Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Paris Day 4, also known as "Dissapointment Day''

I swear Paris was a wonderful city. It's everything you expect and hope it to be. The cobblestone streets, the landmarks, the friendly people, the amazing food, the parks...but I can say from experience, being pick pocketed kinda put a damper on everything else.

We woke up Wednesday excited to finally go to the Louvre. I was going to school for Art Education, B was going for Graphic Design...needless to say, we were both excited to see everything the Louvre had to offer. So we woke up on Wednesday with our first stop being the inside of Notre Dame and the Louvre being our would-be final destination.

While we had been to Notre Dame several times by Wednesday, we had yet to be inside. We were always there too late and the Cathedral was closed. So it was exciting to see the inside.



It was beaufiul! The stained glass was amazing, there was a mass going on at the front of the church but we were free to explore the front area. Originally we had planned on climbing the bell tower but it was raining and we were excited to go to the Louvre.
From Notre Dame, we took the Batobus to the Louvre...I'll be honest, I really wasn't feeling good this morning. I had a bad headache and severe cramps. To say I might have been PMSing, is a huge understatment.
Once at the Louvre, we were shocked to discover that it was closed! At the time, we didn't know why. All the guardsmen would say was there was an unexpected staff meeting. I was super disappointed. I'm not gonna lie, I cried.

We tried to make the best of it. We ate lunch in the area, took a bunch of pictures, hit up some other musuem full of jewelry and textiles, then walked back through the Jardin de Tuilieries to the Orangerie Museum.




Once home, this was all over the news:
Yeah, pretty ironic that on Monday, we didn't get to go to the Louvre because I was cancelling my cards and talking to insurance, after being pickpocketed...on Wednesday we couldn't go to the Lourve because of a walkoff protesting, Pickpocketing.

The Orangerie was nice; it was very crowded due to the Louvre's closure but we got to see Monet's 360 rooms of the waterlily series, as well as several Picasso's. When we left the Orangerie, it was raining. We needed to go back to the Eiffel Tower to file a police report for my stolen wallet. But because Paris has so many different little districts, we had to go back to where the crime happened. So we were told.

Well it was raining and there were no cabs available but there was a TukTuk...a little 3 wheeled car/cart similar to those used in Asia.  So we took the Tuk Tuk back to the Eiffel Tower.
The kids loved it!
Of course, it was downpouring when we arrived.
So we get out, get to the base of the Eiffel Tower where there is a police station. Finally get an officer who speaks English and tada, I can't file the report there. I have to go to the main headquarters "Located by Les Invalides".  So it's pouring, the kids are beyond fussy, I'm in a pissy mood....and a HOHO bus just pulled up to the Eiffel Tower. It just so happens that 2 stops later is Les Invalides, so we opt to ride the HOHO bus to Les Invalides. Once there, I approached some young(er) french men who I assumed knew some English (I was correct) who told me, the police station was about 10 minutes by foot. 

Did I mention I was pissy and it was raining? Sissy had just dropper her snack on the ground, B realized he had lost his lens cap and we had another 10 minutes of walking. So we set off on foot in the direction he tells us.

We get to the 'back' of the Les Invalides "complex" (for lack of a better word) and there is the Army Museum.
We scope that out for about 2 minutes and continue to find the dang police station. Finally we see the street we were told it's on so we start walking down it and the numbers only go even...I'm looking for number 9. Say what? On the other side of the street is just a huge field/park. I cannot make this up people.
Oh wait, there's a tiny sign...we get closer to discover that the police is there, just UNDERGROUND. So we descend down the steps and file the report. I approached the receptionist, explained why I was there and she simply handed me a bilingual theft report and told me to fill it out. I do that and she says to "take a seat". So I sit. And wait. And wait some more, until finally 45 minutes have passed. An officer shows up, approaches the desk, stamps all the forms I filled out, makes a copy and hands them back to me.

Done.

No statement, no explanation. I asked if they had a lost & found or what happens if my documents show up. He said that documents would be turned into our Embassy if they showed up, and the ring? "Sorry, it is gone".

By this time, we're tired, we're hungry. It's now after 5pm. It's raining, again. Ironically enough after walking to the Concorde, taking a tuk tuk to the Eiffel Tower, walking from Les Invalides to the Army Museum to the Police Station and we come out of the police station, walk about 30 feet only to realize we are literally, right back by the Concorde...just across the street. Ugh! We found a TukTuk, paid him €20 to take us back to St. Micheal and called it a night. We picked up pizza on the street where we were staying, went home and ate it. I did take an hour to myself after dinner and walk around, then to Laduree. When all else fails, eat macaroons right?
Once back to the aparment we did baths and bedtime, then started to pack up. While our flight didn't leave until 3:50pm the next day, we had to be out of our apartment by 10am. We had 2 carry-on bags, 4 kids and it was raining...again. We opted to call a taxi and head straight to the airport. Our HOHO passes were expired, our musuem passes were expired...there wasn't much else we were able to do all with our luggage. We ate lunch, watched planes and relaxed. Until our flight was delayed a full hour because Air France couldn't find a cleaning crew to 'ready' the plan for takeoff.

So we get back to Venice an hour late, go to get our van and realize...my parking ticket for the long term parking lot...yeah, it was in my wallet. The one that got stolen. (Why was in in my wallet and not in the car you may wonder? Well in Italy you have to pay for parking right outside the airport, walk to the north 40 to get the car and then insert your validated parking ticket on your way out). So we have to find the main parking ''cassa'' or cashier which is in a parking garage that I didn't realize existed. I show him the police report and my passport and 15 minutes later, he backdates me a parking ticket. We finally leave the airport.

An hour later and we picked one dog up from the sitters, we are home and we discover...darkness. Um, okay. So I get upstairs only to find that while we were in France, our power went out. Everything in our fridge and freezer was beyond rotten. Our entire house stinks. And while we had stopped and bought milk for a cereal dinner, we have no way of storing the milk because my fridge was warmer than my house (which was 12 degrees celcius because the power had been out). Luckily a friend who had watched the other dog, was able to bring him home as well as a cooler bag full of ice.

Like I said, the trip didn't exactly end on a high note. But despite the pickpockets, the weather and the unexpected strike at the Louvre, it was a great City!

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