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Trip Report Whipped and kissed at the Cirque d'Hiver: Nikki runs away to Paris

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I didn’t see it coming. It was only later that I learned the whip had passed just inches from my face before hitting my seat. The llama lady apologized profusely in rapid fire French, while Moo chatted with the guy from Oklahoma who had apparently run away to join the circus in Paris. But I am getting ahead of myself…


One night last June as I was getting ready for bed, I checked my e-mail and took a last look at the internet message board to which I am addicted. A post caught my eye about a freak middle-of-the-night fare sale on Delta from some cities in the US to some cities in Europe. I checked the Delta site and found flights from Boston to Paris in November for fares I hadn’t seen in years. I had no business planning a trip at all. I had two European trips planned in July and September, one with my husband Alan and one without.

But the heart was racing and the adrenaline was flowing as I checked apartment availability and found that a really nice apartment I had stayed in before was available for the dates I could get away in November. Around two in the morning I made the decision and pushed the button. I would be running away from home for two weeks alone in a Paris apartment.

I started buying tickets to the opera and ballet and concerts and plays. Then I learned that my friend (we’ll call her Sue) and her sister in law (we’ll call her Moo) were going to be in Paris for one of the two weeks I was there, along with their mutual mother-in-law (we’ll call her Ida), three of Ida’s friends, and assorted other daughters and daughters’ friends. Ten women in all were going on a package from Show of the Month Club.

So I started thinking about things that people would enjoy who did not speak French on their first visit to Paris. That’s when I came up with the idea for the circus. I just didn’t realize I would be part of the show.

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