While the trip officially began when I arrived at the airport in Seattle, the real fun started when I finally saw Kasey at the airport in Paris! After hugs and a quick catch-up session, we headed for the train. We had planned to take it into Paris because, well, we could. We were women of the world - we could navigate the public transportation system, right? Okay, not so much... We did have one *minor* glitch when, after one of the stops, the train began heading back in the direction of the airport. Hhmmm... that didn't seem right... However, being such worldly women, we had no problem getting back on the train to return to the station that we should have gotten off at and to transfer trains.
One thing I learned on this trip - if you plan to take the metro (or really, any trains for that matter), do NOT overpack. Serious mistake. Now, I won't mention which one of us overpacked here, but suffice it to say that after going up and down two sets of stairs and, at the bottom of the second set of said stairs, being told by a handsome french man that this was the wrong platform, then having to LUG (yes Ange, you heard me - LUG) all of "her" luggage back up the stairs, "she" had a wee bit of a meltdown and thus the decision to find a taxi was made. (meltdown should give it away as only one of us is really the melt-down type...)
That first day, a day when we thought we might be tired from jet lag - was amazing. After we finally made it to our hotel in the 5th, checked in, dropped our bags, and grabbed our cameras, we were off again. We walked, (and walked and walked) we took endless photos, and we talked about everything. We were giddy. I remember thinking absolutely. everything. was. interesting. to. shoot. Seriously. Case in point - the number of shots of windows and shutters that I have... (trust me, when you see photos from later days, they are endless. shutters. and more shutters. and a door. and more shutters...)
~thankfully we didn't have to scale this fence to sneak into this church...
One thing I learned on that first day was that Kasey is a fabulous travel partner - that girl has guts! She made us sneak into an old church. Through the back door. While there was a service going on. I remember thinking - this girl has bigger kahunas than I do. I needed that. (she also made us sneak into a private courtyard. someone's house. PRIVATE. so she could sit on their doorstep. I am feeling so edgy now~)
She spotted a baker standing outside one of the local bakeries in the 6th. She made me ask, en francais, if we could go in and shoot this baker as he made bread. This is something I would have never done. But Kasey would. And we did. And now look - photos of a baker!
We wandered down side streets, found gardens and fountains, and sat watching children sailing boats in the pond at Luxembourg. (okay, Kasey stalked well-dressed darling little french children with her zoom lens while I watched children sailing boats..) I thought, how wonderful to be able to rent boats for your children and let them sail them in the middle of the city, in this gorgeous park-like setting, while enjoying your cafe creme. Heaven.
And we laughed, a lot. That girl has an imagination - she is the humor to my charm. (look - I needed to find something about myself - charming works, right?) Both of our minds are going a mile a minute - something that seemed to work well in Paris~ We both also understood the value of stopping nearly every 20 steps to shoot something. Not a lot of people would get that. Kasey did.
Kasey spotted Jean-Pierre before I did. I however took the first photo of him, accidentally, while shooting her. I am sure that, in hindsight, she would have rather been sitting on his lap, seeing as it was such an attractive lap, but at least she has a photo with him, right?
We enjoyed our first lunch just down the street from our hotel. Let me tell you, a girl could get used to sitting for nearly two hours, enjoying wine and fabulous food, talking with her girlfriend, watching people pass by. Of course after we finished, before we headed out again, we enjoyed our cafe. Honestly, you can't finish your meal without your cafe~
Simone arrived that first evening - it was late but we were still WIDE awake and ready to go for what would turn out to be our very best meal in Paris. We found the best little restaurant tucked in behind our hotel that had incredible wine and even better food. We were there for hours, eating, talking, and drinking. We started with escargot. It got funny. Then, Kasey ordered pigeon. She is such an adventurer!
By the time we rolled in to our hotel room, it was well after midnight and we were suprisingly still quite awake. I believe that was the night we had our giggling fit. It went on, and on, and on. One of those "just can't quit" spasms that brought tears. The best.