Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Americans in Paris...

Well, the beginning of our trip started off a bit more exciting than we would have hoped for since we took the wrong train to catch the Thalys, the high speed train we wanted to take from Brussels to Paris. So, we had to purchase tickets for another one. Luckily, they had seats and for some reason, Buttons was not only free, she made our fares half price. Yeah, go figure.
We stayed near the Arc de Triomphe and Hubby took this picture at a local cafe with Button's new favorite drink, Orangina.
There were many firsts in Paris. My first toilet experience in Paris was at the train station where I had to pay one Euro to use the facilities. There was another woman there who needed to change her baby who asked me to pay for her. I did. I thought it was pretty funny that the station was called "McClean".
Buttons smiles on our tour bus at Notre Dame in one of the few pictures that doesn't include her tongue.
Our first experience with a French waiter was wonderful. He let us know when using a credit card, the waiter should never take your card away, but they should instead bring a machine to the table. We also found out too late that you have to add a tip before they put your card through. Yes, we've been told that tipping is unneccesary, but when you receive good service, you should tip. Anyway we had wonderful food there but stayed mostly in the touristy areas, so we didn't get to the places where the locals go, but we enjoyed the food very much and Buttons just had omelette or ham sandwichs the whole time.

We were very bad American tourists though and ate at McDonald's for our last meal (our first McD's on this trip) before catching the Metro back to the train station. The food was pretty much the same except the fries were not quite as good and they had beautiful looking pastries. We didn't see any wine or beer there, but I did get the "Royal with Cheese" . The people who waited on us were very amused because even though the menu was in "McDonaldeese", I think I should have tried to order it in a French accent. Oh well, I'm ok if people in different countries are amused by us as long as we leave them with joy and not with anger.
Hubby and I took turns taking Buttons on a carousel just across the street from the Eiffel Tower.
Buttons really loved all the modes of transportation (thankfully) and was very excited to see the Eiffel Tower each time we saw it. She was a real trooper and I think she really did have a good time in Paris. By the end of the days, we were all exhausted and Buttons even slept in the Louvre. When she woke up, she was screaming in the Louvre and I did another "American" thing and let her watch "Blues Clues" on my I-pod. Snicker if you must, but it quieted her down and gave us about 20 more minutes to see the Mona Lisa and other great works of art. Let me tell you, when our tour bus rode into the Louvre "compound" I became a bit teary.
It's truly beautiful.

I love this picture.

There were many Americans there and we were able to spot them right away. The only people who have thrown me for a loop on this trip are those tricky Canadians. They have very similar clothes, shoes and for the most part the same accent. Hubby and I had fun trying to guess the different nationalities. During our people watching I never once caught site of Johnny Depp though. Darn.

Knitting in the Louvre in front of a painting depicting the French Revolution. Yes, we really were allowed to take pictures, can you believe it?

I have more to say, but for now Buttons needs her breakfast and I need to get some laundry done. Well, we'll always have Paris.

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At May 13, 2008 at 7:53 AM, Blogger Imperatrix said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time. I, too, like hte picture of Buttons on her dad's shoulders -- great capture.

Has Buttons tried Croque Monsieur (grilled ham & cheese) or Croque Madame (grilled cheese)? As a kid, I loved them, if only for their names (Mr. Crunch and Mrs. Crunch, of course).

In the Louvre, were you channeling Madame Defarge, knitting in front of a Revolution painting? ;-)

It's so fun to follow in your adventures on the blog!

At May 13, 2008 at 8:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time! (And good weather, too--which, no doubt, contributed at least a little to the wonderful time!)

At May 13, 2008 at 9:11 AM, Blogger Katie J said...

Funny you should mention it, we had lunch out today and I had the Croque Madame which turned out to be a ham and cheese with eggs on top. Buttons was more interested in my sandwich than her curryworst.

So glad you caught the Madame Defarge reference!

At May 13, 2008 at 9:13 AM, Blogger Katie J said...


The weather was wonderfully sunny and much warmer than what we were expecting. It's unseasonably warm here and I really didn't pack for that. C'est la vie!

At May 13, 2008 at 9:41 AM, Blogger Purl said...

Thanks for the wonderful pictures! I'm so glad that Buttons is doing well!

At May 13, 2008 at 11:56 AM, Anonymous Lauren said...

Hey Katie!

Looks like you're having a wonderful time! The knitting in the Louvre is way too funny! Great pics!

Keep having fun!

At May 20, 2008 at 2:09 PM, Blogger Robin said...

Great pics!! Ah, the toilets in France. I always wondered about the guy whose job it was to sit underneath the street in Nice and collect coins for the toilet/hand out two squares of toilet paper. What a job! I would so NOT want to be that person.


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