Remember what I said about yellow photos? Well, brace yourselves for these. I just can’t bring myself to put these posts off any longer, though. At some point, it’s more important to remember things clearly than perfectly.
I made myself a promise before we left for this trip. I promised myself I would not argue with B. Not once. It comes from a stupid argument we had over the heating in our hotel room in Dublin when I realized how lucky we were to be in a place where we could even have that sort of argument. I felt like a total jerk for being emotional and angry because he wasn’t as upset as I was that the heating wasn’t working properly. So, I promised not to fight with him in France. We really, really don’t argue often and it’s always short lived, but all the same, I didn’t want this amazing experience tainted by my own fatigue, immaturity, what have you. What that means, though, is that even though we had looked at what felt like 400 dinner menus on our first night in Paris, I wasn’t allowed to get snippy or make demands. It also meant it was nearly 10:00 when we finally ate dinner.
We both finally just got tired and chose something. We’d had a nap, but no real sleep to speak of. We spent the evening wandering the Champs-Elysées just trying to get our feet under us. Finally, we settled on Le XVI de la Grande Armée. It wasn’t that late. It was after 9:30PM, but the restaurant wasn’t all that busy. We sat outside. Perhaps the biggest bummer of Paris was that they have beautiful patios that are perfect for sitting and people watching, but it’s also where all the smokers are. Le XVI’s patio didn’t have any smokers. Believe it or not, we came to wish they had.
There we were, enjoying our wine and charcuterie when we heard it. From the opposite side of the patio (and the only other occupied table), came the shout of “Hey! Big Guy!” B and I were both startled into looking over. What we saw was the offensive yeller, a rather overweight, loud, heavily Southern-accented American and his two dining companions. He was yelling at our very nice server, trying to get his attention. People wonder why Americans have a bad reputation. We wished we could trade him in for a Parisian smoker.
I thought it couldn’t get worse until he ordered his dessert and told the server he could take his time bringing it because he didn’t want to seem like some ugly, impatient American. Well, I hate to break it to you, Big Guy, but it wasn’t your sweet tooth that did it. On the upside, he was making us look like the most perfect dinner guests who ever were.
As for dinner, we had a lovely meal. I had a duck salad and B had chicken and potatoes. I know his chicken looks odd, but it really was good. Our server was also wonderful. He chatted with us for a bit and gave us some great advice on restaurants. I think he was just glad he wasn’t talking to Big Guy anymore.
By the time dinner was done, we were tired and ready to head back to the hotel. I was still sick and B had to work the next day. We stopped for a quick cocktail in the hotel bar before trying to get some sleep. After all, this was only the first day.