First, I need to apologize for the delay with this Day 4 of Paris. I had a little "incident" on Monday which left me a bit battered and bruised. I kinda, sorta, fell off a cliff edge while running my dog along a slightly treacherous single track deer trail up in the Roaring Camp property/mountain. I run this trail several days a week with Kooper and we have our little system where he runs behind me and it all usually goes swimmingly well. For some reason he decided to dart in front of me while I was running at a fairly fast clip (trying to increase my speed so I was pushing myself) and suddenly stopped. As some of you may know he is the equivalent of the Great Wall of China and there's no way you can easily leap over this dog (he is THAT tall) but, not wanting to run into him and injure him or worse, knock him down the hill, I desperately tried to leap over him as best I could with no preparation or time to react. I failed. I landed hard/weird and tweaked my right knee really bad, then smashed up my right hand (which was holding my phone) and then proceeded to roll down the side of the hill, through patches of poison oak no less, until I landed in a ravine. The only thing I managed to do right in all this was maintain a death grip on my phone (knowing I would likely need to cal 911 once I stopped rolling) and protecting my face as I rolled downhill. Needless to say there were lots and lots of bad words being uttered once I finally settled at the bottom of the muddy ravine. To add insult to injury, my dog effortlessly ran down the side of the hill to join me, super excited about this awesome game we were playing, further proving to me that next time I will let HIM go down the hill and I shall stay upright even if that means running into him.... He licked me all over and stuck his butt in the air indicating that he was ready for round 2. I had a few choice words for him.... It took me about 5 minutes before I could get fully upright again due to the pain in my knee. I knew it wasn't broken because there weren't any bones sticking out but MAN did it hurt. I also realized that calling out a rescue team would be: a) humiliating and b) take them HOURS to locate me in this very remote area which is a maze of endless deer trails and there's just no way I was going to sit there for hours waiting to be rescued. I needed to wash this poison oak off me STAT. I am deathly allergic to it and the only thing I cared about at that point was scrubbing a bottle of Tecnu all over my entire body. So, I dragged my sorry butt up the hill back onto the trail and then gingerly limped, all Quasimodo-ish, with right leg dragging behind, the remaining 2 miles back to my car. Kooper, quite annoyed that we were no longer running the trail and having fun, was clearly very disappointed in me teasing him like that with our romp down the side of the mountain only to walk back to the car super slow. How boring! I did get to the car, drive myself home and Tecnu every inch of my body. Sadly, I missed a couple spots because I have an outbreak on the back of my left leg but considering how much worse it could have been, I'm not complaining - too much. My hand looks awful but actually doesn't hurt nearly as bad today so I think I am past the worst of it. My knee is a different story. I'm still in a brace and not sure when I will be able to walk normally - or run - again. Major bummer. Sigh. It seems to me, over the past 3 years, that my intense exercising has caused me far MORE injury and dismay than if I just sat on the couch eating bonbons. I think I need to re-evaluate this whole being fit thing. It's not really working for me! :)
iphone picture of my hand yesterday
OK, so, now, back onto the Paris Chronicles shall we!?
Tuesday morning was a really slow morning for both of us. I think the jetlag or the excitement caught up to us and we slept in pretty late. Ellie was super jazzed though because our first stop that morning was the Musee De Poupee, a tiny doll museum tucked down at the end of an alleyway that few people know about. I thought this outing would only appeal to Ellie but the place was a real gem. It had dolls from the very beginning of doll-history, through all the stages of doll making, with all the different materials used, original outfits etc... It was absolutely fascinating and a wonderful collection. I can unequivocally say it is definitely worth seeing if you are there. Ellie was delighted beyond words and we even picked up a small little French porcelain doll from the gift shop which she has proudly displayed in her room now. We then walked by the Georges Pompidou Center (an incredible art center that we didn't have time to visit, as it is really an all day thing and Ellie would have been bored), but I grabbed a couple shots of the outside (blue tubes) of the building which is just an architectural feast for the eyes. Definitely hoping to check it out next time.
We walked down to the Hotel De Ville, where Ellie enjoyed a fun little carousel ride (these mini carousels are on many busy street corners and in front of big monuments throughout Paris). Then checked out the front of the Hotel De Ville building. Again, the architecture is just always so wonderful. My grandfather was an architect and I have a passion for architecture so you can imagine my joy in Paris.... It's all mouth-watering, pretty much.
Side note: On our way to the Hotel De Ville we walked by a Starbucks. Now, really, that's just Blasphemy! There should not be a Starbucks in Paris when every cafe on every block has coffee that is TEN TIMES BETTER than the best coffee Starbucks has to offer. I'm not anti-Starbucks. Heck, I have a well used Starbucks card that I refill all the time. Don't get me wrong. But in PARIS!? Just not right.....
Then, we had directions for a kid haircut place in the Montmartre neighborhood so we could finally cut off Ellie's 8 inches that she had been growing out to donate to Locks Of Love for the past 2 years. We decided to coordinate the locks of Love donation with a little frenchie haircut! Sadly, when we got to the kid haircut place it was shuttered. (Even though the website was up and running and made no mention of the business being defunct). I texted my friend Agnes and she gave us the address of her old hair stylist (from when she lived in that neighborhood). By that point Ellie and I had been walking all morning and we were starving. Although we had managed to avoid eating in any restaurants in Paris (SO expensive!) up until then, we had to eat and there was no little creperie stand to be found. So, we grabbed a cafe at the foot of the Sacre C'oeur Church and ordered what turned out to be an overly priced and seriously gross lunch. Argh. Plus the service was typical bad-frenchie-we-hate-americans kinda service, something Ellie and I had not yet experienced and turned out to be the ONLY time we were given awful service during the 10 days we were there. As a person who speaks french, I wasn't used to being treated like that but because they heard me communicate with Ellie in English, it was an opportunity I guess for them to treat us like poop and give us bad service. There's definitely something to be said for having a service based industry here in the states which relies on tips..... (unlike France, where there is no tipping). Anyway, no big deal, we ate enough to stave off the hunger and then went to go visit the Sacre C'oeur temple at the top of a hill overlooking Paris. I love all the churches in Paris but Notre Dame and Sacre C'oeur are probably my two favorites. We then rode the bus down to the Montmartre area and found the haircut place. Now, I definitely spent more on this cut for Ellie than I ever would have but she had been anticipating this haircut for SO long, and it was for such a great reason, and had been enduring my mommy-trims for 2 years and therefore, I guess she deserved her first "salon" experience. She got a super sweet male hair stylist who really took his time and did a great job with her little frenchie "coupe en carre" (square cut). She was giddy the rest of the day.
We then took the bus down further, in the same general area, and went to go visit the Cimetiere de Montmartre. (The Montmartre Cemetery) I have a total love affair with all four of the major cemeteries in Paris. I just LOVE them. I know it's weird, but I can't help myself. They are just THAT awesome. I love the extravagance of the tombs, the funkiness and yet structure of the paths and layout, the cobblestone roads within, the feeling and vibe, the care and attention they receive, I just LOVE them. Last time I was in Paris for a long stay, I visited about 3 of them, taking B&W pictures there. This is the point where I was really really really missing not having my good camera with me. The point and shoot was just not cutting it for me. But, Ellie had her little Holga loaded with B&W film so somehow that made me feel better! :) Much to my surprise she absolutely LOVED the cemetery too! The tombs are really neat because many of them have special stained glass designs tucked away/hidden inside if you get in close enough and look. Little special nooks and crannies to be discovered and explored. We spent about 2 hours there just wandering around and shooting. After that, we took the metro to a local shopping district and I was able to hit 3 stores (in the Gap price range) and get myself a few really cute tops and a scarf. Ellie was such a trooper but it was nearly 7pm and I needed to get that girl home to eat dinner! The metro ride was jam-packed and little Ellie was pretty much done with the metro at that point. When we got home to Agnes's, she very excitedly showed off her new haircut to everyone and plopped down to play with Manon while Agnes and I got dinner ready. It was a wonderful, productive day! (Manon ended up getting the exact same haircut as Ellie the very next day by the same stylist, so the two girls were extra adorable playing together with their matching haircuts after that!)