Sunday, March 7, 2010

Better Late than Never

Last weekend, poor little Max Man had a 24-hour flu. While he was laying miserably upon the couch, I asked him if he wanted to look at some pictures to cheer himself up. He said yes, and he wanted to see happy pictures of himself with Grandma & Dude.

That's when I realized: Oh no! I never blogged about our last day in Paris with my parents. Quelle horreur!

Our last day in Paris was almost a bust! Why? Well, Dado had done quite a bit of research before our arrival, to ensure that the entertainment level was high. In his research, he learned about Chinatown in Paris. Our little family had so much fun in San Francisco's Chinatown that we decided it would be a fun thing to visit in Paris, too. Alas, that last morning in Paris, which was a Monday, while doing further research, Dado learned that Monday is the only day that is not a good choice for a visit to Chinatown because most stores are closed. Oops.

We went for it anyway! We plotted out our Metro trip, boarded, and traveled on. When we arrived in Chinatown, it was indeed shut up for the day. However, all was not lost. We found a terrific Vietnamese restaurant, and we enjoyed a fabulous lunch.

Thus fortified, we decided that we would try to visit the famous catacombs in Paris. Again, we plotted our Metro trip, boarded, and traveled on. Unfortunately, many of Paris' touristy sights are also closed on Monday. Darn! No catacombs.

Now it was about 2:00 in the afternoon, and we still wanted to find something fun to do on our last day! Grandma to the rescue. On the train, on their way into Paris, she told the kids that she really wanted to see Sacre Couer, the famous church on the hill overlooking the city. Mike and I had visited Sacre Couer on our first day in Paris, but now it was time for us all to go together.

Again with the Metro . . . and we arrived (very successfully, I might add) at Sacre Couer! Here are some great pictures from outside.

When we were finished touring Sacre Couer, we started our walk back down the hill to the Metro station. Along the way, we all wanted a rest and something warm to drink. Check out the hot chocolate at the cafe Dude selected!

And Grom was also successful because she found the hat she had been looking for since arriving in France! Of course, this is Josey wearing it, not my mom.

Sidebar: There is an awesome iPhone app for the Metro! I think it was 2.99 US, and it was well worth the cost.

We took the Metro home, tired from the day. We arrived gratefully back at Debb & Reed's apartment, and Dado whipped up our last meal in Paris.

Then, I had one more store I wanted to visit. I simply had to go to Fauchon, where they sell small tins of chocolate (and an amazing selection of gourmet foods and wines of all sorts!). I wanted one of those little tins to use as a knitting notions box. What a perfect souvenir, right? I wanted to get one for Sharlene, too.

We plugged the address into Dado's iPhone, and it looked to be about a 30 minute walk. Ha! We were gone about 90 minutes. However, I was successful.

The next day, Grom & Dude left around 6:30am. I thought they were overestimating the time it would take to go through security at CDG airport. However, due to the attempted terrorist attack on Christmas Day, they are lucky to have left that early! After lots of extra security lines and delays, they made it home safely.

We had a quick hop on the Metro to get to our train station. Then, the train ride back to Bouzigues was simple - with hardly anyone on the train. Our friend Sabrina picked us up in Montpellier, and thus ended our Parisian adventure.

Love to all!

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