Saturday, May 1, 2010

Touring friends 'round the Tour Eiffel

Having guests in Paris is a good excuse to get out and take advantage of all the cool things the city has to offer that I generally ignore as a resident. It's also a cool way to get reinfected with the awe of a first-timer. Laura is the world's perfect tourist: she is eternally curious, easily amazed and all about photographs and souvenirs (LOTS of souvenirs). And she had never been to Paris before. Hearing her gasps as we wound through Montmartre or the hallways of the Louvre made me remember how ecstatic I was the first time I came to Paris. And walking through France with Jason once again just felt natural, in a comforting sort of way.

Their first day here was a beautiful day to be outdoors. We started with lunch in the garden terrace at one of my favorite crêperies, and then we just walked around--through Notre-Dame, along the Seine, past the Hôtel de Ville to Tuleries, the Palais du Louvre and the Opera House. We stopped for mid-afternoon cocktails in sunny, curbside cafés and finally ended up in the multicultural Bastille area for dinner.
The next day took us to the Jewish/Gay district of the Marais--one of the only Parisian districts that doesn't shut down on a Sunday.
In fact, the Marais was so hoppin' that we had to queue to get our hands on a pita from the legendary L'as du Fallafel. It was worth the wait, though, as Lenny Kravitz knows...
Just our luck!--an old man Jewish street band started up just across from the curb where we were sitting munching our falafel.
And then, of course, we had to take Laura to see the Eiffel Tower...
...and climb it...(Apologies for this unflattering view. Laura was my designated ass photographer for most of our trip, as she has a knack for lagging behind and taking "action" (stalker) photos)
...and only a million stairs later, voilà! Can you tell it was windy?
Monday was our day for Museum-ing, which meant that I got to see the Italian Renaissance, Greek and Roman sculptures and Egyptian wing of the Louvre for the nth time. (I really need to make it back there someday when I don't have tourists in tow to see the other parts). I amused myself by imitating artwork. Here I am, posing with Ms. de Milo and a girl who is totally jealous of my mangled limbs/torso:
And now I'm paying patty cake with an Egyptian bear.
And then, of course, we couldn't let Laura leave France without trying escargot. Delish.

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