Wednesday, August 15, 2018

MORE RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING

1) Have you ever had a moment of realization that kind of slapped you in the face? I did, and I'm panicking a bit.

You know how we all have secrets, right?  Some are just dumb things we are embarrassed about and some are, well, more secrety than others? 

Usually I'm pretty transparent about myself, because I'm not so interesting that I have things to hide, but there are a couple of things that I don't talk about, ever, to anyone.  Usually.  I have one such secret, and what it is isn't important, just know that it's something I hold close and dear and it's mine.  I don't talk about it. Nothing bad, or scary, or anything like that, just a stupid little secret that I keep close, but if anyone else knew, it would...well, it would be complicated.  For a while now, I've known for a fact that one person knows it, but it's because she can read me like a book.  She's had the good grace never to mention it straight out, but I know she knows because she knows everything about me.  I felt pretty confident that she was the only one who did know and I was fine with it because she wouldn't tell anyone. I trust her implicitly.

Then I remembered.

About eight or nine years ago, in a moment of what I can only remember as desperation (and I don't remember what brought it on) I happened to tell someone, like...outright...what that secret was. I know that it was germane to whatever was going on, but I don't know why I told this person. It wasn't even a person I know very well, but I assume that I was in a fairly vulnerable state, which breeds confidences like that. I mean, we're friends and all, but not...you know...FRIENDS. I know that it made them look at me differently. Once whatever crisis passed, I completely forgot about telling them until recently. There's nothing I can do about it now, but I have regret!  I don't know what I was thinking.  This person will probably never tell anyone my dumb little secret, but I have no way of knowing that. Their spouse knows me and what if they told them?  I mean, it's been however many years and they haven't said anything, and they seem to be a decent sort of person, but what if I make them mad?!  I've been in a low grade fever of discomfort since I remembered.  I need to shut up.  I especially need to shut up when I'm in emotional turmoil.

I don't even know why I'm telling you this now.  GAH!

2) Last week I mentioned that I'd be missing my weight loss class because I needed a break from it.

I skipped it!  I stayed at work and finished some of the stuff that had been backing up and I felt better about things in general because that was one less thing that I had to deal with that week. Steve was supposed to go and pick up our supplies from them the next day so that I wouldn't even have to do that, but he didn't.  He got caught up at work and asked me to go by and get them. Dangit. I agreed, because usually, if you have to pick anything up late, it is left on a desk in the front of the office and you don't have to talk to anyone.

Wellllll, our stuff wasn't there, and so I had to go back and talk to the lady who puts together our packages.  She had forgotten about us, so she told me to wait a few minutes and she'd get us sorted. While I was waiting, the behaviorist came by and saw me and  I ended up getting weighed AND lectured!!!!!!!  Everything I purposefully avoided the day before happened anyway!  This is all the proof I need that I have no control over my destiny. Someone that does not like me much is in control of my schedule now.  I will be weighed, measured, and found too heavy every time. :(

3) I've been cleaning out my closet lately and you know what I realized? When I make special plans to do something (and by special plans I mean plans that are out of my normal, everyday deal, and possibly with people I don't see very often) I will sometimes buy new clothes to wear that day. Its a weird thing, I know, but I like to look nice and/or appropriate so these nice people don't find out that I am normally a huge slob! Haha! Anyways, since I've had to start weeding clothes out of my closet, I've found a LOT of clothes that I bought for specific plans that ended up getting cancelled.  Like, a lot.  It's not a big deal, of course, because every cancelled plan means one less day of wearing pants, but I could remember what most of the outfits were for and it made me sad that they never happened. Why do we, as adults, cancel plans so much?  We are going to die sooner than later! We should take more time to see our friends. I ended up having to get rid of some stuff I never even got a chance to wear.  Eh, well...Silver Lining...maybe someone else can wear them for their own special plans AND they'll be able to buy the clothes for cheap at Goodwill!  Maybe I made someone's day!

4) OK, just so you don't think I'm in a complete funk (I'm not. I'm just...slightly blue, I guess. Sorry.) I have started a project and have been having a lot of fun with it!  I have been building models!  Not like, cars or anything like that, but model houses.  Well, model rooms, to be specific.  I happened to find some videos on YouTube of some Japanese model builders, and I enjoy watching them because I find them restful.  I thought the kits were only available in Japan, but as it turns out, you can buy them on Amazon!  They are very detailed and complex, and some of them are wired with lights. I'm currently building this one.  It's all made out of paper, balsa wood, beads and wires and bits of plastic.  When I worked at the SpRocket (ptooey) I used to build doll houses and miniature things out of scraps leftover from signs when things got slow, and it reminds me of that, only the kits come with everything you need.  I HAVE discovered that I'm not really great at following directions! Haha! I wanted to finish the structure before I made the details, so I would have a place to put everything, but you have to build some parts to put on other parts, and the directions for each thing you build are in no particular order in the booklet, so I keep having to pull things apart and reglue other things to make them right.  One whole wall I glued in backwards, and the "windows" are spotted with glue and on the wrong side of the wood, but I'll just put that part against the wall when I set it up!  I also accidentally cut through some of the paper patterns because I didn't know the paper was folded in half! Oops.  I did manage to wire the lighting in correctly, which I'm quite proud of!  It works!  It's slow going, though, because each thing has to be assembled individually, but I'm having a lot of fun and it gives me something to do with my hands. I'm already excited about building another one when I'm done with this. I've missed making things.

5) I hope you're having a great day, by the way. I really do. :)

Thursday, August 09, 2018

RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING

1) I meant to tell you about this when I was writing about out trip, but I forgot.

One of the weirdest things I saw in Paris were the groups of soldiers walking around in the city. That shouldn't be weird, considering that I live in a town with an Army base, but these soldiers seemed ominous in some way.  There were always four of them walking in formation, wearing fatigues, carrying automatic weapons and not talking to anyone.  They were on some sort of patrol, I suppose. I know that there have been terrorist situations where people have run vehicles into crowds of people in Europe, so I suppose that was what they were on the lookout for, but it was kind of scary!  It wasn't the guns that bothered me (I mean, let's be serious, where I live even your morticians have a conceal carry permit in case of the zombie apocalypse) but I think it was that the out-of-placeness (I know there is a word for that, but I don't know what it is) that felt so weird. I also noticed that the cops there had very obvious guns.  I dunno, maybe I just didn't expect to see guns at all over there, so it was a bit jarring to be walking along the Seine and suddenly having to move out of the way of the soldiers with big-ass guns.

Shout out to them for protecting my American behind in their country though!

2) I've gone back to Boot Camp after taking a month off and it was a tough reintroduction! Granted, I know that the class (a mixture of strength and resistance training and cardio) isn't that intense, but for me, a giant marshmallow filled with pudding, it's hard!  The first day back I almost threw up, which is so embarrassing. The poor instructor has been scared every since we met that I'm going to pass out or throw up at some point. It's not that the class is that intense or that I'm that big of a weenie, I just have terrible balance and I get motion sick very easily for some reason and we move around a LOT.

Other than that, though, I'm still enjoying it and I'm getting a little better!  I did a plank correctly for the first time!  That is huge for me!  I also have a muscle in my stomach now!  It's nowhere close to being an actual ab or anything like that, but I know it's there. Buried. Like a shoe box under a pile of laundry!

My weight loss has stalled and keeps trying to reverse, to my great chagrin. That is my fault, as I am heartily tired of the whole thing. Don't get me wrong, I am still working on it, but now that I'm allowed food, I do tend to eat things I'm not supposed to have and we've gone out to dinner at restaurants several times, but I really don't understand the extent of the gaining. At the most I should be maintaining my weight, but no.  I keep gaining and losing the same five pounds over and over, which sucks.  I need to get back into my good head space, because I need to lose about five more pounds, which is proving to be really freaking hard.  Also, I'm afraid once I'm not going to the weekly meetings, I'm going to lose my motivation and regain all the weight I lost, and I desperately don't want to do that.  It's all so hard and frustrating. I want to be healthy and fit (I don't care much about being skinny, but I'd like to be comfortable in my own skin and I'm not quite there yet) but I also want to eat delicious food. It is becoming apparent that you can't do both.

I've actually been keeping a weekly video diary of the process, which is funny going back to look at them. I'm thinking about editing some of it together and posting it here. It is truly a timeline of all of this madness!

P.S. I skipped this week's meeting because I needed a week off from being weighed like a cow. I'm calling it a mental health break.

3)  I wish there was more to tell!  Not a lot going on at the moment, but that's ok. I'm at least making myself do some crafts instead of only sitting around watching videos in my spare time, and I ordered some stuff to do a fairly elaborate project that I've never tried before, so that should be fun!  I hope your days are much more exciting than mine! In a good way, of course, not in an "we have to hide from flesh eating platypodes" kind of way.  Although that WOULD be exciting! 

Monday, July 23, 2018

BLOGGED AFTER THE FACT- FRANCE TO HOME! JUNE 20

OK, not gonna lie.  I didn't have it in me to write about the day we left France on the day we left France. Or the next day. Or the next day.

It's been over a month, and I'm just now starting to climb back on top of the jet lag and being tired from the trip.  We had an amazing, AMAZING time, but I am old and cranky and I need sleep.  So about the end of our trip...

Let me explain... No, there is too much.  Let me sum up.

We got to sleep in a bit that Thursday before being taken to the Charles de Gaulle airport, wherein we had a heck of a time getting checked in. I still don't know what the deal was, but almost everyone in our group had a problem getting our bags checked and getting our boarding passes.  By the time we got all that finished, we had just enough time to go to the bathroom before we started to board. 

Me, and the brown kid in front of me, were "randomly selected" to be searched.  A very nice French man got to see me pull up my shirt and run a metal wand around the waistband of my pants.  I think by French law he's my second husband now.

The flight was...long. LONG. My kingdom for one day figuring out how to complain to the right people to get moved into first class during an overseas flight for some trifling reason.  Seriously, can someone teach me how to be the kind of jerk who makes that happen?

Air France did their best to keep us comfortable, though, I'll give them that.  A woman a row up from us had some kind of food allergy and monopolized the flight attendants attention and they forgot to give Steve and me any dinner, but once they realized what they did, they fell all over themselves to fix the issue.  The head attendant came and personally apologized and offered to give us more food or anything else we wanted. We were a little taken aback, because it wasn't a huge deal, but it was kind of them to do all of that. We said we didn't need anything, but they insisted on doing something, so we let them bring is a glass of champagne.  So I was tipsy and/or asleep for the next hour or so!  Haha.  Yep, still really dehydrated!

We landed in Atlanta, went through customs, rented a mini-van, and Steve, Anthony, Kayla and Me made our way back home.  Steve drove, and I don't know how he did it because the rest of us were dozing off.  I tried so hard to stay awake to talk to him and keep him awake, but I kept falling asleep!  We finally got Anthony and Kayla delivered to their respective homes and Steve and I headed back to our own house.  Unfortunately, Steve dozed off and ran off the road, but we are ok.  It scared both of us enough to stay awake all the way home!  Silver Lining! 

Now we're back, and I am very glad to be home.  I did get my alone time and lots of it, as it turned out, because Steve had to go to Alaska for work. It took about three weeks to really get back into the swing of things, which is pitiful, but we were really running ragged by the end.  I had an absolute blast and would love to go back to both countries again, but there is still so much world to see that maybe I'll go someplace new next time! :) 

Thanks for reading about my trip!  There are still a few anecdotes that I'll talk about later, but for now, let's get back to real life, shall we?

Thursday, July 19, 2018

BLOGGED ALONG THE WAY: BONJOUR! EDITION: JUNE 19

You know, I never-ever say this when I'm on vacation, but I think I'm ready to go home.

Don't get me wrong, I've had an absolute blast on this trip, and I love exploring new places and trying new things, and I genuinely like the people I'm here with, but I'm ready to not be doing any of those things and not being around these people for a while.  Well, except for Steve, but that can't be helped.

I've come to this conclusion because I heard Steve chew today and wanted to shove him off of a building. Actually, I think I'm just ready to have some time to myself for a bit, back in my own house, maybe go to a store without an entourage, and not wear pants for longer than an hour at a time.  It is possible to be genuinely fond of the people you are traveling with and be sick to death of being with them every hour of ever day.  I think that's where I am right now.  No malice intended, just...tired.  Luckily for all of us, this is our last full day on the trip, so hopefully the feeling of slight irritation we have with each other will get no worse.

Having said that, though, today has been a lot of fun!  We only had a couple of places we were scheduled to be today, so we took our leisure in getting up and having breakfast this morning. You know how I said the children were out of control yesterday?  They were worse today. I don't think they are bad kids, but they are with parents on vacation who seem to have 100% checked out of parenting them and they are just running buck wild.  Oy.  At any rate, we got all that taken care of and jumped back on the subway to do a bit more site seeing.  Oh, we've finally figured out how to use the subway!  You can't look for where you want to go, but the terminus of the line you want to be on.  It's all very backwards, but makes sense when you look at the maps.

Today we had tickets to the Eiffel Tower!  Woot!  We were actually scheduled to go at a certain time, but our usual group decided to head out there early to take some photos and see what is around.  There is a lot of construction around the base of the tower. They are building some kind of safety wall or barrier around it that is bullet proof. It's a shame that something like that is necessary, but that is the world we live in right now, I guess. We stopped along the street in front of the tower and had a fun little photo shoot. 

Oui, bitches.

Lots more photos were made, just not with my phone. I wish I had them, but I'll have to wait until we get around to sharing them, I guess! We walked through the park and went ahead and got in the security line so that we could be searched and whatnot. They don't let you take much up there!  It was too early to get in line (as we had a scheduled time to go) so we hung out underneath the tower for a while. 

This feels uncomfortably like an upskirt photo. My apologies, tower!

I had already known that the Eiffel Tower had only been intended to be a fancy showpiece for the 1887-1889 World's Fair, but what I didn't know was that it's pieces were all made someplace else and just assembled at it's current site.  So basically we were standing in line to be carted up with hundreds of other people onto the world's oldest IKEA coat rack.  Yeah, that made me feel safe!  Haha!

The view from the second level was amazing. I took a few photos, but mostly just looked.  You can really see everywhere from up there, so if you get a chance, you should go up there!  I know it seems hopelessly touristy and maybe a little cheesy, but still...it's worth it! 




We left the tower and headed to the only other thing we had on our list to do today, and that was take a cruise down the river Seine.  For some reason I thought it was a dinner cruise, but no, it was just a nice drive down the river.  We sat inside the boat instead of on top, so I didn't get any photos, but it was nice just to rest our feet and enjoy the ride.  I have no idea how long the trip took, maybe an hour or so, but it was a fun way to see the buildings along the river.  I think the original idea had been to do this particular tour at night, but we went ahead and did it during the day. No city of lights for us!  

After landing, we walked around a bit more.  We had dinner at a very French outdoor cafe (making up for Five Guys the day before.)  We found a small chocolate shop and bought a few things, wondered along several streets just looking about, and then headed back towards our hotel so that we could go back to the creperie that we'd gone to on our first day in the city! I didn't take any pictures of what I ordered, but it was full of ice cream and chocolate and pears, and although that combination sounds gross, it was not!  That was really a great way to end our trip, by the way.  Relaxing in a cute shop that sold delicious things.  Every day should end like that.

We finally had to come back to the hotel and get everything organized for the trip home tomorrow. I wish this was a place I could come more often and see more of, because even though I'm ready to go home, there is still so much I'd like to see here.  Eh, that just means I'll have to come back!  No problem! 

Heh, I did a weird thing on the way back to our room. Someone had ordered room service and had left the tray outside of their door when they were done. I saw some little bottles on the tray and wanted to know what they were, so I snagged one as I passed by. It was a cute little jar of mustard!  I love tiny condiments!  I didn't want to linger and make anyone who saw me think I was eating off of the tray, so I took it with me and now I'm not sure what to do with it. I mean, it's unopened, so I guess I'll take it home?  Is that weird?

Damn, I'm tired. 


Monday, July 16, 2018

BLOGGED ALONG THE WAY: BONJOUR! EDITION: JUNE 18

EEEEEEEEEE!!!

OK, before I explain that, let me be normal.  Did you know this hotel has very good breakfast?  I mean, there are a lot of hotels that have breakfast in the morning that is just fine, but breakfast here is good in particular.  Also, the children in this place are getting out of hand.  That probably sounds a lot like an anti-child "Get-off-my-lawn" statement, but I promise it isn't. Well behaved kids, or even kids that are just acting like normal kids are fine. The children here are BADLY behaved and no one does anything about it!  Steve got water thrown on him in the lobby, and there are a lot of kids just screaming and running around unsupervised.  I'm glad we didn't have to hang around the hotel much today!

As much as I enjoyed Spain, I'm think I'm enjoying Paris just a bit more.  Mainly it's because every minute of every day hasn't been planned out for us.  We do have things planned for is, but it's all very only-if-you-want-to-go-or-not and I appreciate that.  Today we had a tour bus and a tour guide for a bit, which was nice.  There are lots of things to do in the city, but walking everywhere takes so much time and it's a pain to try to find everything on your own.  The only problem I had today was that as we were being taken around the city in the bus, I got TERRIBLY car sick.  It was bad.  I didn't actually puke, thank goodness, but I had to close my eyes and keep my head down almost the entire ride so I didn't actually see many of the things that we were being shown. I'm such a weenie dog.  Oy.
By the time that we made our first stop, I was feeling a bit better.  We stopped at, well, I don't know what it is called, but a big touristy area between two museums where you could see the Eiffel Tower and take some pictures!


That seems to be a very gloomy photo of a beautiful monument, but we got back on the bus and drove around to the other side of it and this was the view:


Weird.

The tour bus took us into the heart of the city so that we could see Notre Dame.  It was very crowded, and we didn't go in, but it was amazing to see it up close! 




After we left, Anthony, Steve and I went to a restaurant to kill some time.  I had the weirdest experience in the bathroom. (No, not like that!)  I went down to use the facilities and put my coin in  (blast those pay to use toilets!) opened the door, and immediately hit someone on the other side.  Of course, my first reaction was to say "SORRY!" and I let the door close.  Damnit! That was the only coin I had! The door opened and a lady was in there and she said "Oh, it's alright!" and I noticed that it wasn't just a single bathroom, but a small bathroom with two stalls.  OK, then.  She let me in and I went to do the thing, and I thought she'd left, but when I opened the door to the stall, the lady was standing there with her top off! WTF?!  She said "Oh, I'm sorry! I haven't put my shirt back on yet." and I just hid in the stall again until I was sure she was gone.  I literally have no idea what was going on, and I don't want to know, but I hope that doesn't happen again. 

We got back on our bus about an hour later and (dun dun DUUUUUUN) we were taken to the Louvre!  EEEEEEEEEEEE!  I have always wanted to go to the Louvre.  As someone who studied a LOT of art in college, I can't explain how much I had been looking forward to actually being in front of all of the cool stuff I'd only seen in books!  Our tour guide, Oxan, split us up into two groups and we were on our way.  Now, I was thrilled to be inside the Louvre, and I knew that there would be a lot of people in there, but I was not prepared at all at the sheer number of people that we saw inside that day.  I mean, I don't think my hometown has that many people in it.  Holy smokes.  We were shunted from side to side, and had to dodge huge tour groups.  I know that part of the issue was because our tour leader was taking us to see the most famous exhibits there: The Venus de Milo (Aphrodite de Milo, we were told is the correct title), Winged Victory, and the Mona Lisa!  *heavy breathing*






I couldn't get a good picture of the Mona Lisa because people are rude and that one room was packed from one side to the other with people who didn't have any manners.

Y'all, I about peed my pants.  I genuinely don't think you understand how overwhelmed I was to be in the presence of these things. Actually, I was overwhelmed to be in the presence of a lot of what I saw, but I have read and studied and learned about all of this stuff and I never once thought I'd actually get to see any of it in person. I only wish I could have gotten nearer to them, but that was impossible.  My favorite by far was Winged Victory, because seriously, that thing is made of marble. MARBLE! Look at how it flows and folds, and you can see details of the body underneath. Can you imagine the skill it took to carve something so fluid and with so much movement?! You can almost feel the wind that blows the tunic around the figure.  Something about standing right there and looking at such an amazing, ancient creation made fighting the crowds completely worth it. I'd give anything if I could go back sometime when it wasn't so crowded and get my fill of looking, but who knows if that will ever happen.  This was truly a mind blowing experience for me.

I had a very bizarre issue being in the Louvre, though.  I couldn't put my damn phone/camera down.  I was in, arguably, one of the best museums in the world and I kept taking pictures of what I was looking at instead of actually looking at the pictures.  I had to keep making myself put my phone away and then I'd pull it out and take another picture of what I was looking at.  Why was I doing that?!  I can find pictures of the things in there online, I don't need to take pictures, but I did.  I finally decided to just leave my phone in my purse and actually experience what I was seeing, which made the rest of our visit enjoyable.  I did take out my phone and take a few more pictures, but only if I had my absolute fill of looking at the thing first.

 A legit Da Vinci - John the Baptist! 

 Ancient Grumpy Cat

 Really Old Coke Advertisement

THAT GIRL!

We left the main gallery and went to the ancient Egyptian section (that's what I recommended and the people with me either didn't care what else they saw, or likes ancient Egypt as much as I do) and after we walked along a bit more, we left the Louvre and walked out into the city.

By now we were properly hungry and trying to find a place to eat, but we had no idea where we were. At any other time that we'd walked around, we'd be within 20 feet of a cafe, but not here.  There was hardly anything around that wasn't a fancy restaurant, and so the longer we walked, the more people whined about being hungry, and after a few "I don't want to eat theres" everyone else made the decision that we'd go an eat at Five Guys.  I mean...  Look, I'm not a snob, and probably the closest thing that I have to a guilty pleasure is a Five Guys burger and fries, but...we were in freaking Paris.  On the Champs Elysees no less.  I'd have rather found a cafe or something like that, but no, we ate at a Five Guys.  Oy.  Well, at least everyone stopped complaining. I also thought it was kind of funny that on the famous "Most Beautiful Avenue In the World" and in between Tiffany's and Co. Cartier, Louis Vuitton, and things like that, there is a Five Guys.  Ah well, silver lining is that they had proper American style bacon, so who am I to complain?  

We continued our walk to the Place de la Concorde (which is apparently where a bunch of people got guillotined during the French Revolution) to take some pictures.






From there we decided to head back to the hotel and rest a bit.  We were hot and tired, and we'd been on quite an adventure so far that day.  We figured that we'd get back together later on in the evening and try to decide what else to do.

Unfortunately, that didn't happen.  We fell asleep!  It was only supposed to be a nap, but the nap raged out of control.  I've woken up for a bit, but I'm going to go back to sleep here soon.  Eh, we still have another whole day in Paris, so I'm not going to complain.  Bonsoir from our boudoir!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

BLOGGED ALONG THE WAY: VIVA...I MEAN, BONJOUR! EDITION: JUNE 17 - PART 2

Wow, sorry about that. The day was so long that it felt like two completely separate eras.  I call them BN and AN (before nap and after nap.)

OK, so I left off where we had reconvened with our friends back in the lobby.  We decided that before we did anything else, we needed crepes.  I mean, we NEEDED them.  So we set off and found a delightful little creperie (which is too a word, stupid spell check!) down the street from our hotel called Les Embruns.  We proceeded therein to eat many crepes and have coffee.  I got one that had dark chocolate and coconut on it, and almost had to be restrained from rubbing it all over my body in sheer delight due to its deliciousness.  It had been a while since I'd had a crepe, so I can't tell you for certain if it was the best place for crepes in all of Paris, but it had to be pretty darn close.  This place was also the site where the first picture of me on this trip that didn't make me look like a dehydrated sea witch was taken.

 Oh, coffee, you're so funny! I love you.

After we left, we went to the Gare de Lyon train station and got three day passes for the subway (underground?) so we could get to where we needed to go.  Trouble was, once we got into the station proper, we could not read the map.  Now, some of you may have been in Paris before and probably thought that it was easy to get around, but not us. I've been on several different subway systems in my life and had no trouble getting from place to place, but to me the map of the Paris subway looked like a wind shield that someone smashed their head into.

Imagine this in all different colors and in a language you don't speak. Easy peasy!

We did meet a nice lady that got us started on our way (bless you, random Parisian!)  From there we made our way to the Sacre Cour!  We had to climb, like, four thousand steps to get up to it, but it was worth it!  It was an absolutely beautiful church with a breathtaking view of the city below.






It was very crowded there and we didn't attempt to go in, but that was fine. We enjoyed looking around outside!  After taking some pictures, we walked over to a street in Montmontre that was lined with souvenir shops, bakeries, restaurants, and it had a square that was where a lot of artists were selling their work!  I bought a lot of art, you guys.  Like...a lot.  For all I know they have little sweat shops at home where people make this stuff and they sell it here and pretend to be artists, but I didn't care, it was real art and nothing massed produced!  I was so excited!  This is what I'd been looking for!!  We also saw a lot of artists doing sketches and caricatures of people right there, but we didn't want to stop and have anything done, because it would have taken too long.  Plus...I don't need a picture of myself to hang anywhere. I can look at myself in a mirror anytime I want! :)

 

We walked around some more and I bought some kind of...well, I don't know what it is, exactly, but it is delicious.  They are some kind of cookies or cakes or something like that from a place called the Biscuiterie de Montmontre. That website doesn't tell me what I bought, and I can't read the label.  For all I know the're for dogs, but they taste good and I don't care.  I have a feeling that I'm going to fall in love with these things and never be able to get them again, which sucks, but as far as that goes, it just means I'll have to appreciate them (i.e. not share them with Steve) more.  We stopped at a cafe at the end of the street and had dinner outside.  I got a croque madame, which is basically a fried ham and cheese sandwich with an egg on top. Sorry for talking about food so much, but this is the first time in months I haven't worried about what I was eating, so humor me this time, please!

Mrs. Sandwich, if you're nasty.

From there we walked a ways until we came to the Moulin Rouge!  It was located in a section of town that seemed a lot like a clean Burbon Street.  I know it isn't the original building and all of that, but it was still fun to see in person!



 Lot of nipples around this place, too.

It was finally sort of getting dark by this time (although I'm not sure when the sun goes down here.) So we decided to end our day and headed back to the hotel.  I have no idea how long we'd been up by this point, but it felt like days.  I know I keep talking about how tired I am, but this is a new level of tired for me. I think that maybe I'll survive it, though.  At least I hope so.  I want to see if Spain makes it to the World Cup Finals! Shut up, I'm invested now.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

BLOGGED ALONG THE WAY: VIVA...I MEAN, BONJOUR! EDITION: JUNE 17 - PART 1

We didn't go to bed last night.

OK, see, this is where I'd normally talk about going home after our trip to Spain, but NO! We didn't go home!  We went to Paris!  The one in France, not Texas!  Yay!  We had the chance to add on a short jaunt to France with a few others from our group and we took it!

HOWEVER...getting there was not a lot of fun.  In fact, up until a little while ago, this part of the trip was a huge cluster-fark. There were about 30 of us from the band going on the Paris trip, and for some reason we had to leave the hotel at 3:00 AM to make it to the airport in time for our flight.  That would have been fine if the gate agents could find our reservations.  They could not.  Apparently there was a glitch that didn't show any of the people in our group having a reservation on the plane.  We were told that nothing could be done until the office agent showed up for work. Greeeeeeeeat.  So we sat in the floor of the Malaga airport for a long time until the unfortunate agent came in.  I say that they were unfortunate, because a lot of the people we were traveling with were the kind of people who didn't have much of a sense of humor about being delayed.  Simply put, they were pissed.  Not only were they pissed, they were indignant!  Luckily (for all of us) it turned out to be an issue with Delta, and after some finagling they found our reservations at the very last minute that it would matter.  Oy, vey.  We almost had to run to make it to our gate, and we got there about 20 minutes before we started to board.  It was tense and we were so tired.

The flight out was fine, except that I fell into another one of those half-sludgy sleeps that are neither restful or useful, but by the time we got to Paris to deplane, I was fairly awake.  The next problem we had was trying to find our tour bus.  We couldn't.  I don't know how long we waited, but one of the men with us got tired of waiting and went on a quest to find the one bus that looked like it might be ours, and as luck had it, it was. Thank goodness, because the older people in our group were being kind of hateful and had we not gotten our bus, I am pretty sure that there would have been a riot.

Oh, but it didn't stop there.  The bus driver spoke zero English and had no idea where we were going, so he took us to the wrong hotel.  Luckily, before we all got out and removed our luggage, someone at the hotel we stopped at could speak enough English to tell us) where we were supposed to go!  HOWEVER...when we got to that hotel, it was too early to check in, so we had to leave our luggage and either get out of the place or sit in the lobby for several hours.  SIGH.

Five of us, Steve, myself, Anthony, Kayla and Katie, decided that we didn't want to hang around and be grumpy, so we set out to explore a bit before our check in time.  We are currently in Gare de Lyon, which is right next to an enormous train station and seemingly in the middle of Paris.  We wanted to find a place to eat, and there were a lot of choices. We walked and waffled around for a bit before we finally just decided to pick a place not far from the hotel, which was a pizza cafe.  It wasn't very "French" in the way you think of a Paris cafe, but the food was good and the waiter was quite charming.  Everything was decorated for the World Cup, which I find very fun!  As an aside, I have enjoyed watching the bits of soccer games that we have managed to see.  I think I'd like soccer pretty well if I could watch it with people who could explain what is going on!  I'm still cheering for Spain, though.  They're hanging in there!

Afterwards, we walked around some more!  We didn't find anything particularly interesting right away, so decided to go back to the hotel and wait until we could get into our rooms and then we'd regroup. There were still some of the older people from our group standing in the lobby, pacing back and forth and looking pissed that they couldn't get to their rooms right away.  Come on, folks.

I am not too proud to say that I fell asleep for a few minutes in the lobby, which was no small feat because the place was infested with children.  That sounds rude, so let me 'esplain you (as Pedro says.) Apparently our charming little hotel lets children stay for free, and apparently every parent in Europe who is visiting Paris this week are staying in our hotel.  I've heard children complain in about 11 different languages today.  Whee.

We finally got to our room! It's very nice, even if the glass walled shower is right next to the bed.  Oh, la la!)  Heh, the glass wall has this button that you push that makes it almost opaque, which is nifty and I played with it more than a grown woman probably should have. I didn't get a video of it (because I was in the shower when it was on and you guys don't need to see that) but I found a gif that shows what I'm talking about:

via GIPHY
Lieutneant Dan! Magic Glass!

Just imagine a naked person in that instead of a Pepsi can, and that was what it was like to take a shower! We (again) took a nap and regrouped with our friends after about an hour.  We wanted to explore the city! 

I'mma stop here for now, because I am tired. That seems to be a trend on this trip.  But we had a great rest of the day!  More soon.