Whew, what a day! We started with a stroll through the market in front of our hotel and I had a peach and a chocolate croissant for breakfast. The quote of the day goes to the Irishman we met. We came upon a booth with a really cute sweater dress displayed and I said, “oh that’s super cute, but I can’t wear those.” All of a sudden we hear a guy (who I had yet to really see) say, “ah, we have Americans. I can tell, because you said ‘cute’.” Hahaha! He said only Americans call things “cute”. He was from Co Armagh and we had a nice chat.
Then we went to mass at Notre Dame. Which was incredible. And that’s an understatement. We didn’t take many pictures outside at first and just went in to get a seat for mass. We were treated to a 30-minute Gregorian chant before mass. Mass was beautiful. With one exception: the idiot Americans who were taking photos DURING MASS. With iPads. Seriously. So inappropriate. But I think the winner is the guy who waited in pew to take a photo of his significant other as she took communion. So. Inappropriate. Then he left the pew for his own communion. I wanted to shake him. Although we could not understand the mass, it was still quite beautiful.
After mass we toured in the inside, which was spectacular, but the outside brought me to tears. It is just so magnificent. I can’t put it into words. The detail is amazing. Thinking it was built (or beginning to be built) 850 years ago. Needless to say, I loved it so much.
After seeing that the line to climb the bell tower was at least an hour long, we got lunch at a creperie and I had a banana and Nutella crepe. So. Delish. (Plus a diet coke of which I was in dire need!)
We decided not to wait for the bell tower line, which was probably the biggest disappointment of the trip this far, and decided to head to the Louvre. We entered through the metro so we didn’t need to fight any lines outside. We made a bee line for the Mona Lisa, as I just wanted to see it and get it out of the way. I’m glad I did. I know it’s just a painting, but now I can say I’ve seen it!
We then went on and saw Venus de Milo, Athena, Rameses, and a Sphinx. Then we toured the Napoleon’s apartments. Talk about wealth. Wow. So gorgeous. And Jaime put it well: opulent. Very opulent!
We spent longer at the Louvre than I thought we would, but it was incredible. We then took off for the Champs-Élysées. (I have to input my dad’s favorite CE joke here: why did they plant trees along the Champs-Élysées? So the German soldiers could march in the shade. Ha! And I had to refrain from commenting while on the metro that “their “la defenses” building is confusing because they’ve never defended themselves in the history of the country…oh wait, it’s probably a white flag factory!”). It is a great boulevard. Very pretty and I loved the shopping. Well, until I realized that the Tiffany store was still under construction. Boo! I went into Louis Vuitton, but alas, could not afford anything on my public servant salary! A keychain was 192€. Yikes.
We then saw the Arc de Triomphe. Also quite stunning and also with a massive line. I would never come here in the high season if it is this busy at the end of September. We had dinner at Cafe George V along the CE. Although I was brave and tried the escargot and duck confit last night (which was tasty!), I went with a cheeseburger tonight. But wait! It had American sauce. Huh? Apparently it was ketchup and mayo. And I tried crime brûlée. Never had it before. It was good, but when you’re not a fan of pudding, it’s probably not going to be the best thing you’ve ever eaten.
After dinner we made our way to the Trocadero. We had a lovely view of the Eiffel Tower (which we also saw last night, but we were at the tower last night). And we met a couple originally from Iowa there, so that was fun.
We called it a day after 13 hours of sightseeing! Looking forward to our last half-day in Paris tomorrow. We catch our train to London in the mid-afternoon and then the main part of vacation will begin! But hey, for pur first trip to a non-English speaking country, we’ve done quite well. Aside from the time I said “Si” instead of “Oui”. Whoops!