Paris! The Eiffel, and Jessica Simpson Boots

Our elegant apartment had motorized blinds inside double glass windows that allowed not one shard of daylight to pass through. This, coupled with the fact of my 4:30 a.m. bedtime the night before, made for a very late morning. It was to be our free time, the one chance to SHOP, and I slept through it.

By the time I ventured out of my bedchamber it was close to 11. We were to meet as a group at the Eiffel Tower in two hours. With a few quick texts I learned that Jessa and Dan had experienced an equally slug-like morning and were just making their plans. On one of their nasty little Apps (What are those things anyway? They make me anxious.) they saw that walking time to the Tower was an hour. Jessa wanted to go back to a street market she had seen. We decided to hook up, skip the cab ride, and dawdle our way along.

The temperature outside was holding mildly in the 50’s so I bandaged my blister, donned my pure synthetic Bali market socks, and my all-man-made-materials Jessica Simpson boots, and off we went.

Paris streets contort and twist like fisherman’s knots.

“I think the market was that way…”

“No, we turned left here at the Patisserie…”

Dan seemed to have the best directional intelligence, he also had a map App, so we yielded to his guidance and came to the exact place where the stalls had been. The street was empty. Every shred of the bustling market was gone.

Disappointment was a brief sigh but didn’t deter us. We continued on to the Tuileries Gardens and the River Seine. It was then, standing on the opposite side of the fountain taking a photo of Jessa and Dan through the spray, that I knew I was in trouble.


Inside the boots, my feet were having a melt-down.

“What were you thinking?” they screamed at me. “You haven’t caged us in torture chambers like this for three years! We want our flip-flops! We want fresh air and sunshine! Let us out of here!”

“Calm down, nice feet, nice, aching feet. Just this one day, I promise! Tomorrow will be better…” and I wracked my brain trying to think how tomorrow would be better.

The lying App. A one hour walk?  At 12:55 Joy texted: Where are you guys?

Jessa texted back: Getting close…

P1080413We had it in our sights but it was the same sensation as running in a dream. Our legs were moving but we weren’t going anywhere. Or so it seemed. When we finally navigated the approach from the wrong side, there they were, clustered in the middle waving, shouting, “Over here! Over here!”



The Eiffel Tower is a stunning sight, from the bottom…

and from the top.

We shot photos and wrapped scarves more tightly around our necks as the wind snarled and tore at our jackets.

“It’s cold up here!”


“Let’s go down!”


This time I knew better than to walk. A quick cab ride had me back at the apartment in a wink. I freed my mangled feet and dove for the bed. Two hours…two blissful hours before I had to re-enter the boots and dress for dinner…

“Mom…” Who? What?

“Mom…it’s time to get up…”

Frilly black skirt, chic black shirt, and back into the boots…just a brief walk…a few blocks…

The Auberge de Nicolas Flammel couldn’t have been more Frenchy quaint and picturesque.

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For this gastronomic extravaganza we had pre-ordered our dinners online months earlier. Some of us remembered our selections. Some didn’t. But it got sorted to everyone’s satisfaction and again, the wine flowed.

P1080462Our waiter kindly offered to photograph us. The whole crew. And this was what we ate for dinner…!

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Seeing those masterful creations was a holy experience, almost like Genesis…In the beginning….  Across the table, heads were bowed in awestruck reverence. The Nicolas Flammel took food to a whole new level.


And these were our desserts…

P1080460 P1080459 P1080454 P1080449 P1080447 P1080446P1080445It should have ended there, fat, full, and happy. But fat, full, happy intoxicated blokes don’t always make good choices. We tumbled into the street and lurched toward the nearest pub. Why not? It’s Paris after all, and tomorrow is only Versailles.

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