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Saturday, April 9, 2011

One Last Parisian Adventure

We decided it would be best to sleep in the last day in Paris because we had had 3 early mornings in a row and both of us had to leave by 4 AM the next day.  So, slept we did.  It was WONDERFUL.  However, in hindsight, effed with my trip in the slightest.  After a long and lazy breakfast we got onto our stop (Anvers, the worst in Paris) and made our way down to the Opera House for a guided tour in English.  We were excited to see the building and learn a little bit of history, too!  When we got into the building and all signed up, we waited for it to begin.  Our tour guide came, a cute woman who was short and very French.  She led us all around the building.  Literally.  We were in there for hours.  The tour was not even over and we decided we needed to just leave, it had gone on long enough.  She had something to say about almost every stair in the whole Opera house.  That being said, some of the things she said were really interesting and the building was beautiful.  It is the foundation for "The Phantom of the Opera" and he has a box in the theatre and there is even a pool under the stage.  That is pretty dang cool if you ask me!

The Phantom's box!! (the lowest one, I think...)

A beautiful building, no?  We had to get out, though and start our next adventures in the city.  The next thing we went to...well, it changed my life.  I don't know how else to explain the shear magnitude of importance this building will forever resonate in my soul.  It was called the Perfume Museum.  But, it was so much more than its name suggests, they also give you free samples at the end of your self-guided tour...I was so enraptured I forgot to take pictures of the fabulous exhibitions.

In all actuality it was one of the biggest wastes of time since the Powder Tower in Prague...

From there, we made our way back to Notre Dame.  Braden and I wanted to scale the towers and Maria and April wanted to do some shopping in the tourist shops.  Braden and I ate our sandwiches (we're thrifty) and A&M went out and bought some food.  We got into the line, but it was just not moving very fast and we only had 45 minutes.  We concluded that would not be near enough, so we would come back.  We went into the church for a look around and once we got inside I immediately said, "Braden, do you care about this church at all?" The answer was no, so we quick circled it looking for the girls and left.  We were just churched out and nothing was going to really hold our attention in a church ever again unless it was truly marvelous.

The reason that we had to book it out of Notre Dame so fast was because we were scheduled to take part in a wine tasting at Ô Château.  We found it without too much difficulty and sat down in our spots.  The woman leading our tasting experience was a native of the French wine region of Burgundy (I believe).  She had worked at vineyards in Australia, California and France and was incredibly knowledgeable.  Her degree is in wine something or other....really, that is her life.  We learned all about how to properly drink wine.  

During one of the breaks, the people across from us said they were also from Minnesota and had just moved to Texas, another woman said she had just been to MN last year and yet another woman said she was also from the suburbs.  I can't remember where they said they were from, but really, it was the craziest small world experience we've had.  It seems everyone knows about MN or at least knows someone from there!  It was really cool.

After the wine tasting, we split up once again and we went back to Notre Dame to get up those stairs and climb the towers of Quasimodo.  We got all the way over there and got into line and the man put a sign in front of us that said, "end of tours for today".  We had not made the cut.  DASHED WERE MY DREAMS!!!  At least I have a reason to go back to Paris, now :)

From there, we went nuts on souvenirs :)  Side note: I have been putting that word in almost every post and I still can't spell it worth a damn...someday I will learn.

Additional side note:  While in Paris, we signed up for all of our classes back home in Moorhead!  I was able to get into all 5 classes I needed to take, so for that I am excited.  I am taking:

English 220: Intro to American and British Lit
Global Studies 117: Global Systems and Issues (with one of my fav profs)
History 131: European History from Beginnings to 1500
Phy. Ed: S.C.U.B.A. Diving!!
English 421: The Biography (with another one of my FAV profs)   

So, that is exciting.

OK, so after buying all of the souvenirs (HA, got it that time!) we needed, we decided to walk up to Sacre Cour.  It's a huge church on a hill in Paris that totally dominates the skyline in that direction and we all had just kinda resolved ourselves that we wouldn't go see it.  It was right next to our hotel (the same stop even) and we just were never motivated to go see it.  Braden and I were having such a great night just walking through the streets of Paris, though, that we didn't want it to come to an end so quickly.  So, we walked up to it.  Maria was under the impression that the stairs were going to be terrible, but it turns out there was a free funicular!  While walking up to the funicular, a man tried to tie a string to my finger...I can only imagine the terrible things that would have befallen me if I had allowed him....

Well, up we went and the view was really good and the church was beautiful. I guess the church is a miracle because during WWII 4 bombs (or something) dropped on Paris all right around the church and it wasn't destroyed and no one was injured.  

After that, we walked back to the hotel.  We stopped, of course, for one last crepe before we left France.  I had Nutella and banana and about died.  It was so good.  When we got back, we packed and did the usual last night stuff.  We went to bed and woke up early and made our way back to Jena for a day off before continuing our adventure!

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