Day Three : Rainy, Beautiful Paris

Trip Start Dec 15, 2008
Trip End Jan 18, 2009

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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bonjour, encore !

We have enjoyed another beautiful day in Paris, despite the non-cooperative weather (cold and rainy) !
Last night was an adventure -- both kids were up from about 1-3 but then slept in til 10, so they were pretty functional today ! Mimi got to take her first ever Metro ride, and Ro has now added Paris to Boston and NYC as his list of cities in which he has travelled by subway (very user friendly even for jet lagged people !)

Part of our good mood come from being able to have lunch today with one of our favorite people in the whole world, our French friend Xavier LeTorrivellec (yes, that is his real name -- isn't it awesome ?).
Xav was a grad student during research in Russia the same year as Sean and I and became one of our best friends -- he is very tall, very fun, very smart, and very sweet. Thanks to him, Sean and I have crossed rivers in Russia with our shoes on our heads, jumped off moving trains to get to secret campsites near beautiful waterfalls in the Ural Mountains, and had a generally great summer in Ufa, Bashkortostan, back in 1997. So we were very happy to catch up with Xav and his beautiful wife Gulia and their daughter Aline. We had lunch at a real brassiere near their apartment, and Mimi and Aline got on quite well (though we were all confused about what language to speak -- French ? English ? Russian ? turned out to be a goulash of all three). Ronan loved the fact that he got to have a plate of french fries and hot chocolate for lunch ! They seem happy and healthy, and Xav is teaching Russian politics in Paris.

After an all too brief lunch, Xav packed us off on a city bus for a beautiful ride to the heart of downtown, where we first were lucky enough to pass by the Rue de Jean Jacques Rousseau -- Natalie and Flagg Taylor, this photo is for you !

We then walked to the Pont Neuf bridge, the Louvre (just the outside -- we'll have to save the Mona Lisa for another trip !), the Arc d'Triomph, the Tuilleries Gardens, Napoleon's Obelisk , and finally, the ENTIRE Effiel Tower. Luckily, they are all pretty close together, but Ro was pretty tired out by the end (and Mimi sacked out in her backback on Sean's back about half way through !). But it was great to enjoy the fresh air, the beautiful Seine, the people watching, and the fun of romping through a new place.

Meg and Rick had a fire, wine and cheese waiting for us -- the perfect end to a perfect Parisian day !

We can't believe we have to leave Paris already tomorrow. It has just been enough to whet all of our appetites to come back (not sure what Mimi thinks about Paris, but she does have a thing for Uncle Rick) and spend more time.
Tomorrow morning, it is off to Tel Aviv and then Beer Sheva -- we don't want to leave but are excited that it is about 70 degrees there - does create a dilemma -- do we dress for 32 degree Paris AM or 70 degree Israel PM ?
Au revoir for now !
Kate, Sean, Ro and Mimi
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Where I stayed
Meg and Rick's Apartment 15 Arr.
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