fast the next two months flew by. I packed, unpacked, and repacked. What the heck do you take to Paris? The day he picked me up to go to the airport I thought I was going to throw up. The first leg of the trip was only to LAX where we would stay the night and then board a plane to Chicago. I still had one more chance to back out! Of course, that didn't happen. I don't think I slept one minute that night though. Even if he did bring the standard two Coors Light. The next morning was a rush. Board the plane, fly to Chicago, and then stand in line to board a plane to Paris. It was in that line that a little reality set in. There were other "couples" that were on the same business/prize trip. When I say "couples" I mean married couples. I was introduced to all of them and told how long they had all worked together. They all talked about other trips they had been on together and all of the Christmas parties. It was then that I realized "they all knew his ex and I was "the other woman". Well, not really "the other woman", but I wasn't the wife that they all knew. Some of the looks that I got were incredible to say the least. I would have thought that word would have spread through the company that he was divorced, but apparently not. He was also the only person on the trip allowed to bring someone who was not a "spouse". There was somone else that wanted to bring a significant other but he was not allowed. Apparently they both worked for the company and the bosses thought it wasn't a good idea. I guess it's o.k. if no one knows you. They can talk all they want about you and you'll never find out. I only wish I could have heard some of the conversations that these women had with their husbands. I felt slightly uncomfortable to say the least!
What a long flight! Lucky for us we weren't seated near any of his co-workers. We spent about 11 hours just talking. Finding more out about each other. Learning that we had more in common than I had thought. He loved country music, horses, and camping. He wasn't Mr. College Educated Corporate Man. He barely graduated high school and worked his way up in the company through nothing but hard work!
As soon as we landed in Paris we were shuttled to the Hotel. In the room was in invitation to a Cocktail Party down stairs. That's where we would meet everyone. More weird looks and questions...I wasn't up to it. I stayed in the room while he went downstairs. After about 30 minutes of realizing I was acting like a big baby I jumped in the shower, put on one of my borrowed dresses and found my way to the party. He greeted me with a huge smile and the party started!
Well, scanning pictures and adding music was what I had planned for this post, but that is just not going to happen until I have either Mike or Jennifer here to help. So, here's the story minus a picture and a song!
Mr. Paris got the nicest Father's day card from his oldest son. Jim came in to Rick's life when he was just two years old and has been his son every since. Rick raised him and his own two sons as three brothers and they are still that way. Not two sons and a step son, three sons, three brothers. The front of the card he sent was just perfect and the song I wanted to be playing was Brad Paisley - "The Man He Didn't Have To Be". But that's just another one of the reasons I am so happy that the blind date worked out! He's a great father and now a wonderful grandfather of four!
Music really would have helped this post! Oh well!
But an update of sorts. The diet is still ongoing. I went to the doctor and have lost 2.5 pounds in 6 days. Good! I'm still walking every morning and sometimes at night. You still can't beat this AZ weather in the mornings! Abi the Golden Retriever is still going with me and is still excited about it. She's a great companion.
Paris update coming soon. Still looking for pictures. Where the heck could they be? We have moved so many times since then, but I know they'll turn up.
There will be an update later today, though. A little side story with another huge reason why Mr. Paris stole my heart! Sweet Sage Vintage, I think you'll appreciate this one!
The trip to L.A. was great. Nice conversations and yes, he was a complete gentleman. We stayed the night and got up super early in the morning to hit the government building to get in line for my passport. I did say, stayed the night. Same room, separate beds believe it or not. We had a nice dinner, I think it was Chinese again, but no fortune cookie that said anything memorable. And, he planned! There was a little cooler with 2 Coors Light for me and 2 Bud Lights for him. Just right. We sat in the balcony and watched all of the planes come in to LAX. In three months that would be us coming back from Paris!
Once I had decided to go with him the reality sat in. This was a corporate affair. No rodeo clothes here! What was I going to wear? Luckily I worked in an office full of fancy dressers. It was a dental office, and I of course, being a chairside assistant had nothing but scrubs, oh, and wranglers. My co-workers came to my rescue and fixed me up with all of the necessities!
Next dilemma was what to do the the kids. Carly to the rescue! She was dating a friend of mine and was the perfect one. Mature, fun, responsible. Looking back I can't believe I left them! They survived, but unfortunately my cedar chest didn't. Cristine carefully disguised the part that her dog chewed up with a blanket, but I still found it. That's another story of Mr. Paris to the rescue.
So, the Paris countdown was on. We continued to go to lunch, I regularly got cold feet and told him there was no way I could go. He continued to tell me all the reasons I should go. As the departure date got closer he started calling me every morning and asking if I was still going. It got to be funny. Here he was traveling all over the United States and he would still call me and ask if I was going.
Looking back, I really felt like Pretty Woman, well except for the hooker part! I would have never dreamed in a million years that I would be getting on a plane with a man and flying to Paris!
I of course couldn't make a decision to save my soul about whether to go to Paris or not. I had never even been out of the U.S. let alone been that far away from my kids. I told him I would let him know and went back to work. Well, sort of went back to work. Part of my brain was strolling down the streets of Paris while the rest of it was saying "Are you entirely nuts?".
The next morning the phone rang (it was Mr. Paris, as everyone at work was calling him). "Have you made up your mind?" Well, of course not! He asked me to lunch and picked me up right at noon. We went to a new Chinese Restaurant and I told him all the reasons I shouldn't go. Such as, I don't even know you! He listened and said just let me know in a couple of weeks, I have to let my company know. He also said that I could say yes now and if I changed my mind he wouldn't be upset at all. We had three months to get to know each other after all. Three months, wow, that made me feel better... Lunch was finished and they brought the fortune cookies. Never even thinking a fortune cookie would change my life, I broke it open and read my fortune.
Take a trip with a friend
I am not kidding, that's exactly what it said! Right then he asked me if I had a passport. Well duh, of course not. And I also said that I still hadn't made up my mind.
I spent the next couple of weeks asking everyone I could find what they thought. I met alot of his friends, who worked for him, and they were all great, longtime friends. So, what could be wrong with this guy? I looked for every reason I could find, and there really wasn't one. I decided to go ahead and get my passport. What could it hurt? The only thing was I didn't have enough time to get it before the trip or the money for that matter. I told him and he said no problem, I'll pay for it and we left for L.A. the next day. First big step...done!
Apparently, from the e-mail that I am getting, there is no such thing as a Cowgirl in Paris. Surely that can't be true. Please someone, tell me there is a Cowgirl in Paris. O.K., maybe not in Paris but in France at least. Joy, does your penpal know anything about this? I know for sure there was a cowgirl in Paris at least once, because I was there. Maybe that's why I got such strange looks for my Wranglers and boots! What so they say, Viva la differance! I would love to hear from some French, horse lovin' cowgirls! And I do have a translator (please Laurent) if you write back in French! Can't wait!
Apparently in addition to the Ice Cream Social, a local club is bringing cruising back to Main Street. Let's show up with "Welcome Cruisers" signs and show our support! These aren't the cruisers of 30 years ago. If you've been to any of the cruises held on Main Street you know, it was a great time!
And the wonderful Mike Putman will be at Mystic Paper doing a free Make -n- Take using Grungeboard. See you tonight. The fun starts at 7:00 P.M.!
Here's another saga you can follow me on. I'll keep writing about my Paris adventure, but that was a past adventure and you can pretty much see how that turned out (I'm still with him after 13 years). The new adventure started yesterday and it is one that will hopefully melt some pounds away. I have been wanting to do this for a long time but Ellen has been my inspiration. Have you noticed that she has lost about 25 pounds! She looks amazing. So, I started my quest and hopefully writing about it will keep me accountable! With that I am off to walk. And I'm taking the overweight Golden Retriever with me. This just may be good for both of us. I'll keep you posted! Wish me luck, I'm gonna need it.
P.S. I'm working on pictures to add to the Paris adventure. Just don't know where they are right now!
I think if you know me, you know that I like, no love, Country Music. I was raised on it. My grandfather played Steel Guitar in a band and wrote music with Hank Williams. I would like to think that I can pick who is going to win Nashville Star, but I don't think I can. But here are two of my favorites so far.
Melissa And Gabe.
They both have pure, strong, country voices. And Gabe did sing a George Strait song. But that has nothing to do with it...really!
And I would have to say that I am a traditional country music fan. I know the judges were singing Taylor Swifts praises, but I just can't get into that type of country music. The other thing I can't stand is stupid country music. Do you think my tractors sexy? Hey batter, batter, and yes there are even a few George Strait songs that I can't make myself listen to. That's my country opinion for the night!
Wow, Mike P made me this wonderful blog site! It's the best. Perfectly me! Do you think Paris Cowgirl is a weird name? We picked it because I was having a hard time deciding what "fit me perfectly". This next story will explain the name.
It's 1995 and I'm a single mom of 2 girls. Very single, and not looking. A co-worker decided to set me up on a blind date with her boyfriends good friend. I was totally intimidated because this guy was a bigshot for the company he worked for and I had never dated or married (for that matter) a bigshot. Heck, I couldn't even find someone that liked to keep a job. And, I really saw myself with a cowboy not a corporate man. I was all cowgirl back then. Well, I didn't have a horse but I did at one time. In fact I had six at one time. But, divorce does that. Horses are a luxury and an expensive one at that. But I did love to go dancing at a place called The Cactus Corral. Lots of cowboys to dance with there! And if I drank, my drink of choice was Coors Light. So, there you have it. I was Wranglers, Rodeos, Country Music, Boots, and Coors Light!
The blind date was in Palm Springs, CA and we stopped off for a drink before strolling downtown. After all, it was June and pretty hot. I order Coors Light and the date orders Bud Light. He also wears dockers and dress shirts by day and Levi's by night. Boy, was I putting on the brakes about that time. Oh, and he doesn't dance. At. All. But, he was nice, had a great job, and handsome. So, we strolled and talked. Found a little bit out about each other. He had three boys, lived in Apple Valley. I lived in Joshua Tree, so it was an hour drive. He was working in Palm Springs remodeling a hotel so he stayed there alot rather than commute. That made it nice because over the next few weeks he took me to lunch alot. We got to know each other better and I actually liked him. Then, one day when he was taking me back to work after lunch he asked me if I would go to Paris with him! After I picked my chin up off the floor, I said Lake Perris? Nope. Paris, Texas? Nope. Paris France. I'll leave you with that for today. But that kind of explains the blog title.
Oh, and one more thing. The country version of American Idol is on tonight. Can't miss Nashville Star. 8:00 P.M. I'll be blogging about that too!