Dear Rick Steves: You have been much maligned in this blog in the past (mostly by Andy but I usually agreed with him) but in your Paris guide book you seem to have gotten it right. I found your suggestion to head to the Marais for shopping on Sunday to be right on the money. Yeah for the Jews having their holy day on Saturday! I did have to shoot the gauntlet of Falafel shops but it was a small price to pay ( does accosting people to eat your food really work? The Chinese food places at the Colonie mall take
this approach as well and all it ever inspires me to do is to cross to the other side so that I don’t have to walk by them. I never all of a sudden realize that I’m hungry).
Dear Andy: I managed to successfully cross the street without getting hit by a car, window shop without running into anyone, and not step in any animal excrement (although I did have one close call) all without your help! Twice though, I did that thing where I turn invisible and other people ran into me when I was standing perfectly still. If only I could learn to harness that talent and use it when I wanted to!
Dear Michelle T: Thank you for literally giving me the hat off of your head. I would have frozen to death without it. It did pose me a bit of a fashion challenge since it was bright yellow and orange and my coat is red, but I paired it with my purse that has a bright yellow and orange butterfly painted on the front (thanks to the little Thai women who painted it) and I think I got away with it!
Dear guy in front of me at the ticket window for the Arch de Triumph: When your girlfriend says that she doesn’t want to climb the 284 steps to the top because she is claustrophobic, what she really means is that she doesn’t want to expend the effort as it will mess up her hair and makeup and will hurt her feet in the the 3 inch high heeled boots that she is wearing. Trust me on this!
Dear Elizabeth: You are so right that two hours is the time limit for a museum. Turns out this rule applies even when you are by yourself and the museum is something world class like the Louvre!
Although there is a book that claims that French women don’t get fat, some of them must because every bus stop had an advertisement for Alli.
You’ve had too much to drink and should probably go home when the sight of Place Saint-Michel sets you singing “Look Down” from Les Mis “here in the slums of Saint-Michel, we live on crumbs of humble piety….” out loud as you walk down the street!
Walking through the snow blanketed Tuileries Gardens with a steaming hot cafe au lait in my hand and Paris surrounding me is definitely a moment I will never forget!