Sunday, July 28, 2013

Festivals, Flea Markets, Pickpockets and Farewells.....

Paris was celebrating Bastille day we arrived, and the streets were packed with celebrants.  Like our Independence Day, there is always a background of firecrackers and sparklers.  We left our hotel after a four hour nap and headed toward the Plaza De Mars to see if we could find a place to watch fireworks (note to self:  Next big international trip, pack an old sheet for picnics/fireworks etc.).  This enormous park at the foot of the Eiffel tower was FULL of people celebrating in one way or another.  We had a meal, got our first pictures of the Eiffel tower, and gradually came to realize two things:  First, that the sun sets VERY late in Paris and fireworks wouldn't start for a long time, and second, that the sheer weight of people would make the subway trip back to the hotel VERY uncomfortable.  So we took the cowards' way out and went back to the hotel and watched about 4 different sets of fireworks from the windows.

We each had things we wanted to do in Paris, so we made a list.  Among them was to go to a local flea market.  Citygirl stumbled across such a market on a random ramble and found out that it would be up and running on our last day.  When we arrived, however, there was no evidence that the market was even being set up.  Nothing daunted, we moved on to Plan B and stormed the handicapped gate at the Louvre.

Somewhere between the hotel, our morning bakery run, the non-existent flea market, buying subway tickets and the Louvre, I discovered that my wallet had been neatly removed from my purse.

There are signs EVERYWHERE warning of pickpockets.  We were pretty vigilant - my purse was always over my neck and shoulder and resting in front of me, usually with my hand on it.  In the crowd in the Eiffel tower I had been thoroughly groped from behind, and Hubby felt several different attempts on his back pockets as well.  But the guy who finally got my wallet must have had amazing skills - I never felt a thing.

There wasn't much in the wallet.  I need a new drivers' license.  There were maybe 20 euro.  But our Make-A-Wish gift card was in there.  Fortunately I had taken quite a bit of money out the night before, and by my calculations there wasn't much money left on it.  Hubby had an emergency credit card with him and we had already spoken to them about the fact that we'd be in Paris and would likely be using it, so we shook it off and went on to enjoy the remainder of our last beautiful day in this wonderful city!

One final Wish that Babygirl had for Paris was to get dressed up in our finest clothes and go somewhere to eat.  During the week we had tossed around various ideas:  Picnic on the banks of the Seine, expensive restaurant, stroll up the get the idea.  By our last day we still hadn't done it.  We'd done so much that day already, but we couldn't let it pass, so we put on our fancy duds and walked out into 'our' MontParnasse neighborhood in search of one of the incredible creperies that dominate the area.  There is nothing so festive as setting your final dessert in Paris on fire!

I spent my last night in Paris gazing out of our hotel window, finally able to fully identify all that I was seeing:  MontMartre, Sacre Coeur, the Tuilleries, Louvre, and Notre Dame Cathedral.  So sad that it was my last night to soak it all in!

Citygirl and I had an early breakfast together since she had an earlier flight than we did to make her final destination of Florida (a trip she had already planned and paid for before we finalized the dates with Make-A-Wish - and thanks to THEM for helping her change all her flights without penalty!).  And a late breakfast with Hubby and Babygirl before our lovely limo ride to the airport, where we had one final meal at the Laduree' branch there!

And then six solid hours of turning my barely legible daily jottings into the true diary from which these blog posts have been written, all on the beautiful handmade paper journal given to me for Christmas expressly for this purpose (thanks, Arianna!).  I filled nearly half the journal.  Babygirl was still skeptical about legibility LOL.

I cannot imagine a better, more enjoyable, more action-packed journey than the one we took.


PS Spellcheck HATES French.  Toiletries?  Creepies?  Really?

1 comment:

  1. I hope the pickpocket had a smidge of remorse when they saw the Make a Wish card. Shame on them. Glad you didn't let it hold you back.