My trip to Paris has started off a little shaky. I arrived Saturday afternoon with some sort of ‘stomach thing’ that I brought with me from London. That killed the rest of Saturday. Sunday, after sleeping in until 11 a.m. I had a long, luxurious champagne brunch at a café near my hotel.
The weather has been abnormally cool. It never got much warmer than 65 degrees today. I think it's awesome. But now it doesn’t seem so smart to have mailed my only jacket back to Arizona.
Sundays are quiet here. Most shops and restaurants are closed and even the big events on the itinerary, like the last day of the Paris Jazz Fest, got rained on. There were an unusual amount of tourists in town for the end of the Tour de France. I heard a lot about it on my train ride from London, but since I know nothing about Cycling, I wasn’t really interested in all of the theories on the best place to try and get a glimpse of the cyclists as they pass. It just made me want to avoid the whole area. So while it rained I spent the afternoon trying to decide on dinner. I found out that there is a Lionel Hampton Jazz Restaurant in the Le Méridien Etoile so I made a dinner reservation for 9 p.m. I walked around lost for about 45 minutes, but got there just in time to see the band start. There was a rowdy group having dinner in the restaurant so I changed tables so I was closer to the band and could hear better.
A group of people at the table in front of me all stood at once blocking my view of the band. I couldn’t help but notice the goofy grins on their faces as they were all introduced to a rather small unassuming guy. They were all congratulating him. I couldn’t hear why. I was more annoyed that they were still standing, blocking the band. Thankfully, someone came and tapped the guy on the shoulder and said “Alberto come on, we are taking a photo of all of the yellow shirts” Even I knew what that meant. It turns out that this skinny guy, who could not have been more than 5’6 and 120lbs, was Alberto Contador, today’s winner of the Tour de France.
How’s that for a chance encounter?!
But in the end, I was far more consumed by the fact that I paid 80 euros for a disappointing meal and I had to run to the metro station to make sure I did not miss the last train.
I’ve decided to add a couple more days to Paris to make up for my sick in bed time.