Sunday, October 19, 2008

Messed up day

Still getting the hang of this - I need to remember to post the pictures first and then write the blog so you know what the pictures are...  This first picture is the courtyard with the LDS church, next is Todd in front of "art" at the modern art museum.  The third is Napoleon's tomb, under that is me at the Opera house, and the last is of us at dinner.  As you can see from the Opera House picture, it was another beautiful day!  Tomorrow is supposed to be 67 degrees but rain is heading our way for Tuesday.

Bonjoir!  That is about the only French word we use here.  I think they can see us coming and start speaking English right away.  It makes it easier but a lot less fun.  Today we slept in VERY late.  I was up late blogging and our hotel room backs up to a small street with apartments.  Every morning around 3:00 am someone honks their horn repeatedly.  It is annoying and starting to cause interruptions in our sleeping so we had a hard time getting moving today.  We left here at 11:15 - church starts at 11:20.  After some confusion with the address we found where we were going.  The address was correct but we didn't see the church sign.  All there was was a big blue door which led to a courtyard.  Luckily, some older men were standing in the doorway and showed us the way inside.  The door normally has to be opened from the inside unless you have a code - which we didn't have and the church website says nothing about that!  Anyway, we found sacrament meeting and waited outside while the sacrament was being served (not too late - that is usually what time I show up at home!)  When they opened up the doors to let in the late stragglers we realized how crowded the room was (chairs set up in a long conference type room).  Where to sit?  We very obviously had to make our way to the front for a seat.  It was an interesting meeting to say the least.  I have a hard time concentrating to the speakers in my own ward but in this one I didn't understand anything they were saying so I was "out" pretty quick.  Todd actually understood a lot of it from his years on a mission.  The topics are the same (do they ever really change?) and some of the words were similar.  He leaned over to me a few times and told me what they were saying.  I was shocked he knew.  The hymns were all very recognizable but with different words of course.  I sat there wishing I had them memorized a bit more!  We talked to a few people afterwards - many Americans working in France for specific periods of time.  NO youth and a handful of small children under the age of 5 I would say.  I guess they take advantage of the opportunity while they can - no kids in school to keep them in the states.

After church I changed my clothes and we went over to the Pompidou Museum of Modern Art.  It was as strange as those museums always are so we didn't stay long.  The interesting (and most famous) thing about this museum is that all the pipes are on the outside of the building; like it is turned inside out.

From the Pompidou we headed to the metro to make our way to the Opera House (Phantom of the Opera).  I was very excited about this.  The ceiling is painted by Mattise and it is supposed to be a very ornate building.  By the time we found the place it seemed pretty busy outside.  Turns out there was an Opera matinee that afternoon so we couldn't get in!  Great, 3 trains over and now we can't see the place!  We headed over to a perfume museum close by.  It was very disspointing and NOT what it seemed on Rick Steve's Paris DVD.  We tried to find another one he mentioned in his book but were at a loss.  I gave up.  It just wasn't my day.  We gave up and decided to try and go see Napoleon's tomb and the war museum.  That was a VERY ornate and interesting building.  We learned a great deal.  After leaving there it was about 5:30 pm.  We hadn't eaten anything besides a "breakfast cookie" all day and were starting to feel it. Here is the problem do you find a good restaurant in a nice neighborhood that won't charge you a fortune AND you can read the menu.  Food has been our greatest fear all along and last night's experience left us feeling wary.  Well, we got lucky and stopped at a nice place close by.  We went for the French experience meal, appetizer, main dish, and a cheese course (we planned on dessert as well but were too full at that point).  It was really good.  We split a tomato and Mozzeralla plate, Todd had the tuna and I had the quiche lorraine.  The cheese course (always eaten after your main meal) was....interesting.  There were no crackers, but there was plenty of bread.  It came on a cutting board with some salad on the side.  3 of the cheeses were actually very good but one had so much mold on it I just couldn't eat it.  Todd made me try and and it wasn't too bad but visually I couldn't eat anymore after that.  We spent a greater part of the meal talking to a German man who sat at the table next to us.  He was alone (his tour group stayed at the hotel) and we could tell he was lonely.  He had lost his wife a few years back and it was obvious he missed her a great deal.  He taught us about tipping (which there really isn't any because the gratuity is built in to the price).  It was still very hard not to leave anything so Todd gave the waiter a few Euros.  Last night when we were on our own we left a 15% tip for slow service and cold, horrible food!  Silly American mistake number.....oh, I've lost count!

With sore, tired feet we decided to head back to the hotel early and here we are.  This is our last night of internet for a few days and after Tuesday night I am not sure if we will have it at all.  I will do the best I can....for now here are some of today's pictures.  Oh, and why is no one commenting on this blog?  Do I need to email you individually?  I need to hear from you as well!



t-mac99 said...

dad i bet you can't wait to go to disneyland. i was reading some stuff online about it and it looks so cool! i wish i could go with you guys just for disney and the food. everything else isn't as appealing to me. haha. i hope you are having fun! i love you!

Sarah Viola said...

Sorry, new to this blog thing and didn't realize I was to leave a comment. It all sounds fabulous and I can't wait to go myself one day. I'm enjoying spending time with your kids although I got so emotional watching Abby skate! :-)

Janet said...

I am your mothers' cousin Janet. Your father sent the link of your trip and I am glad to see you both enjoying yourselves. I spent 4 years in Europe as a child and remember many of the places in your itinerary. Love the art and history of France, if not its recent past politics. Marylynne, you have a wonderful way of bringing your pictures to life with the commentaries and humor added. I see so much of your wonderful mother in you.
Have a great time and a safe trip home again. Regards, Jan