connect!

Day 313: Be a Tourist.

Illustration by Charla Pettingill

One of my favorite moments during these 300 days was my second date with Séb when he took me on a Vespa ride through Paris. Zipping around town on his kitchy bike has certainly given me a different experience, where my delusions lead me to believe that I'm in an Audrey Hepburn movie - not as Audrey, of course, I'm not that delusional. There's something about not being forced to breathe in the burnt smelling exhaust in the metro stations, being off the hustle and shuffle of the crowded, teeny sidewalks, and be able to weave in and out of Renaults, buses, and Smart Cars that I find so liberating!

For me, Vespas in Paris are what convertibles are in LA...total babe magnet status. When I first met Séb, on top of digging his style and his kind manner, when he showed up at my flat on a baby blue Vespa, I admit that I had a total girl schwing moment.

Getting around the city on this mode of transport is something that I highly recommend and I'm pleased to announce...(drum roll)...that you don't need a boyfriend to see the City of Light on a Vespa when there is 2 Wheel Tours, an independently owned company that specializes in custom Vespa tours around in and around Paris! Pretty cool, right? I was so excited that this even existed and contacted them back in January to see if I could tag along on a tour to check out what they were all about. 

Xavier, the company's founder responded immediately and invited me to come along with a tour that he had scheduled for the following week. I wasn't expecting such a quick response, and was hoping to do the tour when the temperatures weren't hitting a high of below zero, but if I have learned anything this year, it's that that nothing is 100% and confirmed my attendance with bells and whistles for the following week. What I do for you guys!

I met up with Xavier on a cold morning in February in the 7th where we started our mini tour with a couple from Australia, who must have had forgotten that it was winter in Paris when booking the tour. Bundled up in double socks, gloves and wrapped up in a scarf, I put my tourist goggles on and off we went on this icy morning through Paris to check out some of the sights that the city has to offer. While handles are provided on the side of Vespas for passengers to hold on to, I feel more secure holding on to the driver, because I still have a fear of flying off the back. I gripped tightly on to Xavier, which made me feel like I was scooter-cheating on Séb. You can imagine Séb's amusement when I confessed this to him over dinner that night.

 2 Wheel Tours Vanilla Vespa

The tour with Xavier was just darling. He drives with caution (a lot slower than Séb and no weaving through traffic!) and adequately answered all of my questions in English that I had prepared, to ensure that they would be able to accommodate English-speaking visitors. We started in the 7th, zipped around the rond point at Invalides, crossed Pont Alexandre III, swung a left on the quai, rode up along the Seine to the Eiffel Tower, then over to the Champs-Elysées, and finally to the Louvre where we stopped for something to warm us up. Xavier, being the super tour guide wanted to continue the tour up to Montmartre and then over to Notre Dame but at this point I was frozen solid, like Picard solid where it hurt to even answer my phone that was in my pocket, and had to jump off the tour at this point while the others continued on. Our one hour tour gave me a wonderful impression of the company, Xavier was friendly, drove safely and was nothing but eager to share his knowledge of this historic city, while keeping conversation in between landmarks light and engaging.
 
2 Wheel Tours specializes their tours to the client's request, whether it's an art history or fashion tour through Paris or a historic ride to the château at Versailles, it's up to you! Now that spring is springing and out-of-towners from the States will be itching to come visit as each week gets more picturesque, I'd say that this is a fantastic recommendation for adventurous travelers wanting to see Paris...as a moving postcard.

For more information on tours, schedules and prices, visit their site 2 Wheel Tours.

10 comments:

  1. Sounds lovely!:)

    Yes, Spring is springing... even in The Hague, where the weather is gorgeous (for The Hague anyway:)) I checked out the forecast in Paris for Easter (which is still a few weeks away) and I sure hope it'll change since from the 1st to the 5th of April, there's nothing but rain on the horizon:( I really want to saunter around Paris and enjoy the cherry blossoms one last time before I head home and I don't want to do it in the rain:(

    Well, this can all change:) And this weekend, we're off to Brussels, where the forecast is very promising:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope the weather changes too! Aw, man. Although Paris is still lovely in the rain, it will just be a different experience. Remember the last scene in "Midnight in Paris"...sooo romantic! : )

      How fun! So what's going on in Brussels this weekend?

      Ps - do you have an email address? I'm dying to tell you something that I can write here. If you feel comfortable doing so, drop me a line! : )

      Delete
  2. I don't see any mention of a helmet in this post!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mom....commenting privileges have been revoked. Effective immediately.

      :)

      Delete
  3. Ha! Mom and I think alike! All the while that I was reading your post and thinking that it sounds like a fantastic idea, I was also wondering if they provide helmets.

    Thanks for braving the chilly weather back in January to try this out for us. Now that the weather has improved, I may do a 2 Wheels Tour myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! Yes, Xavier provided me with a helmet...of course! I think it's illegal to ride without one. I think it's crazy that no one wears a helmet on the Velibs. I have yet to see someone wear one a bicycle here...have you?

      Btw...Have you ever ridden a Vespa? Please do check 2 Wheels out, if nothing than to entertain me with your blog post about the experience! MK on a motorbike in Paris...#badass

      Delete
  4. This is really cool! And I can't believe you went in Feb... I would have rescheduled. That cold spell was awful. Sir L recently took a Vespa taxi home from Gare de Nord. Clearly the first question I asked was "did you wear a helmet?" I love that you felt like you were Vespa cheating. So sweet :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I would have rescheduled"..spoken like a true New Yorker! LOL! That made me laugh...

      Vespa taxi?! I haven't seen those!! Was he holding on to some random dude? Probably not, Sir L strikes me as someone who would have used the side handle bars... I'll have to keep my eye peeled for this new breed o' taxi.

      Delete
  5. A vespa ride thru Paris, sign me up! Oh, just got to get a plane ticket first... ;)

    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Come!!!!! CA to Paris is a long trip but oh so worth it!

      How is moving coming along in your new ssssstudio?

      Delete