Wednesday, August 21, 2013

When Paladins come to visit...

Salut mes amis! (See I'm learning the proper greeting here)
Back again after a bit of a hiatus. We had another visitor come to our <<château>>. We'll call him Paladin S.  He's one of Mr. K's good friends and one of his longest acquaintances, too.  Needless to say, it was glorious!

Mr. K, Paladin S, and myself made great adventures. We almost had an epic story in the Bois D'Aigre Foin on his first day of visiting. I was Adventure E, Mr. K was B the Bard, and well, Paladin S remained Paladin S. So much fun!

Anyway, one week in France is hard on anyone because there is just so much to see and do. Feet don't always cooperate, but you learn to bludgeon them into obedience over time.

We decided to treat Paladin S to a Paris experience while he was here, such as Mass at Notre Dame (they have International Masses at 11:30am on Sundays, btw) and Les Invalides with Napoleon's Tomb. Very cool. They had a great exhibit of Knights in Shining Armour and WWI and WWII war artifacts to look at.
We got nerd swiped on the Quai d'Orsay on our way to Les Invalides:

We still haven't figured out the cryptogram.  Any takers?

Arc de Triomphe was fantastic as always and the ice cream on the Champs-Élysées was delicious. I highly reccommend  Jeff de Bruges' vanilla and salted caramel ice cream. Miamm!

Dinner at a Happy Days Diner in St. Germain/ Latin Quarter was <<pas terrible>> but we had fun.  It was the second time since coming to France that I've had a cheeseburger. Makes me miss the States and my Dad's homemade onion and garlic burgers. (Soon though! Soon!)

The next day the gents went out to Versailles. I stayed home to rest the feeties. 16km is a lot of walking in one day and I wanted to be ready for the following day back in Paris. The overall consensus of Versailles was "Wow!" and "A lot of palace..." Hehe. And they didn't even see it all (It's definitely a multiday event if you have the chance. Too much walking otherwise). I love that place. Just ask my Momma!

The following day we headed back to Paris and this time I remembered the camera.
These are a few while we were waiting for the train to come to our little station.
The three amigos!

Sitting pretty
We decided to head to the Eiffel Tower for lunch and so Paladin S could have a visit. Unfortunately, we forgot to make a reservation online so the lines were terrible. That said, Mr. K and I found a nice spot to enjoy part 1 of lunch while Paladin S went and fought the masses.

Classic pose

Proof is in the sunglasses?
 After a little repose on the Champs de Mars, we went to go find Paladin S. While waiting under the Tower, we saw this creature trying to fit in with the masses of ducks.

Nobody here but us ducks!
I tried to get a better shot, because that mammal was HUGE!
I think it was the infamous Ragodin/coypu I've heard tell about
 Apparently, they are big river rats and similar to the muskrat. Ragodins eat about 25% of their body weight in plants and destroy a bunch of marshes and fresh water banks. But they're so cute too!

After the excitement of the day, we decided it would be a good idea to eat the rest of lunch together and then stroll along the banks of the Seine. They're currently doing Les Berges de Seine, which is completely pedestrian and they even have floating docks!

He found the sweet spot on the docks!
Me too!
 Mr. K just laughed at us.

The hammocks were actually the worst hammocks we had ever lain in! Those knobs just jam into your backs like no tomorrow. Ouch!

The gents here are displaying the best way to sit on the ropes.
We think the other people on the left are just paralysed from the pain and
therfore, cannot escape the clutches of the ropes.
 On we went, as we rubbed the bruises out of our poor bodies, to enjoy and explore the rest of the floating docks.

 Very cool!
So pretty
 We came to the end of the docks and they had a whole line of wooden lounge chairs large enough for two people. So neat! Even better, behind the chairs was a jungle with wooden platforms you could do yoga on. Mr. K and I vowed to return one day and enjoy the view from those chairs. They can't be nearly as bad as the hammocks!

Paladin S looking suave and debonair...must be the Paris air.
Turning around I told Mr. K to stand "just so" while I took a picture.
"Okay...I don't know what you're up to..."
This is why I love my husband. He had no idea why I wanted his picture right there, but even so, he humored me. I had him turn around right after and he was impressed with the mist.
Yes, you too can take an artsy photo with the mist!
The cool thing at the end of the docks was a set of binoculars that you could pivot in any direction. Very nice!

Continuing along the banks, we found the coolest things: mazes painted on the paths, a boardgame cafe where the tables have checker boards and mazes designed on their tops, napping huts (I kid you not! You can actually rent a container with a window and bean bag chairs to nap in!), teepees (also available for rent to nap in), a HUGE photography display, baby rock climbing walls, the makings of a blackboard wall and then the end:

Back to the beginning when we were nerd swiped.
 Needless to say, we were highly impressed. Way to go France for making the best place to take kids and adults on a summer day.

As it was Assumption, we headed in the direction of Notre Dame so Paladin S could go to mass. Very cool. And what a lovely turnout! Mr. K and I didn't go in as we wanted to stroll in some shade and look at the Bouquinistes, but at the end, wow! Tons of people filed out of the church!

We all decided it was dinner time immediately after that.  So, back to St. Michel we went.  We found a cute Brasserie/Cafe at a crossroads where we could watch a man juggle clubs while balancing a glass bowl with two goldfish in it. Impressed, but I know a better juggler who's name begins with A and who happens to also be a Doctor. (Dr. A, you are still the best!) The steak et pomme frites were good, but not nearly as good as my grandma's flank steak. I miss that too! (I'm a foodie, can't you tell?)

Disneyland Paris was the next day, and if you haven't tried it, go here for lunch:
All you can eat buffet and the best baklavah I've had in a while. Yay, Disney! Also, Disney is just fun. Blame it on being a FL gal and a yearly (sometimes twice a year) visit to Disney World with family. We all love it. Many many memories. *smiles*

The last day, the gents went to the Louvre museum while I took care of errands. (Pesky errands getting in the way of visits...) And then it was the end. *sniff*

All in all, a wonderful visit with Paladin S. We'll miss you! So glad you came!

Three cheers for friends! Hip-hip-hooray!
Until next time,



  1. Erin, I can't quite picture where those lumpy hammocks were by the Seine. Tried to look for clues but I don't recognise those large metal pipes (?) either ...

  2. Hi Hélène!
    Thank you for your comment! Sorry I didn't put that info in there. The floating garden dock starts after the Pont de L'Alma. You can walk along the banks of the Seine on the Eiffel Tower side with the fun activities from that bridge all the way up to the Musée D'Orsay.

  3. Thnaks Erin, and thanks for the post by the way. OK, well, it shows I live in the suburbs, we haven't been there yet... I love the way it's always non-French people who point me to things to see in Paris/France. See you soon!