This morning I woke up at 3AM and could not go back to sleep. I know my sleeping schedule has been off the last few weeks, and I could blame the amount of time I’ve spent out with friends, but who needs to place blame? When I awoke this morning I felt ready to take on the world. So that’s exactly what I did.
I was already craving a double espresso when I woke up, but being that it’s a Sunday in Paris, it was going to be a few hours before I could get one. I was in the mood for walking so I got dressed and headed out the door. I love how eerie the streets of Paris are a few hours after the bars close. From 3 to 8 in the morning you could walk the streets and never pass one soul. I get the sensation that the streets, the buildings, the city all belong to me and me alone.
I make my way across the Pont de la Concorde and circle around the Place de la Concorde. I admire the giant ferris wheel that dominates the area this time of year. I love admiring the Obélisque de Louxor, considering it is the oldest monument in Paris, I wish more tourist would recognize it’s beauty. The Fountain des Mers are also a gorgeous sight to behold. As I snap a few photos, I continue my walk up the Champs-Elysées, browsing the store fronts and rubbing my hands together to stay warm. I pull out my phone, a beautiful Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, none of that iPhone BS for me, to discover that it is 1 degree Celsius. No wonder I was a little chilly. Still, I make my way up towards the Arc de Triomphe, and I start to realize the similarities between the Champs-Elysées and Times Square in New York City. Both areas have a ton of bright lights, both have people at all hours, be they tourist, drunks, shop workers starting their day and/or prostitutes. In both areas you feel safe because of the light and of the people, but also, you check your pocket ever so often to ensure you have everything. A young black woman, who was quite beautiful flags me down as she is walking past me. She is probably 25, with gorgeous skin, beautiful hair and eyes. Her French accent captivates me as she ask for directions to the Franklin D. Roosevelt metro station. She apologises as she is tipsy and lives in Paris, but just needs a little assistance finding the entrance. Because of the construction in the area, I walk her towards the entrance ensuring she doesn’t get lost. She comments on how much she likes my accent and says that it is flawless. She told me to be proud to speak French because she understood me easily and enjoyed talking with me. She then hugs me goodbye and in true Parisian fashion, kisses me on both cheeks. I don’t even know if she will remember me when she wakes up, but she made me feel like a million euros. I pass the Louis Vuitton store headed back towards the Jardin des Tuileries, and in the window is a Santa Claus mannequin. But, this is a buff and sexy Santa…he looks almost like the brawny paper towel model. Must they over-sexualize Christmas too? It seems nothing is safe. If I ever buy a house in the country though, I will need to get one of these mannequins to keep in the window to scare off intruders.
I walk along the Tuileries to the Rue du Louvre and head north towards Rue Reaumur. Along the way I pass Pizzeria Popolare, a fabulous restaurant where I had dinner with Angeline and Tiffany before. We waited in line for an hour and a half, but the food, drinks and service made it all worth it. The windows to the resturant hold more liquor bottles than anyone could imagine. I snap a couple of photos, ideas to decorate my future kitchen, and proceed towards Boulevard Haussmann.
It was already 730AM, I could feel my blood sugar start to get low and knew that it was time for a break. The sun had still not come out from hiding, and I smiled to myself remembering that sunrise isn’t until 830AM. Unfortunatly it was Sunday, and that means that any place that does open today will open an hour later. So, I made my way back towards the Louvre, there are many hotels near the Louvre and where there are paying tourist, there will be an open cafe. As I make my way down past the Palais Royal, and older white haired woman dressed classically for church with a hat stops me and tells me that she likes my bow tie and appreciates seeing a young gentleman well dressed. I thank her profusely, but excuse myself as my blood sugar was fading faster at this time.
I make it back to the Rue de Rivoli, and see customers inside the cafe La Carroussel. In Paris, just because lights are on, staff are around and even if the door is open does not mean that the business is open. To be sure, I always make certain that there are at least 2 separate customers inside and/or I check the window to verify the hours of service. I hurry inside, up to the bar and order a double espresso and a croissant. I put two sugars in the espresso and take my first sip. Nectar of the gods never tastes so good. The older gentleman who served me looked at me with a peculiar expression as my blood sugar starts to return to normal. I tear off a bit of the croissant and feast on it as if it were a thanksgiving meal. It was fresh, homemade and absolutely delicious. I wanted to have this brown beauty every morning. I felt myself coming to and just in time as I had finished my espresso and my croissant. A group of about 30 tourist came in, they were preparing to take a bus tour parked across the street, all of them speaking Italian, this was my chance to pay the bill and get the heck outta there. As I continued down rue de Rivoli I pass another cafe with outdoor seating and only 2 customers sitting inside. Before I sit down I make eye contact with the bartender and he acknowledges me and heads over. I order another double espresso and croissant and enjoy the view of the Jardin des Tuileries. I slowly sip my espresso and notice that climbing up the ferris wheel in the place de la Concorde is a man. It was still freezing out and this guy was climbing it with no visible rope or safety tether. I was terrified watching him go up. As I finished my croissant, and taking a few selfies, I saw him climb back down to safety. I paid my tab and headed out.
I made my way back across the bridge, and headed home. Stopping a few times along the way to take a few photos of things that caught my attention. When I get home I see that I have already walked over twenty-one thousand steps and it’s only 1030AM, considering I do thirty thousand a day, I think I have earned a nap. This really was an incredible morning.
Paris, je t’aime. ❤🇫🇷