PARIS – Tuesday started off at a fast pace as we were off by 8 that morning to breakfast across the street to have a croissant, eggs, coffee and orange juice.
Foods in different countries have always sparked my interest, except this morning Leroy asked for fried eggs with bacon, but they do things a little differently here.
It came out as fried eggs with ham sprinkled on top, which was a new one for me. But, my croissant was excellent, so I was satisfied.
Over breakfast, we decided that we needed to go to the Rodin Museum which was a little way down the road to see some very famous sculptures including the Gates of Hell and The Thinker.
They were very nice at the museum and even offered Leroy a wheelchair which he was needing. His back was hurting him, but that is expected after falling a month ago and having surgery two weeks ago.
However, there is no such thing as the Americans with Disability Act over here, so navigating the grounds was rather hard at points. It got so bad outside that the chair began sinking into the gravel pathway and he had to walk.
I enjoyed getting to see the museum, but Leroy was getting tired around lunch time, so we headed back to the hotel where we went off to a quick lunch.
We headed off Paul, which is a chain café that is like Panera and Pret-a-Manager but has a French flair to it. I had a wonderful potato cake with salmon on top of it with a salad.
But, I had to splurge so Leroy and I got a raspberry tart and chocolate macaron before heading back to the hotel.
That afternoon Leroy spent resting and I headed off to the Oberkampf neighborhood to see what a neighborhood outside of the tourist area was like.
I took the Metro, Paris’s subway system, to the neighborhood and it was fun. One thing I enjoyed was being able to open the doors of the subway car as it was pulling up to the station.
Many of the doors do not open at the station, so to get off, a lever must be flipped to open the doors.
I took a diversion to see the Agence France-Presse, which is the world’s third-largest news agency. I was extremely excited to see the news agency that I get a lot of my news from.
However, the outside of the building was rather old, but an awe-inspiring visit. Afterward, I went off to the Metro once again.
I got off at the Oberkampf exit and headed up and began looking around and fell in love.
There was a café full of people drinking Perrier and I felt like I was in heaven, so I stopped and joined the locals.
People watching is always fun and it was nice to just relax. I began walking around and found an interesting park that was located in the middle of two one-way streets.
The parks were full of people playing games, reading and having their late lunches.
The afternoon was coming to an end, so I headed back to the hotel and we all met up for dinner at Au Rendez-Vous des Amis.
That evening everybody had an excellent dinner, with Leroy getting his escargot and foie gras. I had some excellent duck and then we all splurged on some desserts.
Brad Beardmore and I had taken the Metro to dinner instead of getting a taxi, so we headed back to the hotel on the Metro.
It was a great time getting to hear more about him and spend time with him, even though we saw some interesting scenes on the subway including a bride and groom who looked like they were or had gotten married.
When we got back everybody had already beaten us back to the hotel and was looking tired. I took Leroy off to bed and came back down to go take pictures of the Eiffel Tower with Brad and Donna Beardmore.
It was a beautiful evening out and we grabbed our photos at 10 p.m. and they went back to the hotel. It was not completely dark, so I stayed out until 11 p.m. to get a picture of the tower sparkling again, which it does every hour.
I also was able to get a picture of the Louvre Museum and some other statues around the area.
But, after about 11:30 that evening my energy was waning, so I headed back to rest before a day of changing hotels.
Wednesday came faster than I wanted it to, but Leroy and I were up early to pack our bags and get ready for the day.
We all ate breakfast at a small café across from the Louvre, which had some really good chocolate croissants. I naturally had to order two of them.
After breakfast, we all headed in a back door at the Louvre and made the journey through what seemed like a mall to get to the entrance.
We finally found the entrance and they had given Leroy a wheelchair, which would come in real handy as we pushed our way through thousands of people.
I was able to finally see Mona Lisa, along with other beautiful works of French history in galleries in the Louvre.
The place was not necessarily made for wheelchairs, but we made it work. After about two hours at the Louvre, Leroy was getting tired so the two of house headed back to the hotel to make sure we checked out on time.
It was around noon when everybody else arrived and we moved our suitcases out of our room for them to hold, while we waited for our 2 p.m. shuttle. During that time Donna, Brad and Mary Jane Coffman went back to the Louvre, while Leroy and I stayed at the hotel.
I was fine with staying, so I got some exercise in and did some reading.
At 2 p.m. we headed off to the ship in taxies and arrived within the hour to my first ever river cruise.
The boat was very nice and the staff on the Viking ship welcomed us with taking our luggage and showing us all to our rooms.
That afternoon I took a short trip up to the town to see the sights and came back for dinner on the ship.
I had a poached salmon, which was not my favorite as it was dry and bland, but the farmer’s salad was good.
After dinner, I stayed around for a great opera performance and then headed off to bed for what was looking like to be another great day in Paris.
Featured Photo: Brad Beardmore posses as The Thinker at the Rodin Museum.