The next leg of my trip involved a little jaunt over to Paris to see my friend Amy Meyer get married. I began my journey hopping on the Eurostar train from London straight into the heart of Paris. The train ride was a little over 2 hours so it was quite easy.
When I arrived I hopped onto the Paris subway to my hostel in the Latin Quarter. Yes I stayed at a hostel! But the Oops Hostel in the Latin Quarter was adorable and clean, with a very cool, modern design. My room had 2 bunk beds and a bathroom and a little table and that's it but it was only 30 euro a night. But the cool thing was that someone from the wedding party actually was staying in the same room as me!
Once I got settled in the room I went out and explored on my way to Amy and Stacy's apartment. I took a leisurely walk through the city making my way to le Jardin du Luxumbourg, crossing the Seine, strolling past the Cathedral of Notre Dame, taking in the beauty of the Chatalet des Halles, before finally finding Rue de Clery where my friends were staying.
The apartment where Amy and her wife to be were staying (yes it was a lesbian wedding) was a perfectly charming French apartment located on the 2nd floor complete with a balcony and courtyard. The first night, the wedding party of about 20 all met here for a cocktail party where your wine never was allowed to get less than half full and there was a constant flow of hors d'oevres. Delicious!!
After the cocktail party I walked all the way back to the hostel (a 30-minute walk) stopping at a gay club called Raidd, which was recommended to me by the Paris Tourist Board. It was Disco night so it sucked even though it was packed and they had hot bartenders. But since my French is limited and a beer was 6euro (like $10) I left!
The second day in Paris was simply amazing. My roommate Casey and I got all dressed up for the wedding and made our way to the apartment. I think people thought we were Parisian since we looked all snazzy and not like bummy Americans. We were approached by several French people asking for help and such. Pretty cool.
Everyone met up and hopped on our little coach for Versailles. This was the highlight of the trip by far. Versailles is absolutely breathtaking with its massive castle, vast gardens, and luxurious fountains. We made our way to the secluded Jardin du Roi where the wedding ceremony was held.
I have never been one for weddings but as we stood in a circle and watched Amy's mom and sister as they welcomed Stacy into their family it was an incredible moment of love and acceptance that none of us will forget. We all felt that love flow through us and it connected us all in that single moment.
After the short ceremony that had eyes tearing, we continued to explore Versailles, grabbing bikes and hightailing our way across the countryside. We peddled our way to a lovely picnic site that was prepared for us in spectacular fashion. We sipped wine and champagne and feasted as we shared poetry and personal thoughts about the 2 brides. We then continued to explore the fascinating grounds, making our way to Marie-Antoinette's chateau where she pretended to be a peasant before having some desert and making our way back to the city. But not before I totally busted my ass on my bike on the way back. I left Versailles with a bloody elbow and knee and quite a story to tell. What a day to remember.
My final full day in Paris found me without use of my camera, but with plenty to do. Casey and I started out the day exploring Montmarte and the fabulous Sacre-Coeur, an impressive white cathedral overlooking the city. The winding streets of this bohemian enclave was easily my favorite part of the city.
I then took of fon my own travel writer adventures, setting off to tour three hotels around the city for my article for Bleu Magazine. The first was the Hilton Arc de Triomphe, an impressive 400plus room Art Deco masterpiece with sharkskin walls and finely detailed furniture. The second was a modern boutique hotel called Le Metropolitan that faced the Eiffel Tower. The final was a classic French hotel called Le Dokhan complete with a Louis Vuitton lined elevator. At Le Dokhan I was treated to a champagne tasting where I got to sample three very expensive champagnes and learn the differences.
In between all the walking I saw lots of the city making my way down the Champs Elysees and through many quiet parks and tree-lined avenues. I think I could die in Paris! It is such a beautiful magical place full of very sexy people everywhere. Next time I want to know more French and go out to the right clubs.
The next day it was back to dreary London. But I was still in for a weekend of FUN!