She Went to Paris… A Jimmy Buffett Story

I went to Paris looking for answers, to questions that bothered me so… well, I did! But those are actually Jimmy Buffett’s lyrics. As an official Parrothead (I pay dues and everything) it was a divine intervention when sitting at the Jimmy Buffett Jones Beach concert , I discovered that JB will be playing his annual iconic Paris concert at La Cigale, while I was going to be in Paris! It took me a day to figure out how to get my hands on a ticket, but sure enough, there was one for sale (for three times the cost) on Stubhub.com YIPPEE!

In all my excitement I didn’t think out my plan of action too well. The JB concert was at 8pm on the day I arrived in Paris. That’s right, you heard me… the day I ARRIVE in Paris. I decided I would sleep as much as physically possible on the plane ride from JFK, meet up with my friend from Italy that flew in for the weekend to hang out, tour around, check into my hotel and did whatever I could to NOT FALL ASLEEP before the concert.

First rule of not having jetlag… do not sleep. Stay awake and go to bed a normal bedtime, it works like a charm.

Once I finally got checked into my hotel, I made a mad dash to my luggage to pull out my most important carry-on items.

Exhibit A:

By three PM I was in an Uber heading towards La Cigale to tailgate for the next 5 hours. Usually a Jimmy Buffett tailgate takes place in a parking lot, where I arrive with my mom and best friend at 4:30am, to wait on line until 6am, to tailgate until the concert starts at 8pm. We bring coolers, tents, tables, games, food, plenty of alcohol, and a toilet (we fancy!) and we are camped out for the day.

In Paris, the tailgate was a line. I was nervous at first, questioning if I made the right decision to head to the theatre so early. But in true Parrothead fashion, I marched to the back of the line and asked the people in front of me “where’d you get the beer?” … obviously, priorities. I asked them to hold my spot and went to a Parisian market while wearing a parrot purse to buy some beers. When I came back I befriended my line mates, along with the eventual 999 other people on line. Everyone was so friendly and so kind to me, it felt like a giant family. Thankfully someone bought about 50 cheeseburgers from McDonalds and began handing them out, because at that point I was so delirious that I forgot I didn’t eat any dinner yet. I’m sure JB would approve, we all know his love for cheeseburgers, and Paris is the closest thing to paradise!

I didn’t realize when I bought my ticket to the concert that it was standing room only, and I also didn’t realize when I got home that night that I was standing from 3pm until about 11pm #delirious. I wouldn’t have changed a thing though, usually at a JB concert you don’t sit anyway, and my ticket allowed me to get a third row from stage view. Now in the venue, we were stacked shoulder to shoulder, but there are no other people I would want to be squished with than JB fans. We danced together, shared personal life stories together, and perhaps shared some tears together… or maybe it was just me that was crying, but I had a good reason! JB and the Coral Reefers put on the best show I have ever witnessed, it was electric and intense and had so much heart.

Towards the end of the show JB took off his sweaty wrist sweatband and tossed it into the crowd. To my astonishment I saw one of the turquoise sweatbands flying right towards me. I reached my arms out ready to grab it out of the air when I realized it was a tiny bit too high and it went over my head and bounced off the people in back of me. Thank goodness for my quick reflexes! I was able to see when the band was heading and I took a dive onto the floor to snatch it up. Oh, the Parrothead Gods were shining down on me hard that night. So much so, that the gratitude starting pouring out of me. As I held on to a sweatband that was once on Jimmy Buffett’s wrist, I began to cry… hard. I cried tears of absolute joy, and honestly while writing this, it actually makes me get choked up. I was in Paris for the first time, by myself, I got to see my friend from Italy for the first time in years, I was at a JB concert in Paris, I witnessed the greatest concert of my life, I was surrounded by amazing people that touched my heart, and mostly because it was only the first day and I could not imagine life getting any better.

If I met you in Paris at the Jimmy Buffett concert on Saturday, September 28th 2019…merci beaucoup, je t’aime !

Fins up my friends,

xoxo

Alessia

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