Every good and perfect gift is from above...James 1:17

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

We'll Always Have Paris




The city of lovers. Paris in the spring. Gay Pair-ee. City of Romance.
Can you think of any other colloquialisms for Paris? We decided to take one last quick trip with just the 2 of us. Whilst Baby is still hands-free and cry-free, it didn't take me long to realize at 7 1/2 months that I was still carrying him around and it was hardly just the 2 of us.

With the Napoleonic spirit of adventure and liberty, we tackled the city of Paris. One of the brochures claims France as the birthplace of America. According to all I've heard about the haughty French attitude they definitely act like older siblings. We actually had pleasant interactions with the Parisians. Anyway, this building is the inspiration for our White House. You'll notice the top is green, much like our Statue we received from the French. They love gold. Take notice in the pictures how much gold is on the buildings, statues, bridges, etc.

We opted for a city tour on the bus where they show you everything and give you a brief audio commentary about the history and significance. It was rainy that day so it was a great way to see things regardless of the weather. Plus it was a good mixture of standing and walking/sitting; if you have never been pregnant this is a concept that has not crossed your mind, but it becomes important at this stage. I had to go to the Moulin Rouge for a show. It's very festive and colorful. They gave a "complimentary" bottle of champagne with our tickets, but no green fairies (if you haven't seen the movie, ignore that). We also went to The Louvre. It's a wonderful museum, but too much to take in. We did see some famous works like The Monalisa and Venus de Milo. Construction began in 1204 and the building was used as many different things before a museum, including a palace for the kings of France. Part of Napoleon's apartment is still inside. Very lavish and over the top. The dining room seated 42 people.

A trip to Paris woudn't be complete without a visit to the top of the Eiffel Tower. That's neat to see in person because it's such an icon for Paris. Hitler visited once and the elevator "accidentally" didn't work so he had to take the stairs. After he was up some guy easily fixed the problem with a screwdriver. Hmmm...

We went to the Orsay Museum. This is much like the Louvre; amazing things to see, but too much. This museum has many impressionnist works. We saw several original paintings by Monet and Renoir.
Notre Dame is a beautiful church right in the middle of everything. Contruction began in 1163. The bell weighs 13 tons and rings throughout the day. More than 9,000 people can fit in there. You can see from my lovely assistant that there is a gold plate on the ground in front that all distances in Paris are measured from. We also checked out the Arc de Triumph. Napoleon built it to commorate his victories. It's in the middle of the steet and quite impressive. This is Champs-Elysees Street, which is the last leg of the Tour de France. Notice the traffic; it's always busy and lanes aren't properly marked. The metro worked much better for us. It's easy to use and felt quite safe. The scariest time was going to the airport Saturday morning at 6:30 a.m. It was quite obvious who was up for the day and who was still up from the night before.

We also took a boat tour on the Sienne. The Landlover took a hit for the team since I enjoy the water so much. There are a couple small islands right in the middle of everything, so there are bridges everywhere. Thirty as a matter of fact. This guy is called "le zouave" on the Alma Bridge. He helps show the water level of the Sienne. During the floods of 1910 the water was up to his neck.

One of the last things we did was see the Basilliqua Sacre Coure. It's a pretty church located on a hill with a wonderful view of the city. We were bombarded by guys making cheeky bracelets which you don't want but feel obigated to buy. For the first time in 34 weeks a stranger commented on my pregnancy. It was one of these guys who Abe said smelled of pot when you got close to him; regardless, he was the first stranger to say something. Everyone else either thinks I have quite a beer belly going on or they can't be bothered to mention anything.
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