Paris for the New Year

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January 1st 2017
Published: January 2nd 2017
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Glitz, glamour, and the Eiffel Tower! Well, at least the last one can be found in Paris, Texas.

After I left Texarkana, my next stop was Paris, another town I had heard about in many ways over the years. I decided it wouldn't be so bad to spend New Year's Eve in Paris, even if it wasn't Paris, France. So this was the next-best thing. It was less than 90 minutes from Texarkana to Paris. My first stop was the Eiffel Tower, which is only about 20 years old. It's also only about 30 feet tall, but it has the distinction of having a cowboy hat at the top. The structure is beside the town's convention center, which is really in the middle of nowhere. There's also a school about half a mile away. And next to the tower is a veteran's memorial that is still under construction.

My only story from that part of the trip is that there was some girl - probably a high school senior, if I had to guess - who had come to the monument with her mandolin so that she could record a video for YouTube with her singing and playing that mandolin. She had brought her mom, grandma, and another female relative with her, and they were trying to get the perfect shot. Naturally, they were in the way of my perfect shots, but they required multiple takes at each place to get it perfect. At first, it was rather frustrating, but then it just became stupid. If I ever get to YouTube it, I'll post a link here. Her song was about how much she loved Paris at certain times of year, or with certain adjectival attributes.

After the tower, there really wasn't much else to do. I checked into my hotel - the Days Inn - and it was nicer than I expected. The reviews were all great, and the price was good, too. The only disappointment was the breakfast, but I guess I could've paid more somewhere else if I really wanted a good breakfast with the hotel. I drove around after I checked in, looking for postcards, but that was a bust. The town square was cute, like many a small town. It had a fountain and was decked out for the Christmas holidays. And as with Texarkana, I couldn't tell if the deserted town was a normal Saturday or if it was also because of New Year's Eve.

My last stop for the day was the only movie theater in town. I went to see Moana, and it was fantastic. Definitely a winner for Disney. After that, I got some food and went back to the hotel to spend an exciting New Year's Eve all alone. Some people might view that as sad, but really, I didn't care to hang out to watch a ball drop. I did watch some college football, not that I cared particularly much about either game. My big game is tomorrow at the Cotton Bowl. But after those were done, I flipped the channel and got to see a minute or two of Mariah Carey doing who knows what in Times Square. That was apparently the only thing people are commenting about today, so I guess I'm fortunate to have any idea what they're talking about.

Truly, though, this is the least excited I've ever been about a new year. It really did feel just like any other day to me. I know many people are glad to kiss 2016 goodbye, but I've learned not to look forward so much that you wish your life away. I'm happy to still be kicking around, considering how many celebrities and such were taken in 2016.

I stayed up until a little after 11 PM, which would be midnight on the east coast, since that's still where I feel I belong. And I was probably asleep by about 11:20. I woke up around 6:30 AM, at which point I had to remind myself that it was a new year. And then I promptly fell back to sleep.

Today, I drove through Bonham, TX, and saw their Art Deco courthouse. Then I headed south to Dallas, where the 2nd leg of my journey comes to an end. I got some In N Out burger for lunch, and I was less than impressed. I guess I had built it up too much in my mind. After that, I headed over to SMU and walked around for a bit before heading to a nearby movie theater to see La La Land, one of the best films I've seen in a while. And that's saying something, since I see a lot of movies. My final stop before heading to the hotel for the night was the Masonic Lodge in Dallas, which is Art Deco style. Gorgeous.

And now, here I am at Amerca's Best Value Inn, about 2 miles away from the Cotton Bowl stadium. This is a no-frills hotel, and the neighborhood isn't exactly upscale. But it's a place to sleep, and I haven't found any creepy crawlies or unexplained stains anywhere, so I'm glad to find a cheap place to stay, and so near to my destination for tomorrow's game.

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