“What if we didn’t go home to LA and flew to a different country tonight?” Shane asked.
It was 6:30 p.m. local time when we landed in Miami after vacationing for the second year in a row at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, for the Punta Cana Classic poker tournament. (You can read about the resort here and can expect more on the two excursions we took later.)
Naturally, I responded to Shane’s question with, “Let’s do it!”
“Where would you want to go?” he asked.
“Paris,” I said with a dreamy look.
I’ve dreamt of going to the City of Lights since the first time I saw Sabrina with Harrison Ford and Julia Ormond. Sabrina leaves the U.S. for Paris as girl but returns a woman. I’ve dreamt of sipping French wine at a corner cafe at dusk with the Eiffel Tower in sight while the song Rose del a Vie plays in the background.
Our conversation continued with deciding on a price we would pay to fly to Europe tonight, which we decided was $1,000 per person or cheaper. “Could we fly to Europe at that price leaving within just hours?,” Shane asked. “Surely not,” I responded.
Cities in Europe aren’t the cheapest to fly to, especially last-minute, and the odds there’s an available flight out in the next few hours were slim to none. And did I mention that our luggage was already on our flight to LA? Besides our passports, we were carrying only our laptops and my camera, makeup and pashmina.
And with the odds of our trip getting more slim, we continued though security to catch our flight back to LA as our thoughts still hung onto the idea of waking up in Paris. Because I don’t easily give up on such amazing opportunities such as this, I opened my Orbitz app on my iPhone and searched flights from Miami to Paris on today’s date (11/13) just to see if this trip would even be possible.
We had two hours before we boarded our flight to LA, which gave us plenty of time to make a decision if there was a flight available in our price range. (Well, plenty of time in Sigsbee-Crawley terms that is.) The search returned tickets for $824 per person total roundtrip from Miami to Paris leaving in 70 minutes. The cards seemed to be in our favor.
For a second, we agreed that it would be very irresponsible of us to get off a week-long vacation lounging poolside in paradise to continue to another once-in-a-lifetime destination.
However, we do what we do so we can take advantage of opportunities such as this. A freelance journalist and a professional poker player are two careers that are destined for a life of spontaneity.
We sat down at Sushi Maki for a cocktail and food before boarding to LA. Whether it was the exhaustion from being in a foreign country for a week or the excitement from the first taste of even mediocre food since leaving the States last Tuesday, we made a very irrational decision and quickly got our check and ran back out of the terminal to the French Corsair ticket counter. Paris here we come!
We were just minutes away from the airlines closing boarding when we rushed the counter asking to purchase two tickets on the last flight of the night out to Paris. With a look of utter confusion on her face, the airline attendant quickly took our passports as we paid for the flights. In the meantime, I called my family to share the news while jetting across the airport to a bookstore to purchased the book “Frommer’s France 2011.”
Once our tickets were printed, we dashed through the airport to the gate just before the doors of the plane closed.
So here we sit, reading our 786-page book on all the things to see, do and eat in France while being served the airline’s version of a Parisian meal accompanied by a glass of white wine for myself, and red wine for Shane. (We definitely need it at this point!)
We don’t know what we will do when we arrive in Paris in eight hours, nor do we know what to expect over the next nine days. But I imagine that’s the romance of Paris that’s portrayed in the classic novels and movies old and new.
The front of the guidebook states, “Of
almost any destination in the world, flying into France is one of the most effortless undertakings in global travel. There are no shots to get, no particular safety precautions, no unusual aspects of planning a trip. With your passport, airline ticket, and enough money, you just go.”
And that’s exactly what we did.