Our excess from the night before had its toll – we didn’t leave the condo this day until about 1:00 pm. The kids and almost everyone else slept in late (I don’t sleep much, especially on trips, but even I slept in until about 9 am). With our ambitions significantly reduced for our last day in Paris (the catacombs and the Musee d’Orsay will have to wait until next time), we opted for the things Rosemary really, really wanted to do: a boat tour on The Seine, completing the double-decker bus tour, and shopping near the Paris Opera. We took the Metro to the station nearest Port de la Conference, Pont d L’Alma, which is where Bateaux Mouches boat tours is located. It’s an hour boat tour up and down The Seine that passes most of the major sites (you can see the route here). Toren was excited to see what he could see:
He was so excited he nearly climbed right off the boat:
The boat tour does offer nice views of most of the sights, but also has nice views of The Seine and its many bridges:
One of the things we particularly wanted to see was more of Notre Dame, which most of us saw the first day, but Debi did not. Here’s a shot from The Seine:
The tour also passes the Eiffel Tower, offering very nice views of the Tower and the surrounding area from The Seine:
Toren’s enthusiasm waned during the course of the boat tour:
After the boat tour, we walked back to the Champs-Élysées to the exact same place we had lunch the day before as everyone liked it. We basically had the same thing and let the kids play again. We met a couple from Quebec who had a kid about Toren’s age who was playing on the grass as well and chatted with them while the kids played.
After lunch, we got back on the “hop-on hop-off” bus and stayed on the bus for the course of the route, ending at the Paris Opera. The bus tour is nice because it passes most of the main sights as well, offering better views in some cases. Here’s a great view of The Seine from the bus:
We also had an even better view of Notre Dame from the bus:
Here’s a shot of Gary and Rosemary on the bus:
And finally, the Paris Opera:
A bit of fun trivia for you… Toren can claim something I’m sure very few people can claim having done at the Paris Opera. We changed his poopy diaper on the front veranda. Yep. Right there. How many other people can claim to have had their diaper changed on the front steps of the Paris Opera? Yeah, that’s what I thought! 😉
The Paris Opera is located in a prime shopping area. So, we got off the bus at this point and split up to shop. Suzy, Rosemary, Brent, and Ethan went shopping for clothes while the rest of us went shopping for various electronics (Gary needed hearing aid batteries and I needed a new power converter as mine stopped working; it inexplicably started working again a couple days later). Debi also picked up a cheap sweater.
After we finished our shopping, we got on the Metro to head back to the condo. This led to one of the more exciting moments on the trip. We weren’t on the Metro very long, but at one stop, a young girl and guy got on the subway in the middle of our group. The were probably in their early 20s and seemed to otherwise blend in with everyone else. The young girl was standing next to Rosemary facing Debi. Just a few stops after they got on, this couple waited until the last second before the doors closed then quickly got off the subway. Debi looked down and saw that Rosemary’s purse’s zipper was open. She said, “Mom, I think they tried to steal your purse.” Steve and I nearly jumped off the train in pursuit, but Rosemary quickly scanned the contents and nothing was missing. Apparently stuff was packed quite tight into her purse, making it difficult for them to steal anything, but we’re pretty sure they tried. So, we had a run-in with a pickpocket on the Paris subway.
After our stop on the Metro, we picked up some supplies in a grocery store and grabbed some sweets from a pâtisserie then returned to the condo. Gary and Rosemary were tired and didn’t want to go back out. Debi was also a little tired, but offered to stay in the condo and watch Toren and help Rosemary watch Ethan while the rest of us went out for dinner. Debi had the left over fallafel from the first night.
It took us a while to find a place to eat. Part of the reason was we stopped at a creperie to get crepes for the next morning. While there, Brent noticed the 5kg containers of Nutella (apparently Nutella is not French, but it may as well be as the French eat a lot of it), and started wondering if he could get one as a souvenir. With a little urging from us, Steve asked the cashier at the restaurant if he could buy one of the containers. The cashier gave him a funny look, then grabbed one, opened it to make sure it was empty, and then handed it to him. So, Brent got his souvenir for free:
With crepes for the next morning in hand, we found a nice little cafe with sidewalk seating and had a nice dinner. Wanting to try something new, I ordered a dish not knowing what it was. Turns out it was raw beef with mozzarella on it. I was a bit skeptical going into it, but it turned out to be pretty good, much better than I thought. We stayed out chatting until about 11:00. When we got back, we found Debi still up playing with Ethan and Toren, who were both still awake. They were still adjusting to the time change, but went down pretty soon after that. This was our last full day in Paris.
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