Saturday, July 9, 2011

C'est Normale

After our boar taint adventure we woke up early to head out for Paris.

Journey from Tours to Paris

Jen at Chenonceau

The journey took us through the Loire Valley and allowed us a chance to stop at Le Chateau Chenonceau.

Sunflowers in the French Countryside

On the way back I spotted my opportunity for my long-awaited sunflower photo opportunity. I pulled the car off to the side of the road, presumably on someone's lawn, and ran like a fool across the dried, hardened mud to take about four hundred shots before continuing on our way.

The Approach to L'Etoile

The approach to Paris culminated with a harrowing entrance to le Place de Charles de Gaulle. Luckily my experience as a driver and taxi passenger in New York City made this chaotic lane-free demolition derby-style traffic event made this a piece of cake.

Nate with the Peugot

So it was that after about 2,700 kilmeters we had to return our Peugot to the rental place. I usually do not feel anything at the return of a rental car but this time was different. Maybe it was the experience, maybe it was watching so much Top Gear in the past year, but I'm going to miss that car. It was hard not to wax rhapsodic about about this vehicle.

It wasn't the best car for the journey. It certainly wasn't the car we ordered. It was pretty enough and it had the exceleration of a sluggish tortoise with a bad case of gout. But you know what? I couldn't imagine having done it in anything else.

Nate and Jen in Front of the Eiffel Tower

Once in Paris we took a long walk and hundreds of pictures of ourselves with the Eiffel Tower suspended like a distant follicle in the background.

Matt and Nate on Belgian Beer Night #2

At dinner I was able to share another Belgian beer with Matt who was as eager as I was to have it after a long day of traveling. He was not as eager for the second Belgian beer -- a Blanche de Bruges -- which ended up being a smart move for him. Not so smart for me.


Since it was our second to last dinner in Paris I felt compelled to order the entrecote, given my last trip to Paris with many entrecote challenges. I simply couldn't leave it to chance that an entrecote wouldn't again be mistakenly brought to me. It's a Paris tradition.

"Kathy" Sleeping on Plane
Kathy says: "I know you guys are in France and all but the same rules still apply: meat is murder. I found this great out of the way spot that makes a sprouted kamut baguette with tempeh pate. Of course you won't find it in any of the tourist areas. My life coach Pasha recommended it and it is great.

Notre Dame Illuminated Over the Seine

After dinner we went on a very long walk through the city at night before getting locked out of the subway and being forced to pile into two taxis to get back to the hotel where the people who worked there gave Jen a hard time about coming in so late even though they have someone at the desk 24 hours a day and had insisted on us leaving our key with them before they left.

C'est normale.

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