Sunday, July 8, 2012

Champagne and McDonalds

 It's raining here this morning with a 50% chance of rain the rest of the day.  Yesterday it was 80% and we had some major downpours.  I had just finished touring the Musee de 'lArmee and Napoleon's tomb when the rain started up again.  I was hungry anyway so I found a cafe and watched the water pour down the awning.

The rain is making it hard to get into the popular indoor attractions, since the summer crowds are looking for "rainy day" activities.  Ben and the boys took the bus over to the Catacombs tour only to find a two-hour line to get in.  They ended up at a McDonald's which was an interesting event for them.  The boys weren't sure how to order in French and were daunted by having to go up to the counter.  Then they saw an automated ordering screen where they could enter their request in English and pay for it before walking up to the counter to pick it up, all without having to speak to anyone; c'est bon!

On Friday night we walked over to see the Eiffel Tower light up.  I've taken quite a liking to this monument, which is good since it is a dominant feature of our neighborhood.


Around six last night we went on a "Champagne Cruise" on the Seine River.  This gave us the chance to see the city from the water while we drank wonderful champagne and it was good.  There were three types of champagne, a classic mix of grapes, one that was just from Chardonnay grapes, and one that was an unusual mix of Chardonnay, pinot nuir, and pinot meunier grapes.  Or at least I think that's what the sommelier said;  I may not have paid enough attention to him since the sights were so beautiful along the river.  I almost missed one of the wines because I was out on the deck taking pictures!

We walked back to our apartment, fed the boys dinner, and left them happily skyping with Bryan's family while Ben and I went out to eat.   Skyping is an amazing way to stay in touch with "back home"; free, fun, and effective.

We went to Restaurant La Fontaine de Mars,  just a few blocks from us.  It's where President Obama and Michelle ate during their visit to Paris in 2009.  It was fun to realize we were eating in the exact same room they had been in, but even better was the food.  So good!  Ben had cassoulet, I had lamb, and we split a plate of sausage, pate, and dried ham for an appetizer.  Not wanting to end this wonderful experience, we shared a creme brule and had after dinner drinks as well. 

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