I spent the weekend in Paris, not to see the sights so much, but to see an old friend, Reggie McNeil. Reggie’s an amazing person, 40 years in the Navy from everything ranging from junior enlisted to senior Captain when he retired. He was my boss in Bahrain back in 2007-2008, and to say he’s had a positive impact on my life would be a massive understatement. I got into the train station and decided on the 40 minute walk to my hotel. Before I left the train station, I caught a young gypsy with his hand in my back pocket, searching for my wallet. Sorry kid, I did the research, I moved it to my front pocket while still on the train. The hotel was right near Notre Dame. It wasn’t the nicest hotel, but for $80 a night in Paris it was serviceable, and the view right nearby my hotel was great.
The first night I went bar and café hopping, met some great people, but I got lost on the way back to my hotel. After two hours walking I finally found my hotel and crashed. I met Reggie the next day and we literally talked for 11 hours straight – everything from life, to politics, to religion, to comic books – what a conversation.
We ate at this Russian restaurant nearby. Russian food is interesting, not great, but interesting. They had some great piano and violin music going on. Also, there was a table full of young women nearby…not sure if they were ‘for sale’ or not but I had my suspicions. After dinner I did a midnight walk through Paris in honor of Woody Allen. The next day I spent walking around the shopping district, Champs Elysees. I didn’t think I’d buy anything, but I found a Bayern-Munich football jersey that I just had to have.
I left later that day by train. A great thing about the trip is realizing how easy it is to get to Paris from Mons. I drive 40 minutes to Lille, France, park my car there for 15 euros a day, and take the hour train ride to Paris. I don’t feel bad about not seeing many sights, because I’ll be here again for sure, and I’ll take a lot more pictures then. The most important thing in the trip was seeing Reggie, he’s a truly amazing person, and a great friend, and it was wonderful to reconnect with him again.