Saturday, May 17, 2008

Paris in 30 seconds. . .

Left USA Thursday evening-arrive CDG Friday morning 7:00am Greeted by Nate's father Abel we were treated to lunch and a brief nap as we caught up as a family. Several hours later after annoying several French people trying to get checked-in BEFORE 2pm so that we could go into town early.  My husband discovered a new pastime-annoying French service people.  (Don't get me wrong the French people we met were wonderful, warm and friendly, but these we didn't encounter in a tourist role. Hmmmm maybe a new take on the French stereotype?)  Later that day we binged on tourism, we met up with Miriam-a childhood classmate of Joseph's and a fairly new inhabitant of Paris.  It was a wonderful introduction to French for me, she and I had a lot in common as mother's of toddlers and so I hit the ground running with the language b/c instead of foreign words it was now a person that I wanted to connect with.  That evening we trekked up the Rue de Rivoli, past the Louvre, a statue of Joan of Arc and all sorts of great shops and recognizable names like Rue de Pont Neuf.   
Saturday we took the train, to the metro, to the Porte de Clingancourt (train travel was the common theme of our whirlwind trip.)  "Les Puces," literally translates, the fleas, are a group of flea markets that have been in this place since the 16th Century.   Here you can buy knock-off Converse, a 1950's movie poster, or a Louis the 14th chair for hundreds of thousands of Euro's. 
That afternoon I took a nap at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.  I had no idea how big or elegant it would be. Only the French could make their national monument coordinate with the iron scrolling on the lovely penthouses that surround this graceful tower.  Yes there were herds of tourists from all over the world but it was nice to hear the crack of the Pentaq ball in a time honored tradition of whiling away a Saturday afternoon in the park.
Sunday we took two trains, one into Paris, one out of Paris to the city of Cergy for Sunday services at a church-plant not unlike the one we go to here in Iowa.  I had the rare chance of hearing my father-in-law preach and were treated to a wonderful Chadian meal by the pastor's family who happen to be our family as well.  Monday was a French national holiday so we traveled back to Cergy to be the guests in Nate's second cousin's home and spent the afternoon in Vaux sur Seine (more stories and pictures to come)  Monday evening, we took a tip from our new found family and friends and traveled up and down the Seine in a lovely open air boat.
Tuesday we traveled back into Paris so that Nate could attend a morning meeting while I got to shop and sketch the beautiful square we stumbled into off of the Rue des Innocence.  The last of my souvenirs purchased, we jumped back onto the train and got off at Charles De Gaul airport where English surrounded us again as we lumped onto the plane with all the other Americans.

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