Again, this is copied directly from an email to my mother.
I would like to start with a complaint. What is the deal with my stomach?! Most of the time I feel normal. Then sometimes I feel icky. But there’s a good chunk of the time when I feel so hungry that I will DIE if I don’t get food RIGHT NOW. And when I feel like that, I apparently have no “full” setting. I eat until I literally can’t swallow another bite, but my stomach still says it’s empty. Not cool.
Anyway, I skipped yesterday so let’s start there. Yesterday was good but overall the least good (I don’t like “worst” because it seems bad) of the Paris days. It was, as you mentioned, rainy, which with current weather is a bit chilly. (Side note- We were talking to someone French the other day, and Christopher was trying to say it was a bit cold for us. He kept saying it was “chilly” every time they didn’t understand. I finally got him to shutup long enough for me to explain he meant cold. I then explained that if they don’t know the word, repeating it won’t help!)
Firstly, the couple who run the little b&b provided breakfast. There were kiwis (?), cereal, a baguette, some soft bread, and most importantly, croissants. They were DELICIOUS. Christopher also had coffee, but obviously I don’t care for that. Excellent start. I also had a shower. It was a bit less hot than I preferred, more comfortably warm. Christopher said the same. Then today he realized there’s a button that lets you turn it further and make it hotter. Some sort of safety feature it seems. So today’s showers were much hotter. Then it was time to go!
We had to go to the Hard Rock Cafe to pick up our Paris Passes. These are somewhat expensive but very worth the money. They let you ride all the public transportation, get into all the museums, use the river boat cruises, the tour bus, and some other attractions. We decided to take a taxi for that, since we weren’t exactly sure where to go. Once we had those, we walked to the Louvre. Not a bad walk, but Christopher tried to get us lost and I had to tell him which way to go. ^_^
At the Louvre, which is insanely huge btw, first I wanted to touch the glass pyramid. We took some pictures there too. Then we had to figure out how to get in. The line was crazy long (probably 1-2 hour wait), but our passes were supposed to get us in without waiting in line. Only we weren’t sure where to go for that. But we asked someone and figured it out and went right in. Pretty sure the passes were worth it right there, even with the cost, especially since it started pouring soon after and the line wasn’t covered at all.
The Louvre is… cool, and impressive, and has lots of good stuff. It’s also crowded, disorienting, and too big to come close to seeing everything. We saw some interesting sculptures, and the Islamic art was pretty awesome. We also saw the Mona Lisa but didn’t fight our way to the front of the crowd to get close. Also, people always make this big deal out of how the Mona Lisa is so much smaller than you’d think. I have no idea how big they were expecting, but it was exactly the size I thought it was.
Ultimately, we stayed 2-3 hours. Most people recommend a whole day, but honestly we aren’t that into art, and it was crowded and hot and there was no easy place to get food without waiting forever. So we left and went to a little cafe up the street for lunch. We had very tasty cheeseburgers. I could not, however, pee there, because we didn’t have any change and it cost money. Oy.
Heads up if you’re ever in Paris, they aren’t as into privacy/gender segregation as we are. In one bathroom it was unisex, with the urinals in a separate but visible alcove, and all the rest have had open doorways between the two. It’s kinda weird. Also not fair, the urinals are free even when the stalls aren’t. They’re lucky I didn’t just figure out how to pee in one.
Anyway, after that we went to Notre Dame. It’s pretty close to the Louvre. It was also the opposite of the Louvre for us. People don’t talk about it as much, so we weren’t expecting much, but it was super impressive. A- You don’t realize how insanely big and intricate cathedrals are, since we don’t have any. B- I really like stained glass. Christopher said the exact same thing. Also, they have this underneath/underground part where they’ve dug up some of the original buildings that were built over, and you can see that, and it’s really cool. It’s weird since we aren’t old enough to have those sorts of things.
Then we walked to the Eiffel Tower again. That’s the part where I considered killing Christopher. It was at least an hour walk, and it was raining, and we only had the one too small umbrella between us. Still, I did enjoy bits of it. Then I had to pee though, and the stupid bathrooms were closed for cleaning at the Eiffel Tower, and they said they’d open at 6 (15 minutes) but they didn’t until later. Though I was the first one in line so that counts for something. Also, I fed some ducks and they were adorable so I felt better.
We were at the Eiffel Tower again to go on a boat cruise on the river. And to get ice cream. ^_^ I think that was just Christopher trying to make me less irritable about the hour walk. The boat was good, but not so good that I wouldn’t have been annoyed if we’d actually paid for it. (Our passes made it free.) I liked it though, and it was nice to sit for a bit after the walk. And we got to see some pretty buildings.
Then we walked back up to the hotel area, and got food. I got a meh steak with the most delicious mashed potatoes ever. Christopher got some sushi. We took those back to the hotel to eat.
Again from dinner receipts, we realized we had lost all track of time. This time we thought it was 6-7, and it was almost 10. Whoops. Cause we forgot how far north we are. It was still light out, and just starting to get really dark. So we are ALL messed up on time at this point.