January 31, 2013

Let's Go! Day 4

Sunday September 23rd

We woke up this morning and took our time getting ready and missed the free breakfast at our hostile.  We walked down the street a ways and found a cafĂ© and grabbed a seat.  We had bread and coffee that was pretty good.  Joe thought his was a triple espresso!  Mine was coffee with cream and chocolate syrup.  After breakfast we made our way to Notre Dame for mass. 

We had coordinated with Ambroise, a student we had on the Teen ACTS retreat over the summer while he visited as a French exchange student, over facebook to meet up and go to mass together.  We had not expected Notre Dame to be so crowded and our change of plans for breakfast pushed back our meeting time to right when mass was starting at 11am. We were scanning the hundreds of people in the courtyard out front looking for Ambroise.  We were about to give up when we saw him coming out of the church. He had gone inside looking for us. (When we got back to our computer that night, we had so many messages from him; I am here where are you; Meet me under this statue; I don’t see you, etc.)  

Mass was very crowded but we were able to find seats on the same row.  We attended the International mass thinking it would be in different languages but it was entirely in French.  Our favorite part was the sign of peace with those around you being from all different parts of the world…it was amazing!! 

After mass, we walked to the Latin Quarter and browsed around a cool bookstore called Shakespeare’s.  We bought Paninis and cokes from a truck vendor and then took them down to the river and ate them by the water.  We studied a map while we ate and Ambroise showed us where he lives, and where he goes to school.

Remember this Kristen?! 
Once we were finished eating,  we took the metro to the Opera house that Ambroise wanted to show us.  It was really beautiful and that side of town was fun to walk through as it was kind of ritzy.  We even saw Lady Gaga’s hotel.  She had performed the night before and we saw the red carpet with guards all around holding back ‘papa’ paparazzi.  We didn’t get to see her but we saw about five loads of her luggage go by!

Hotel Lady Gaga!
Ambroise walked us to the Louvre Musee where we said goodbye.  Joe and I walked around the Louvre and saw the Venus de Milo, Mona Lisa, Napolean’s apartment, and much more.  It would take 72 straight hours to look at each piece of art in the Louvre!

After the Louvre we took the metro to the Luxembourg Gardens.  There were so many flowers and tall trees.  It was very peaceful in spite of all the crowds around.  We were walking back to our metro station when we passed a busy restaurant.  Joe and I both caught glimpses of several plates and turned to each other thinking the same thing…let’s eat HERE! It turned out to be a well regarded restaurant Le Comptoir and we had to wait in line for over 45 minutes but it was way worth it.  We finally got a table in the door way (all the tables were cramped together you were practically speed dating with those around you!).  We had a liter of their house wine with complimentary bread.  Joe had squid and I had chicken.  It was very good.  We even saw a food critique nearby eating lobster ravioli and dessert while taking pictures and tons of notes. 

Next we took our full bellies back to our hostile to grab a blanket.  We stopped at a local grocery store to buy a bottle of champagne and some shampoo.  (We had forgot to pack shampoo and our hair couldn't make it one more day….GROSS).  We then took the metro to the Eiffel Tower to enjoy a bottle of champagne on the lawn.  It started to rain a little so we parked under a tree.  We sat there for a couple of hours, drinking, talking, and taking pictures.  

Before going home, we headed to the Arc De Triomphe to see if we could cross traffic to stand under it.  Turns out, there were a couple of cops guarding it so we didn't want to risk it.  We found a metro station but barely missed the last train.L We ended up taking a cab to our hostile and called it a night.

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