Everything was falling into place. At least, Jean thought so, While prepared, she was extremely excited about her planned vacation. Now, the long-awaited trip to Paris was only a week away. "A week away!" Jean shouted.
The doorbell rang, but no one was there but a package that sat on her front porch and the package that she had been waiting for over a week. It was the basic black Ecco walking shoes that were ordered online and were going to get a workout in Paris.
Immediately opening the box, Jean put on the shoes and they were unbelievably comfortable and surprisingly exceeded her expectations. Now, she was ready to walk all around Paris, along the Seine River and on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.
Barely a year earlier, Jean made plans for her dream trip to Paris. She used her American Airlines award miles to pay for her flight. Early in January, she booked her accommodations online at a boutique hotel within walking distance to the Eiffel tower that was frequented by local tourists. According to the information online, the hotel had a lift and offered morning breakfast which appealed to Jean's sensibilities.
Before retiring that evening, Jean reviewed her trip checklist and marked off the Ecco shoes. Scrutinizing her checklist, she read the items that were checked and those that needed to be completed. Of course, her vacation had been approved months ago by her boss. Her flight reservation had been made and confirmed with her round trip tickets safely placed inside her day planner.
Unfortunately, Jean was still waiting for a dress and scarf that was ordered online from Travel Smith. While she didn't like shots, she needed to stop at her pharmacy to get her tetanus shot updated and the last thing on her list was packing her bags. Things were looking good; she thought, as she turned off the lights, before going to sleep.
The next couple of days at work flew by in a blur. Knowing that in a few days she would be on the American Airlines flight headed to Paris, the city of lights, the excitement was building.
Then, after work on Tuesday, Jean stopped at her pharmacy; and with her shot record in hand, she asked the pharmacist, "Can I receive a tetanus shot? It's important that I receive it today." "Yes you can," replied the Pharmacist as he handed Jean the paperwork that had to be completed before receiving the tetanus vaccine.
After the shot, she went home. At home, a package was waiting for her on the front porch from Travel Smith. "Great," she said to no one. Now, Jean knew that she only needed to do laundry and pack her bags for the trip.
Saturday morning with her bags packed, she waited for her ride to the airport, it was a few minutes past her pickup time. Anxiously, she called the transportation service to check on her ride to the airport. Jean was informed that the van broke down. They were sending out a Town Car that should arrive in another twenty to twenty-five minutes. Finally, the Town Car arrived and whisked her to the airport in plenty of time to check her bags in and go through the airport security.
Finally, after the second change in departure gate locations, the afternoon flight to Paris was announced, "flight 48 would be boarding shortly." Surprisingly, Jean's name was called. She was to report to the gate agent, Jean was a loyal airline's customer, who was well dressed, and carried the airline's credit card. With her heart pounding, she scarcely heard the gate agent state, " You have been upgraded to first-class! " Of course, Jean was flabbergasted by the awesome news. While stunned by the upgrade, Jean whispered, "Thank you!' to the gate agent. Slowly, she grabbed her carry-on suitcase and walked towards the entrance to board flight 48. Jean found her first-class aisle seat. She stowed her carry-on and sat down in the luxurious seat. Just as she was getting comfortable, a handsome man asked, "Would you like the window seat?" At first, Jean was startled by the question presented by the stranger. She looked up and he looked down and smiled back. Jean answered, "Well, the window seat would be nice. Sure!"
Once they were settled in their seats, Wayne introduced himself to Jean. The plane moved away from the gate and was preparing to take off. Then, a chime went off, and everyone stopped talking and listened. The Captain announced, "We are going to have a short delay before departure." What was to be a short delay turned into an hour on the tarmac. Jean was thankful that it was only an hour's delay. As a frequent flyer, she had experienced much longer waits on the tarmac.
During the delay Jean mentioned to Wayne that this was her first trip to Paris and in turn, she learned that Wayne had been there once before; however, it was on a business trip. She went on to tell him about her Sunday plans to see the Rodin Museum since Auguste Rodin was her favorite sculptor. As they continued to chat, Jean shared the fact that her grandfather wanted to study art in Paris. Unfortunately, his father wouldn't consent or support him in his artistic endeavors. Then, the war, the Great War to end all wars, happened and her grandfather saw action on the Eastern border of France. Instead of art that he longed to study and experience in Paris, he saw battles and bloodshed. Unsurprisingly, her own father had artistic talent. In fact, she had heard that he drew a gigantic rabbit on a wall of his one-room schoolhouse long before he served in the Pacific during World War II. Because Wayne was a history buff, he found Jean's stories interesting. He spoke fondly about Invalides and the three hours he spent at the military museum on his first trip to Paris.
Less than two hours into the flight, Jean and Wayne had definitely made a connection. In a timely manner, the flight attendant proceeded to serve dinner to the first-class passengers. Wayne asked the flight attendant for two glasses of champagne.
He declared, "It helps your digestion, and it helps you rest since we will be landing in Paris in the morning."
Enjoying their meal and conversation, truthfully, they could have continued talking for hours; but it was a mutual decision to get some rest. With the lights being somewhat problematic, Jean offered her extra eye mask to Wayne. It didn't take long for them to fall fast asleep.
In the morning, the smell of coffee awakened the first-class passengers. Quickly, breakfast was served. Only a few hours after breakfast, they would be landing at Charles de Gaulle Airport.
Wayne asked, "Would you like to share a taxi to our hotels?"
Jean replied, "I think that would be a wonderful idea."
They each pulled out a map that had their respective accommodation's location highlighted, discovering that their hotels were a little over a mile apart.
Once in the Taxi, Wayne asked Jean if she would join him for dinner that evening. While he had dinner reservations, he didn't go into detail as to why he had dinner reservations since he was flying solo. Furthermore, Jean didn't inquire or question and accepted Wayne's dinner date invitation.
After checking in to their respective hotels, each showered and dressed for their morning rendezvous at the Rodin Museum. At the Rodin Museum garden, they purchased gelatos and casually strolled the grounds talking and eating. Once around the garden, they went inside the museum and looked at The Kiss, The Gates of Hell, The Age of Bronze, the smaller cast of The Thinker, The Man with the Broken Nose, and all the other works of art that were on display. After a couple of hours at the museum, they posed for pictures by The Thinker which was located at the entrance of the Museum. Conveniently, the Taxi rack was nearby the museum. In a matter of eight minutes by taxi, they were at the Jardin des Tuileries.
Notably, Spring was in the air and the intoxicating scent of sweet peas surrounded them. After they walked around the Jardin de Tuileries, they headed to the Seine River. There, they walked along the river and grabbed a Nutella and banana-filled crepe. A vendor shouted, " River cruise!" Capriciously, they purchased tickets for the cruise.
On the Seine River cruise, the boat glided by Notre Dame Cathedral, Orsay Museum, Louvre Museum, and a view of the Eiffel Tower some of the sights that Jean planned to see that week. Departing the river cruise, they took a taxi to their hotels. With plenty of time to freshen up and change into their evening wear for dinner. Arriving at Jean's hotel, Wayne was ready for their dinner date. Jean was expecting to travel by taxi. When, Wayne suggested, "Let's walk!".
Immediately, Jean noticed that they were headed towards the Eiffel Tower. Jean was surprised and delighted by the fact that the reservation was at the famous Le Jules Verne Restaurant on the Eiffel Tower. As they walked towards the sparkling Eiffel Tower, Jean adjusted her scarf in the cool evening breeze before boarding the elevator to the restaurant. Of course, the evening views of Paris were beyond breathtaking. Plus, the restaurant was absolutely superb. After reviewing the menu, Jean ordered the Cod Simply Cooked, Aioli while Wayne ordered the Lamb roasted, cream of Mustard seed, and Horseradish, Soft Mushrooms Flan.
As a new member of Bright Cellars wine club, Jean considered herself a neophyte wine enthusiast. Before ordering wine, Wayne commented, "I am familiar with the famous wine region of Bordeaux, and the Cabernet Sauvignon is grown in that region but Merlot is actually more prevalent in the area. It is a classic wine."
Jean replied, "Really, I didn't know that, but I think a Merlot would be a fantastic choice!"
Then, Wayne requested their best bottle of Merlot wine that would complement their entrees. For dessert, they shared a Chocolate Warm Souffle Cake with Raspberry Sauce.
After finishing their dessert, they each raised their wine glass of Merlot. And, Wayne made a toast, "May we always have Paris!"
Jean responded, " It has been a magical day and a fabulous evening in Paris. It has been an absolute dream date."
About the Creator
Barbara J Iversen, also known as Babs Iverson, lives in Texas and loves her grandkids to the moon and back. After writing one story, she found that writing has many benefits especially during a pandemic and a Texas-size Arctic Blast.