Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Paris Saga: Day VIII + Trip Home

Day 8 was a Sunday, and our last day in Paris. We woke up around 8:30, showered, and during breakfast Jon said "We really ought to find a church to attend." I replied "That's rich!" and we both laughed for two full minutes. Silly Jon. We don't go to church when we're on vacation.

We went to Notre-Dame again, and this time the sun was actually kind of shining.



We waited in line for about a half-hour to go up the bell tower. It was our last tall, winding staircase of the trip.

Oh, and it turns out that Jon is a professional photographer...who knew?







(Sacre Coeur)



The bells started ringing while we were up there, and it was pretty cool.

video

Jon called me into that random, dark hole in the wall, and it turns out, the biggest of the Notre-Dame bells was housed inside, up a rickety ladder. They only ring this one for special occasions.



A view of the Seine from above...



Pretty Paris rooftops...



Flying buttresses...


And remember this tree with the pink blossoms?



After we came down from the top of the tower, we decided to stop in on mass for a few minutes.





(Not the Pope. But it was fun to pretend that it was.)

Coming out of mass, we were accosted by all the mangled and deformed inhabitants of Paris, begging for money. One unfortunate soul was sitting in a chair directly outside of the doors with his pant leg rolled up, and I'm afraid to say that I didn't look away fast enough to NOT see what was wrong with his leg. And I'm not going to go into any details. It was bad enough that I had to see it, I would never inflict that image onto anyone else. I closed my eyes and had Jon lead me through the mob. I don't handle deformity very well. It all stems from when I was in second grade in Alaska, and this little girl on the playground coaxed me into one of those tires they half-bury in the ground, where she pulled her mutant hand out of her sleeve and shoved it into my face. I was trapped by it. Umm..yeah. I am not exaggerating, I had nightmares for MONTHS. And every time I saw her on the playground from then on, I started to get dizzy. And THAT, my friends, is why to this day I still get all nervous and shaky around people with deformities. It's not that I don't love them. They just freak me out. Don't judge me.

Also, don't be deceived by this sign.



There are no bodies buried under there. We followed the stairs down three levels...into a parking garage.

From Notre-Dame we crossed the bridge and we finally got our Berthillon ice cream. Chocolate for Jon, mango for me. Speaking of mango, I bought two mangos today at the grocery store..any advice on how to slice up a mango? I had some real trouble with the first one, and kind of gave up. Anyway, we walked along the Seine and since it wasn't so cold this day, there were tons more book vendors and artists out. I even took my coat off for a picture. (Jon's idea..it was really bugging him that I was wearing it in every picture).



Don't be deceived, though. The coat went right back on after this picture was taken. We bought some postcards before heading to Hotel de Ville.



The Easily-Impressed Parisian Business Partners from Jon's conference had suggested that we check out "Le Marais", the neighborhood surrounding Hotel de Ville.

Jon was excited out of his mind when we saw this Land Rover Defender.


Two things to look for: Obviously, the woman passenger, who unrolled her window and waved maniacally at Jon, and second, the Playboy bunny on the windshield. What?

Mostly this neighborhood was full of designer clothing stores, jewelry shops, and art studios, and even though we couldn't afford anything, it was still a fun place to explore. We ended up at the Place des Vosges on accident, which was beautiful, even though there were a billion people there.


(One of the entrances)

I was halfway dead from hunger by this point, so on our way back to the Hotel de Ville, I stopped for a sandwich at a bakery. It had sliced, hardboiled eggs on it. Mmmm.



We stopped at the market for chocolate, and more YOP, before going back to the hotel to pack. :-(

I consider this the end of the "Paris Saga", although I will mention the highlights of our trip home.

-Receiving a rough frisking by a mannish TSA agent at security. She left no part of me un-jabbed, and a certain area of my upper torso was attacked at every possible angle.

-Having Jon's luggage rummaged through TWICE while in Paris...once at security, and once before gate-checking it.

-Being stuck behind two stationary people on The World's Slowest Moving Walkway.

-Listening to a child scream for ten minutes, every half-hour, on our plane ride to Atlanta. And I'm not talking about crying. I mean SCREAMING. I usually have sympathy for the parents, but they weren't doing anything to try and shut that kid up. My earplugs were no defense against the racket.

-Being held up at customs by an agent named "Plato", having to go retrieve, then recheck our bags while in ATLANTA, and waiting an hour in the security line. I will never fly through Atlanta ever again, if I can help it. It was the most disorganized airport ever. Good thing we had three hours in-between flights, or we never would have made it.

-Being mildly freaked out when an alarm sounded while waiting for our connection. Lights overhead were flashing, and a voice came on throughout the entire airport..."An emergency has been declared in the building. Please stand by for further information." We never did heard the conclusion to this.

And last but not least, what kind of ridiculous trip home would be complete without some of our luggage getting lost?

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All in all, the entire journey was amazing, romantic, hilarious, beautiful, and completely exhausting. Documenting all of it has been so much fun, and I'm a little sad now that I've finished! I guess that means we're due for another trip....

...to be continued?

2 comments:

  1. Paris is fun, with me there. I told my boss I was looking for an apartment there so I could do all my overseas business without crossing the actual sea, and he thought that would be fine. His half seriousness prompted me to search for real estate anyway, which is a fun activity if you ever get bored. I think Paris is cold, but not nearly as cold as my desert influenced wife made it out to be. The ease at which one can get around is astounding and the food is always delicious, unless you order sewer food sandwiches or something. My job is hard, I am a very lucky guy to have it. Anyone want to meet me in Madeira Portugal the end of May?

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  2. I have to say, I'm pretty sad the Paris saga is over, I almost feel like I was on a vacation too, instead of in snow-ridden fort mac. You think Paris was cold? I still have 2 feet of snow in my yard! Very entertaining, thx for sharing with everyone :D ps, you should write books

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