Recounting the Worst Ten Days in my Life (This Should Be Fun): Part Two—Paris

What first seemed as a rather innocuous email turned into a press trip to both a region I had never visited (Beaujolais) and an event of near mythic proportions (Hospices de Beaune). Before heading south, though, I added on a night on the front end so that I could visit some dear friends in Paris.

It just so happened that the trip to France came just a day after I returned from the Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Rosa, where, like at most of my Wine Bloggers Conferences, I got absolutely no sleep (there is a story or two in there, but they will have to wait for another time, or not). Followed quickly by an international flight where, like most of my international flights, I got absolutely no sleep.

Thus, I landed in France sleep deprived, jet-lagged, and probably still hung over. There was also a bit of a warning sign: I had a sore throat. All I needed, I thought, was a good night’s sleep and I would be right back on track.

My friend was busy shuttling the kids around when I landed, so I thought that a bit of wandering in Paris would also help. When in doubt, get some exercise.

There are few places in the world where it is better to wander than in Paris.

I take the RER from the airport, getting off at Châtelet-les-Halles, where I emerge from the subway greeted by the St. Eustache church. Often forgotten in a city full of famous churches.

I rarely go in Eustache since I am always in a hurry to get somewhere, but today I had time.

Though not religious, churches always amaze me.

This is just outside of the church, and it was one of the only times I have seen it without kids crawling all over it.

I dropped off my bags and set off to wander a bit. I contemplated renting a city bike, but my sleep-deprived state rendered that an unusually dangerous option.

As I made my way over to the Louvre, I realized that I rarely notice how incredibly beautiful some of the “normal” buildings are in Paris.

On the way, I passed this square, which won me a $400 billion bet. Can you name the square or who is depicted in the statue (which is how I won the so-far uncollected healthy sum of money)?

While inside the Louvre gets all the love, the former royal palace is fascinating on the outside as well.

I get probably an unhealthy amount of humor watching people stage for photos.

Making it appear as though you are holding the I.M. Pei designed pyramid is quite popular, evidently.

People were actually waiting in a make-shift line to take precisely the same photo.

I then returned to my little corner of Paris, Rue Montorgueil.

Even in November, the florists stage their wares on the street.

Back on “my street” ready for a nice dinner, a bottle of champagne (or two), and a good night’s sleep.

Dinner included a portrait in cheese (and a fabulous white Burgundy). Can you name them (I mean the cheese–anyone that can read probably has a good shot at the wine)?

The following day, I had an early train out of Paris, which required getting up far earlier than I would hope. But the night was fairly young as I started to make dinner, and there were several bottles of champagne chilling in the refrigerator. We had also stopped and picked up some cheese to pair with an older white Burgundy.

Yes, it would be a while before I slept


About the drunken cyclist

I have been an occasional cycling tour guide in Europe for the past 20 years, visiting most of the wine regions of France. Through this "job" I developed a love for wine and the stories that often accompany the pulling of a cork. I live in Houston with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons.
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1 Response to Recounting the Worst Ten Days in my Life (This Should Be Fun): Part Two—Paris

  1. dwdirwin says:

    hmm- didn’t realize I got sucked into a multi-post narrative. I just assumed part 1 and part 2- ha! I do remember commiserating about the awful flu season this past year.


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