Tom and Paula See le Paris
07.07.2015 - 09.07.2015
Some of you might recall I visited Chattanooga, Tennessee and Couch Surfed with a fine fellow named Tom Gardner. In case you missed it, he also posted this trailer about The Lady in the Van on Facebook that he thought might be a movie about me!
We made quick buddy status and have kept in touch. He claims I have inspired him to do some traveling, so he decided to take a trip to Europe.
When he noticed I was in Paris, he scheduled this as his first stop.
We met at Notre Dame and flagged down some other tourists to snap our picture.
These are the first people I have met from Madagascar! It must be the way to take art photos there because he insisted on holding the camera at an angle.
We toured some typical tourist "must sees."
Tom was into climbing stairs and getting as high over the city wherever he could.
At Sacre-Coeur, I took the funicular. Tom climbed all the stairs including to the cupola for the panoramic view.
We even had to go on the second story of the carousel!
A picnic at the Eiffel Tower was definitely on our list.
The 100 degree weather suddenly dropped and dust storms kept blowing the white sand found in all Paris parks. Until it finally turned into a full-fledged rainstorm.
We had to go back again the next day, so that Tom could climb those steps also.
I stayed below to people-watch.
Somehow, I also lost about 40 Euro and my trusty Sony Reader decided to disintegrate in front of my eyes. It was a rather somber hour for me.
But, we texted back and forth and pretended like he could see me on the ground and that I could see him on the glass walkway.
Still heading for places that would get us up there for the view, we took in the Arc de Triomphe.
Here as I entered with my ticket, I was asked "Madam, don't you want to take the lift?"
Of course, I did and didn't realize I was in the stairway line. I guess I am really showing my age because I don't think anyone has ever asked me that before.
Tom, of course, took the stairway and we met at the top for photos.
There is always something to see on the streets of Paris. A man about my age was charging 1 Euro to take a picture of his rabbits.
The only thing I fear on the streets of Paris are all these young soldier/policemen with their finger pressed on the trigger of their loaded gun.
We didn't spend all of our time up in the air. A real highlight was when we visited the Musee de Egouts - The Sewer Museum.
It might not be on everyone's list of Must Sees, but it was a real highlight for Tom and me. Although they had good information in English, we really challenged ourselves and tried to figure it out in French.
Quite frankly, we both feel it would be far better if humankind would build monuments to the people who maintain our sewers and keep our city clean instead of those who kill others in the name of patriotism.
We allowed each other some personal interest time.
I was so glad to have seen this billboard for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in the first Metro station I boarded.
I went to an afternoon performance at the Theatre du Chatelet. The performance was superb and brought tears to my eyes. It was not possible to get a good photo of the stage.
There were definitely some things we missed,
but it was time for Tom to continue his two week journey into Belgium, Poland, and the Czech Republic.
He left me with a birthday greeting that is a great message for all of us.