how could I possibly recreate this feeling for Jonny-boy? Thankfully, we've made some pretty good friends here who did some unexpected things and then there was The View (and I don't mean the tv show) to finish it all off. Awesome.
On Jon's actual birthday, we went to Le 24 (you'll hopefully recognize this as our favorite resto in Paris) to celebrate. When I called to make reservations, I mentioned to Guillaume in passing the reason for our dinner not expecting anything. When we arrived, Guillaume had champagne waiting for us followed by our favorite bottle of wine, and the sweetest part? He had gone to a bakery and gotten a cake for Jon!!!!! Such a surprise and so nice! And what made the night just perfect was that Olivier joined us, and we hadn't seen him in a long time. I know that these two guys really made Jon's birthday something special. So, merci nos amis! Merci!
Birthday Boy, Guillaume, and Olivier
My contribution to the birthday festivities came four days later with a miraculous reservation at the Jules Verne-- the restaurant on the Eiffel Tower. I say miraculous because I have no idea how I managed to get the reservation, seeing as how it happened last month and I heard the Maitre D' tell a guy trying to get a table that reservations for Dec are full in March!!! Don't ask how I did it, but I did and Jon was excited because he was mildly obsessed with the JV for a bit and because eating there would allow us to check another gastronomic experience off our list.
The Jules Verne is on the second level of the Eiffel Tower- 125 m up. It has its own elevator which was pretty cool in itself. They even have a little plaque in the lobby that allows you to watch the elevator's progress.
We went Monday night. Now, we're in the middle of a serious freeze here in Western Europe (wait for the post I do on the SNOW), and it really started to pick up steam (or ice rather) on Monday night. Standing under the pillars at the Tower was like being in a sub-zero wind-tunnel, so my dreams of getting a shot of the two of us outside the entrance were squelched. I did get an empty picture, however. Just imagine Jon and I standing there with our mouths open, dreaming of all the things we would see and taste...
Arriving up at the second level was like entering another world-- the quiet and low lighting were obviously intended to highlight the view outside the wrap-around windows, which was breathtaking. Really. I couldn't speak for at least 5 minutes and spent much of the meal staring outside. So, forgive some of the blurry shots, but I was overcome- and did try my best. Behold, The View:
Alain Ducasse's menu looked delicious, but was just okay compared to other starred menus I've had. Really, the highlight of the entire experience was the actual act of sitting with a 180 view of Paris on a beautiful night. It was remarkable, and will be something I remember forever.
We walked home afterwards in the clear coldness of a Parisian winter's night. The tower gave us one last show as a parting gift...
... Aa I hopefully gave Jon a birthday gift he'll remember.