Brian is all over Paris right now (I'm assuming...) enjoying life. The trip we took got us to Paris on Day 5 as well! Hey, thanks for reading...those of you who are. I know that looking at someone else's vacation pictures is not everyone's idea of a good time...but hope you are following along!
family n. 1, a household 2, kindred, especially one's own spouse, parents and children 3, descendants of a common ancestor; a tribe 4, lineage 5, a group of things with some common feature. In a family way, (slang) pregnant.
If you haven't seen the Griswolds in the Chevy Chase "Vacation" movies, then this next scene will be a little harder to imagine. The Griswolds (okay...US) were about to descend on Waterloo Station. Aunt Pitta called the hotel to announce that she had gotten herself to Victoria Station. Having completely familiarized ourselves with Victoria Station because it was close to the hotel, we checked out and went to meet her.
Leaving the hotel, we realized that the sky was blue and the sun was shining.
find her was easy after we looked at the OTHER coffee shop with the brown size, and getting tickets to Waterloo was also no big deal. Getting TO Waterloo, however, was another story.
First of all, there is something about the word "Waterloo" that pretty much wrapped up our London experience - water everywhere and no bathrooms. It also brought Napoleon some trouble...and he wasn't alone. After gallantly offering to help Aunt Pitta with her innocent looking small bag, TBF was nearly a candidate for shoulder surgery.
"The Black Bag of Death" as it later became known, weighed about fifty pounds. It made the circuit...with the exception of Brian, with everyone "experiencing" it for at least a little while. It contained shoes.
Apparently LEAD ones.
For future reference, do NOT try to go from Victoria Station to Waterloo Station with luggage on the tube. It is not only difficult...it is insane. Not that anyone cursed us out or anything, but the Londoners probably wanted to...many times. We got there, though, and found the train to Paris fairly easily. We had to walk to the 18th car to board...but we had 2 1/2 hours to get over it,
Upon arriving in Paris - which was delayed for some reason by about 20 minutes - Linda ran up with Alex (my precious nephew) apologizing for being late. We had just gotten off the train and turned down our first Bosnian refugee's appeal for cash. We loaded up, and Linda proceeded to amaze us with driving skills that she acquired heaven knows where.
Somehow, she deftly plowed through traffic in a minivan amid the smart cars, scooters and pedestrians. We got our first peek at the streets of Paris near the Moulin Rouge. While most signs were in French, we could make out a few English words. I'll just leave those to your imagination.
We found the hotel...eventually. Then we went up to the Arc d'Triomphe. Dinner was really relaxed, and it wasn't raining! Ordering food was interesting. Had we ordered in turn, it would have been easier...but alas, no. The creme brulee was great, and so was everything else. We got back to the hotel and it was still light outside...even though it was about 9:30 at night.
Aunt Pitta noticed that out the window of the hotel room our French friends across the way were just living life oblivious to our eyeballs. Nothing racy, but when you are exhausted...everything is funny. And that "family way" statement in the definition above...Linda told us that she was expecting in January (Tara Isabelle Jeanne Clemenceau arrived 12-22-2006).
She waited until we got there so she could tell us in person.
|Alex with Poppy...look at those curls (on Alex, obviously) :)|
|Just borrowed someone's bike for a photo op. It was outside the hotel.|
|Gigi and Poppy outside the hotel. She was relieved that it wasn't raining.|
|Poppy, Me, Linda, and Gigi|
|Jill and Brian with their little cousin...|
|Brian with Aunt Pitta|