He came. He saw. He kicked France’s ass. That’s about the best way to sum up my dad’s recent visit to the City of Light (and beyond). In just 5 short days we saw 6 arrondissements, drove around the Arc de Triomphe, explored D-day beaches, scaled Mont Saint Michel and still had time to chill on my couch for a cup of tea.
Sure, there were the standard grumbles about walking too much and walking too fast and not walking to see what Dad wanted to see. But since he’s the man that would routinely rip me from peaceful teenage Sunday morning sleep to spend hours walking around Gettysburg or Antietam or some distant great uncle’s cousin’s brother’s farm, I have little sympathy.
Besides that though, the whole trip really went off without a hitch! Not a pile of dog poo or shart to write home about. And I think we have Big Daddy’s unique approach to foreign travel to thank for that. See, rather than feel intimidated by a foreign land, Dad just barrels along on the assumption that he’s got everything covered, shouting “HOT DAMN!” or “I WAS BORN IN PARIS, JEN!” whenever a cultural challenge is overcome.
In fact, his voyaging worldview is so unique that I would be remiss to not share some of its key tenets here with you. So without further ado:
Gil’s Travel Tips For People Who Were Not Born in Paris
1. Dress appropriately.
All any well seasoned traveller needs is a pair of mirrored sunglasses and a Boston College rain jacket. It’s a quite versatile ensemble, really – Dad transitioned it seamlessly from day to evening, to the next day to the next evening…
2. Make an effort to assimilate.
Dad doesn’t drink, but he jumped right on board for the champagne tour. He doesn’t speak French, but kindly shouted “MER-CY!” to every waiter, shopkeeper and metro operator we met. After a day or two, the French were just about ready to offer him honorary dual citizenship.
3. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself.
Slogging through boring museums and ogling cultural landmarks is for the birds. Better to relax, take in the scenery, and really “be” with the people of France. Besides, they don’t put those awesome reclining chairs out for nothin. HOT DAMN!