2:11am Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Today has been a hellacious day. Letâ€™s begin at the hotel this morning. Virginia and I woke up at 9 and went to have free breakfast downstairs. It was very similar to 3 Ducks, bread, jam and hot chocolate but this bread was much softer. It was just what we needed to get us prepped for our excursion.
The first was a mission trip. Virginia needed to find out the train schedule for her and Selida tomorrow and I needed to get into a different hostel (preferably Peace and Love) for tomorrow night.
my fun version
We also needed to find a glue stick (for putting stuff in my journal, I didnâ€™t want to lose it before I got it home) and stamps. We headed to Gard du Nord first. Asked where info center and La Poste was. Got great directions for the info center. We were sent on a wild goose chase for the poste (post office). Virginia
waiting in the forever long line and I decided to try to find stamps. Everywhere I was sent, I was sent somewhere else. Finally I gave up and went back to the info center.
After another 10 minutes wait we finally got the help we needed and Virginia got her reservations for the train. We also asked about an ATM and La Poste.
Once we had money and the stamps we needed, we pooped into a quick store and found glue sticks! SCORE!
Back on the metro to Peace and Love and the lady at first told me she had no openings and I could call her at 7 to see if she had any cancellations for a room.
I started to leave but decided to push a little more, explaining that if I couldnâ€™t not find a place I must pay when I return to my hotel. We told her where we were staying and she didnâ€™t seem happy that her fellow employee referred us there. She took my name down and told me she would for sure have a place for me. Mission
Unfortunately, everyone was supposed to meet up at noon at our hotel and we did not make it back until 1pm. They seemed a little annoyed but quickly got over it. It was the Louvre time. We had a small lunch when we arrived. Then Matt and I went off because the rest wanted dessert and we didnâ€™t so we got an audio tour and headed inside. It was so spectacular. The biggest thrill for me was remembering parts from The Da Vinci Code since I just finished reading it a few days before.
My favorite painting!!! Georges Braque: Les Oiseaux
The Grande Gallerie. Mona Lisa. It was awesome. I catalogued the pictures I took so I will remember what each picture is of. I will be glad later I did that. (I donâ€™t think I actually wrote them all correctly, because my favorite picture seems to be just â€śceilingâ€ť)
After spending about 2 hours roaming around, we all met up at 6 and began wandering around the city. We crossed the Seine and started looking for a place to eat. I called Jeremy to get his and other addresses so I could finally get all my post cards out. (which they never got so not sure what I did wrong) Matt needed to get to an ATM so when he was finished I bought 2 flowers, one for my journal and 1 for my mom. Hopefully they will press correctly and maintain for the journey home.
We found a place that looked good and ordered food.
3 of us ordered hamburgers and 2 chicken. The burgers came out and they were just burger patties sitting on the plate, no bun. Then all 3 burgers are basically raw, one a little rawer than the others. Matt got that one. We needless to say did not eat our burgers and tried to fill up on French fries. (We should have known better, well at least I should have) After dinner we headed to the metro for ice cream at the Eiffel Tower
. I reached into my pocket to get my metro pass and it was gone. I ran back up the steps to the restaurant hoping it just fell out while sitting but no such luck. It was gone for good. By this time, Matt was not feeling so hot. He got a tad sick from the uncooked meat. I think maybe a little more mind than stomach sick, but still justified. I ended up having to buy another 2 day pass, which I was really pissed about, but I should have put it back in the plastic case I had instead of in my pocket.
Winged Victory again
We got off at the Eiffel Tower stop, got some souvenirs and then ice cream. Again no such luck, my stand was gone again. (**side note** I had the BEST ice cream I have ever tasted under the Eiffel Tower, it was on the park side, just a little cart, strawberry ice cream. I had been raving about it since I was there the first time with Adam when I first got it.) I did still get some ice cream but not as good. We waited for the tower to begin sparkling at 10pm and it was beautiful. After it stopped we headed back to the hotel for warmer clothes before Sacre Coeur. We returned to the hotel to change and then was late again meeting up with the guys. They were waiting for us at a bar and had just ordered beers. Virginia and I started heading up the hill when we realized we could take a cab, no matter what time we got done and went back to the bar.
The Grande Gallerie
Back at the bar, I asked for a Smirnoff, but got E____off (cant remember the actual name of it) which ended up being better than an original Smirnoff ice.
We finished our drinks and headed up the trek once again to Sacre Coeur. Man, I get so tired at the top. It is such a workout. We only waited a few minutes before the tower started sparkling again and we took some pictures before heading to the main stairs. We arrive to the stairs to be thoroughly disappointed. The city was asleep and basically dark. The view was definitely better during the day. Maybe it would be better on the weekend but only a few things were lit up and half (over half) was dark and you couldnâ€™t even really decipher buildings.
It was after 1am so we headed to get a taxi. The old man did not seem like he wanted to give us a ride but we tried to explain we had 4 people, 2 stops.
Da Vinci: Saint Jean-Baptiste
He said okay so they quickly said goodbye to Jeff and we hopped in. After about 7â‚¬ we ended up back at our hotel, completely skipping Jeff and the cabbie told us the fair would be 13.30â‚¬ instead of the 9â‚¬ something because we had 4 people. I tried to tell him we still had one more person with one more stop but he just kept yelling at me about the time and he needed to get to bed and if I didnâ€™t pay him he would call the police. I was like â€śune minute, iciâ€ť and I had the money in my hand but trying to explain the extra stop. After 2 more seconds and him beginning to bitch, I just gave him the exact change and told Jeff to just get out and we would get him a different cab. Virginia
kept yelling no merci because that was all the French she knew. The cabbie was pissed but he was being an ass because he knew we had 2 stops.
Da Vinci: Mona Lisa
Luckily the guy at the front desk was nice enough to call us a cab for Jeff so he could get back to his hotel. After the girls kept saying they wish they knew swear words in French and I told them I know them I just didnâ€™t see a need to make the situation worse and there was a reason I never taught them any. Hehe. Man I hope tomorrow goes more smoothly. Its 3am and Iâ€™m so beat, so bon soir!!