Lying awake in Paris.

Bonjour Mssrs. and Mmes.! Or Bonsoir! Either way, I’m awake, since I’ve slept a total of 2.5 hours of the last twenty-four. And only a few hours in the previous forty-eight. Other people sleep at night. I nap and then stare into the darkness, which, by the way, is as engulfing and black in Paris as it is in California. Who knew my insomnia could parlez vous Francais?

Not to be deterred, we’ve been out and about in the City of Light, doing our darndest to see the sights. We walked at least five miles yesterday, and a good three or four the day before. Not that this would, apparently be sleep-inducing. Perhaps tonight will be the night.

First things first. Our hotel is lovely. Our room is in the modest range for the esteemed Hotel Le Bristol, but we have no complaints. Could not ask for more perfect lodgings.

Beautiful floral arrangement in our room

Room with a view of Rue du Fauborg-St.-Honore

I was hoping that Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams might pop out of the mirror-paned closet doors, but no such luck. They have disappeared along with Hemingway, Fitzgerald and the other denizens of Midnight in Paris. I watched it on the airplane on the way over (while, of course, everyone else was sleeping.)

Our room is not as big, but we have the same closet doors. (image from

The very, very best thing about Hotel le Bristol is the chat in residence, Fa-raon. We were introduced to him during our welcome tour and by the way he sniffed at my coat, I think he knew immediately that the Americaines had fallen under his spell.

Fa-raon and the CE

Now for the sights. Having been utterly intimidated by the depth and breadth of Alexandra’s recent sight-seeing accomplishments in Paris – she brings a new definition to the phrase Tour de France! – tired or not, I decided I needed to get moving. Here’s what we’ve seen so far:

We toured the Hotel Beavau yesterday as part of the weekend's "Journee du Patrimoine". The CE loved the Napoleonic -era gendarme.

At Place de Concorde, the obelisk that Napoleon tucked into his back pocket on the way back from Egypt

Pond at the Tuileries garden

Monet's water lilies at Musee de l'Orangerie

I’ve waited twenty-five years to visit the Musee de l’Orangerie, as it was closed when we were here in 1986. So great to finally see its treasures!

Andre Derain's L'Age d'Or

Modigliani's portait of collector Paul Guillaume

That mostly wraps up yesterday. More to come, but it’s late and time to try to sleep. Wish me luck!

Fa-raon clearly has this sleeping thing figured out...

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
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4 Responses to Lying awake in Paris.

  1. polloplayer says:

    Comments from the Chicken Emperor are as follows: We have had a simply wonderful time, outside of Chicken Lady’s sleep issues. Several delightful French meals of course, including tonight’s sole which was prepared almost as well as would be done by Victoria or Ashleigh. We look forward to a tour tomorrow to the country side to see the locations used by Monet in his wondrous works. Lots of city walking, but that is OK as our trips to NYC have trained us for that. All in all, we are off to a near perfect start to our trip of a lifetime. However, I do feel compelled to offer travel tips along the way for those of you not used to crisscrossing the continents.

    Travel Tip #1 from the Chicken Emperor: Do not succumb to suggestions from others that your trip will be smoother or even more meaningful if only you could eliminate 6 ozs. of weight from your 60 lb. suitcase by changing out your tried and true undergarments for new ones that lend themselves to easy wash and quick dry. Because if you perform that switch out without experimentation before departure, you may arrive in a foreign land only to discover that Calvin Klein has changed his sizing from American to “Euro”, while at the same time your body has gone from “Never Really Euro” to “Old and Somewhat Fat”. Thus has the former Large become Extra Small. I have counter-attacked by wearing one pair on each leg, but this has proven unsatisfactory in many ways. I now sense that this is TMI so I will wrap this up with an admonition that any wardrobe changes be tested pre-travel.

    More later from the Traveling Chicken Emperor.

  2. Katherine says:

    Wow – doing all that on little to no sleep? Forget tour de france, that’s a tour de force!

    Keep the stories and photos coming! And keep the travel tips coming. (Good luck with the knickers, CE.)

    If only to give me a change from my life, aka a tour de farce.

  3. polloamigo says:

    Oh la la! So happy I was to find an update on your Paris tour without having to wait until Saturday. How wonderful to have a cat in residence with you — one that bears more than a passing resemblance to Dizzy, who I saw snoozing contentedly on a chair this afternoon.
    One pair on each leg? What would Calvin say?
    Can’t wait to hear tomorrow’s travel tip and see more photos.

  4. polloplayer says:

    Travel Tip #2 from the Chicken Emperor: This one may seem obvious, but i repeat it here for the sake of completeness. Never order food from a French menu if you do not understand French. Why? The answer is simple and direct. What you will receive will invariably be a sauted’ organ from a large mammal, and one that is likely involved with either reproduction or waste elimination.

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