life vicarious

Sunday, December 10, 2006


hm. never before have i felt so welcomed by the french. having just spent the last 3 months in florence, where the weather is cold, and the people are colder, the french people seemed amazingly hospitable. on the first day we were there, we stopped by a bakery to see what we could find for breakfast the next day. as we were waiting in line, a short, cute frenchman saw mindy. he proceeded to reach out for her wrist, and gently pull her down to his slightly lessened altitude so as to give her a kiss on the cheek! i wish i had the camera for that one, but neither of us saw it coming at all. so more on the hospitality of non-florentines... see these crepes? -they weren't just some hospitable gift... we paid for them, but the person we bought them from smiled at us! that's way more than anyone in florence would've done. chances are the person in florence would sooner scowl at us for not having exact change. this was our 2nd venture out around paris. the first was a most-of-the-day excursion trapsing around in pouring rain and about 30-40mph winds. there were chairs blowing away from street-side diners. so that was fun, and we returned to our hotel sopping and frozen. we then stayed inside until rather late, when we went out and got the crepes you can see here. we did, however, spend our share of time drying out and watching movies in our hotel room. the next day was much nicer, and proved far superior for sightseeing. for example, if you look to the left hand side, the next stop on our tour is the famous eiffel tower. mindy even shared some history with me about the early life of the eiffel tower. while we were there we saw many armed guards carrying assault rifles. i found this rather entertaining as the only recorded french military victory was won during a french civil war. (view some other comical french military facts here: i took their picture. but somehow, as funny as their military history is, i didn't manage to get them to smile for it. hm. so anyway... the coolest part of the trip for me was probably the fact that instead of seeing my dad come strolling into the hotel on monday morning, i first saw my brother kip. that crazy brother of mine decided to come all the way to paris to spend the day with me, then sleep for one night and return all the way back home. it was amazing to see both my dad and brother. it was also nice that, because we'd all been to paris before, we didn't have to run around and see the sites. we got to relax a bit more, and see only the select things we knew we enjoyed. we even ran into this museum where napoleon is buried. we had no idea what it was until we ventured inside to see a grande courtyard with a huge statue of napoleon himself. on a side note: did you know that napoleon's defeat was at a place affectionately named napoleon hill? It is named such because the battle that took place had napoleon's forces at a disadvantage because the landscape lent itself more to the opposition's long range cannons than to napoleon's. napoleon ordered his troops to build a hill so as to raise the elevation of his cannons and increase their range. such a pity that he still lost. (possibly from soldier fatigue?) so overall the trip to paris was quite a success. traveling went off without a hitch, and we enjoyed our time in old "pearee".


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