Finale de France

Trip Start Jun 13, 2008
Trip End Jul 04, 2008

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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Palatine family came from Lourdes. They described it as Disneyworld for Catholics.

My mom and aunt came from Medjugorje, Bosnia. I would describe it as the Grand Canyon for Catholics.

I came from Pisa. I had described it as a festering mosquito hole that compels everyone to place two hands up in the air in similar poses for no apparent logical reason.

We all came together back in Paris and we had our grand first meeting at a Chinese take-away. They charged by the kilo. Everyone was trying to save money at that time and we had spend a lot of money for some great meals. Considering that we were going to a shiny, expensive show that night, it only made sense to have sleazy, easy dinner.

Of course, the show we went to was FeÚrie at Moulin Rouge. Classic topless can-can.  When we left the metro, there's the classic Suarez tradition of taking photos as much as possible.  My mom and I realized that the queue for entry was quickly building and we did not have our tickets in hand, so we went in right away. We found out that our reservation printout was the ticket, but we decided to stay in line. Within the ten minutes of photography and our entry in the queue, there happened to be a tour bus of Japanese tourists.  The line had tripled within moments.  And when they tried to get in line, the guy wouldn't let them. Security said denied. Well we weren't going to wait for them either. So my mom and I had to come up with some great scheme to get them in. We managed to get around for the Musee D'Orsay, so we just had to replicate our cunning. So we decided that we would tell them that our other half had a delayed taxi in coming in and we just had to grab them. But my mom decided she would be the one to try this time. She made sure to slip off her jacket and show some shoulder and asked a nice manager about her situation. She tried to vamp it up as much as possible too. He said yeah. She went to get them and when she returned she had the party. I swear, she looks younger these days than ten years ago. Her genes are the reason I always get carded. Lucky for us the early entry got us an awesome table.

The show itself was remarkable. And each ticket comes with a complimentary half-bottle of champagne. I don't think we really thought that a bottle was actually about 1.5L. I was kinda expecting 0.75L bottles of champagne - as in enough for two drinks per person. But we paid for the alcohol, and not everyone in our party drank more than a glass. So it made for a bit of an interesting night. The first part was flashy. But the second scene had the singers topless already. I understand if the singers are topless, but halfway through the show the dancers were also topless. I had to think that it must be very tough to do very athletic dances without any support. Well, that's what they get paid for. I noticed that my aunt was very into the show. The look on her face was one of wondrous awe. So at the end of the night, she took out her camera and took some forbidden pictures. She also managed to buy an ornament from the souvenir shop. As for me, I carried the remaining bottle of champagne for the rest of the night. I also tried to finish up any full glasses on the table before we left.

On our last day when having breakfast, I saw a homeless lady that we saw from before. She pushes around her cart full of items and makes sure to yell at anyone in Place de Bastille. She's also pretty good about buying some wine and sharing it with the other homeless folks. We nicknamed her Mme. Thenardier for her visage and voice. But today she was kinda just hanging around this girl who was giving out samples of some chocolate cookies. Right before the girl left, she did manage to give all the homeless people samples as well. I thought that was very thoughtful. I'm sure Mme. Thenardier was grateful for some carbohydrates to soak up the alcohol she had already drunk by 8 am.

We all travelled to the chapel of the miraculous medal, which was in an unique neighborhood and a bit difficult to find. But after that, we decided to go off shopping while my aunt went off to Versailles. However, we learned the huge summer sale started tomorrow in France, so it was not worth it to buy full price items. There were some things on sale already though. So when we were in C&A we bought some things. For lunch, I brought my mom to this nice area near Les Halles and we had crepes. I preferred the Crepe Florentine, egg and all. But my mom liked the Almond crepe. I couldn't have the ice cream on the sweet crepe, so that worked out for me. On the way back to the hotel, I was so tired. When we got off the metro, I realized I was missing one of my bags. It was the bag from C&A. I tried to remember where we had gotten off to see if the bag was still there. I didn't remember which car we were in. I briefly thought about jumping back into the train, but I didn't and the doors closed. The bags were gone and there was no way to retrieve them. Even though it was only 15 Euros worth lost, it was difficult to think that I should've just jumped back in and gotten another train back. Oh well.

Our final dinner was at a nice cafe nearby and everyone took the menu of the day. So six people ordered the same thing. I took the duck sausage though and my aunt took the oysters. I just really felt intrigued by what duck sausage could be, so I really ordered it for that reason alone. It was definitely worth it. I like eating duck.

The next morning my mom left first back for Minnesota. However, the Chicago folks decided to hit the stores exactly when they opened so they could get at least a half hour of clearance shopping before they had to go to the airport. They actually went on a shopping spree. I bet the scene looked like Supermarket Sweep but for clothes. They then left, so I packed up and got ready to head toward Barcelona. I had already contacted my friend there that I would be arriving soon. I wanted to take the night train, so I figured I knew we'd meet up in the morning.

Paris, we bid adieu.
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