As we waited impatiently on a cold October morning, the Boulevard de Poissonnerie was still bathed in predawn darkness. The street lights and restaurant signs blazed bright. The show window of a naughty lingerie shop displayed dainty nothings on two coy mannequins, promising more engaging wares inside. There was a keen alertness in the pearly darkness. Paris, as we all know, never sleeps.
We were going on a day-long Champagne tour and it was 15 minutes past our scheduled pick-up time. We had changed our hotel the previous afternoon and hoped our guide knew the updated address. Just as I went inside to ask our helpful concierge to call the tour office, a black Mercedes 10-seater pulled up.
We were the first to board and, in one of those rare, smart moves, we took up the front seats. Me, next to Daniel, our guide, and BD, next to the window with his camera. After collecting the rest of the party, we were on our way. Daniel wove in and out of the early morning rush-hour traffic with the ease and deftness of a seasoned Parisian. “I came to Paris 15 years ago from the US to study and never went back,” he told us. Daniel started speaking once we hit a quieter road bordered with hedges on both sides. Our side of the road was relatively free. The other side was not moving at all, with row upon row of ve