but the tunnel is too long,
too dark, too cluttered.
Today was my mom’s birthday! Happy birthday mumsy!
We started the day right by eating an astronomical amount of pastries. We then took the metro out to Notre Dame, went inside, and took plenty of pictures inside and out. Andy zipped through all the souvenir shops, searching for the perfect mini eiffel tower.
We hopped back on the metro and stopped at Montmartre. I sent the boys to climb up the hill to see the view and explore the Sacre-Coeur basilica while my mom and I stayed down below and puttered through various fabric shops. There were so many fabric stores, it was amazing. There are three huge ones, five stories each, and then the surrounding streets are littered with little stores selling “coupons” which are basically remnants. Unfortunately for me, these “remnants” were 3 meters apiece and that is still way more fabric than I ever use. But I did manage to find a few things, and I enjoy digging through fabric.
The boys would clearly be miserable during our day of scouting the Paris flea markets, so we took the metro into the city and parted ways. My papa and brothers headed toward a science museum, while my mama and I ventured into Les Puces de St-Ouen, the largest and most famous of the Paris flea markets.
We first walked through a market lined with booths of shoes and jeans. Every stall contained stacks and stacks of boxes of Converses; not at all what we were looking for. We walked past it all, and finally reached the market of Vernaison, one of the antique markets.
Everything was quite expensive, especially with the euro exchange rates considered, so we browsed rather than bought. It was fun to look at everything, and we found an amazing bead store with boxes upon boxes of beads. Fill up a cup for 16; even though the cups were rather small, I was lured into the colorful world of baubles and “perles” and came out with a brimming cup of my own.
With tired feet and eyes done with browsing, we left the market after a couple hours in search of food. We got a baguette sandwich to share, along with Orangina (my favorite!) and the most delicious apricot custard pastry in the whole world. It was so, so good.
We walked and walked, stopping for various shops and pictures, then met up with the boys near the Eiffel Tower. After dinner, as the sun began to descend, we made our ascent. We watched the city grow dark, then light up again, and I balanced my camera in many precarious positions, using every stable surface as a makeshift tripod.
The view was amazing, and I got some great pictures. The twinkling of the Eiffel every hour on the hour after dark is incredibly beautiful. We got back to our hotel after midnight and went to bed.