A Parisian Picnic

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Elizabeth Enright is quoted  “Never plan a picnic’ Father said. Plan a dinner, yes, or a house, or a budget, or an appointment with the dentist, but never plan a picnic. When in La Ville des Lumières, or the City of Light, otherwise known as Paris France, a long lazy picnic is a must! I’ve been to Paris a few times and if I had to pick only one thing to do while visiting Paris it would be picnicking. Dee Dee Stovel said, “A picnic is more than eating a meal, it is a pleasurable state of mind.”  It is almost impossible to not be in a pleasurable state of mind while visiting Paris.”Even the pigeons are dancing, kissing, going in circles, mounting each other, Paris is the city of love, even for the birds” said Samantha Schutz.  Last October Mr.Arnold suggested we go to Paris just to have a picnic. He was so into it he even looked into renting a cute little dog purely for aesthetics and silly playtime fun. We are not native Parisians.  We are as California as California gets, which puts our latitude and longitude of residence really, really far from Paris. Elizabeth Enright’s father’s advice really wasn’t applicable in our foreign situation, but later proved to be a valuable piece of advice. Mr.Arnold and I wanted a smooth transition into picnic mode. After flying all the way to Paris and dealing with the summer heat, the last thing we wanted was to be running around Paris uncomfortably sweaty trying to find transportation to obtain picnic items and picnic locations, then be frazzled and frustrated trying to picnic. We decided to pay the hefty price tag that helped us avoid any work and negative feelings that would crush our serenity.  We paid Paris Picnic service one hundred and sixty-five euros for the Le Chic picnic. We took an Uber from the Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg hotel to the Trocadéro and had a bit of a hard time locating our delivery person, but eventually, we were handed our picnic. We made every attempt to avoid the heat and walk in the shade to get closer to the Eiffel Tower. We choose an OK spot and we spread out our burlap blanket on top off a bunch of cigarette butts. Hey, its Paris there is no avoiding the smoking issue.  Our Le Chic picnic package came with champagne, foie gras,  crusty baguette, an assortment of cheese and cured meats, salad, crisps, fruit, water, macaroons, a tart and a big bouquet of gorgeous flowers. The spread was luxurious and delicious.  Barefoot we popped a bottle of Oliver et Laëtitia and toasted to being in love and wasting an afternoon in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower in Paris sipping champagne and being as ridiculous as possible. We played French accordion music and slathered foie gras on our baguette and kissed. People looked at us funny. Mr. Arnold and I were having such a good time we didn’t have a care in the world, in fact, the police noticed our fabulous little party, and instructed us to keep our photography equipment a little closer to us. We had such a magnificent time that we decided to do it again later at night our way, underneath a lit up Sparkling Eiffel Tower. Not on a return trip but that exact night. Whats better than a picnic in Paris? Two picnics! In one day! After a nice nap, Mr.Arnold and I went picnic shopping.  We passed through the doors of dazzling super sexy glam Fauchon Paris and immediately went into visual overload.  The pink, black, and gold color scheme of the gourmet food and delicatessen showcased the culinary art like a fine art gallery.  We tasted a few wines and decided on a bottle of Miraval Provence and of course a bottle of Fauchon champagne. We grabbed a baguette, cheese, eclairs and made one last stop at La Maison Maille for some mustard. Mr. Arnold called an uber and what we thought would be an easy ride back to the Eiffel Tower wasn’t easy at all. Sadly, a terrorist attacked the Champs Élysées. Immediately we were stuck in massive traffic and chaos, struck with negative feelings. There were police, military, international media crews and more machine guns than I have ever seen. Our Uber driver was overly excited and stressed. She boldly instructed us to be patient because we were going to be in the car for a while. Mr.Arnold told our uber driver how sad and sorry he was for her and her fellow Parisians to have to deal with such atrocities. Our Uber driver was so tough she told us “No you don’t have to be sorry. We are actually getting used to this. We are strong people and nothing stops us from having a good time.”  She couldn’t have been more right. When she dropped us off at the Eiffel Tower it was packed with so many people having the time of their lives. The sun was setting and leading the light into the golden hour. Mr.Arnold popped a bottle of our Fauchon Champagne and I didn’t worry about running out because there were salesmen everywhere walking around selling wine and champagne. As the sun sank lower and lower the excitement of the crowd grew. Everyone was drinking wine, chatting and for a moment  I thought to myself, Natalie Woods description of the Eiffel Tower looking “like steel and lace” was on point.   The Eiffel Tower does look like steel and lace. Mr. Arnold and I slowly grazed on our picnic and “voila” The Eiffel Tower lit up sensationally with dramatic light and sparkled like sunshine hitting the facets of thousands of big fat diamonds.  Everyone cheered. The mood was stimulatingly infectious, and the crowd turned even more lively.  Elizabeth Enright’s father provided a good lesson “Never plan a picnic.” Mr. Arnold and I had an amazing over the top experience with our impromptu picnic but in the grand scheme of everything. Harlan Coben was right “You bring your own weather to the picnic.”

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