Can I get that French Attitude on the side please?

Trip Start May 31, 2007
Trip End May 20, 2008

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Flag of France  ,
Saturday, August 18, 2007

Well of course it was inevitable that I would have a rude french experience but it just came wrapped in such a nice package that it caught me off guard.  My mom, Staci and I were sitting at a streetside cafe inquiring about the menu and the cute waiter explained it a bit but then added..."see its just like English...don't you think you could make a little effort to speak French while you are in France..."  This coming from him after I had, in French, greeted him, said please and asked him if he spoke English.  I sat there for a moment and then we all got up and left...down the street to the nice man who actually wanted our 25 Ameican delivered Euros. 

Anyway.....had another turbo Paris day starting way too early at the Louvre then onto L'Orangerie for the breathtaking Monet water lilies in the round...or oval acutally known as the Nympheas.  These paintings or rather murals that surround you in two oval rooms, were a gift from the Monet estate to France with direction as to how to display them.  We arrived a few minutes before they opened and were greeted with a huge line and a feeling of dread as we only had a bit to see the museum.  Luckily for us, having a museum card actually paid off and we could go in the 'special' section where no one was in line and just walked in!!!  The modern museum had clean lines and was primarily white and grey .  We walked up a ramp into the first of two oval rooms with the Monet's displayed and just couldn't get enough of them.  It was such a pleaseant suprise to see the paintings without crowds.  The Louvre on the other hand was filled (it is August afterall) and we did a power tour starting at the Mona Lisa...then onto the Venus De Milo then around the luscious Italian and French paintings before ducking out a back door.

After struggling at times to keep up with my tour groups due to my obsessive photo taking, it has been quite a change to be hanging out at my mom's pace.  We are both on the same page but are definately running at different the difference between a vinyl record running at 78 versus 45 rpms. The music comes out allright in both cases but at a very different pace!  Staci and my mom are seeing my back quite a bit most of the time except when I remember to slow down and wait for them.

We enjoyed a huge ham and cheese baguette each on the lawn before returning to the Bastille via the Metro so that we could board our 14h30 cruise up the St. Martin Canal through "Old Paris" and a number of locks.  The highlight was probably right at the beginning where we motored under the streets in a long tunnel punctuated every 100 feet or so with light wells.  A Japanese artist had done a couple of rainbow light installations and we passed those along the way.  Quite a different side of Paris and we returned on the Metro to Chatelet for our Vivaldi Four Seasons classical music concert at Saint Chapelle.  The music was a bit rough at first but soon they figured it out and we listened while seeing the departing sun through the many elaborate stained glass windows.
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