There is probably and APP to search for a good travel companion but I hadn’t thought of that prior to asking a fairly new friend if she would be interested in a trip to Europe for a week. I went with my instincts when I asked Marcy. I was right.
“Hey Marcy, I’m itching to go to Paris, my husband has alot going on but I really want to go. The dollar is strong, I’m not anxious about traveling right now, and I’m feeling like if not now when.
“I can do that,” she said in September. “My husband isn’t going to be able to get away this Fall either.” By the way, the reason this new friendship has been such a treat for me is because Marcy is an “I can do that,” kind of person.
We looked at our calendars and zeroed in on the first week of November and started researching and texting. We decided we would hit 2 cities and because neither of us had ever taken the Chunnel, we chose 3 nights in Paris and 3 in London. Because I know Paris pretty well, I have a preference of which area I like to stay in and she was good to go with that. She knew London better so she put that together.
“How do you feel about sharing a bedroom?”
“I’m good with that,” she said. “That works.”
“Wow!” I was thrilled as most of my friends over 50 and 60 are pretty particular about weird sleep habits and sharing a room is not top on their list.
“How about walking, are you okay to walk til we drop? ” I really didn’t need to ask that question as Marcy is a 3 sport a day kind of girl. Sleep is at the bottom of her list.
I knew Marcy liked wine too and was a veggie, and I knew her well enough to know that when shopping she lost her appetite like me but loved a good meal. I wasn’t worried about our food preferences because she’s super easy going.
We had a match, without an App and it turned out to be an incredible trip.
“There’s a few great exhibits in Paris we can get tickets ahead of time.”
“Sure — let’s put it on our calendar”
And so we booked 2 museums in Paris and 2 in London and one lunch in each city and that was it. We decided the rest would be spontaneous.
And, the trip flowed as did the the friendship.
Traveling with a new friend is truly speed dating into comfort. Matching energies and easy humor, curiosity and open mindedness were all the elements that made our travel match work so well. Living side by side for a week, dealing with fatigue and hunger, all the layers of sharing created a bond that we both felt as the week progressed. What a gift we gave to each other and ourselves.
And if you’re curious about what we did starting with the Paris portion …here’s a little taste of our Parisian journey.
Day One: We took an overnight flight and landed around 9 am — we came from separate cities and met at Charles De Gualle, taxied to our hotel and began our first full day in Paris. The room would not be ready til 3 pm so we changed our clothes in the ladies room of our Pont Royale hotel in the 7eme arrondisement and walked to Le Marais to see the Maya Picasso collection at the Picasso museum. With that destination in mind we stopped wherever!
Hats were our first purchase. It was a chilly autumn sunny day and turns out we are both hat obsessed. My favorite color is Ochre and Marcy’s is green and burgundy. We found the perfect brim made with cozy felt at just 25 Euro’s and with a little lipstick we actually looked like we hadn’t slept on a plane and missed our morning showers.
And then it was the gruyere omelette and croissant at the neighborhood cafe along the way that lured us. At every turn there was the most gorgeous little shop to wander into. With no husbands to rush us out — we had a shopping pace that was a match.
We found the museum and it was incredible. Definitely recommend. And then, as the light was dimming we headed back before dinner. We checked on line to see if we could get into Semilla which was recommended by a few people – and voila – we got an early 7 pm rez. It was fantastic and highly recommend.
We had a reservation to see the new Bourse Commerce Museum and lunch. We set our alarms and headed out after a quick coffee at our hotel. The exhibit was just ok, not totally to our liking but the building was fantastic and the lunch was incredible. We had morel pasta and leeks and of course wine.
And then we walked and shopped and walked some more. The lights, the city, the neighborhoods, the cafes…it was fantastic.
And just because we were in Paris I decided I wanted a haircut so that was the next burst of spontaneity. There was this salon near our hotel that was like a Dry Bar called Biguine and I had been there years ago but the hairdressers are never the same. More about that on Fashion Friday….