We got in on the train late last night from our first trip of Kim's stay (one down, two to go!) . We spent a lovely weekend in the city of lights and all had a good time! our first night was a little rocky, as there were too many voices in the supper debate so after a long walk, the six of us (me, Kim, Cam, Cam's sister Jill, Cam's friend Emily, and Jill's friend Maggie) ended up at a horrible place which served horrible food and 8 euro bottles of water. oh la la. Anyway, after that mistep, we grabbed the metro and went down to the eiffel tower to see it in all its luminous glory. that's when the full effects of the horrible dinner caught up with me, the group seperated while i searched for somewhere to "sit" and that was the last we saw of Cam and the girls until the next day. The weather was sweltering, even at midnight. It was a hot weekend in Paris, that's for sure. This was actually Kim and mine's second visit to the tower that day as our hostel was located not far from it. The first time, we were stopped by a couple parisian hooligans who wanted to know if they could kiss us in and catch it on film. Apparently, one of the young men was getting married, and so it was bachelors out for some fun i guess. i take it as a feather in our cap. we must have looked damn cute. they said that if he didn't find someone to kiss, they were going to throw him in the fountains. i said i'd rather see that....but nonetheless, kim braved her cheek for the photographic evidence collection. then we joined the rest of the tourists at the top of the steps to take pictures of the famous tour. le tour, not to be confused with la tour, which is something else entirely.
so back at the eiffel tower, we were haflway to home, so we hoofed it back to the Three Ducks hostel and snuck into bed. Two other hostelers were already in our room, sleeping in their clothes including their shoes! they must have thought we were some sort of super theives or soemthing. they were american on some tour or other we found out in the morning. by then i hated them because they had snored all night long and no amount of obnoxious behaviour on my part could rouse them long enough for me to sneak back to sleep before the buzzsaws started up again. i stomped around, i kicked their bed....it was useless. so i read my book from 6am until 8am. good book by the way: Tom Robins's "Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates" courtesy of Erin, by personal librarian.
Day two we understandably started in a bit of a drowsy state, but somewhere along the way we had heard about Mike's Fat Tire bike tours or something along those lines and it struck a chord, so we decided to go and see if we could get on one. luck was with us and we ended up biking our little asses all over the grounds of the Palace of Versailles! Louis XIV is one of my favourite history lessons and so i was so stoked to be having a picnic right where he did! the first thing we did on the tour after arriving in the town of Versailles was go to the market to collect materials for said picnic. that was a challenge...somehow, although i am confident in my french, and i was very clear about what i wanted, i ended up with a kilo of beans and a kilo of peas when i really only wanted a handful of each. i admit i didn't handle the situation very well...i let the man walk all over me and he probably had a good laugh at the dumb tourist. but i cursed him good, so the last laugh is with me. jerk. i made a donation of most of the produce as there was no way i was going to hang 2 kilos of produce off my handle bars. by the way, we were riding california cruisers. sooo cool. the rest of the stuff kim and i got was all what we wanted and delicious. the tour stopped at the hamlet of marie antoinette, and the smaller palaces of the Versailles grounds and also of course went through the gardens and stuff. sunday is fountain day apparently and they were all on. it was lovely. we toured the chateau as well, and my sister bargained for a flying bird toy that my dad is apparently amused with. happy father's day! which reminds me, i owe him a phone call. it was too short on sunday as i was unable to figure out the phone card i bought. another wasted 7 euro. ugh.
After the bike tour, we went on a bike tour. the same company leads a ride through paris at night including an hour long boat cruise with free wine. right on. the girls met up with us for that, so kim and i and all the california girls rode our california cruisers all through the city just as the sun was going down. in paris you need someone to kiss. it was a very romantic setting. we passed by almost all of the major monuments and got the story on each and then got pretty merry on the boat....we were all going to go out to the canadian bar, Moose, but kim and i had curfew, not to mention a glaring energy deficit, and so we just handed in our bikes and went home to bed. luckily, our roommates for the second night were very quiet both asleep and awake. i slept good.
our last day was louvre day. we walked the champs elysees to get our tickets from fnac, i impressed myself with my french at the ticket office, and then we walked through the tuillerie gardens stopping for a crepe on the way. the louvre was hot and crowded, although we didn't have to wait in line or antyhing. neither of us are art lovers, except for a couple of paintings, so we made fairly quick work of hte louvre. we saw all that you are supposed to see, but i forgot to look up my favourite painting "the bolt" by can't remember who. that is a hot painting. see if you can google it. i should have got one in the museum shop. dammit, i always leave something to come back for in Paris. Last time i was there i was upset i didn't get the chance to see inside notre dame. we remedied that yesterday as well as stopping at the conciergie at kim's request to see where they kept prisoners destined for the guillotine during the french revolution, including marie antoinette. i saw marie antoinette's napkin. also the blade that cut off her head. it was grim, but kim liked it. we made a stop uptown for a little souvenir, and i saw a lambourghini, so you know that put me in a good mood. i of course took picutres. it was in my favourite colour ("melon") and jerome, i forgot to mention, it was black stealth rims. it was a hot car. i am pretty sure it was a guillardo but i am not positive. i didn't think they put guillardos in the melon paint job.
anyway, time to catch the train. we met the ladies at the train station and settled in for the long ride home. this morning: irish breakfast and goodbye to cammy. things get sadder here by the day as more and more of my friends leave. The guesthouse is a ghost town and now even our little group of four is beginning to disband. *sniff* when will we meet again??