Our first airbnb was followed by our second train trip (Chicago to NY and now Luxembourg to Paris). For those not in the know Airbnb is a do it yourself bed and breakfast kind of thing (but usually without the breakfast ). Someone, anyone, opens their place up and you spend less than you would at a hotel but more than a campground. Last night was great but hot night plus no AC (Europe has so very little of this) and windows that open only a maddening crack and then no screen (and this is like every window in Europe) which meant a restless night.
In thr AM we readjusted our packs, rode the city bus to the train station and then ate another croissant with espresso with the bags resting by our feet.
The train ride was smooth and on time. Another espresso woke me up and finding the bus to our new Parisian home was easy. And then the bus broke down. So we waited mostly with women wearing saris or beautiful African head wraps or hajibs or fashionable dresses and then together rushed the next bus our crazy large backpacks a serious cog to the system. At our stop it is time to play The Amazing Race with a few scribbled notes for clues (for example “at the bank go right.”) We manage to pick the right apartment (we know it’s the right one because the code opened the front door) but are then unsure which apartment to ring. We ring two. One door opens and our hostess, Nicole, who has rented a room to tourists for less than one year, shows us our amazingly perfect digs. A window that opens wide, comfortable beds, and an inviting place filled with snapshots taken in the U.S. and Canada. Nicole is fun, generous (she let’s us use her washing machine), and knowledgeable. With clothes drying now in her living room (yep, undies too) we plan our next few days.
Took a nap. It was a great one and the first in over a month. Woke up feeling groggy but rested and we took a short walk for sushi (excellent and not too expensive) then Minions. During the previews the fire alarm came on. Not hysterical but a definitive push out the door in the city recently rocked by Islamic terrorists. We milled around outside the theater before being let back in (the alarm was just one of those things). Not sure we could have followed the Minion plot even if it was in English.
After the movie we discover the Paris people come too. A short steep walk leads to Montmartre Basilique du Sacre-Coeur and the view as well as the approach are spectacular. We mill about, get lost several times, and then stop to pick up wine and a few groceries on the way back to the apartment. Corey and Henna play cards while I write these words, cigarette smoke and voices wafting in from below.