Day 2: Confused Bodies
by Corey De Tar
Touchdown! After a grueling Sunday of two church services, giving my first organ recital, and eight hours of travel, we've arrived! Though the luck of the draw gave me a window seat on our final leg, my enthusiastic gaze wasn't able to find the iconic landmark. I did however spot three incredible estates with sprawling grounds and lavish palaces, and took in the general mauve color scheme to the amassed apartments and chalets. At touch down, the local time is 2:00 pm and the weather could not be more ideal. Bright puffy clouds provide the canopy for this warm, breezy Parisian day and the sunlight feels soooo good! After clearing customs and collecting our bags we departed the airport for the city. Our reserved car was waiting with refreshing sun roofs that gave us the invigorating breeze our jet-lagged faces needed to rally through the rest of the day.
Our driver navigated the congested highways and pedestrian infested city streets with ease and finesse, dropping us squarely in front of our unmarked accommodations with 15 minutes to spare before we were to meet our host. Jennifer's first question upon our arrival was "where's the butcher shop?" Because Noel has been promising us horse meat dinner at some point during our stay. David's wondering centered more around finding the nearest optician, as I had broken his glasses while earnestly trying to adjust them by hand in the car en route. We decided to pass the time with a little music while we waited for our host to arrive with the keys to our three apartments. I drummed up a short-lived a cappella version of "Under the Sea" from Little Mermaid while David quickly queued up Chris' all-time favorite song, Alan Menkin's "A Whole New World" instead. Our brief, sleep-deprived sing-along was cut short when our host arrived with keys and compliments on our (pitiful) singing. He let us in to our new Parisian homes to our wonder and excitement as we balked at the beautiful town homes we'd hired. After freshening up from our travels, some of us retrieved groceries for breakfast, while David and I ventured to the nearest optical store to repair his glasses. Joining us was Olivia, a fellow organ student and recent transplant to Paris. Olivia came along to help us with directions, the language, and to join in the beautiful weather and fresh air. We wandered around the Jewish quarter while David's lens was reinstalled, then returned home to meet up with the rest of the gathering travelers.
When everyone had arrived, we were eleven, which meant it was time to venture out into the city! We strolled through our neighborhood “Beaubourg” and towards the Seine, taking in all the shops, cathedrals, and fabulous people. Everyone had all come out to enjoy the sun today for it was a bank holiday, "Whit Monday.” After walking and taking pictures of the incredible, we decided to stop for dinner. The eleven of us found a quiet little cafe to sit down and fill our very confused bodies with some much needed nourishment and libations. The sunlight persisted well into quarter past 10 as we sauntered home, satisfied and exhausted with our first day in la Ville Lumière. Now sleep and reset for an incredible day exploring arguably one of the finest instruments in the world, the Clicquot at Poitiers!