When I woke up this morning, I was beat. I’ve got to stop treating every day as a training session for a half marathon. That’s the goal for 2012. I bought a nice pair of running shoes over a year ago hoping that was all it would take to turn me athletic, and that never materialized. I think after 5-7 miles of walking a day in jeans and $17 leather shoes from Prague, I’m closer to capable.
Backpacking on a budget, the plan everyday starts with “…I think I’ll take a walk.” And some days, I just don’t wanna walk anymore… I decided today was not the day for the 3.5-4 hour free walking tour. When the kitchen at breakfast ran out of clean coffee mugs, I took it as a sign I should go back to sleep.
I left the hostel just after noon, which, if a late start to a day, leaves me about eight hours of… walking. I took the metro to the Louvre – for once, public transportation, and nine more times in Paris at least because I bought a ten-pack. I waved at the Louvre today. Nancy and I are going back.
I wandered and found Les Deux Magots, a cafe where all the big heavyweight writers like Hemingway had been once upon a time. There was a long wait for a table and at a point of needing coffee during my wait to buy coffee, I hoped the inspiration of being in the same area as the greats could still rub off because once upon a time, they too looked at the menu outside the door and debated entry.
Instead, down the road, I found an awesome cafe that charged less for take-away than sitting (more walking) and I had hands down the greatest tuna sandwich on a baguette of my life. Maybe the greatest sandwich of my life. Followed by a chocolate chip cookie on steroids. I will be returning.
Walking and cookies. My body is so confused by me.
I sat in the park and watched kids play soccer. The littlest one on the team was the goalie. When he was no longer playing goalie, I saw him get pegged at close-range in the back of the head and cringed. He shook his head of long blonde hair and ran after the ball once more, pausing to rub his head again and again the next few minutes. Poor kid. It looked like it hurt.
It’s 4p.m. now and I’m camped out in front of the Eiffel Tower. School kids in what look like Hogwarts uniforms are playing a game on a lawn nearby. I wonder what it’s like to have the Eiffel Tower in your everyday. On my way to the castle in Füssen, Germany, I rode the same bus as a bunch of kids going home from school. I had the same question then.
I finally got coffee nearby, sitting with a view of the Eiffel Tower. That’s a latte I won’t forget.
And then I realized the sun was setting…
And then I found… love.