Send Me On My Way -Rusted Roots

Jul 4, 2013

Paris! (The Part Where I Am Not Alone)

June 15th-June 18th
     Hi everybody! I’m catching up slowly but surely to where I actually am in my trip! The next couple of posts will be fast and furious. I literally am furious about some of it, but you won’t get to read about that part just yet as it happened yesterday and all of this happened two weeks ago. Whoops.
Omaha Beach! It's super pretty, but the barbed wire is a clue.
     So the family and I left the beautiful castle in Southern France that I am convinced should belong to me and headed to Paris! We promptly continued from our train into Paris to another train out of Paris. Short lived excitement, I know, but hey. At least there was a piano in the train station. That was neato. From Paris, we headed to another city called Caen which is in Normandy. The only reason why we were there really is because Loni wanted to see the Normandy beaches from World War II. Like the genius I am, I led us to a hotel and booked the last rooms there. Apparently some marathon was going on that weekend so it was tough to find a place with vacancy. I did though. First try.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Me in front of Notre Dame.
     After check-in, we ventured out into this strange new land in search of sustenance and found a creperie. Score. It was only fantastic. Seriously good stuff for relatively cheap. Not that I was paying; That is totes Dad’s job. By this time, we were all super tired, so naturally, I forced the whole family to watch “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” in preparation for our upcoming trip to Paris. We all got really into it except Dad who insisted it was a stupid movie and kept complaining, “Ugh. An hour left?!” “Seriously? 45 minutes until it’s over?” “I could be in REM right now but noooooo.” Pfft. Secretly he loved every minute of it, but you know guys. Have to keep up the tough-guy-hate-Disney appearance. It’s working Dad. Nobody knows your inner love for Quasimodo.
This picture has nothing to do with the paragraph next to it,
 but it is super awesome so I put it here.
     I finally let everyone sleep after the movie and the next morning Dad had us all wake up by dark-thirty to catch a non-existent bus that doesn’t even run on Sundays. So we got a taxi. And then waited three hours for the place to open. -__- I don’t like this trend. The place we went to was some museum that led a half-day van tour of the war beaches and after the three hour wait, we were off. Without breakfast. Seriously. The whole time I couldn’t even hear the tour guide over my rumbling stomach. It didn’t really matter anyway though because she had the weirdest accent I have ever heard. That reminds me. My food tasted like fireworks last night. I don’t understand that either.
Me and my friend. I am convinced he is a Decipticon.
     Moving on. Loni enjoyed the tour and we found crepes at the end so everyone ended up mostly content. We boarded another train back to Paris and this time we got to stay! I booked a much nicer apartment for us this time than the shit-hole we stayed at in Lyon. This one had an espresso machine with a milk steamer. YES. I got to practice my craft. Tolli would be proud.
      But we didn’t have much time to lounge about because we wanted to go on a night boat tour. We did and it was nice. The best part had to be when I saw the Eiffel tower. I know. Cliché, but I had not seen it while travelling to our apartment and my goodness. I couldn’t have picked a better time to see it. There was some African celebration going on and the tower was lit in red, blue, and green shining in the night. (I hope those are the right colors. I wrote this before I double checked my picture.) People listen: The Eiffel Tower is HUGE. It is soooo much bigger than tv or movies could ever have portrayed it. It was beautiful, yes, but what took my breath away was the sheer size of the beast. Great first night in Paris! And then I got us lost and was pissed off because we had to take a taxi home. Typical.
The Moulin Rouge! I haven't seen the musical yet, but I'm sure it
will mean alot to me when I do. So here it is. I took a picture.
     Next day! One of the girls in the castle recommended an antique market to my mom so we planned on going there first, then a bus tour, then the Eiffel Tower. Since it was rainy all morning, we didn’t get out of the apartment for a few hours, and when we did, we had to stop and buy and umbrella for me. Immediately, it stopped raining. Of course. Dad bought tickets for a bus tour and after seeing a lot of Paris, we got off at the Moulin Rouge because it was situated near to the antique market. We walked and walked toward this place, but the streets became scarier and scarier. I’m surprised we weren’t mugged. (Apparently I just had to wait for Barcelona on that one.) 
Arc Du Triumphe. See it? It's the triumphant arc over there.
     There were so many people and all of them looked shady. People on the street trying to sell you sunglasses or anything else they could carry and shove in your face. Mom got more and more stressed until she finally made us stop looking and leave. Well then it got worse. We were down in the metro with shady characters pressing up against us to get closer to our bags. To make matters worse, the ticket machines were all out of order except one and the line was out the wazoo and uber slow. There were two American women and their kids in front of us, just as afraid as Mom, with a tall black man standing basically on top of them. Dad didn’t have enough change so we had to go through this awful line twice, but we did finally escape and made our way to the Arc Du Triumphe!
On the second level in the Eiffel Tower. I just can never get my smile right.
     At the Arc, we stopped to eat and then continued to the Eiffel Tower. The tower was everything you expected it to be. Tall, Metal, and a bunch of stairs. I was seriously covered in sweat after the first level (300+ stairs). And then there were more stairs. UGH. But whatever! I succeeded! Look at the sheen of sweat on my face in the pictures though. I totally earned that view. When Loni and I finally reached the top, it was just beginning to rain, but it felt nice on our hot, sweaty skin. I think I walked around the top more than 8 times. It was only about an 80 foot loop, so I kept going round and round until an announcement came on warning that pickpockets were active in the tower. 
On top of the world.

Then we took our pictures and left. Short-lived (kinda. Mom and Dad waited for us for three hours at the bottom), but worth it. After buying Dad some Cherry Garcia ice cream, we headed back to the apartment where I made lattes again and we promptly fell asleep.
     The next morning, it was time for the family to break up once again. Although I had originally planned to accompany them to the airport, it was super pricey and I was not willing to waste that much money. (Money that Dad left for me. Thanks Dad. :)) So we woke up early, said our goodbyes, and that was that. They were gone and I was alone again, in Paris. xx


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