I lived off baguette’s, brie and bottles of wine for 11 long days. I was stuck in Paris and how could that be a bad thing? I walked everywhere – because I had to. Train (and bus) strikes had me stranded 5 beyond my planned 6 days.

I got lost, and found… the Notre Dame and Seine River. I stood 3 feet from the Mona Lisa and watched the Eiffel Tower Sparkle in the nights distance as I exited the Louvre. And I even finally walked the 7 miles to get there and back. One afternoon, I remember turning a corner with my 2 foot, still warm loaf of bread and seeing my first smart car. Paris was full of things to be discovered: art, tight alleyways with small designers sewing inside their storefronts, and my most memorably, all that happened as I wandered the streets one evening with an Australian I met. As we turned the corner of a dimly lit alley and stepped inside the bleak bar, the owner kindly led us into his place where the only patrons still inside were a group of four friends he’d been chatting with. We sat and must have stayed for four hours and more than four rounds. The bathroom sink was decorated with rose petals like a scene out of a cheesy romance novel. There were only 6 of us and Guill, the owner, was more than happy to let us linger. Cocktail after cocktail…

Journal Entry: Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

…’He gave us a drink to try. It was dark, but then he poured water into it and it was cloudy and looked like orange juice’…


Looking back, the milky substance was obviously Absinthe and I had quite the hangover the next day, but I left Paris with a great taste in my mouth. Those four hours were the most memorable of my 11 day Parisian escapade.

There’s a feeling you get when you’re traveling alone. When you return home and someone asks you what an experience was like and all you can really do is smile. You know there’s no way you’ll ever really be able to describe exactly how you felt, how much fun you had or how great it really was. So instead of going into detail, you keep the grin and simply state ‘je ne sais quoi’.

When in Paris get lost, and you can find it here:
25 Rue Oberkampf
75011 Paris
Ask for Guill.