and everywhere else since India
25.09.2007 - 09.10.2007
I know that it has been ages but it felt a bit funny to write about all of the fun that I was having in Paris after having spent such and incredible time in India! That said, I have been reprimanded by a few (Biggsy, Monk, etc.) about not having posted anything. So, in a nutshell, here it goes...
Leaving India was a bit painful. I mentioned the tears but spared most of the details because my feelings were all over the place and I wasn't sure how much of it would actually make sense to everyone. India gave me many things over those few weeks -
I was reacquainted with the type of work that has always defined me, helping others. I acquired a great deal of patience, which we could all use on a daily basis. Anyway, the rest is for another day as the point of this entry is to update everyone.
OH, HOW I LOVE PARIS!!!
It is that simple, I love Paris. Perhaps I am one of the few who has never had a bad experience in Paris but it is absolutely true! It was lovely to be back as it had been about five years. The details are fuzzy now but I got in sometime in the evening and was desperate for a shower, water that wouldn't kill me and comfortable bed.
Booking a hotel was left with Mel, who is pure genius when it comes to organizing everyone. She earned gold stars on all counts by having booked us in at Hotel Bourg Tibourg in the Marais. Mel would arrive in a couple days, Maria in four and Huey & Aliya in five!
I passed the first couple of days in Paris by catching up on much needed sleep, sitting in front of one of my favorite paintings ever (which is so much better than that Mona character), looking for a new pair of running shoes (which I never found because the French appear to be terribly unfamiliar with the concept of shoes that one would use for purpose of running or "walking really fast") and speaking the worst form of French (which they graciously forgave me for every time I asked for something). By the time Melsie arrived, I couldn't be happier to see her as it had been several months and was ready for a bit of shopping. Again, she didn't disappoint!
We spent the next two days sleeping little and shopping lots!!! The mornings would start with the requisite coffee/tea, pain au chocolat and yoghurt. The chocolate was for energy, of course. Shopping in Paris, whilst horribly expensive given the current state of the dollar, was amazing!!! We bought the prettiest dresses ever only to retrace our steps for the exact same ones once Maria arrived! So, yes, we all have the same beautiful outfits
On Friday night, the three of us had dinner at a gorgeous place. I can't remember the name at the moment and would love to pass it off as being too long ago to recall but the truth is that I had far too much to drink that night! At first, I was terribly unimpressed to find that we had been seated amongst a bunch of Americans with menus in English. As I contemplated asking for a new table, the girls figured out that we had been seated in the 'non-smoking' area of the restaurant, which can also be translated as the American section. We decided to stay put and had a lovely meal. The drinks at the bar later were good too!
The three of us woke up the next morning at a horrible hour at the insistence of Mel's phone (it was Paul). I was most startled and closest to making it stop. In full hungover form, I hit the floor with an unexpected thud - eye mask and all! I blame not being used to sleeping in the same bed with two other people for not having realized where the bed actually ended.
Saturday would be a repeat of the night before with Huey and Aliya in tow. We did, however, have an extra room that night. The Marais is such an incredible part of Paris. If you don't believe me, you can ask Huey as he was out that night until 8:00 a.m.
On Sunday, we said goodbye to Maria and Aliya and high-tailed it to catch the train to Avignon. I still can't believe we made that train!!! The trip to Avignon was quick and Paul was waiting on the other end. Dinner that night was lovely and the house that Mel and Paul are living in at the moment was even more lovely. The days were passed with visits to the surrounding areas, amazing lunches & dinners, crossword puzzles over coffee and fresh baked goods. I hadn't been to the South of France and can only hope to return sometime very soon as it was pure bliss.
Huey and I arrived in Barcelona a bit fatigued from the train trip but unwilling to waste a single moment. So, we checked ourselves in at Hotel Axel. Now, this particular hotel had been booked by Huey while I was in India. He is also very organized. So much so that he happened to find one of the only hotels (to my knowledge) that has a big sign in the lobby that reads - "Heterofriendly." Absolutely hysterical and very chic as you might expect. We had drinks with a friend that night at some of the local bars. To our dismay, we also went to bed very hungry as Barcelona seemed to shut down entirely!!!
We saw just about everything one is meant to see in Barcelona on Saturday. While it was good to check some of those things off my list, I am the worst tourists ever. We tried to make up for it that evening by going out but were disappointed to find ourselved totally surrounded by tourists and bad tapas.
Moving on the Madrid....
Now, it seems to be my pattern but I always find the good in the places that most people think are ordinary or awful. When it comes to the contest between Barcelona and Madrid, I choose Madrid!!! We had the best time ever. Madrid was what I wanted from Spain and I loved every bit of it.
I saw my first Goya, had proper tapas, practiced my Spanish and barely slept a wink!!! What is it with those Spaniards singing til 6:00 a.m.? Perhaps they just know how to embrace life and can't imagine missing a single moment?
Ed hosted the best party of all time on Saturday night!!! His friends were incredible. While he is an easy person to love, they truly seem to adore him and didn't fail to demonstrate how much by having hired the most beautiful belly dancer I have ever seen!!! I was in charge of Mojitos and didn't dare disappoint by having followed the typed and printed instructions provided by Ed in all of his OCD glory. I must say, they were an absolute hit and allowed us to skip the formalities and focus on the fun.
In true Spanish form, the party begrudgingly ended at 6am. Huey got a plane just a couple of hours later while the rest of us tried recounted the best parts of the night before and made plans for the rest of the day. I absolutely loved Madrid. I have promised Ed and Luciana (Ed's amazing sister) a party at our place in December. How am I ever going to top the belly dancer, flamenco singers and Spanish party goers? I know, I will start with Mojitos
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
It has been just a bit more than six long years since I was last in New York!!! I can't believe it has been that long and I am thrilled to be here after the longest day of the most ridiculous flight itinerary ever!!! When I arrived at JFK, I was painfully exhausted and almost cried when I saw the queue for a taxi. I decided to take a deep breath instead and remember India. That's when the brilliant plan to take the air train to Jamaica and catch a "gypsy" cab to Manhattan surfaced.
Paris felt like a century ago and I was happy to see Maria when I arrived. We've got big plans for the next few days and I promise to keep everyone posted. I have once again joined the land of modern technology where internet and mobile phones are as important as ones appendages. I have refueled with the biggest soy latte known to man and am in need of a new pair of snakeskin shoes! So, that's all for now but more soon.
Love, A xxo