Among the bones in the Catacombes
The last day in Paris is always hard for me. I really never want to leave there, and there are always about a million more things that I find that I want to do. I started out my last full day's morning getting our croissants and café au lait and then I headed to the catacombs sans douche – I figured that I was going to be coated in bone dust, I might as well wait to shower. The Catacombes were pretty amazing. Its about 200 feet below the surface of the Parisian streets and filled with the bones of 6 million people, the ground is consecrated and the bones are arranged in interesting patterns -- definitely worth a visit.
After the Catacombes, I went back to the hotel, cleaned up, only my shoes were dusty from the tunnels, they were originally limestone quarries, but it was time for a shower.
Mom and I at the Arc d'Triomphe
Paris had gotten cold as well, so I needed to bundle up a bit more. Mom and I went to the Champs-Elysees and to the Arc d'Triomphe. It was blustery and we had finished off every single thing on the list of things that I wanted Mom to see, so it was time to go shopping. We headed back to the Marais district and to the Place des Vosges and to the shopping area around there and then over to the Forum des Halles. Emile Lafaurie, Muji, Habitat, H&M, the Paris Museum Store -- I found wonderful things everywhere I went. We also stopped into a great little creperie and galetterie called Suzette at 24 rue des Francs Bourgeois. I had a galette, which is a buckwheat crepe, filled with cheese, tomatoes, and egg served over dressed lettuce. I had a nice glass of cider from Brittany -- it was all perfect for a cold winter day.
The Eiffel Tower from Montmartre
The afternoon was done for, so we headed back to the hotel to pack up. I ended up having to buy a duffle bag to get everything home.
Mom was really tired so I took the opportunity to do my traditional last night in Paris activities. I went to the Sacre Couer, lit a few candles for travel and new babies in friends lives. I had a crepe in the Place de Tertre and watched the Eiffel Tower twinkle one last time. After Montmartre, it was back to the Marais for a beer with the locals and I was home by 8:30 -- this trip afforded me lots of BBC time and early bed times.
As I was falling asleep, I was thinking about all the things I would want to remember, the barely-there rumble of the subways deep below the hotel, the little glasses of Beaujolais Nouveau at the Monoprix down the street, Breakfast on BBC, and all of the other little things that add up to a great trip.
Ice Skating at the Hotel de Ville
Mom was up and ready to go by 8:30am. We didn't have our airport pick up until 10:30 -- she was ready for home, plus it was her birthday -- the reason for the whole trip (I put together a goody bag for her that I gave to her on the plane after a glass of champagne). I got up at 9 and we were out the door and in the van exactly on time. It was cold and snowy as we left Paris, really pretty in a gray, winter sort of way. I was sad.
Our flight left about an hour late, and had weird food -- a salad with pumpkin, edamame, and jerusalem artichoke, but good movies to watch -- The Queen and Rumor Has It (which wasn't terrible). I threw up for the first time ever on an airplane -- fortunately we were at the back of the plane, right next to a bathroom, but unfortunately right under a chime that went off literally hundreds of times -- so no sleep. I put together a bag of goodie We flew over Land's End in Britain, Prince Edward Island, and Portland, Maine -- those are the only places I figured out on this trip. We landed right on time at 5:45 and Dad came to pick us up after we made it through customs.
I got home, unpacked and stayed up as late as possible -- 11:30 -- a nice 20 or so hour day. I am still a little jet lagged today, and have a long work weekend, but it was a great trip -- I miss Paris, if anyone knows of a way for me to live there and make money to support myself legally, please let me know.