The Occasional Tales of Ailsa B du Bois

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34 hours before flight…

Posted by Ailsa B du Bois on May 7, 2009

Hmmmm… Following 3 years of planning, it seems to be rather suddenly upon us…  This trip had become such a self-prescribed futuristic fantasy for me, that I’d come to  imagine that there might be many more nights yet, in which to research and plan various things.  Alas… not so…  But, I can take solace in the fact that I have booked several things in: all accommodation(obviously!), lunch with friends in Manhattan on Tuesday, two Broadway tickets on the mezzanine for HAIR, the musical, at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on Tuesday night, ferry & access to the monument at the Statue of Liberty on Wednesday, lunch at the Grand Terminal Oyster Bar on Thursday, after five drinks with a friend in Chelsea on Thursday night, and a historic tour of the Apollo Theatre in Harlem on Saturday.  As for the rest of what we do, well, I have a long list of items, and we’ll just have to see how we go…

Paris is the least structured aspect of our trip, mainly because we’re spending 4 nights with my dear friend Fred, who is generously hosting us, in the guest room of his apartment in the heart of Le Marais (between Place de la Republic and the Isle de la Cite) – it’s the medieval and original heart of the Parisian village.  I therefore figure that we’d be wise to entrust ourselves to the knowledge and advice of a genuine Parisian.  Why would I assume that we could make better choices?  I know we could not!  I met Fred when he was undertaking an internship with Vogue Australia, in Sydney, and we’ve kept in touch over the past dozen years.  We’ll visit the Pompidou Centre of course, and I’d like to spend a bit of time in Montmartre, but other than that I just want to ‘be’ there amid the Parisian magic.  Laurie wants to visit a flower market one morning, and I would like freshly baked brioche, and that’s about the extent of our conscious intentions.  As a thank you gift to our host and his partner, we have reserved a table for four for lunch at Le Jules Vernerestaurant within the Eiffel Tower (1/2 way up I believe).  This is an Alain Ducasse restaurant.  He is arguably the best, and certainly the most revered, chef in the world.  It will be the most expensive lunch I’ve ever organised, and I feel good about that.  It should be an indulgence in every way.  The views will be extraordinary, and the interior design divine, in the modern style.  I also suspect the food will be sublime…  And it will be truly amazing to see Fred again.   I’m inclined to think that sometimes, you just have to do things in life that you know will be memorable, and sustain you for many years following.  I believe this day in Paris will be one of those events…  then again, it may be grey and raining… Spring-time in Paris is apparently unreliable…  So who knows…

Then there’s Morocco and Madrid, which right now seem a long way away…  We’re doing a 7 night Peregrine tour of Morocco (that’s the Company you use when you’re beyond back-packing, but you still hope to have some vaguely interesting people as compatriots), and then two extra nights at a mid level lux Riad in Marrakech at the end.   Then Madrid, and my Gosh – I have  a list longer than my arm of things we’d like to do there – I don’t believe there will be any time for sleep, and that will have to be OK.  As thereafter, we’ll return back to reality, with a ‘Ker-klump’ and a mass of jet-lag…  I have no doubt.

My Mum & Dad have bought our daughter a digital globe, so she can track where we are, and learn all about the distances between cities, and the national anthems of the places we visit, and so on.  She has her own bedroom at Mum & Dad’s with her own toy cupboard, bed-linen of her choice, and her birth certificate, photos’ and recent art-works adorn the walls.  She will miss us terribly, but we’ve given her a 29 night counting chart, so she can ease the pain in a numerically educational way.  And as her reward for all of this potential separation anxiety, she will be treated to a trip to Wiggles World (in Queensland), next April…  This is something she much desires, and so she will receive…  She’s been very understanding so far, and knows that Central Park in NYC and Paris are places that Mummy and Daddy simply have to go to for a holiday.   And we’ve promised her that when we get back, that will be it, we’ll take her everywhere with us from then on… But right now, we do need this ‘grown-up’ holiday.  And we do…  And before I forget, let me say thank you to my Mum & Dad, who are just amazingly, gob-smackingly brilliant about all of this.  Couldn’t do anything like this without them – that we know for sure. 

No more typing from me til we’re in Greenwich Village, maybe Sunday night, before we head off to the Comedy Cellar…  Assuming I can find an internet hot-spot some time around then: fingers crossed…

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