Gay Parii

Trip Start Jun 23, 2009
Trip End Jul 08, 2009

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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Saturday, June 27, 2009

After staying up until 2 am with Moses et al, we had to get up early to get to our bike tour that started at 10 am in front of Notre Dame.  We were in a group of nine people and the owners of the company, Paul and Christian are the guides.  They've been in business for about two years and focus on showing people the undiscovered off the beaten path areas of Paris.  We hopped on little bikes that are easy to maneuver, and we found out that was important since we rode through narrow alleys with people and trucks all over.  The tour was great since we saw areas we'd never see otherwise.  We saw the holocaust museum, roman wall, a high school, the place Jim Morrison died, Place de Vosges which is a big square that used to be a royal residence but is now private homes (Victor Hugo lived there).  We rode through the courtyard of the Louvre (which isn't technically allowed), rode along the river and saw modern art and barges turned into houseboats.  We saw the Center Pompidou which is a modern art museum with all the mechanicals, hvac, offices, stairs, etc. on the outside of the museum.  We saw a store that sells rat traps with dead rats hanging in the window which was in the movie Ratatoullie (sp?).  We also saw the most expensive restaurant in Paris which was also in the movie.  The city pays to light up Notre Dame until midnight and the restaurant pays the bill from then until 2 am.

After the bike ride (five hours long), we didn't have the energy to go into Notre Dame so we took the metro back to the hotel.  We stopped at several shops and gathered stuff for a picnic.  A fresh fruit stand which had awesome apricots, a flower shop, a fromagerie (cheese shop) where we got some brie, a boulangerie (bakery) where we got french bread and a patisserie (pastry shop) where we got chocolate filled croisants.  We had a picnic in our hotel room.  After Chuck and Noel had nappy time, we ate dinner at a little cafe (there are millions of them) and had a great waiter who showed us pictures of his dog on his i phone.  I don't know why everyone thinks the French are rude.  We wanted to sit outside and there were no tables left so they brought out two tables and chairs from inside for us.  People sit at cafes for hours in Paris.  That's also about how long it takes to get your bill when you want to leave.  After the cafe we went to visit Moses and the gang again.  This time we met some more characters.  Morris, who looked like the Marlboro Man (and smoked Marlboros), and we met Rashid who was drinking something that tasted like Scope mouthwash (and had the same color).  Of course, Madeline and the John Belushi look alike were there as well.

The next day we took the metro to the Arch de Triumph.  It was very impressive.  We took a walk along the Champs Ellyses (sp?) which is lined with very expensive shops.  I was having Chuck take my picture by some of the more famous ones.  I went in Louis Vuiton, but it was too expensive to look.  We went to the Lacoste store (alligator shirts) and I went in while Chuck and Noel stayed outside.  I was amazed at the way they displayed their merchandise with the hanger coming out of the sleeve of the shirt instead of the neck.  I was so excited that I quickly turned around to get Noel and Chuck to see thisl.  That's when my shopping emergency happened (nothing as tragic as finding perfect shoes that they don't have in your size), but almost as bad.  I thought both of the glass doors were open and when I rushed out of the store I found out I was mistaken.  Noel heard a very loud bonk and saw me staggering out the door.  He then said he hadn't seen a knot on the noggin like that for many years.  I banged straight into the glass door and had a huge bump on my head and my knee.  I was crying and the store staff came out and put alcohol on my head and brought me some water.  People were staring and I was embarassed.  But I still made sure Chuck and Noel went over to see how they hung the shirts and had Chuck take a picture of me in front of the store with the alligator pictures in the background.  We haven't been able to upload any pictures yet because the file size is too big.

Next we walked through Tuileries Garden and had a sandwhich on the bench.  Noel was feeding the pigeons and he gave bread to the wrong bird so one of them pooped on him.  He said @%$$&^*#$&.  I saw a kitty in the garden and it had a photo shoot.  Next we walked to the Louvre and saw the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo and many other cool works of art.  After that we went to the Musee de Orsay and saw many more cool works of art.  Most notably, the self portrait of Vincent Van Gogh, Whistler's Mother, sculptures by Rodin and a bunch of stuff by Monet and Renoir.  After that we bought some souvenirs and headed back on the metro.  When we got on the metro, and bum got off and his odor stayed behind.  Noel said it was like the toe jam of a demon!  Overall though, the metro was great.  We went to the Hard Rock and got Noel's shirt too.  When we got back to our neighborhood we stopped at a bar that had Jim Beam and Diet Coke for Noel.  The local guys were great and said "Welcome Aboard".  We met Fred who plays the Base for a symphony in London.  He recommended a restaurant for dinner and then called them up and made reservations for us.  When it was time to go he even walked us to the restaurant!  We had an outstanding dinner and had escargot, creme brulee, and a lot of other excellent food.  Noel went back to the hotel to use the facilities and Chuck and I went to say goodbye to Moses and the gang.  We foud out that Yasmin is engaged and will be getting married next year.  Moses will be going back to South Africa to join his wife in October.  Madeline and Jack (John Belushi) are actually married!  We stayed too late because Chuck was discussing economics with Moses.  It was worth it though for the great memories.

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