Bonjour! Parlez-vous anglais?
Perfect; I was going to write this blog in French (it would have been short), but for y’alls ease (not mine; I’m great at French), this blog will be in English.
To re-iterate a previous blog, the entire reason for my Eurotrip was the wedding of the lovely Ms. Christie Yang, who is now Mrs. Christie Abel…congrats, Christie! Christie & Brad married in Versailles (rough, I know), and I headed their way via a 3AM train from Munich to Paris..ouch.
I arrive in Paris at 10AM, and head to the metro. Before I can get on the metro, I go to a kiosk to buy a metro ticket. When I arrive at the kiosk, there are two people behind me. A few minutes of frustrating button pushing later, a gentleman kindly asks me if I need help. As I turn towards him, I notice the ranks of people behind me has swelled to 35+. Excusez-moi!
As it turns out, the kiosk couldn’t read my credit card, and I had no coins to feed the machine. Before I am able to comprehend the pain of getting out of this line to find coins and returning to a line of 50+ people, the kind monsieur pays my way! Whoever said Parisians are rude was so wrong. Actually, I have no idea if he was Parisian; but he was oh-so nice!
After buying a ticket, I successfully navigate the metro maps (thanks to Steve’s brilliant directions), and arrive at the hotel!
I spend the day exploring cute cafes and walking the rues (streets), and gear up for the rehearsal dinner! I clean up the best I can with the vast amounts of makeup I brought (one stick of eyeliner, one tube of mascara, and lipstick), meet up with a flustered Steve, and head to dinner, stopping to greet every Asian we see (because surely they are in Paris for the Yang wedding).
Highlights of the rehearsal dinner: Fancy foods, followed up with a macaroon tower
The Three Hour Tour
The next morning, Steven and I head to St. Michel to meet a walking tour group, where we see the following sites:
Remember how I said the reason I went to Europe was for Christie’s wedding? Yea….so…. I may or may not have….missed that part of the day. I did. I missed it. Technically speaking, that is. I didn’t technically see Christie walk down the aisle. I thought the wedding started at 5:30pm, but as it turns out, it started at 5pm, and it was a quick wedding! Isn’t that funny! I went all the way to Europe and I missed the whole thing!
I walk into the wedding hall at 5:30, see everybody at cocktail hour and think “Perfect, I’m here just in time”. At precisely the moment the thought is going through my head, I hear Kasey exclaim “Where were you?!”. I piece together the meaning behind his words just in time to reply to Whitney’s “Hey, I didn’t see you out there” with a “Hey! Should we get a drink?! What are you drinking? Champagne? Okay, I’ll get it. Be right back!”
Oddly enough, the next “Oops” moment does not belong to me, but rather, to the bartender:
Me: “Vodka coke, please”
(Bartender hands the drink to me)
(I take a sip): “Wait, does this have vodka in it?”
Me: “Yes, vodka…right here. (I point to vodka bottle) This stuff ”
Bartender: “You vant ze vodka in ze drink?”
Me: “Yes, that is generally how that works”
Bartender: “Mixed together?”
Me: “What kind of bartender ARE you?!?”
I eventually begin grabbing bottles of liquor and making my own drinks because, well, let’s be honest…it was necessary.
I make my drink, blend in with the wedding party and sit down to dinner.
During dinner we listen to every song Celine Dion has ever created; after dinner, Eugene goes to the Dj, says “homosexual dance club” and the wedding transforms from a classy, elegant affair into a Top 40 dance club; my favorite. I dance the night away with my new favorite dance partner, Joe from LA, until we are interrupted by the bouquet toss.
Before Christie throws the bouquet, she announces the theme is “Hunger Games”, which I took to heart. I keep a keen eye on the bouquet as it flies from Christie’s nimble fingers, shove Whitney out of the way and assume her strategically placed position. In my peripheral vision, I notice the smooth arc of the bouquet heading straight over me. I take a few steps back, jump high into the air, and catch the bouquet. I crash into the girl behind me and almost eat it….but all that matters is that I CAUGHT THE BOUQUET.
Afterwards, I was quietly taken aside by a Good Samaritan to ensure I understand the meaning of the bouquet toss:
Messenger: “You do know what catching the bouquet signifies, don’t you?”
Me: “Yes, I am well aware. I’m getting married!!”
Messenger: “But….you can’t….because you know….you’re gay.”
Me: “WHAT?!?! This is brand new information to me!”
Messenger: “Don’t kill the messenger”
Me: “I’m getting another drink. I think you need one too.”
Midnight in Paris (Plus the Afternoon in Versailles)
The next day, the gays and I head to Versailles for brunch and a tour of the Palace. The line for the Palace was way too long, so we all quickly bailed on that plan, in favor of the much shorter line to get into the Gardens of Versailles. Steve & I notice one line in particular is much shorter than the others.
Steve points out the line is shorter for “the disabled, small children, and pregnant women”, to which I obviously reply: “I could totally be pregnant! We’re going in that line”. When we get to the front of the line, I notice a sign for reduced student rates. As Steve is buying us tickets, I nudge him and whisper, “Tell her you’re retarded, I’m pregnant….and we’re both students….we’ve got all the bases covered!”
(If you didn’t think the above anecdote was funny, all I have to say is, “You had to be there”. Really. It was hilarious)
Once in the gorgeous, magnificent, impressive, and damn boring Gardens of Versailles, Steve and I snap a few photos:
Steve and I spend 20 minutes walking through the Gardens, and 30 minutes petting this pretty pony we found:
Steve and I reluctantly part ways with the pony and meet the rest of the group, to head back to Paris, destination: Sacre Coeur.
After visiting the church, we decide to hit up a local gelato shop. As we are debating our options, a customer begins a very heated argument with the shopkeeper, in French. I turn around just in time to see her turn her ice cream cone upside down on the counter and storm out. As I’m mourning the loss of the ice cream, the shopkeeper takes the ice cream cone off the counter and hurls it at the angry customer. Unfortunately for me, the angry customer is long gone, and guess who is in the line of fire? That’s right. Me.
As I’m standing there, absolutely dumbfounded about getting an ice cream cone launched at me, Steve pipes up “FREE ice cream cone!!”, to which the employee behind the counter agrees, and I awaken from my trance. “What the hell?! Why did you just throw ice cream all over me?!?! Ehh, who cares, FREE ice cream!!”
I eat my free ice cream and go merrily on my way, to an adorable pink themed pizza shop, for dinner. Post dinner, we all head to the Eiffel Tower to watch it light up at the top of the hour.
Christie and I decide after eating a full pizza, a plank contest would be a great idea.
Six minutes later, we decide the no limit plank contest was maybe not the best idea, and we call it a draw. Re-match in front of the White House upon a visit to DC to visit Christie & Brad, TBD.
And so ends the whirlwind weekend in Paris; I couldn’t have asked for a better way to top off vacation.