So the flight was a little over 10 hours, not 9 as I'd been thinking. I never sleep on airplanes, and it's always odd when arriving in a completely different time zone to just continue on without the benefit of a refreshing sleep. It was hot and muggy in Paris as we arrived at around noon of the 4th. Got through immigration, got the car, and then got lost in the 8th & 9th arrondissements looking for the hotel. These old cities aren't based on a grid as are most American cities, so it's difficult to keep bearings. The map was pretty useless, so I initiated a search pattern and after 30 minutes or so, stumbled upon a street I recognized and made our way.
We got about three hours of sleep, got going around 7 pm, and had dinner in a tiny little Italian place just down the street. Excellent service and food. I reflected on why I'm so damned impatient with American restaurants. With the exception of the rare few, they simply do not get it right. The presentation and the timing is always off. This is one of the things the French are famous for. Good for them, and I don't see them relinquishing that prestige anytime soon.
My senses are experiencing full-on assault. Living here for two full years in the early 90s, at a job that required conversing in French exclusively, I find it remarkable how naturellement (see) your mind can migrate into a whole different manner of thinking. Back then, I often went months not speaking or hearing a single word of English. I thought in French -- even dreamed in French. It probably wouldn't be more than a month or so before I could return entirely to that state of mind.
Bea's having a good time -- though she misses dreadfully her "puppies" and dreads the thought of three full weeks without them. I told her it's really only two, since week three will be looking forward to seeing them soon.
We both ended up wide awake at about 4:30 am this morning, got up, and Bea's out walking the neighborhood at 6, getting her bearings.
Well, time for our petit dejeuner.