Thursday, September 13, 2012

Midnight in Paris

The Saturday morning after my last full day in Rome, I woke up around 5 to some lovely snoring and decided to just start the day then. I packed up all my things and headed back to the Piazza del Populo to meet my tour for Florence. We were a smaller group this time and I just picked a seat to myself, sat back and listened to my iPod as we drove to Tuscany. My favorite part of the trip there was just watching the multitude of sunflower fields, and napping. The walking tour was a lot of fun and (natuerlich) I took pictures of everything. The most exciting thing I saw on the walking tour was probably Mic and Mac: the two lions in front of McMicken, which are actually Florentine I guess. Who knew? Not me. Anyway, then we had lunch in which I ate the tastiest bruschette and ravioli while talking to the family from Jersey, while also eavesdropping on the Australian family’s conversation about the aboriginals. It made me want to watch “Australia” again… Which I did once I got home. Then it was free time and I decided to go to the leather market to find a nice wallet. On my way back, I ran into this guy who was like, are you looking for a leather jacket? -Not particularly. -Oh, just try one on- So I did. And all I have to say about that interaction is: Italian men. They crack me up. Needless to say I did indeed get the leather jacket. Because it was pretty awesome and clearly it was the real deal because he lit it on fire, which I guess is a thing because the wallet man did the same thing to show it was real. And I look like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Badass. The only thing that I’m lamenting about is that sleeves are a little long but I didn’t have time to get them fixed because I had to meet up with the tour group to go see Michael Angelo’s statue of “David.” Ah well. “David” was awesome, actually shorter than I expected but nifty none the less. Then we all got pictures of the city and drove back home. I, per usual, slept.

When I got back to Rome, I went straight to the train station and then off to the airport. I wasn’t flying out till Sunday morning so I followed the signs for beds and found myself at the airport hotel, which fun fact had NO beds that night… I know right? What was that? So I just sat on the nearest couch in the lobby and contemplated my change in situation. I napped for a good number of hours on the couch of that Rome Hilton until I felt it necessary to go back to the airport. I still could not check in when I got back to the main area, so more napping occurred. Oh well, eventually I made it on my flight and to Paris. I was able to see the Eiffel Tower from, like, really high up in the plane, which I thought was super cool. I was able to identify a landmark… FROM THE SKY. 
Anyway, I land, collect my luggage and call my shuttle 10 min early (which I was stoked about because the reservation said that I had a 15 min window to call in or else my shuttle service would be cancelled- lame I know). They say they’ll be there in 20. Cool I think. 20 minutes pass. Ok, I think, this is not Germany. Punktlichkeit may not be a thing. Another 20 passes. Now I’m a little nervous. I call the lady. Oh he’s on his way, he’ll be there in 5 minutes. Another 20 minutes pass and it has been an hour since I called. (To anyone reading this, who is unfamiliar with my view on timeliness, I am on time if not always early and lateness makes me feel physically ill.) So I call the lady again, informing her about my concerns. 
Oh don’t worry, he’s coming… Ten min later he did come, but I was put out from the whole event. By the time I reached my hotel, it was about 230-3 in the afternoon. I decide since Marianne and Steve won’t arrive till tomorrow, I was going to FINALLY shower after what felt like weeks instead of the day it had been and then nap, like I do best. I wake up to a knock on my door 6 hours later (not at all how long I intended to nap), and there are Steve and Marianne. A day early. Well, not really. But like telling left and right, I clearly can’t read an arrival schedule. We decide to explore and get some food, chatting about all that’s happened since we last saw each other. The restaurant we picked was right in front of this ball thing that fling you in the air and whatnot. There was this one time where the people in it were letting out just absolutely terrified screams and we all had a good laugh.

Our first full day in Paris had a bit of a late start, added by the fact that when we got on the “hop on, hop off” bus, we got on the wrong line. But no worries, because then we ended up seeing more than expected, ie. Moulin Rogue, which I had wanted to see come what may… (anyone?) Anywho, we eventually got on the right line and went to le Louvre. It was about 2p by then and Da was like, who’s hungry? I was not so Marianne refused to admit she actually was. This was a bad move, because sometimes when my family gets hungry… they get unpleasant. 
And I say that in the most loving way. Also to be fair, we had a really small breakfast, and she and Da were used to being feed like kings and queens in Spain. We saw so much at the Louvre, it would be impossible to try to talk about it all, but most notably, we got pictures of the Mona Lisa, statue of Nike, the sphinxes, I got one with Venus del Milo, and then Marianne and Da got many with different Minera/Athena statues. 
When we got back on the HOHO bus and arrived at the Eiffel tower for dinner, we discovered (not surprisingly so) that it was outrageously priced and that the line was WAY to long for Marianne to wait in before being fed. Also you have to pay even if you are just going to CLIMB the steps, not just if you take the elevator. If I wanted to pay someone that much to torture myself, I’d join a gym. So we walked down the road and found a little restaurant that let you pick three things and it was wonderful. My only regret was that I wanted to be different and try something new for dessert and thought this caramel thing would be good. But unfortunately it was not. It was some nasty ineatable flan-like grossy mcbarfsauce. Needless to say, I did not eat it. Fortunately, Steve graciously shared his absolutely to DIE for chocolate mousse: ommnomnom.

Da, Marianne, and I woke up yesterday really early in order to get a good start to the day. Da bought some delicious baguette sandwiches and orange juice to fill up on before heading back to the HOHO bus. We were a little worried outside Notre Dame that the line would take forever, but were delighted to discover that it moved quickly. After that, we wanted to go to the top and see the bells (whilst playing “Bells of ND” on my ipod). Sadly, unlike the line to get into the church, the bouncers guarding the bell tower were less forgiving and we had to stand in that line for a good two hours. There are about 256 steps to get to the top. We saw the gargoyles and one bell, then went to the crypts, which were totally nifty. Keeping with the theme of just museuming around, we went to the Orsy next to see the impressionists.
We went back to our room after the Orsy; Marianne and I chillaxed, and sent Steve to scout out options for dinner. We ended up at a surprisingly good fish place. Marianne and I had trouble refraining from singing “Le Poisson” from the Little Mermaid every time fish was mentioned. We had mussels, rosoto, and scallops with this water the guy tried to impress upon me that it was from 1695. Skep. Anyway, then came the sea bass, which Marianne and I were sharing. THANK GOD. Because it was a rather large fish. With eyes. AH! But it was delicious, nonetheless.

Steve and Marianne left me for Amsterdam the next day while I made my way to Charles de Gaul to come home. I had more problems with terminals in CDG; but why should my ticket say 41, when I need to be at 49, really? Go up stairs. Now go back down them. Well played CDG.

Is this your bag? Yes. How long has it been in your possession? 8 years. Has anyone given you anything since you packed it? No. Has anyone at the airport given you anything to carry on? No. Ma’am, can you step over here? Honestly. I’m surprised they didn’t just write “Liar” on the back of my hand before letting me pass. It was the leggings I was wearing. For sure. Leggings just scream, SEARCH ME, I’m hiding a lot of weapons in my nonexistent pockets.

The Frenchman, who I got to sit next to on the flight, noticed after a while that they did not charge you if you wanted alcohol; I am convinced it was his goal to be plastered before the flight ended. Another plus, I had the privilege of watching John Carter and the fourth Pirates movie without sound for 6 hours… maybe that was for the best. I merely listened to my ipod, drank my body weight in apple juice, snacked, and ATTEMPTED to nap but for once on vacation, it was not naptime. Legit shocking.
I felt like my idle, lazy, fat cat Cecily on the flight and occasionally walked to the kitchen/bathroom area just for the sake of getting up. However, the walk was not that far and the first time I did this, I overshot by like three rows and the Frenchman looked at me like I was retarded. Or that could have just been his face.

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