06 August 2008

Paris, Post Bastille

One day post-Bastille I met my brother, Jim, and my niece, Michelle, at their hotel and the idea was to show them around Paris, a city I know and love. At the outset we had a serious problem when Michelle greeted me with three stipulations--no museums, no cathedrals and no walking. I thought surely she must be joking, but no, she was serious.

It is her loss in Paris if she chooses to exclude museums and cathedrals, but under no circumstances would I agree to the edict of no walking. Paris is a city made for walking. As great as the Metro is for getting around, you don't see much from underground.

We started walking along the Seine from the Eiffel Tower hoping to enjoy the spectacular vistas of the Paris sky line. I'm always happy walking in Paris and it was a beautiful sunny day. Having slowed my pace to that of a snail, I was incredulous when Michelle managed to plod along remaining a full block or more behind with my brother as the liason somewhere in between. Her sour face sent a message to us both.

As we passed by Invalides, I attempted to spur her interest to no avail. We did manage to get as far as Place de la Concorde, but she simply refused to continue walking further. Hunger pangs were full blown at this point, and since that short little stretch had taken us over two hours it was now time to consider lunch, so we headed to the Metro which cheered her up a little.

In honor of our snail's pace, I ordered escargot. That touch of humor escaped her completely, but I chuckled to myself as I sopped up the tasty garlic butter with my scraps of bagette.

Michelle expressed a desire to shop for chic fashions and being the season of the ˝soldes˝ this seemed like a good option. Another Metro ride to Hotel de Ville where she got the sad news that shopping in Paris involved more walking. No American style mall with everything in one place. Her interest waned quite quickly at that news, so we headed to the cafe for one last pastis before calling it a day.

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