Dennis and I got up and went out into our own little neighborhood to further investigate beyond the 2 blocks we had seen so far. We walked a few blocks and it was so invigorating to see the excitement on the streets. The New Year is the most celebrated holiday in France.....they send New Year's cards throughout the entire month and everyone you pass shouts, "Bonne Annee"! But the preparation for the evening's festivities was evident.....and the treats in the windows of all of the shoppes were incredible....especially the pastries!
It was so much fun just watching the people go from shop to shop preparing for their own New Year's festivities......and you could tell it was "all about the food"!!!
While walking back to the apartment, Dennis made a comment that he was ready to get rid of his "no shave November" beard....he grows it from November 1st until the New Year. BUT all he had was his razor. So I suggested going to visit the salon just outside of our apartment building and having the guy who had found his cell phone shave it off for him. He bit......and then we both did!
The stylist convinced us both to let him cut our hair! Of course, showing us New York Times write ups about him and the he was a stylist at The Red Door and did Cindy Crawford's hair helped.....so Dennis went first!
and then it was my turn!
Both of us walked out feeling as though we'd been scalped.....I liked his haircut and he liked mine, but neither of us liked our own....well, not really. It turned out that mine was a blessing.....I had been afraid to plug in my curling iron since Dennis' hairdryer had sparked....and there was NO way you were getting a curling iron into this haircut. It was short....but it was easy. And Dennis was really happy to get his beard off.
We went back to the apartment and Melinda and Brad were ready to roll.....so, we decided to head out for a bite to eat. We walked and walked and walked.....and ended up back at Pigalle. We found a great cafe and the food was great! I didn't get pictures (sorry, I was hungry!), but I did get a picture of the inside of the cafe.
OK.......the above portion of this post was done a couple of weeks ago....I paused because the rest of the pictures weren't so great. I think that somehow a setting on the camera got changed and we didn't realize it, but after looking at them, I decided that they're pretty indicative of the rest of our evening. Read on.....
After we left the restaurant, we headed back to the apartment to rest up a bit before the evening's festivities. We were all so excited about spending New Year's eve at the Eiffel Tower and we had all decided we'd head out around 10 pm. Well, I guess that most of Paris decided the same thing! Once we got down into the Metro, we realized this trip wasn't going to be easy....or fun! The place was packed!
And the doors on the trains were bulging!
We finally decided to get on a train going in the opposite direction to see if it would be easier to get on. Well, that worked.....
....but once we were on the train and it stopped at the next stops, we were pushed further into the train. At one stop, two guys were trying to get on....they were obviously pretty toasted and looked like they'd been in a fight or two already. Dennis was at the door and the rest of us were on top of each other. The guy started trying to pull Dennis OFF the train, while we were all pulling him back. It was the craziest, scariest thing I've experienced, that's for sure! Two guys next to me were scared out of their wits and got off, so the two guys got on....and they were mad! It was not an enjoyable trip.
Once we arrived at Trocadero, the stop for the Eiffel, it was apparent that it wouldn't be any easier getting off the train than it was getting on.....the stop was packed with people trying to exit the Metro. We made a quick decision to go on and get off at the next stop and walk back. GOOD CALL!
We didn't walk far.....and we didn't really get close to the tower, but we got close enough to see the light show and that was good enough for me! The streets were packed with people carrying their champagne bottles, screaming and yelling "Bonne Annee"!!! It was a much better vibe than on the train!
That's the Eiffel Tower above the head of the little girl in pink.....we were quite a distance from it, but we could still see the show. Since we'd had such a bad experience getting there, we decided to head back to the safe haven of our apartment.....didn't want to hang around long enough for the party goers to get any more drunk than they were already. So, we toasted the New Year with our own bottle of champagne....
......and headed home. The ride back was interesting, but not nearly as much as the trip there! It was apparent to me that the French are really patient people......every rude, loud and obnoxious person we saw was NOT French. The French are quiet, laid back people who, in my opinion, put up quite nicely with the "tourists".....every one we met was helpful and kind. I'd go back in a heartbeat....probably not for New Years....once was enough for me. I've marked that one off of my "bucket list"!
Bonne Annee.....Happy New Year!