We drove by L’Arc de Triomphe on our way to see a portion of the sites of Paris. Amid the sound of honking horns and having our car yanked this way and that to avoid disaster (which seemed to be hurtling toward us every few seconds) suddenly, back dropped by blue, arose this magnificent site. It is one thing to see in the movies, oh lala so French, but it is entirely different to see for oneself.
Tea at a beautiful hotel as we speak business and begin planning out our day tomorrow.
Aside from the glorious Louis Vuitton in the background I was glad to capture the scooter whizzing past. Perhaps it is because I live in the country, where I rarely see anyone on the road, let alone inches from my window, but the French, on their small but viciously fast scooters, have no qualms scraping past the tip of our car or speeding in between two lanes. It is daring and bold…and I love it.
After walking down the Champs-Élysées lit up for the holiday season with lights everywhere the eye could look, we arrived at the Obélisque de Louxor (Napoleans obelisk brought to Paris from egypt) and stood to gaze at the Eiffel tower, when all of a sudden a billion lights began flashing rapidly, like faeries set on devouring such beautiful architecture (luckily it wasn’t so) At that moment it was only me and my dad, we both admitted feeling a bit sad not having one of our French guides, for with them we felt so immersed, so part of Paris. Alone we felt…well we felt like American tourists. Not a feeling I enjoyed. And yet, thank goodness, quite soon one of our business partners arrived in a tiny car and we fell in, to speed away into very heavy, very terrifying traffic. Previously that afternoon we had been under the impression that we were simply going to a regular restaurant for dinner, of course nothing is boring or normal here in my eyes, but as we were driving we discovered exactly how special it was to be. We were on our way to a private apartment where a friend of a friend, a magnificent chef, was to cook an entire meal specifically for our team. She does this only two or three times a month, always at different locations, and each time, I am guessing, it only gets better and better. From the tiny cobbled street – where my heels echoed delightfully – with large doors and high walls that reminded me somewhat of Rome (or what I have seen in the movies) to the candlelit stairwell winding it’s way up and up, till we arrived in an entirely Parisian apartment, where ladies in tights and black heels spoke rapid French and leapt up to greet us, with a classic ‘kiss kiss’. We lounged alongside, or tried, tasting sweet appetizers and sipping champagne. And then it was time for dinner.
Oh lala I shall never eat anywhere else! The elegance of soft, sweet light and the smell drifting from the kitchen was enough. And yet there was food as well! Conversation, the sound of deep red wine pouring into a delicate glass, inspiration and beauty everywhere. Trés magnifique.
And then, wait….you won’t believe me….dessert! Ach, I cannot even remember the names, only that each bite melted on my tongue and we all looked at each other and just shook our heads at the bliss we felt.
Slowly we meandered our way back to the parlor, the night sky deep and mysterious outside behind a set of glass double doors, in a stupor of delight we sipped coffee and talked of motivation and strategy, as well as partnership and leadership. It was a wonderful time of coming together, of growing to know each other a little bit more.
And so now here I sit, in a bed calling my name ever closer, at 2:25 in the morning, unable to stop till I am finished with fear that if I do the words will be lost. But sleep is sweet and I cannot resist, so I will rest and I hope to see you soon. Tomorrow I awake, another day, a new adventure.