A bunch of us scrambled to get our Eurostar tickets in order to visit her before she left, and pretty soon, we were all gathered together at Gare du Nord in Paris. I had convinced J to come with me, and we decided to stay at the Best Western Les Theatres in the 2nd arrondisement, which was really cheap and literally right next door to Patka's flat.
Anyway, we were all starving and headed out on the town to hunt down some lunch after dropping off our things. Patka said that it was a surprise, and we just got hungrier and hungrier as our "five minute" walk stretched out to something more like thirty minutes. Finally, we were at Angelina, an upscale restaurant right by the Louvre, and she had brought us here because she promised that they had the best hot chocolate ever. Most of us had a croque madame (a cheese and ham sandwich with an egg on top), and the hot chocolate was to die for. It came in a little jug with a dish of whipped cream on the side, and you got to pour the hot chocolate into your cup and saucer. Seriously, the best hot chocolate ever.
We headed over to Patka's flat to toast her engagement with the champagne we had brought, and then we all piled into two taxis to Chez Janou. As Patka had promised, the food was excellent and reasonably priced with entrees ranging from 15-20 euros. But the service? Let's just say that it's was a very French restaurant. Anyway, it was a fun group of people - around 12 of us from pretty much all over, including the US, England, Poland, Germany, Belgium and a few Parisians thrown in for good measure. I would totally recommend eating at Chez Janou, but be warned that the staff is not the politest and they don't speak any English. They also have this amazing all-you-can-eat chocolate mousse that is ludicrously decadent.
Oh, and a totally random thing happened. An older gentleman had overheard my accent and asked me where I was from and we figured out that we had gone to the same high school in Cupertino, California. What are the chances?! Anyway, he's an American who had been living in Burgundy for the last twelve years, and we exchanged information in case he ever came over to London or in case I was ever in the south of France. =)
After we ate more than our fill, we walked to Barrio Latino to dance the night away. We all paid 20 euro for our cover charge and that also included one drink. The venue was huge (4-5 floors) and the music was Latino but changed to hip hop much later in the evening. Patka warned us to keep an eye on our belongings since pickpocketing was pretty common, and her phone had been stolen the previous week. The dance floor began to fill up and we decided to leave after it got a bit too close for comfort.
Getting our things from the cloakroom was an absolute nightmare since no one was queuing except for us. We nearly got into it with a short African guy, but I still managed to get our things before he did. Hooray! We left the club, some of us worse for the wear, and we all piled into taxis that took us home. J and I hit the sack, and I received a couple of amusing text messages of people having lost other people, but I figured I'd hear the story the next day.