Before our trip started, Amy had contacted numerous couchsurfing hosts in Paris. So even though we had Julien and Michelle’s place to ourselves, we had made plans to stay with a host, Fabien, and he sounded like such a great guy to hang out with that we packed up all of our stuff and headed back across the right bank to the 11th Arrondissement, not too far from Sheila and Austin’s place. It is always hard to pack everything up after spreading out and having tons of space.
We had plans to meet up with Sheila, Austin, Gus, and Jenn for an early dinner again at Chartier. Before that happened, we wanted to finally make it to Parc des Buttes Chaumont. This was the 4th time we had planned to go. Ideally with such a big and sprawling park, we would have a few hours. Unfortunately, we will have to save major exploring of this park for our next time in Paris. It was about a 1/2 hour walk from Fabien’s and without a convenient metro stop to get us there quickly, we had less than an hour to hang out in the park. We set up shop on top of a steep hill overlooking tons of people enjoying the scene and each other. We didn’t get to walk to the pond with the island, but more south Asians tried to sell us Heineken.
We rode the metro back to Chartier to meet up for dinner at 7 before the crowds of people got there. It was a good thing we did because the line was very long just 30 minutes after we sat down. We ordered a string of traditional French food and shared it at the table. Fois gras, endives and Roquefort, smoked herring, steak tartare, duck confit, and poop sausage. Everything was great except for the poop sausage, poor Gus. He took it like a very polite champ. We were all eating, but he didn’t seem to like his dish. We each took a taste and it really tasted like poop. Gross.
After dinner, Sheila and Austin left to meet up with some friends and the four of us who remained headed to the Eiffel tower. We couldn’t get enough. We walked a completely different way and sat down in a green space near a giant fountain. The fountain nearly drenched dozens of unsuspecting tourists when it was suddenly turned on full blast.
Jenn and Gus are tons of fun and we had a blast taking pictures, eating another baguette, cheese, and more wine. At 10 the Eiffel tower began to sparkle again and it was glorious. Nathan started experimenting with the camera, using the lights of the Eiffel tower to paint the picture. Our couchsurfing host Fabien is into light painting as well, which is why Nathan was inspired to try his hand at it.
A beautiful evening just couldn’t end, so we went off to find a hang out spot recommended by Fabien called Place de Tokyo where there were people who played with fire. We had to check it out. It was awesome. On one side of the plaza there were a few people playing with fire. A unicyclist, skateboarders, a balance beam. On the other side were about 75 people swing dancing. Many of them we had met at Austin’s surprise party because they are swing dance instructors. Above us was a posh cafe. A lot of Paris is this way, many people in public places enjoying the good life. We were doing the same. We headed off a bit early because tomorrow was the end of the Tour de France and we wanted to be prepared for a monster day.