Candice M. Roberts
When your BFF makes you put on a dress and go to the Moulin Rouge.
My BFF asked me to meet her in Paris. Okay! I need no excuse the go to this baguette et fromage filled utopia. After giving my husband the puppy dog eyes for a few days, my ticket was booked. Round trip from Madrid to Paris. 4 days with my BFF. It has been a while since this has happened. Years! We both live in our own versions of Mommy Land, not having much time outside of our families. Not to mention that we have not lived in the same place since we were 18 years old. This was needed. This was deserved. Girls trip to Paris.
She was already in Paris when I left Madrid. I flew Ryan Air (regretting the decision each time), but when I arrived, there was so much security. I've flown into Beauvais before but this time there were extra precautions; passport checks, armed guards, taken luggage. I only had a carry on and they took it. I went 2 months after the Paris attacks.
I always remember the first words spoken to me upon landing in France. This past time, "vous êtres seul?" Before that, " C'est la bas." Another time it was, "€70 for a taxi, mademoiselle." I found the bus. It was €7,50.
We finally meet. I discovered that she has crossed the pond and apparently without her luggage. This gave her the most marvelous excuse to spend half a day discount shopping in Paris. After we marveled over all the needless trinkets purchased at bargain prices, we went to dinner.
I am pissed that we did not get the name of the restaurant. We sat right next to the window, which for some reason made me nervous as soon as we were seated, but I was hungry so I quickly blocked it out. If you ever want duck that is still bleeding (because I don't know how to say bleeding duck en français) go there. The food was actually really good, although if I ever return I would ask them for a plate of whatever they fixed for themselves. That looked pretty damn appetizing.
We stayed in the Hotel Metropol in the 10th arrondissement. It was stereotypical Paris. It wasn't the best but wasn't the worst. Comfortable and clean. Right by the Gare du Nord. We took the metro to Les Halles, found a Starbucks, and walked to the Louvre. As we entered I was surprised that there was no line. No damn line at all. I've been to this place 3 times and almost releasing my bladders all over the damn place for fear of not loosing my spot in line. We walked right in. It wasn't packed either. There were some tourist and the most adorable little French school children on a field trip.
Like I said, this was my third visit to the Louvre and there were still exhibits that I was seeing for the first time. That place is huge. I suggest you completely skip cute that day. Wear your most comfortable outfit, otherwise you will pass out somewhere in ancient artifacts from the Americas.
When we left, we met a good friend of mine from Texas. He has been living in Paris for the last three years now. He is good fun and introducing him to my BFF made for good entertainment. We met at the Notre Dame Cathedral, walked over to Shakespeare and Company, then went to dinner. My absolute favorite place to eat in Paris is an Indian restaurant in the 8th arrondissement. Le Safari. That food is absolutely amazing. If you are in the area, definitely try it.
The next day we went to the Centre de Pompidou to check out the modern masters. Guess what? Once again, no line. WTH? I'm not complaining, but clearly something is wrong. My friend met us there too. After that we went for Lebanese food, which was our second choice. The Vietnamese restaurant was packed. (If you have not yet noticed, we like to eat!)
Before she left the states, my BFF made it clear that if she was crossing the Atlantic she was going to see Burlesque. Burlesque? Pigalle? Pourquoi? But she insisted and since I'm a team player I went. She made me put on a dress, and tights, and stand up straight. I looked like my daughter when I do the exact same thing to her. And her luggage arrived just in time to primp her coif and where her jolie robe.
I have never been a full make up fashionista type of girl. I am the jeans and t-shirt type, but a) I've lost about 20 pounds since I've moved to Europe and final saw the aftermath and b) I forgot that I fix up nicely. Thanks BFF. No better person to remind you that you still got it.
I quit complaining. I grabbed some red lipstick and we were in a cab headed to the Moulin Rouge. She purchased the tickets before she left the states because she was indeed that serious. I will say now I thank my BFF for this experience. Yes, I just spent 2 hours watching topless women shake everything they had in glitter and gorgeous plume. And yes, we were sitting so close that I kept getting hit in the face with the feathers hanging from the dancers' derrière, but all in all, it was an amazing show. I recommend it to anyone, except the children. One woman purchased three front row seats for her and her tween daughters. They didn't make it twenty minutes. Cameras are not allow, but if they were, I would have taken a picture of the woman's face when a completely naked lady dove in a pool of water filled with snakes.
We left entertained, excited, and exhausted because we are getting old. 2 crepes and a cab later, we were sleep as soon as we hit the door.
The next day I returned to Spain and my bestie accompanied me. This was no easy feat because to say she over packeted would be an understatement. Getting her suitcase from the hotel to Orly (where we accidentally spilt coffee on the French version of the TSA man and I spend 10 minutes wiping his suit jacket off giving him all kinds of Je Suis Desole), to MAD to Atocha and on the train should be an Olympic event. I think I lost 5 pounds doing it though so thank you BFF.
My husband and children looked at us like we were crazy as we danced to Teena Marie and talked about people they had no clue about. She returned to the states and I was sad. Though I am following a serious dream, I miss my sister girl and I realized after eat everything in sight, actually putting a dress on, walking the Seines, and showing off my medieval Spanish town...this needs to be done more often.
Thank you BFF. You give me life.
Candice is an introverted extrovert who loves to read, wander aimlessly and is addicted to olives. She is a photographer and loves to share travel experiences. She is married to the best husband ever hands down and they have 3 wonderful creations.