I Do at the Eiffel Tower
It was an unusual time and place to hold a wedding ceremony, but she did it anyway…10 a.m. this morning, Lori Appling, director of the AWAI’s Travel Division (American Writers & Artists Inc.) married Terry Allen, a young man to whom mistakingly she gave her phone number, thinking he was someone else entirely, while a bit inebriated. Actually, it’s a rather hilarious storythat one might call “synchronicity with a twist.”
Lori first started coming to Paris when she came to organize the first “Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop” back in 2002 when Parler Paris first launched it in conjuntion with the AWAI. The workshop took off with a bang and hasn’t let up since, now held all over the world a few times a year. This year’s workshop starts Wednesday in tandem with “The Ultimate Travel Photographer’s Workshop” (both May 16-19, 2007 at the Paris Hilton).
As a result, the wedding guests were all folks who are either instructors, colleagues or long-standing attendees. They came from far and wide to stand at the foot of the Eiffel Tower to hear Lori and Terry say their vows. Lori asked us all to wear blue with red shoes — a real challenge for a person like me who has a wardrobe of “black, black, black and black (with an occasional red).” Thanks to my daughter’s navy blue “Salwaar” and red “kameej” and “dupatta” (a punjabi suit from our recent trip to India), I was able to half-way toe the line.
We met half-way down the middle of the Champ de Mars. There were enough photograhers there to crack a lens. The grass was wet under our feet from having just been freshly-sprinkled and the weather held up just long enough to make for interesting shots of the wedding party backdropped by La Grande Dame and fast-moving rain clouds.
Author and historian, Thirza Vallois (“Around and About Paris” and “Romantic Paris”), took us all on a brief walking tour, starting from the Pont des Arts after a ride on the 69 bus from the Champs des Mars. She told us a French love story that involved love, betrayal and punishment — three sisters and their lovers from the 14th-century who, all but one, were murdered or tortured. The Square du Vert Galant, the eastern tip of the Ile de la Cité, which we could see from the bridge, was the scene of many a beheading, quartering and who knows what else, to use as an example to others, should they stray from “toeing the line.”
Lunch reception was sumptuous at “Au Vieux Paris,” a restaurant Vallois calls a “Lovers’ Restaurant.” Situated just next to Nôtre Dame, Au Vieux Paris is located in one of the Ile de la Cité’s oldest houses, dating as early as the 16th-century. Tourist don’t know it all that well, luckily! Vallois wrote, “Inside it feels deliciously snug, with all those glowing lights and the gleaming dark wood of the bare tables. The upstairs, all draped in crimson, feels like the private dining hall of a manor house. Book Table 106 to have the belltowers of
Notre Dame perfectly centred in your window.”
Susi Gott Seguret, a talented American author-composer-interpreter, writer and director of the Swannanoa School of Culinary Arts, made the wedding cake, topped with toasted almonds and decorated with fresh roses. After a few glasses of wine, a more than sumptuous multi-course lunch, Susi’s cake and a “noisette” (espresso with milk), I made my way home to tell this tale.
American Writers & Artists Inc. (AWAI)
“Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop” and the
“The Ultimate Travel Photographer’s Workshop”
Au Vieux Paris;
24, rue Chanoinesse, 75004
+33 01 40 46 06 81
Open daily, except Sundays in August
Lunch menu — €30 (inclusive of house wine)
Dinner menu – €50 (inclusive of house wine)
Susi Gott Seguret
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
P.S. I hope to see you tomorrow at Parler Paris Après Midi 3 p.m. at La Pierre du Marais. Don’t miss it! Visit /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for more information.
P.P.S. The Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group will be closed this coming Saturday for Ascension. http://www.parlerparlor.com