Intoxicated with the idea of no responsibilities to little people for nearly three days, we immediately went straight to a quiet, little restaurant recommended in the tourist book that I desperately tried to hide, lest we give away our tourist status too quickly. That moment came in a rush when we arrived for dinner at Le P’tit Troquet and the waiter took one look at us and politely inquired with an  , “Anglais”? Yep, we were stickin’ out a bit (maybe that umbrella with the Union Jack on it gave us a way?).

But, we shrugged, and realized they’d known immediately and already put us in the back half of the restaurant with other Americans. I was wondering if they were “stowing us out of sight” so that other French folks wouldn’t run in fear at the sight of us in the window.

Not that anyone was rude to us in the least. In fact, everyone we met seemed not only friendly, and very patient with my extremely bad pronunciation (and no, I’m not being modest). Most Parisians we met were so friendly, patiently watching our random utterings and hand signals, and smiling knowingly as we whipped out the – Rick Steve’s Paris 2012 book which couldn’t be more obvious in blue and yellow. I saw it everywhere (Mr. Steve, you’d be proud). He had recommended the district we were in for quieter folks, looking to get away (point!) and this restaurant for the warm, French atmosphere and delicious food – as well as how to order it (more points!!).

The dinner was all I expected from a first French dinner, despite the fact that it was still raining as we walked quickly back to our hotel. It nearly added to the ambience though, when we looked up to see that they light the Eiffel Tower at night, and send the lights sparkling throughout the night (I believe it’s on the hour, but by that time, I’d had my half caraf of burgundy). What a delicious start to a fun-filled weekend.