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The 9:00 a.m. Le Bus Direct to Gare Montparnasse Paris at night, via our hotel room There is a bathroom in the room at the hotel. There was a wrinkle (I’d reserved a single room instead of a double), but the desk clerk had already corrected that by the time Carol and I arrived. […]
It’s not love that means never having to say your sorry, but solo travel. This trip to France is one done by tens of thousands of couples each year. I’m planning nothing that any of those thousands wouldn’t have planned on their own. In sum, there’s going to be nothing worth writing about on this trip; yet I plan on writing nonstop. And I want it to be a transatlantic triumph, not a catastrophe. I want Lindbergh not the Hindenburg.
Carol tried to tap into my recently acquired travel expertise by asking about currency exchange. “When you use your credit card, do you pay in dollars or euros?” I thought it both an astute and practical question. Unfortunately, I had no clue which method was more sound monetarily. “I choose dollars, but I don’t know why,” I replied with an incurious shrug. Carol hasn’t realized it yet – or maybe she has – but she is the resident expert on practical matters for this trip.
I first visited Paris in 1971. It was my first city in Europe. I must have been enthralled by all that I saw, because I remember walking the streets from seven in the morning till eleven at night, capping off the evening at a cafe with a glass of vin rouge ordinaire and recording all that I had observed that day in my journal. For example my detailed notes on the Sacre Coeur basilica included this gem of an insight: ”overwhelmed.”