Left: Ah, Paris, je t’aime; center: Our apartment in the Marais; right: the chocolate crémeux a l’ancienne at Bread and Roses in Paris. It’s 5.5 Euros, but worth every cent, um, Euro.

I’m finally in Paris! We’ve rented an apartment in the Marais, which is home to lots of boutiques, nightlife spots, and restaurants. Things are great, except that I’ve contracted a cold. In French, it’s called a “rhume.” In my world, it’s a big bummer.

Oh well. A tip I’ve picked up this trip: To get your bearings in Paris, everyone tells you to rent one of the bateaux mouches (fly boats) and see the city by water. I say, rent a bike instead. We rented bikes at a shop in Belleville for 2 Euros an hour and cruised across the city in an afternoon. The best part is that Paris has bike lanes and you feel safe for the most part—unless you do what we did and ride across the circle intersection that surrounds the Arc de Triomphe. I almost met God courtesy of a buzzing Renault.

While sipping a hot chocolate today at this amazing cafe called Bread and Roses, we sat a few tables away from Sofia Coppola. I didn’t want to bother her to take her picture, so I took pictures of the chocolate crémeux instead.

Then I decided to do one of those dumb things that seem like a good idea at the time. After paying our check, I asked the man friend to give me a kiss, all romantic style, right in front of the café. He did, and then he asked me why.

“Sofia Coppola might think we’re cute and put it in a movie,” I said.

And then I sneezed. A big ol’ fatty sneeze, right in the middle of the sidewalk. The man friend looked at me as if I was crazy. For her part, Sofia didn’t look up from her coffee.