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Yesterday was a perfect day … as perfect as a day gets. It helps, of course, to have spent it in Paris.

First, the Number 69 bus. City buses in Paris are a somewhat undiscovered—if not unappreciated—touristic resource. Line 69, for example, is a poor man’s tour bus: it’s just a regular city bus at regular city bus rates (a ticket costs about $1.50 for people my age), but that ticket is good for 90 minutes. Hop off and on all you want: the bus runs every 20 minutes and the entire route takes about an hour and a half.

(Click any image to enlarge)

Consider the route: the Place de la Bastille, the Hotel de Ville, the Louvre, the Palais Royal, the Tuileries, the Pont du Carrousel over the Seine, the Left Bank with its Latin Quarter, and our destination, the Eiffel Tower. Our bus trip was made all the more entertaining because we boarded it going the wrong way and spent nearly twenty minutes seeing sights we hadn’t anticipated.

Then, of course the Eiffel Tower, under splendid clear skies. I bought lift tickets online over a month ago, so we bypassed the long lines on the ground. It was remarkably uncrowded at the top and we lingered for over 45 minutes, taking pictures and … well … lingering. It was the top of the Eiffel Tower, after all!

Then back on the bus and back to the apartment to rest our feet. But not for long: We had a bottle of champagne in the fridge, which we decanted into a couple of plastic juice bottles (minus the juice) and took to the “Pee Park” up the street. Named after Renée Vivien, a British expat poet renowned for her extreme hedonism (another reason for us to love the place), it’s a tiny little park with four benches and some scraggly plants. It’s also only three blocks from our apartment and we can drink champagne there in the sun. (We call it the Pee Park because the first night we stopped there a young couple came along, dressed to the nines like all Parisians, and immediately dashed—one at a time while the other kept a lookout—into the scraggly bushes to pee.)

We drank our champagne, then walked another block to Le Connetable, a restaurant housed in a Fourteenth-Century mansion, which immediately became our favorite Parisian haunt. The three-course dinner required more than two hours to eat and cost about $30 each.

Un jour parfait. A perfect day.

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