Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I know they're lame, but here is another:

My computer broke. The sweet little laptop that I took with me has decided to only display a cryptic screen stating "NTLDR is Missing." So, after exploring Italian repair options, I expressed shipped it's lazy ass back to states and it's promptly being shipped back to me. So after almost 3 weeks with no free internet, I will be up and running and back in the spirit.

Thanks for checking in though, regular programming to resume as soon as I can get my hot little hands back on it.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Jam packed exploring day -- get ready to be exhausted from the rundown.

The morning (well, let's say 11:00, because generally we don't get moving very quickly, but thankfully, neither does Europe):
  • Metro to Sacre Coeur - We use our best "don't eff with us" faces to ward off the swindlers & pickpockets at the gates of Sacre Coeur; the cathedral is beautiful, more for the view and because of the white Gypsum that it's made from than the actual interior
  • Montmartre - Awesome district of Paris that has roots as bohemian and artsy -- this is where the starving artists lived after the turn of the century because no one could afford the heart of Paris -- a really lovely neighborhood resulted; Think it's where I'll stay next time, as it's got cafe after cafe and great shops at reasonable prices
  • Moulin Rouge - Crap hole, but you figure "well, while I'm here, I should at least walk by..."
  • Lunch - Small outdoor cafe that was probably chosen more for the crepe stand rather than the sandwiches; Banana and Nutella crepes are introduced to us
  • Bus to Luxembourg Gardens (by way of Louvre (super long walk) and another long walk in search of a boat thinking that maybe now is the time to go down the Seine)
    • Luxembourg Gardens are amazing, even more amazing is the number of people in it; Paris, like Seattle, potentially consists of people that flee their offices at the first glimpse of sun in spring as the grounds are crawling with people (non-tourists) -- reading books, playing chess, bocci ball, kids having toy sailboat races, etc.
    • Plan to go down river is hijacked by my desire to go to Flamant on the left bank (endless buses and walking/getting lost necessary to find the store that doesn't exist on maps, phone calls to my sister for directions ensue, as well as a Google map from a hotel concierge)
  • Explored Saint Germain-des-Pres as a result of (being lost) looking for Flamant
  • Finally find it! Friend gets hit on by two shopboys (real phone numbers and everything) and we're invited to go dancing; I'm told I am "beautiful, like our paints" and other people in the store laugh at the stupid American girl who is trying to ask what kind of base they use - "Resin? Acrylic? Clay?" Things get massively twisted around in translation, conversation is a lost cause
  • Flamant bonus: Laduree is nearby, so I buy the famous macaroons for us under the guise that it's a thank you to friend for aimlessly wandering Paris due to home store fetish (really just wanted to stuff face with cookies...)
  • Louve - Bus back to central downtown area and hit the Louvre after the Friday evening admission discount is in play; Power through the exhibits even though we're starting to feel the effects of the day; Highlight is not the Mona Lisa, but rather taking pervy pictures in a deserted wing of the Roman statue hall, wild schoolgirl giggling ensues
  • Close down the Louvre and catch metro to the Eiffel Tower area so we can get on a boat for the river tour
    • Disclaimer: Thought long and hard about this, but after being told to do it by several Parisians, we opted to follow-through -- especially thought it was a good way to see Paris at night since we were not staying in the thick of the city
    • Consensus: Nice way to see the city at night, but wouldn't make the same recommendation to anyone else, some Asian guy did take friend's picture though, potentially thought she was part of the tour, as people think she looks like Britney Spears
12:30 AM:
  • Exhausted and whiny, we catch three different metro trains to make it back to the 'burbs; oddly, apartment owner has left us a note saying she's not sure whether she'll be home for the night (shacking?) so we have the apartment to ourselves, not that we needed it, we both fell asleep immediately.
Big day. Did the tourist in us proud.