Tuesday, July 17, 2007

how to enjoy a pleasant Bastille Day weekend in Paris

  • Do not, under any circumstances, take your driving directions from mappy.fr, which will either direct you to take a heavily congested road on a Friday evening, rendering you capable of only gaining ten kilometers in one hour, or will give you insufficient directions, leaving you to wander around the wrong town for another hour, or both, which will make you two hours late and leave you only the time for a quick glass of water before running out the door again.
  • Do catch a movie in version originale, or VO, such as the latest Harry Potter movie, with good friends who even think to purchase tickets five hours before the movie starts.
  • Do not attempt to join the holiday crowds at the Champs de Mars, just under the Eiffel Tower, which will be completely packed without the space to move even one iota. Instead, retreat to the much more accessible Esplanade des Invalides, where there is much more space to lay out a few picnic blankets.
  • Do make sure you are well equipped with stinky cheese, a bit of cold cuts, fresh fruit and veggies, delicious bread, lovely wine and, most importantly, plenty of sunscreen, as there is little respite from the sun beating down on your delicate head.
  • Do not forget to bring plenty of water, or some of your lovely companions will be forced to take their scooter all the way home in search of more.
  • Do bring plenty of games, although the sight of great big helicopters and plenty of men in uniform will provide plenty of eye candy.
  • Do not forget your sense of fun and wander, and be sure to have on hand plenty of American sparklers and bubbles.
  • Do enjoy the fireworks over near the Eiffel Tower, even if you can only see the tops of them over the trees.
  • Do not panic when it comes to finding your way home in the overcrowded subway. Instead, make sure you have some handy Paris natives who can navigate the crowded streets and find alternative routes at the drop of a hat, getting you home in record time.
  • Do heartily enjoy a few games on the Wii and vow that one day, you shall have one all your own.
  • Do not be afraid that you have made a fool of yourself on an internationally renown podcast, even though you know it in your heart to be true.
  • Do make sure one of your hosts is a wizard with cars and simultaneously fixes your car out of his own kindness and curiosity and saves you upwards of 200€.
  • Do not forget to thank your gracious hostess for the best weekend you and your husband have had in a very, very long time!

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