20 March 2011

Anthony's Visit (Update Mini Series 5/5)

Anthony got a rather rushed intro to Paris as his bus from the airport didn't arrive until just 20 minutes before our train to Coutances left. We could have taken a later one, but I had no desire to hang around Gare St Lazare for 2-3 hours. I pulled Anthony off the bus and him on an Amazing Race style sprint to the train station. We arrived into the station 7 minutes before out train was to leave, I bought tickets 4 minutes before and we got on the train 2 minutes before. A little hectic but we made it all the same.

We were both exhausted arriving in Coutances, so we took a small tour of town and made a trip to the grocery store, but that was about it. Then again, it's Coutances, so there's not that much more to do anyway. On Saturday we took a better walk around the town, and I showed him the plant garden, the Cathedral, he sadly the missed the aqueducts (lame), but I think got a pretty good idea overall. I also headed out and finally bought an air mattress, because tow people in a twin bed does not make for a happy week. We had been hoping to go to either Bayeux or Mont St Michel, but the train and bus schedules were messed up because of school vacations and work on the train line between Avranches and Rennes.

On Sunday Lisa from choir hosted a lovely dinner at her house. Felicity and Richard (the British couple) picked us up from the school where we then had dinner with them and Lisa, her French husband Claude, and her son. We had raclette for dinner which was amazing (yummy, gooey melted cheese over potatoes and thin sliced meat- delicious).
Anthony held up well, despite some jetlag and having a slight cold.

Monday I headed off to classes while Anthony went to a lunch with Lisa and some other native English speakers. The lunch was for women who work in tourism in some capacity, and a chance for them to work on their English in a more natural setting. Lisa reported back that he did a fantastic job. 

Tuesday I had classes but I sent Anthony to Bayeux with enough instructions that he could go see the tapestry and the American Cemetery by himself. He made it there and back in one piece, which impressed me to no end.

Wednesday we headed to Mont St Michel. Due to the train work that was going on we had a long day ahead of us. We took a train leaving at 8:30am and we didn't get back until 7:30pm. Despite the long day, we made good use of the time. And by that I mean that I made Anthony take 20,000 photos and we sat in a cafe for 2 hours in Pontorson. I had a really good time and it was fun getting to show Anthony a real tourist attraction of Normandy (and make Coutances seem less lame).

Thursday evening we headed into Paris after my last class, however we didn't arrive until 9pm. We swung by a grocery store and headed to the hotel, blocking out the sound of the drunk Irish in the hotel celebrating St. Patty's day.

Friday I had Anthony going. It was his first trip to Paris so I was determined that he see all the attractions. The day started by walking over to the Centre Pompidou to check out the architecture, then over to Notre Dame where we went up to the balcony that is on the front. From there we went to the Louvre where we skipped the line and went in with the museum pass we bought him (so worth it 35 euros for all the museums for 2 days). From there we went to Sacre Coeur of general and "Amelie" fame. It started to rain so we headed back to the hotel. We were also pretty tired from walking all around the Louvre (I hope there is never a fire in there because I don't think we would get out in time).

Look at that gargoyle contemplating the city (Eiffel tower on the left!)

Outside the Louvre

Nike- Winged Victory of Samothrace

Booty booty booty rockin' everywhere! (Venus de Milo- as Anthony put it
 "I'm just so tired of looking at sculptures with arms!)

At Sacre Coeur looking out over the city
Saturday we went to the Eiffel Tower walking from up behind it aways all the way through the Champs de Mars and to the Ecole Militaire. Anthony is a museum lover, and Musee d'Orsay is one of the few places that doesn't give me museum fatigue within the first 5 minutes. And it's heated! Lucky for us, between our two passes we were in with no additional cost, and no lines to wait on. It had a lot of the pieces Anthony was expecting to see in the Louvre, so I'm glad we hadn't skipped it. Afterward, we grabbed some lunch and then walked up the Champs d'Elysee, staring at the crowds and the expensive stores (but also the more familiar like H&M). Along the way we picked up some of Anthony's favorites- macaroons.  We walked all the way up to the Arc de Triomphe and decided that our feet had enough for the day and it wasn't necessary to head up into the top.

My favorite photo I think
All that walking had taken a while so we went back to the hotel. For dinner that night we didn't feel like going far, so we actually ended up at a pizza/italian place nearby. The pizzas were good but the desserts were amazing. We shared a bowl of fresh strawberries and piles of whipped cream and a chocolate cake thing with more chocolate on top.

The next morning I dropped off Anthony at Roissybus, trying to remember that the end was almost near and not to be upset. I grabbed Starbucks outside of Gare St Lazare (soy chai latte- yummy) and sat down for a boring train ride. I looked through the many many photos we had taken thinking about all the fun- and all the fun in the SUN that we will have in Austin.

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures. You really have seen a lot this year and you managed to squeeze in the best of Paris. Can't wait to have you home and see the other 19,983 pictures.