July 15, 2013:
Back to the hostel and met up with the family and made a plan for the day. We walked up and down a boulevard (can't read the name of it in my handwriting) (full of tourist shops and sex shops). Then stopped outside the Moulin Rouge for a tour (DiscoverWalks with Lulu). Fun Montmartre tour (artists etc). Ended at the Sacre Coeur - hot! Wandered around and dipped our feet (walked into) a wonderful ice cold fountain. Then to Abbessess road (nun) and a small bakery where we picked up baguettes with fromage (cheese), an eclair for Megan, and chocolate tarts for mom and I. We hopped on the metro for a quick toilet/wine pick up from the hostel and then to a nearby park. We sat on a bench, ate food, enjoyed the sights (pigeons trying to mate and a couple of people making out hardcore). Also, when resting before the tour we saw a drag queen walk by. Now, probably going to head home soon. I headed home and left Megan and mom in the park - showered and got sheets for our new room in 502 - so many stairs! Mom and Megan got back and we all napped for a couple of hours. Then dressed and off on the metro (after horrible WiFi time) to the Hard Rock Cafe. Got a pin, a table at the bar, chicken tenders, and soda. Hung out for awhile - met some Canadians who had a cousin try out for the Wild, then off to the metro and home and bed. Read more Dragonswings and missed Nathan...
Early morning - alarm started at 8am but I didn't get up until 8:45. Slow start, but got on the metro (after our last breakfast) and to the Arc de Triomphe by 10am. Of course then we didn't even go up it... waste of an early morning! Walked down the Champs Elysees and stopped at the McDonald's - got some tasty macaroons and used the restroom. Before then we stopped at a street artist and got a painting - I talked the guy down from 35 to 10 euros! Then kept walking - went into some shops and the Disney store. Long walk toward the Notre Dame - stopped for some leftover baguettes and to enjoy the Seine. Got to the Notre Dame - huge line. Asked for info and the tour meets at the big horse statue. So here we wait until 2:30pm. Finally had the tour - great info. Some outside and then cut the queue and inside galore - the south rose window has been restored more and is thicker because of the Seine than the north rose (which has 75% of its original material). Good tour, then back to the hostel for naps. Now trying to get packed up for a super early day tomorrow. After packing we headed out to walk back up to the Sacre Coeur - 233 steps (mom counted). Few more tourist shops - I got a Chat Noir print. Picked up a hot dog and "croque mon sieur" and walked home for bed - not much since alarms were set for 3:45am.
Here for a long time and definitely didn't need more. The hostel was easily the worst so far - the staff was hot and cold. The WiFi was always awful, the lounge wasn't very comfortable, and way too many stairs! Breakfast was okay - good hot chocolate. For the city - had a mix of experiences. Some very nice people (helped unstick my bag) and some less so. Good bakery smells to awful urine/poo smells. Playgrounds by the Seine, Louvre was way too big to see in one go but didn't want to go more. Eiffel Tower was great and going early was the best idea. The fireworks on Bastille Day were amazing - I think worth the 3 hour wait. The metro was pretty easy to use and stations everywhere. Still a lot of walking! Had good luck with the food (crepes!). Not very handicap accessible.
"City of Stairs"
3 out of 5 stars