December 09, 2004

The Rest of the Adventure

My friend Sherri, of the Paris Adventure, writes:
"you didn't mention how you managed to walk out of Disneyland Paris' wetsern bar with an "extra" beer mug... or the fun we had trying to shove Steve through the Louvre more quickly with the hope of seeing something we hadn't already seen before...or our trip to Versailles...or the berets and baguettes...or the ferris left out all the FUN parts!"

And she's absolutely right--I left out the fun parts. That's because the fateful night is my most memorable adventure. But I have to say, that trip to Paris was probably my funnest vacation ever (sorry Kevin). Click below for more details.

So yes, I did happen to sneak out a beer stein from Disneyland's Western-themed restaurant. The restaurant had a "Country-Western" band (think Willie Nelson with a French accent) and, if memory serves correctly, a few people attempting American-style line dancing. We all ordered beer which came in these HUGE steins. And since I didn't get to go into Disneyland, I wanted a damn souvenir. Apparently steins get stolen all the time because the waiter watched us like a hawk and I had a terrible time trying to get it into my backpack. Once he turned away, I finally snatched the thing and ran. I kept the stein for many years but I think I have lost track of it. Perhaps I'll come across it in a random box while we unpack here.

Our whirlwind tour through the Louvre was particularly memorable. Both Sherri and I had been there before, but Steve hadn't and really wanted to see it. We were pressed for time and decided to get the short tour. The self-guided tour pamphlet promised seeing most of the major works in the Louvre in just 4 hours. We figured we could cut that down to two. We literally dragged poor Steve through the museum at top speed, saying things like "What's in here? The Coronation of Napoleon. Okay there it is--the big one. Next?" and "See that large crowd of people over there? That's the Mona Lisa. Can we go now?"

Our constant companions throughout the visit (which was, I believe, 2 days long) were our authentic Parisian berets. We decided we couldn't truly fit in with the French without them, so at the first street vendor we saw, we each bought a beret. To enhance our French experience, we then posed with long fresh baguettes. How much more French can you get than that?

We took the train down to Versailles, but couldn't rush through that one because we could only take human-guided tours. So we join our English speaking tour and off we go. The tour was packed and it was hard to see. There were some obnoxious kids accompanied by idiot parents, and there was this one kid who stood in front of Sherri and kept leaning and bouncing back, bumping into to her, and standing on her feet trying to wedge her way in so she could see. Totally deliberately. And she did it from room to room, too. Sherri kept trying to change her position and this girl would follow her around to bounce into her. What the hell? Finally Sherri gave her a gentle, yet persuasive shove, and all of a sudden there was the mom all over us. She was waving her hands and telling Sherri off and we're just like hey lady, where were you when your brat was bugging everyone around us?

And then there was the ferris wheel. It was giant and set up so that you could see all over Paris from the top. Sherri and I decided immediately to go on it at night. Poor Steve, he was petrified of heights. He was also in love with me and would do pretty much anything to try to impress me, so I shamelessly took advantage of that by getting him on the ferris wheel. We get to the top and Steve's trying hard but he's not looking so good. Sadistically, we had to take a picture. In it, Steve has sweat pouring down his face, both hands are white-knuckled grasping the gondola bars, yet he's gamely trying to smile through his clenched teeth. The resulting expression was somewhere between constipation and Horror Film.

Not to mention the night we went to see the Eiffel Tower. We were wandering around, enjoying Paris at night. We stopped to eat a scoop of ice cream on the Champs Elysee, realizing later that we paid something like $25 a scoop. We made our way to the Tower--up we went--oooooh, ahhhhh. Then we looked at our watches and it was like 11:55 pm. Our hostel locked their doors at midnight and no one was allowed in or out, so if you didn't make it back in time, you were SOL. And we were all the way across the city. We hopped into a cab and quickly determined that we only had a very vague recollection of our hostel's location, and between the three of us we lacked enough French to be able to describe it to the driver. Finally one of us remembered that it was near a particular bridge, so we told the driver to step on it. And boy, did he. A year or so later when Princess Diana died in a Paris tunnel, I immediately understood why. We pulled up to the bridge with seconds to spare. Our driver was quite bewildered as to why we'd want to get out on a bridge, and we were screaming "PULL OVER! HERE! HERE! ICI! ICI!" Sherri took off running to try to hold the hostel doors open for us, while Steve and I threw a bunch of cash at the driver, telling him to keep the change. Based on the look on his face, I think we gave him quite a nice tip. Then we took off running and literally squeaked into the doors just in time.

As you can see, that trip was probably the biggest adventure of my lifetime. It was awesome!

Posted by Shelby at December 9, 2004 05:18 PM

Sounds like a wonderful adventure! LOL! I'm giggling helplessly here. :D

Posted by: Anna at December 10, 2004 02:43 PM
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