Crème Brulee For One
The Louvre Museum in Paris was the setting for one of the best fights EVER. In typical Mike fashion, he had mapped out the 10 things he had to see. In unstoppable quest to see those and only those things on his list, he was briskly walking by some of the greatest artwork known to man. Luci on the other hand was taking it all in.
Luci: “Mike let’s see Napoleon’s apartments.”
Mike: “No, it’s not on the list.”
Luci: “But it’s right here.”
Mike: “But it’s not on the list. We have to get to the Mona Lisa.”
Luci looks at Mike, rolls her eyes and goes to Napoleon’s apartments. We’ll catch up right?
Mike heads undaunted and with one thing in mind: the Mona Lisa. What is she smiling about anyway?
Time passes. Mike is expecting Luci to track him down at one of his 10 momentary stops. Luci on the other hand enjoys the museum to the fullest, thinking Mike will stop and come back for her. Neither happens.
Mike: I began to be concerned when I was nearing the end of my list; I kept thinking that I would see her around every corner. So I headed to the gift shop to see if she was waiting there. Then I check the lobby.
Luci: Once I realized that he wasn’t coming back, I reluctantly started following his 10 stops. I didn’t see him anywhere. I went and waited in the lobby, didn’t find him so I went to the gift shop to wait for him.
Needless to say, we didn’t find each other. You must understand just how big the Louvre really is. It is over 15 acres/60,600 sq meters and three floors. Thousands of visitors at any given time.
We must have just missed each other at different times. Minutes turned into hours.
Mike: Finally, I thought that she might be waiting for me just outside the main entrance. I went to check. I was concerned because I had all of the money and her passport.
Luci: YOU NEVER, EVER LEAVE THE MUSEUM!
Mike: Didn’t find her outside. One thought kept coming to mind…the name of our hotel: Le Nouvel Orleans. For some reason, we had practiced saying it as we were learning French before our trip. Perhaps she got frustrated and went back to the hotel?
Luci: YOU NEVER, EVER $#@&*#$ LEAVE THE MUSEUM!!!!!!
Mike: Rode the train back to the hotel.
Luci: Ok, I am starting to get a migraine at this point. Mike is nowhere to be found. In broken French I asked the help desk if they had a PA system or something, or perhaps a lost and found for husbands? (Perhaps I could trade mike in for a hot French one??) Receptionist rolls her eyes and says in English, “This is an old castle madam. We do not have a speaker system. If you are expecting to meet someone, you should just stay under the pyramid.”
Mike: I am really hungry.
Luci: The museum is getting ready to close. I’m really starting to think of all the obscenities I can link together when I see Mike. We’ve wasted four hours and we are only in Paris for two days!! I’m starving. All I had was a croissant on the plane. I have enough money in my pocket for a cookie. While eating my cookie at the snack bar (right under the giant pyramid) I turn my chair to see if I can see Mike. The waiter yells at me in French. I sit on the cold pavement under the pyramid. The security guard yells at me, “No sitting Madame.” I decide to check outside the entrance. No Mike to be found. I am completely surrounded by couples hand in hand looking lovingly into each other’s eyes. I hate my husband.
Mike: I am really, really hungry.
Luci: At this point I am very sick. I try throwing up. I go back up outside and look around. Where the hell is he? I have no money. No passport. I’m not sure I can even remember which train stop is by our hotel. I start stumbling towards the metro.
Mike: Still waiting in the lobby of the hotel. I am super hungry.
Luci: Okay, I’m an independent woman. But my mind is saying, “Oh, crap. I’m in a foreign country. I have no clue where I’m going. I can’t wait to yell at Mike when I see him.” Will I ever see him?
Luci: I go down to the metro. I see what looks to be an American couple trying to buy their metro fare. “Excuse me,” I say. “My jerk of a husband left me at the Louvre.” “He did!” The wife says indignantly. “I know he is a bastard and I hate him,” I reply. “Now I have a headache. I gave him my passport and my purse to carry.” “What a bastard,” the American wife says, “He should never have left you. Doesn’t he know you never leave when you get lost?” “You’d think,” I replied. The American couple gives me money and sends me on the train in hopefully the right direction.
Luci: I’m going the wrong direction. I get off the train. See a rat. Get on the right train. I don’t care if I yell and scream at Mike. I just want my hard European bed and a bottle of Tylenol.
Luci: I stumble off the train and into the hotel. There is Mike. “Hi Mike. I have a horrible migraine. I need my bed. We can fight tomorrow.”
Luci: I go upstairs and take off my makeup. Now, I’m naturally snoopy and as I go to get the toothpaste out of Mike’s shaving bag I see a yellow piece of paper sticking out of the bottom. It looks to have been carefully placed under the false bottom of the bag.
Luci: I pull it out.
“Roasted lamb, sautéed vegetables, crème brulee….. 60 Euros.”
HE WENT TO DINNER!
While I was eating a cookie at the Louvre, being yelled at, begging money off Americans, and trying not to throw up, my husband had gone to a four-star Parisian restaurant.
Mike: Now in my defense, I have a very logical explanation here. As I was sitting in the hotel (stomach growling), it became clear I was going to have to search the streets of Paris for my wife. Of course I needed food to have the energy to look.
Luci: YOU WOULD NOT HAVE NEEDED FOOD IF YOU WOULD HAVE STAYED AT THE MUSEUM!
Mike: I asked the concierge if there is a fast food place close by where if could keep an eye out on the lobby. He said no, but there was a restaurant across the street with a good view of the hotel.
Luci: And it just happened to be a Four-Star restaurant.
Luci: So I’m beyond ticked off. We only have one more day in Paris before we fly back to London. We’ve got to get our money’s worth. I finally go to bed at 11:30 pm.
Mike: The next morning, Luci gets up first. She showers and gets ready. She is still very mad out and continues to mumble about me eating crème brulee (which by the way was AMAZING!), and how she had to beg money, yada, yada, yada. She starts banging things around throwing stuff. I am totally beat. I can’t get out of bed. Luci turns the TV on full volume. She chucks a suitcase on me. “Get up! You ruined yesterday. We’ve got to get going.” Finally, I look out the window and it is still dark. I ask her, “What time is it?” She responds, “It doesn’t matter. We are late! We wasted all of our time yesterday looking for each other. Get up!” I can’t move. “What time is it?” Finally, she looks at the clock.
Luci: Um, It was 1 a.m.
Mike: Argg. I went back to bed.
Luci: I was ready to go with my backpack on, so I watched the French version of American Idol for an hour or two. And the next morning just to spite Mike, I went and got my haircut like “Sabrina.” He hates short hair. Unfortunately, I didn’t look sophisticated like Sabrina, but like Hillary Swank in “Boys Don’t Cry.”
Mike: Anyone want creme brulee?
Please share your best travel fights!