Thursday, August 11, 2005

vendredi, le 29 juillet 2005


Yesterday, after visiting Notre Dame and Ile de la Cite, we went to l'Arc de Triomphe, then the Tour Eiffel. There, Monaca and I had some much-needed (though frustrating) time apart, due to a disagreement we resolved fairly quickly.

It had been raining on and off all day, which Monaca loved--she hadn't seen real rain literally in months. We ascended the Tour Eiffel (all the way to the top), just as another storm blew in, whipping rain sideways as we left the warmth and shelter of the lower observation deck for the balcony. Couldn't see much, and couldn't take panoramic shots of the Paris sprawl, but it was memorable.

After the Tour Eiffel, we went to a Let's Go-recommended creperie, La Crepe en L'Isle. The crepes, galettes, and wine were amazing and affordable. So much so, in fact, that we went there again for lunch today.

Monaca and I went back to see the Tour Eiffel last night. It was breathtaking, its beauty unaffected by the hordes of men selling kitsch (e.g., Eiffel Tower keychains, Eiffel Tower lighters, Eiffel Tower figurines, acrylic Eiffel Tower figurines that flashed different colors, flashing Eiffel Tower lighters . . .).

We ate a snack of olives and beer--two items that seem to have become staples of our diet. Going back toward our hotel, I got mixed up about which metro line we were on (long story), so we ended up getting off the metro, switching directions, getting off after another couple stops, then finally realizing the error and switching directions again. Quite the adventure; we laughed through it.

Today, we checked out and left our bags at the hotel. After a delicious breakfast of croissants and pain au chocolat, we headed for Sacre Coeur, where we marveled at the facade, with live harp music wafting over us from the observation deck overlooking Paris. Inside, we got to observe mass--quite amazing.

Moulin Rouge was our next stop; we only came out of the metro long enough to take a couple pictures of the rather unimpressive venue.

After lunch, we went to the Jardins de Luxembourg, where we sat for a couple hours, reading and watching little kids sail boats around in the fountain. I thought a lot about Dad--the time he spent in the Jardins as a kid.

The day got worse from there, but you'll hear more about that in my next entry. By the way, I'll be on a youth-group camping trip for the next three days, so my next entry will be on Monday.

Funny memory:
-sitting in a creperie in Paris, lip-synching to "I Will Always Love You," by Whitney Houston

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