Monday, May 17:  Churches Galore!

Today I woke up, energized, and walked in to have breakfast. We had to be quiet again, and we didn’t wake them up. Afterwards I typed and did homework, until at 11:00, they woke up! We said hello again, and they were their cheerful selves. They chatted for a while, while I read my book. Then my parents said that we were going out to lunch with them, so I should put on a nice shirt. I did so, and then resumed my reading. At about 12:00, Mom and Dad said we were going, so I grabbed my pack and went down the stairs. Marie-France and Thierry showed us to the restaurant, down Rue du Bac, in direction of the bridge to the Louvre. But before crossing, we stopped and went inside a nice looking place, and sat down. The waiter came up and handed our menus, and I looked at it. There wasn’t a menu enfant, so I got the other set menu. Off of it I chose to get a coke, some fish, and the cake of the day. First came the drink, in a funky glass, and was neat. Then, Charles and Claire arrived! We weren’t expecting them, but the Manincourts were. They were the nice ones who took us to Versailles. They sat down and ordered, and I was sad to see the kids weren’t there. After that, everyone’s starter came with Robert’s and mine main dish, the fish. After I pulled the skin off, it was very delicious, but not too fishy. On the side were some sort of wiggly potatoes, which I didn’t find a liking for, but my brother loved them. After that came the last course, desert, It was some sort of cream cake, with and exotic berry on top. I thought it was a grape, but figured it wasn’t when I tasted it. The cream part was very good, and I never tasted anything like it!

At that time, everybody was done and ready to go, so we thanked everybody for the great meal and said goodbye to Charles and Claire. Then we walked back home and got ready to go out and see some churches. When we were all ready to go, we had to say goodbye to Marie-France and Thierry, because they were leaving. We did so, thanked them many times, and then exited the apartment. The first stop we were going to be making is Sainte Chapelle, a small church, that is famous for its stained glass. After a metro ride and a short walk, we were to the front gate. We payed for admission, and then walked inside the bottom floor, now a gift shop. Skipping it, we walked up stairs to the top floor and...WOW. It was amazing! There was about 10 or 12 huge glass windows, taking up the entire wall. This was meant to house the crown of thorns, but isn’t here right now. I looked at the part where the sun was hitting it now, which was very beautiful, and hit the marble on the ground too. It used mostly red and blue, but one in the back was mostly green. The church was very small, without pews. After we watched enough, we walked back down and out. It was very hot today, and I was practically boiling as we walked to the next church, NOTRE DAME!!!

It was not far away, just a quick walk, and soon I was staring it in the face. I love the color of it, but some of it was under scaffolding. Then again, it was only making it better! It was free to go inside, but the interior wasn’t special. There was a few stained glass, and an altar, but it was being covered up for construction. I walked around the church, looking at the mini things, and some lit candles. My mom said we should light one here, so we payed and lit it. At first we didn’t know how, but then attempted to light it from another one. This candle was burning at the liquid wax, making a huge flame, so it worked perfect, and we sat it in front of Mary. Going to the other side of the church, we spotted a mini-museum with famous relics. We went inside, and looked around. In a side room there was a big thing for a piece of wood from the cross, but it was covered up! Oh, well. In the main room was one of the real nails that held Christ to the cross! It was very small, but still recognizable. Then we left, because we wanted to get in line to climb to the top. Outside again, we noticed that there was hardly a line, which was nice. My dad bought tickets, and then we walked up the spiral staircase. But soon we were cut off and directed to the gift shop, where we waited for enough people to come down. Inside I bought a little gargoyle keychain to go with my others, the Eiffel Tower and a mask from Venice! I waited around for a long time, and then finally we were allowed up. The walk was hard, and you didn’t know where it would come out, but eventually it did, with Paris before us. It was a great view of everything, except I couldn’t see the Arc de Triomphe, because we weren’t facing the right direction. From here you were right up next to the gargoyles, which was neat, especially the one that was eating a chicken!

Continuing on through the path, we came to the tower, where we went inside to look at the bells. They were huge! One could fit 5 people inside, if not more. We thought this was the end, so we walked down the “exit” stairs, to see that they went up more too! We climbed and climbed and climbed, until we got up to a smaller place to view, but could see all angles, including the Louvre. Walking in a slow circle, we studied everything, and then walked back down the stairs, and this time all of the way down. Everyone was practically exploding with heat, so we found a cafe’ in the shade, and everybody got a drink. I got a Fanta, which was very good at that time. The cafe’ was facing the side of the church, and it was dirty! Very dirty. But where the scaffolding was covered up a lot, and left a point of cleanness to show that they were doing a good job. Then it was time for dinner, so we decided to look for the restaurant we read about. Tonight would be a “different” dinner, because the waiters were all opera singers! They would sing in the room every 20 minutes, and right up close, but no quieter. It was near the Hotel de Ville, or mayor’s office, and also near the river. We walked inside and quickly made a reservation for 8:00. It was 7:30, so we waited for a half hour on the river.

Then we walked inside the restaurant, and was directed upstairs to sit down. It was a nice looking place, with a pianist playing, and a great view. I looked at the menu, and ordered. I chose to get a salad, ravioli, and moist chocolate cake for desert. A nice waitress took our orders and we waited. Suddenly, there was singing! It was coming right in front of us, from a man. He was very good, with a strong (and loud) voice. It was great entertainment for the wait. But soon our meal came. The salad was very different, with ham, melon, fig, leaves, and breadsticks, in one. I didn’t like it very much, but managed to eat most of it. Then there was more singing from a girl, as our waiter took the food and brought more. The ravioli looked delicious, and when I tasted it, it was! There was a great sauce, and cheese. It was one of the best I ever had! Then the waiter came back and took the food, and more opera began. This time it was with two people, and they moved so that they were on both sides of the table, which was REALLY loud, and was amazing! I had never heard anything like it. Then came the desert, the moist cake. It had great melted chocolate, and with a small scoop of nougat ice cream on the side. When we finished we said thank you to the waiter, and then went home and fell asleep.