This past week, I was in Paris for a work trip. My team has recently undergone quite a bit of reorganization, so we were all in Paris for a workshop to figure out how things are going to work from here on out. My new manager is based in Paris, hence why it was happening in Paris. There were almost 30 of us there and it was really nice to meet everybody face to face.
In my experience, when you go on work trips, at least one of the evenings you go out for dinner with the people that you traveled to see, so I was expecting the team to do something one evening. However, given that there is so many of us, I wasn’t sure what we would do. Then one of the developers in Paris, David, said that he was really excited for dinner and that what we were doing was a surprise. Obviously this got my interest piqued. After a long day in the office (Parisians work approximately from 10am to 6:30pm), it was announced that we would be having dinner on a boat, cruising along the Seine River! I love being on boats, so I was stoked.
Place #26: Paris en Scene, 12 Quai des Orfèvres, 75001 Paris, France
(Paris en Scene is the name of the boat company we were riding on). It was a really nice boat and the chairs/tables were set up to face the windows. It was a lot fancier than I was anticipating. Each table of two got a bottle of wine, and it was a three course meal. The boat had a deck on the roof, so you could also go out and watch Paris go by. There are lots of bridges crossing the Seine, and they aren’t very high. Some are so low that if you jump, you can touch the bottom of the bridge as the boat passes underneath. A couple of really tall guys on our team didn’t even have to jump. It was a lot of fun.
The boat docks on one of the islands in the river, which is very close to Notre-Dame, so after the boat ride we walked by Notre-Dame. It was golden hour, so the stone had a really pretty glow to it. We also learned that my new manager knows a lot of stuff about Paris. Like probably-used-to-be-a-tour-guide amount of information. She gave us some fun facts about the cathedral before we started discussing how we would climb the cathedral (you’d have to get up close and personal with the statues lining the building, the rose window would be easy because of how deep the ledges are, the top two towers are lined with decorative balls, which basically form a ladder). Then we got ice cream, which is apparently some of the best in Paris. It tasted delicious to me, but I haven’t eaten other Paris ice cream to compare it to. We ate it sitting on the edge of the river as the sun set. Overall, a great evening.
I ended up seeing a lot more of Paris than I anticipated. Aside from a trip to Versailles, I hadn’t planned on going to see any of the other touristy things. But it was nice that I got to experience some of those things again anyways.
Other new places this week:
- Finastra Paris Office. The Paris office is really nice and extremely confusing. It spans an entire block, and one road is higher than the other, so on one side of the building, you’re one floor two but if you cross this invisible line, suddenly you’re on floor 3. I am usually pretty good at finding my way around places, but I wasn’t sure where I was in the building most of the time I was there. But one of the reasons the building is so nice is because of the courtyards it has. One of them has a bocce pit, which I taught to some of the others there and played with them for a while after the meetings were done. It was really fun to hang out with my new coworkers.
- Palace of Versailles. Marsha and I went out to Versailles on Wednesday since our flight arrived at 10am and we weren’t expected in the office until Thursday. The gardens are astounding.
- Hotel California, where I had a suite that had two floors in it: sitting area on the first floor, and bedroom on the second floor
- lots of bakeries 🙂