22 August, contâ€™d
Well, it never stopped raining last night so we stayed close to the hotel. We had dinner at a nearby Brasserie and then we headed to an Irish bar to watch football (soccer).
Dinner was an experience. Beth had escargot and a glass of champagne right here in France! The escargot arrived in their shells with some tongs designed for the purpose of shucking snails. In her first attempt to use them, the snail flew into Bethâ€™s lap, splashing its garlic sauce onto her and the table next to us. Fortunately, the ladies next to us were very understanding and agreed that the tongs were tough to use.
Beth was much more careful with the second one (and third, fourth, fifthâ€¦).
New friends made at Carr's Irish Pub.
After dinner, we walked over to the Irish bar next to the hotel with hopes of watching the England â€“ Germany soccer match. But, since weâ€™re in France, the game wasnâ€™t televised and we ended up watching the France game. That was 8 pm and by closing time, everyone was having such a great time that the bartender and owner stayed open an extra hour and half. So, at 3:30 am we finally rolled into our hotel room. Doing what and with whom for seven hours? First, the who: lots of people from all over the world. There was an Irish couple celebrating their honeymoon, a bartender from Sweden who makes a great Margarita, a couple from California who had just visited family in Poland, another couple from Massachusetts who love George Bush and are so excited about Mitt Romney, a couple from DC who were headed home from Monte Carlo but own property in League City, and a man from New York who was on vacation with his family.
Arc de Triomphe.
Now, the what: watching football (soccer) until Jerry, the French piano player who showed up made us turn it off. Randy took it upon himself to make sure everyone in the bar knew everyone elseâ€™s names and stories. Beth started pouring drinks and learned how to make a shamrock in the Guinness head. She also tried to play a piano duet with Jerry but he didnâ€™t think that was such a good idea and made it known. She has a bruise on her arm as a temporary memento.
Needless to say, we slept in this morning. But, once we got moving, we had a great day!
First, we channeled Lance Armstrong as we strolled up and down the Champs-Elysees and window shopped some of the worldâ€™s finest retailers.
..Louis Vuitton, Mont Blac, Cartier, etc. We made our way to the Arc de Triomphe, which is beautiful. To get there, you have to walk through a tunnel underneath the traffic circle. Once youâ€™re there, itâ€™s magnificent.
Beth and Randy at the Champs-Elysees. You can kinda see the Arc de Triomphe in the background.
We then braved Parisâ€™ subway system (no signs in English!!) and headed to the Eiffel Tower, which is even more beautiful in person than in movies, pictures or TV. Located on the bank of the Seine River, the tower is massive in size and surrounded by a lovely park. The line to go up to the observation deck was waaaay long. We knew we wouldnâ€™t have the patience to deal with such a long line, so we didnâ€™t go up to the top.
Afterwards, we had dinner, did some shopping and we now are preparing our bags for our trip tomorrow to Prague. We hate to leave Paris. There is so much we didnâ€™t get to see so we guess weâ€™ll just have to come back. Itâ€™s a beautiful city and the locals have been really nice and helpful (well, except for Jerry, who protected his peopleâ€™s rep), contrary to what we were told to expect.
Looking forward to Prague tomorrow!