Our flight was absolutely uneventful. After waiting several hour for our flight time in Detroit, we took off and arrived in Paris with no surprises. These flights have become fairly routine. It is difficult to sleep on the plane and they show lots of good movies, so it's a great time to catch up on some of the movies you always intend to see but never quite get around to. We picked up a cab from the airport and got to our Hotel de Seine, the boutique hotel we decided to use for the first couple of days of our stay. Our room was ready, so we dumped off our baggage and went on a hunt for lunch. We sat in a sidewalk cafe (pictured above) and had omolettes with lots of mushrooms. I always forget how many people smoke in this country, and of course, the smokers want to be in the same nice places we non-smokers tend to frequent.
Why does it always seem like the smokers gravitate toward me? I definitely had the smoking bullseye in the middle of my forehead today. The two things about France that I always forget: cigarettes and dog poo. Other than that, I always find France delightful! The people are always polite if somewhat aloof, but they generally seem happy to have you around. And in Paris, at least, around every corner you get to see something interesting.
For Dana and me, the trick to dealing with jet lag is to absolutely give in early and often. On every trip like this we do the same thing: land and get settled, eat something, then go to bed for a few hours. Get up and be tourists and eat, then go to bed at a normal hour. When you wake up you will generally be in pretty good shape for the second day.
We sacked out, then took off for the few things that are still open on a Sunday evening. The Paris version of the Pantheon is a beautiful building originally built as a church, but recommissioned after the secular French Revolution to house the burial spots for important French people like Voltaire and Madam Curie. It is exquisite inside and so huge. I will never understand how they could have built these enormous structures two to three hundred years ago with floors that feel and look absolutely level and flat, all with inlaid stone that will last centuries. I can't even get tile in a small bathroom to look so good.
For dinner we visited one of a million crepe restaurants we have seen. The food was wonderful. It makes me want to make crepes for every meal. Mine had all kinds of lovely cheese in it. Dana went with a croc monsieur sandwich. For dessert, Dana had a crepe with apricot sauce. Mine was folded with dark chocolate in between, and dark chocolate sauce drizzled across the top along with a poached pear and a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Heaven!
Many of the Paris attractions are closed on Mondays, so we will have limited sight seeing tomorrow. Dana has found a museum she really wants to visit that will be open. Also, we have plans to travel to Arras to meet up with Maud Pischon, a French exchange student who was in Oklahoma City a few years ago and has diligently kept contact. She wants to introduce us to her boyfriend.