day four - so flipping awesome

I don't know if I could say this fourth day, last Wednesday, was my favorite day in Paris but it was tied for number one, for sure.  I was giddy with the knowledge that I could go anywhere (for about $3.20 round trip plus some miles on foot) and I was becoming much more comfortable speaking to people and ordering food and coffee wherever I wanted.  Not because I was better at it, mind you, but because I had seen that most people were so gracious and offered big smiles and lots of patience.  Everybody also spoke some English, after I asked nicely in French, and between their knowledge and my pointing, I got on fine.  This was the first day of absolutely no eye twitching and it never returned.  Ah, relaxation.  :)  I was also sick of shopping, after two days of it.  I was so excited to start seeing more of the famous (and not so famous) Paris landmarks.

sidenote:  It was so unbelievably incredible to do whatever the heck I wanted for so many days.  I felt as much blessed by this as I did by being in Paris.

I had planned to take an English speaking tour on Wednesday.  It started at 11:00am and I woke up at 10:07!  I jumped out of bed, threw on some clothes and hurried out to the Metro.  I made it to the right station in Montmartre about 5 minutes late but caught the group (hard to miss with the bright pink vest their guides wear) and was able to join them.

It was grey and gloomy but warm (maybe 30-35)...a really good temp for walking when you're bundled up a bit. 

 streets of Montmartre...right away we saw the main cafe from the Amelie movie but I didn't take a picture.  After a bit of the market area we walked up into the more residential area and it was so quiet and lovely.  He showed us the house of a super famous French singer, Dalida.  Her story is tragic.
 Renoir's famous painting Bal du moulin de la Galette was set at this place below:
 You can read the story of this here if you'd like.
 Montmartre is on a hill so we gently wound our way to the top. 
 First glimpses of the Sacre Coeur which sits at the top of Montmartre.


 The Sacre Coeur was designed by two different men.  They added that square tower after the humongous bell they had made wouldn't fit in the biggest dome as planned.  :)
 That famous square where all the artists sit around and sell their lovely paintings.  Also, where you get offered a portrait and you decline based on the huge zit on your forehead and not knowing how to really ask them to leave it off.  :)
 Fun to catch a few space invaders, even though they are grafitti.
 I adored this door.
 so creepy and perfect.
 At Sacre Coeur, looking down onto Paris.
 out of order door handle.  Hi, little owl.
 Can you imagine when this tree is in bloom??
 Looking down.  This was when I was on my own, by the way.  I took the tour, walked all the way down the hill with our guide to a cash machine (I had left so quickly that morning I didn't have time to get money!), and then walked all the way back up to wander around more.  Discover Walks are tip based so you pay what you think it's worth.  There was really no pressure and it was fun to speak to someone in English for a while.
 I totally edited out my zit.  LOVE photo retouching.  :)
 Tiny little cobblestone streets.
 Sorry, no children.  HAHAHAHAHA!  :)
 Most Parisien buildings have courtyards behind them so you see all these amazing little walkways leading off to lovely little green spaces.  I heard if the gate is not locked, you can go on in.  I tried it a couple of times. 
 Too bad I didn't have my mini van.
 This was my ickiest lunch in Paris.  It was right next to the Moulin Rouge (clue #1...places right by tourist spots are usually crappy, in my experience), there was no one inside (clue #2...DUH, Stephanie!!) and the bartender/waiter looked like a total perv.  I know that is judgemental, he was very nice, but looked very creepy and I should have ran the other way.  Good notes:  the coffee.  Also, when I quietly asked him "parlez vous anglais?" (do you speak english?) he answered with a loud, " WHAT?!"  :)  hahahahha.  He did speak English very well but his food was cold in the middle and his bathroom, gross.  I peed all over the floor trying not to touch the toilet and then had to clean that up.  Ew.  Sorry, TMI for so early in the day, right??
 Super organized vintage shop I stopped in.

 The park/gardens along the foot of Sacre Coeur looked amazing but was closed.  There are so many amazing green spaces and parks in Paris.  I think my head would explode from the loveliness if it all would have been green.  Also?  carousel.  Also?  You don't have to wind up the hill or walk up 300 steps.  You can take the funicular.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montmartre_funicular  But I would wind up...so beautiful.
 I really appreciated this because I pulled on a whole lot of push doors the first few days.  :)
 One of the few remaining original glass topped art nouveau metro entrances.  love.

 In the metro.  I heard these guys a few different times and took a short movie I will post sometime.  Fun to hear music as you walk by.
 The "I love you" wall plus bonus Rita Hayworth.
 And I will stop here even though my day had barely begun.  :)  Part 2 later on.  Thank you for reading this, if you are.  :)

xoxoxo


Comments

  1. I'm soaking it all in. We went to Germany in January of 2007. I was too scared to go out much by myself-I did a lot of knitting on that trip. Can't wait to read more.

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  2. :) Thank you, Mim. I'm so glad you're enjoying it.

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  3. These are so awesome to read! I am loving every picture and every detail of your days!

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  4. So a few things...1) I now know that Patrick is...a BIG deal...ya know, going to Paris for work and all, sorry I didn't realize this before. 2) Did you bring one of those no kids signs home with you?! Did it really mean no kids!!? 3) thank goodness you edited out your zit... 4) third day I didn't get a shower in before picking audri up because I get stuck on your blog, love it!! Miss you:-)

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