Goodnight, Paris.

My time in Paris has come to an end. At ten nights, it’s the place I’ve stayed the longest, but I knew that would be the case all along.

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I feared my bag would break her if we put it on… This worked instead.

Nancy left yesterday. We spent our last morning wandering Christmas markets down by the ferris wheel, surrounded by booths (and smells) of waffles, hot wine, chocolate, cheeses, sausages… Ornaments, toys, decorations. Christmas music played, lights are lit… The holidays are here.

The cherry on top of a perfect weekend, including the best French onion soup of our lives at dinner the night before, was our last stop. The Ferris Wheel.

Notice the calm children.

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I’m terrible at making faces. That was supposed to be “scared.” Remember “mad?”

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I can’t believe that picture was taken three months ago.

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The rest of yesterday was relatively lazy. I rechecked into my previous hostel and spent the evening at the hostel bar’s open mic night. I’d been there the previous Sunday, the same guy started it and I am now hooked on Stereophonic’s Dakota. Also, I always love a good acoustic male-sung Baby One More Time. So much.

I made plans to leave Paris tomorrow and take a train to Barcelona. I’ve never made a train reservation more than an hour in advance, but since tomorrow night I had plans with an old friend, a PR rockstar (no embellishment, owns his business and is a guitarist in a band), I wanted to confirm early. We were going to be bar-hopping in Barcelona. It was going to be an awesome night.

“Tomorrow? No, that is not possible. There is nothing I can do for you.”

Panic sets in. Backpacker fatigue panic, the irrational tired kind where I’m suddenly feeling 1) “trapped” in Paris, 2) never going to be allowed to leave and 3) “but you can’t call it backpacking if you just keep staying” scared of being considered a backpacking failure.

Are those tears? Oh… No. They passed. The head cold is really messing with me.

I can’t afford the full-price fare to Barcelona and the Eurail reservation spots were gone, so bar-hopping will take place in New York or Boston when I return. I’m off to Toulouse, France, instead. All with the goal of getting to Lisbon, Portugal, as the last big checklist place.

Finally, I said goodbye to the red purse. We’d had a rough couple days.

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I spent my last night out of the hostel but far from the Eiffel or anything you think of when you think “Paris.” I found a local restaurant and ate croque Madame and drank vin chaud (hot, spiced wine). I journal wrote, I wrote a cliché poem, I questioned whether or not I might have gotten bed bug bites last night that are making a delayed appearance.

That might be tomorrow’s story.

Goodnight, from Paris.

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