Saturday, April 28, 2012

If its Thursday, I must be wearing a bow tie!

 Thursday we began at our favorite place for breakfast, Ma Bourgogne, on Place des Vosges. 
 What, oh what do they do to those eggs to make them so delicious?  Perhaps its the french ham and the french cheese.  Perhaps its the company?
 It's still cold in Paris, and not all the chairs are set out for outdoor dining.  Let's be honest, we ate inside on Thursday as well.
 We walked out of Place Des Vosges (Venita in the lead) and headed towards Notre Dame.

Our plan was to get there early enough to beat the crowds that want to climb to the top.  We also wanted to beat the rain that we were certain would follow us and soak us wet, again.

Dorothy and Angie didn't come to Notre Dame so it was 5 of us.  Lyle said he didn't need to climb the stairs to see the view, but in much more colorful language.  Language a sailor might use. But Bev, Venita, Cindy and I were eager to see the views, so up, up, up, up, up, up... spiral staircase... dizzy... up, up, up, up, up we went.  Dear Lord, thank you for these calves of steel.

When we go to the top, the sun was out!  Freezing cold and windy, but SUN!  So I yelled, "Strip off your clothes and we'll take a picture!"  Well, we got as far as the coats anyway.

 The view from up high anywhere in Paris is always amazing.  From the top of Notre Dame you can see the Grande Arch at La Defense, the Arch du Triomphe, and following the Champs Elyses there is Place Concorde with Cleopatra's Needle in gold tip.

We looked down to see a LONG line of people waiting to get inside the church.  We all agreed, this was enough up high, we didn't need to wait in that line.
Looking more closely, we recognized a friendly face in the crowd, Lyle!

Cindy and Venita went up the see the infamous bell in the bell tower which Quasimodo rang in the Hunchback of Notre Dame.  I'd had enough stairs and waited for them on a lower level.
 Here are my little Hobbits now, returning to me!

 We climbed up one more level for the panoramic view. Up, up, up, up, up, up... spiral staircase... dizzy... up, up, up, up, up, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Once on top, the sun came out one more time and Bev yelled,  "Strip off your clothes and we'll take a picture!"  So of course we did.
 And then it's back down the stairs.  Down, down, down, down, down, down, spiral, down, down, down, dizzy, dizzy, dizzy, down, down, down....
 Once we were back on solid ground, we ran into a lovely French couple.  Excuse me miss, do you work for Air France?  You look great too Venita!

 We walked to the end of Ile de la Cite and looked at Pont Neuf.  It means "new bridge" and it is now the oldest bridge in the city.

 We paused and soaked up as much sun as we could.  As the tour boats went by along the river, we waved like maniacs to see if we could get them to wave back.  They waved back!

FINALLY it was time for lunch.
 Dorothy and Angie met us at Robert et Louise.

Then it was back to the hard work of vacationing.  Everyone scattered across the Marais for shopping.
 Lyle took Angie and I by his favorite building in the Marais, the Archives Nationales of France, or as he calls it, "My house." I keep telling him we can't afford the condo fees but he never listens.

Home.  Blissful home.  Shoes off, feet up, Home. 

Then about 10 minutes later, we were all changed and ready to go see the Opera House.
 We were too late to take an inside tour, but the outside is never a disappointment.

Ulterior motive, just behind the Opera House are two LARGE department stores. On Thursday nights they are open late.  Galleries Lafayette and Printemps.  I got a great pair of DSquared silver and white sneakers at Galleries Lafayette.  Printemps charge Lyle 1 Euro to use the toilet.  We've decided we hate them.  So let's talk about Galleries Lafayette:
 In this photo you can see Venita taking the exact same photo as me at the same time.

The amazing stained glass dome over the atrium inside Galleries Lafayette.  You should visit there.  And not the department store next door.
 4 floors of fashion in the main store, 4 floors across the street for the men's store along with a food floor.  Oh, and across a a different street, 4 floors of home goods.  A person could lose their mind and their savings.

After shopping, we split camps and headed off to dinner back by the apartment.
Two beers for Lyle?  No, one is mine.  A rare beer night for me, but after all that shopping, I'd earned it!

Later that night, unseen in photos, I had dreams.  Dreams of stairs.  Spiral stairs. Up, up, up, up, up, up... spiral staircase... dizzy... up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up... spiral staircase... dizzy... up, up, up, up, up....


Rachel V. Olivier said...

I envision a children's illustrated story book of all the places in Paris you can see and all the stairs (up, up, up!) you can climb!

Jamajo said...

Beverly sent me the link to this blog, and I am so glad she did! Am really enjoying seeing all the good pictures and reading the interesting commentary. Jim, you are obviously the official chronicler of this trip...
Janet Jones (Beverly's mom)