For several years after we first married, I would find my thoughts drifting back to July of 1993…”last year right now, we were driving to the pier to pick up the discounted wine for our wedding reception…” or “2 years ago now we were on the plane to London to start our honeymoon…” That sort of thing. Well, as the years pass, I find my thoughts going back to specific days less and less, but for some reason today I was thinking about 17 years ago, when we took the train from Amsterdam to Paris, for the last part of our Honeymoon.
We bought coach tickets, but decided while underway that we would prefer to travel first class, which you can do by paying the difference while on the train. The only bummer is that you have to pay the difference each time you enter a country. So we had to pay the difference first in Holland, then when we passed into Belgium, then again when we passed the border into France. Which was fine with us, but there was another couple in our cabin, and one of them wanted us to get the upgrade for free, because we were on our honeymoon. It was a gay couple, probably as old then as we are now (aka, they looked old), and one of them was kind of grumpy and probably had hoped for peace and quiet the whole trip, so he could read his Dick Francis mystery in peace. The other one was charmed that we were on our honeymoon, and seemed happy to have someone to chat with during the journey, since his partner had his nose in his book the whole way. So the happy one kept trying to get the various conductors to give us the upgrade for free. “But…they’re on their Honeymoon“, he’d smile…no one cared, and we paid full price. Ah well. It was a lovely way to travel, and we enjoyed ourselves. Though first class meant a less crowded car to ride in, not anything fancy like tablecloths or champagne or anything like that.
We arrived in Paris at Gare du Nord, on the night before Bastille Day. It seems that Bastille Day in France (in Paris at least) is celebrated on both the 13th and 14th, so we arrived to people setting off firecrackers, which sounded a lot like gunshots to me. Because, you know, I’ve never heard a real gunshot, at least not that I can remember. Just TV. So with the firecrackers and everyone speaking French and me not understanding a word of it, and the train ticket machine not working and all, I was completely overwhelmed. Not to mention that I stayed with the bags while Ted went to try to figure out the ticket situation, and some creepy guy was giving me the eye and I was starting to wonder if I might be abducted and Ted would come back to find just our bags sitting there. No worries, Ted came back, we got a cab, and found our hotel. With our room just across from a little bar, where people were drinking mightily to celebrate Bastille Day (we were just a few blocks away from the Bastille, actually), so we were kept up by the sound of partying and bottles being dropped into a dumpster. On the 14th, we slept through the parade, but did see some huge aircraft flying low over the city, which looked to my untrained eyes to be circa WWII. We spent several days in Paris, had amazing food, went to museums, walked all over the place, and really enjoyed ourselves.
All of which brings me to the soundtrack for today, The Moderns. The Moderns was a basically forgettable movie (at least, I’ve forgotten it) which takes place in 1926 Paris, which has a wonderful, romantic soundtrack. Some of it is original music by Mark Isham, and the rest is vintage music from the period. Love it. I haven’t listened to it for quite awhile, but it’s been popping up in my mind a lot these last few days, perhaps because of the time of year. The soundtrack is mostly, if not completely, in French, and always takes me back to Paris, as well as to our wedding reception, where we listened to The Moderns as our dinner background music. It’s a wonderful soundtrack, and really sets the mood for a romantic dinner. I highly recommend it.