We got to Paris at 08:00, and walked from Gare du l'Est to the Seine and then to Austerlitz Station to store our luggage until the night. Then to find food. Baguette, Nutella and juice. Coffee from McDonald's. We ate on a bench near G. Pompidou Nouveau Art Center. We took their escalator up to the tippy top to see a panorama of the city.a It was sunny, clear, almost warm. We started our walk to all the important sights. The streets were first which led us to Notre Dame, and a look inside. They are cleaning the outside front towers. I would like to see Monet paint that.
Then to Champs Elysee, where all the shops lined along a Green Thing, a tree lined road. People were selling flowers, souvenirs, and pets in the road along the river, on the way to Champs Elysee. The Louvre was the beginning of the Champs E, which we only observed from outside. We saw the pyramids and the beautiful buildings, the squares all over the city, Arch de Triumphe, the McDonald's toilettes and the Tour d'Eiffel. Many people were at the Eiffel tower, where we had both rolled our own cigarettes and smoked them while getting splashed by the fountain on our backs in the sun. We stopped at Les Invalides for a look at the Gold-domed building.
On our way to le Sacre Couer, we had dinner in front of Pompidou, just like our breakfast. We got a baguette, a bottle of cheap red wine and Camembert cheese and ate in the open on a bench like kings, with meat and wine with our little spoons. We drank and ate it quickly with pigeons eating up our scraps and begging for more. We were too, so we tried making pigeon traps, me with a bag and Lars with his motorcycle boots. We ate in front of a green trash collecting suction machine with a vacuum arm. The artist centre at Mountmartre was now a tourist center. I bought my postcards there.
Le Sacre Couer was having services for Palm Sunday, as did Notre Dame when we visited earlier. Sacre Couer was burning gallons of incense. It smelled like pine and I wanted to stay forever. It had a credit card offering machine.
We started back towards the city center, or a metro, when we decided we wanted to go somewhere special for a drink, and found an Irish Pub. We ordered two pints of Kilkenney and paid 76 franks. Yes almost 9 pounds. We couldn't believe it. When I had ordered, I didn't spend enough time figuring out a price, and we were desperate to have some good beer. We sat in the back, which was nicely decorated (with newspaper in the bathroom as wallpaper). We walked past Moulin Rouge on the way back to the metro, and I was asked "Group Sex?" and "Sex?" I didn't respond. We had a tight schedule to keep, so we took the metro straight to Austerlitz, where we got on the train with our luggage the second it was leaving, just guessing that it was ours. It was almost full and we slept as we could
Tonight and tomorrow morning I read the role of Jesus in a passion play at church. It was fulfilling, and I enjoyed the experience, which my parents and Rachel came to watch tomorrow.
Rehearsal ar the fest building tonight, Act 1, which is the longest of all, made it painfully obvious that the next week will be critical for our success in "Noises Off".
Our final day in the Hobbit Hole was spent gathering of of our things and writing messages. We knew that we must leave early enough to avoid getting stuck in the mud. As the hillside melted, so did the roads, so we got off the mountain quickly, a different way than we had arrived. We headed through the town of Leavenworth, and at an Apple Orchard just after crossing the Columbia River, I called my mother and told her and my father of our fantastic trip and all the tea we had consumed. It was a very memorable conversation, and I was so happy to share this with her, eating a freshly picked Washington apple. I talked of Rachel's adventures in the deep snow when she wore my boots for hiking because her were too light, and got mine totally soaked through. So much that we mostly stayed put in our Hobbit Hole from then on and ate and drank and read The Hobbit from cover to cover.
We were very impressed by our drive through the mountains, and even more so with Leavenworth. We knew we couldn't resist coming back someday. I even bought a pair of lederhosen so that we could come back for their Octoberfest. We settled for wonderful coffee and pastries for now, though I do remember picking up a growler from a brewery there after sampling some of their beer. We bought some bottles of local Bourbon and Gin as well, and had such a fantastic day. We also bought clothing, t-shirts, and Rachel picked up a door knocker that was a surprise to mount on the front door of our house, but in the airport, I was asked to identify what was in my bag, and I saw it in the airport scanner.
Back on the road, we passed through miles and miles of snow as we crossed over the continental divide, or some such thing along the way. We stopped in an area for our next AirBNB, which was a tiny home in the treetops and was inspired by bigfoot. We grilled out on the porch, took a bath in the jacuzzi tub, and watched 'Harry and the Hendersons', which was filmed nearby. We shared a bottle of wine and went to bed.