I woke up early and immediately exclaimed "WE ARE IN PARIS, GET UP!" I think bill was excited because I was so excited so we got up, got dressed and headed out with an ambitious itinerary. First stop was the pastry shop down the street where we got a chocolate croissant and some sort of cheesy bread thing with tomatoes on it. I know that the girl in the shop must have recoiled in horror when we asked for our stuff "to go" but were New Yorkers on a busy schedule. I've eaten entire meals walking down the street and in the backs of cabs. I draw the line at eating meals on the subway though, anything more than a bagel needs to stay off the train. I have, however, been witness to a girl eating an entire fried chicken meal complete with mashed potatoes on the subway but that's a different story.
Anyway, we ate our breakfast while we walked up a zillion steps leading to the back of the Sacre Coeur church. When we circled around to the front of the church our climb was rewarded by a stunning view of the city. We made an attempt to go into the church but as soon as we realized they were having mass we decided against entering. I am dead set against tourists being in churches while mass is in session. It's rude and obnoxious. This rule of ours has prevented us from going into a lot of churches on this trip but I just can't bring myself to walk around and stare and take pictures while people are praying.
We descended the stairs in the front of the church and wandered around what appeared to be the garment district of Paris. More and more the city was reminding me of New York, even the fabric shops looked the same; but somehow more charming because, duh, we were in Paris!
We stopped at a cafe before we got on the subway and learned a valuable lesson. When in Paris, don't order cafe au laits sitting at a table. They will charge you €4 per cup. Standing at the bar will only cost you €2. we rode the metro back to the Arc de Triumph and began the long walk down the Champs Élysées to the Louvre. On the way down I had full intention to stalk Karl Lagerfeld outside the Grand Palais but we somehow missed it in all our excitement, well, my excitement about shopping later on in the afternoon. Bill had nonchalantly mentioned that Paris would be the perfect place to buy me a designer bag, this really got the wheels turning in my head, but more on that later.
We took our time walking through the gardens that lead up to the Louvre. It was unusually hot that day and I was working up a sweat taking pictures of every flower, every fashionable lady and every painter with their easel on the sidewalk. We stopped to get sorbet at a little ice cream cart and I almost melted with happiness. I was eating sorbet! Outside the Louvre! IN PARIS!
The museum itself is really crammed full of every kind of art you could ever want to see. Of course we saw the Mona Lisa, it was a lot smaller than I had pictured it to be. There were also a lot of paintings that had some pretty erotic stuff going on. I thought all these catholic renaissance painters were very anti sex everything. The art tells a different story people, and it's quite dirty. Out of everything we saw, my personal favorite was the Nike of Samothrace statue. It is displayed so dramatically in the museum it's hard not to have a sense of awe when looking at it.
After spending about 2 hours in the museum we were done. There is only so much beautiful stuff a person can absorb at a time. We have done a ton of museums on this trip and the Louvre definitely ranks at the top of the list.
Fortunately the Louvre also has a Starbucks attached to it so we went in and made another video to add to our growing "Starbucks around the globe" series. While I sucked down a mocha-caramel-frappe-venti-espresso something or other, I marked the Chanel atelier on the map so I could stalk Karl at his place of business. There was also an Apple store nearby so Bill checked his email to see if his old college friend who lives in Paris had wrote back to us about meeting up later. She had and we were meeting at six. This gave us about 2 1/2 hours to kill so we headed out and towards Notre Dame.
On our way to the church we walked across one of the bridges where the lover's locks are. We thought this was something that had been going on for years and were astounded when we found a lock that had 1961 on it. We later found out this is a fairly new thing people have been doing and the lock we found meant the couple had been together since 1961. Ooooooohhhhhh. It was still tres romantique and I did get a little teary eyed thinking of all the proclamations of love happening in that spot over the years. When did I turn into such a pathetic shitty sap? Our friends dad (same friends dad from tangier) told us that "Paris will make your heart sing" and it was. It was singing a fucking opera at this point.
Notre Dame was nice. In my opinion St. Stephan's in Vienna was more impressive. Notre Dame is reeaalllyyy dusty. There's literally a blanket of dust on everything inside. It was kinda sad and a little gross. I know the catholic church is not hurting for funds, I've seen the Vatican, so why can't they hire a cleaning lady? That's all I got out of seeing it. Dusty.
We met Francesca in one of the many tiny covered passageways that litter Paris. I forget the name of the place but it was soooo French. It was a tiny little place, with a couple table outside and maybe four inside. They specialized in organic French wines and little plates of cheeses and meats. Francesca happens to be a wine expert so she choose something very delicious and we got the mentioned mixed plate. This was the first thing we had eaten since breakfast so I was hungry. More cheese and bread! We were in Paris!
After catching up over the bottle we headed out with the intention of getting drinks at another cafe. Instead Francesca ended up taking us on a private tour of pretty much the entire city. We went from cute neighborhood to gay neighborhood to the Jewish neighborhood to the tourist neighborhood. We saw museums, parks, monuments, statues and fountains. We saw it all. It was great having someone who knows their way around to explain all the cool little things we never would have found. At 11pm we were all exhausted and decided to part ways. We went home and I watched a French soap opera on tv until I fell asleep.