In the early-to-mid 90’s, I was inundated with guests flocking to Florida to visit. I loved traveling to the Orlando airport to greet them, in those days being able to ride the airport monorail and meet them at the gate. There were many friends and many family members and when I heard they were thinking of visiting, I encouraged them on. Of course I also heard from some people I hadn’t heard from in some time. I could tell, even over the phone, that their interest was not so much in visiting me but prompted by the fact that they heard I could get people into the Disney parks for free. Intentions are fairly obvious, people.
So when we knew we would be spending a year in Paris, France, we hoped the visitors would follow us here. And they did. Many offered to stay elsewhere but what is the fun in that? We may be tripping over shoes that have multiplied in our little hallway, or taking shifts in the bathroom built for two but accommodating up to 10 at any one time. Sheets and towels get washed. Coffee and croissants are served in the morning. We’re a regular little bed-and-breakfast and considering that was, at one time, a vocation we both considered, we are happy to do it.
All our guests have wanted to see some of the less touristy secrets we have discovered about Paris. But, in turn, each of them has provided us the opportunity to discover parts of our adopted city as well. Visitors have come well equipped with their research. With a varied selection of guidebooks and maps in hand, we have explored this city together and shared in new experiences. I am quite certain I would not have visited the Pantheon and seen the tombs of Victor Hugo, Braille and the Curies without Julie and her quest to take in many museums; Tom, Jody and I would not have spent several hours one Sunday afternoon tucked in a wine cave she had read about; we may not have bought the all-day, great seats for the French Open if we weren’t sharing the day with Patti and Brian; Tom may not have explored the Musee National du Moyen Age without his brother, Rob; I would not have taken in the antique markets without Jo & Carolynn; Tom & Julian would not have purchased tickets to a football match in the UK without Lee & Nicholas; we would not be able to recommend Marie Antoinette’s village without Mom & Dad; I wouldn’t have found the best smoothie and the worst milkshake without the help of Chris & Natalie. And when you’re entertaining you check out many cafes, bakeries and restaurants you may not have without them.
So, thank you to our guests. We have enjoyed sharing this experience with you.
Darin & Marietta, there are clean sheets and towels awaiting your arrival.