Pont d'Iena. Vous ne pouvez pas passer, mademoiselle!
[note: this is word for word from my journal-sketchbook notes, my thoughts today in red.]
Monday July 14, 1980. raining.
Woke at 9:00. Susan Keck and Cindy Brown were at train station. Gave them directions to my hotel, headed to run 3 miles, breakfast, and waited for their arrival. They weren’t here until noon. They walked from Place de la Concorde!!!
Cindy Bean [Cindy was with KU French, the group I traveled with before Parsons] came over and we talked all afternoon. They, they headed to walk to the Eiffel Tower.
I went to le St. Germain Café for un café and letter writing. The sun did peep its head out for about 15 minutes. Yea!!
While running, I was able to see the military parade for Bastille Day. It was exciting, all blue coats, french flags and military music. The people that actually were in crowd at the parade got caught in the flow and were almost swept away! They said you have to move with the crowd or be trampled. Lots of grabbing hands that “wanted American Girls Bottoms,” they told me.
[darn, I missed it! No, honestly, the French men terrified me. I was just dying to see a good, wholesome & safe, midwestern boy in t-shirt & bermudas with crew socks that summer, but there were none to be found in Paris. They were probably over in Amsterdam going going for the hard-core! :)].
Mom called back and I loved talking to her. [I had called my mother. Back in that day, one didn’t speak with their parents all summer if they were abroad. This was an emotional emergency after a stressful day with grand-mère.].
Dinner at 7:30-was supposed to be at the Hotel Regina to meet Granda at 6:30. Mom and I finished talking (I’m in jeans) and it’s 6:45.
[later, after the evening’s events
I’m writing again with a report of mon soir de souvenir. After my earlier report, I tore into a dress and headed out on this evening of adventure. Late. took off heels & put in my hand and ran! Running through the streets of Paris, barefoot w/ shoes & purse in hand. Arrived at 7:00, seeing my destination.
Thought I had PLENTY of time to get to Tour d’Eiffel. Our reservation, we were told, would be given away at 7:40.
but….the 5-10 minute was was not to happen ON BASTILLE DAY!!??
Métro stop Trocadero is across Seine. No big deal, except that all three bridges (one directly across & one on either side) to the tower were closed for fireworks.
I said, “Granda! It’s the second floor of the Eiffel Tower! I just ran it and I’ll do it again. WE ARE NOT going to lose this reservation!” So off go the heels and I sprint away.
Of course, the gendarmes found it very cute and amusing and American that I was all dressed up & jogging along the Seine again, but NOT cute enough to allow “passage speciale.” They were setting up for the fireworks.
Arrived at 7:45 at the le tour d’Eiffel, pushed some money at the elevator operator man to get me to the front of the line and headed up.
Maitre d’ very nice and amused. “Mais, où est Grandmere?” I waited, knowing it had been a fifteen minute jog and thus a 30 minute walk. I knew very well that I’d likely do dishes all night to pay for the “set menu” if she did not appear avec l’argent pour payer. Voila, elle arrive! The waiter could see my relief, and we had beaucoup d’attention après ça.
It was a nice dinner.
Mais, un problème. The Lido reservation at 10:30 (and it’s 10:00). The taxi driver says,”aahh, noonnn… there eez no way to go down le Champs-Elysées ce soir!” So, I ask a man at the Sheraton-en francais-and tell him mon problème. Voila! I slip him 2 francs, we’re off, and arrive with 15 minutes to spare.
[while the Franc has changed quite a bit, especially since it’s now a Euro, I have to say that I was a bit scotch that summer with my money. I think this was like 50 cents so I don’t know that that translates to now. Being a woman from the era when it was an assumption that women were poor tippers though this is no longer valid or verified, I just wanted to get it on record that I now am an excellent tipper.]
The Lido was great. I could take the women, but the men were a bit much. [I sure wish I’d added more details here, or at least a good sketch as I cannot remember anything. They may have just be flamboyant in their dress. I’m sure if it were anything more it would have been embedded in my mind. I was with my Grandmother, Millie, but that being said I’m sure if it were racy we would have discussed it! 🙂]
There was a “Steal the Mona Lisa” Dance Act, a Japanese Act, a Broadway musical act, Atlantis act, and this gymnastic/dancer couple. And, a magic show, juggler, dog trick show, and the kind that throws their voice.
30 minute trip to get home due to traffic, but the city was kicking!
Our going out to the Champs-Elysees & Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day in Paris is like going out in downtown Washington, D.C. on the 4th of July, 1976! Très-stupide!!
We can survive anything.
Susan & Cindy, poor things, were wrapped in our bedspreads on the floor!!
And so, for your entertainment, the beautiful women (and their French Girl Bottoms) at the Lido in Paris. The Rockettes in thongs and with bare (pick your words, boys!)….