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Old 09-08-2013, 01:03 PM   #181
mmeb144


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Originally Posted by pkondz View Post
Ready for an update?

Me too!

And I was just finishing off the first draft when I lost it all.





Back to the drawing board
Nooooooooo! Don't give up, please.
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Old 09-08-2013, 03:54 PM   #182
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Ponzi, losing it all is the WRONG way to imitate Nebo!
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:29 PM   #183
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkondz View Post
Ready for an update?

Me too!

And I was just finishing off the first draft when I lost it all.





Back to the drawing board


noooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:14 PM   #184
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Originally Posted by pkondz View Post
Ready for an update?

Me too!

And I was just finishing off the first draft when I lost it all.





Back to the drawing board
you are WAY too much like nebo.. scary
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Old 09-09-2013, 01:40 PM   #185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riles_and_Gabe View Post
Just found your TR. Can't wait to hear about your trip!!
Hey new person! Glad to have you! Welcome aboard!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmeb144 View Post
Nooooooooo! Don't give up, please.
"Give up"? I don't know the meaning of the word!!!!


hang on... just Googling it now..

give up (third-person singular simple present gives up, present participle giving up, simple past gave up, past participle given up)
1.(transitive) to surrender He was surrounded, so gave himself up. His friends gave him up to the police.
2.(transitive) to stop or desist; to quit They gave up the search when it got dark.
3.(transitive) to relinquish He gave up his seat to an old man.
4.(transitive) to lose hope They gave him up for dead.
5.(transitive) to abandon I gave up my faith years ago.
6.(intransitive) to admit defeat, to capitulate OK, I give up, you win.

huh. I'll be darned.
dunno, sounds like a good idea... then I wouldn't have to re-type everything. I could quit and get a real life...

nah.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Elle View Post
noooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !
yup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Backstage_Gal View Post
Ponzi, losing it all is the WRONG way to imitate Nebo!

Quote:
Originally Posted by smidgy View Post
you are WAY too much like nebo.. scary
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.


I think I'm flattering too much.
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:10 PM   #186
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Get to work, I'm bored.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:07 PM   #187
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Originally Posted by orangecats2 View Post
Get to work, I'm bored.
Whoops! The natives are getting restless.

Here, this should help occupy a few hours...
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Teenage Mutant Backseat Dancers - A Canadian Buffoon Adventure
Canadian Buffoon's Vacation - PTR/mini TR
Canadian Buffoon European Vacation
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:09 PM   #188
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No! Not that! Anything but <shudder> that!

Whoa. Deja vu. It's almost like I've typed this entire chapter before!

When we last left our intrepid explorers, they had just arrived in Paris.
'They' had arrived? Hey! Wait! That's me!


I think we arrived in Paris about 9:30am (2:30am Central time) so by now we (well, Kaitlyn and I) have been up for about 22 hours.
All we have to do now is go through customs, grab our bags and hit the city!
Paris awaits!!!!

But first... Of course... The ladies need to use the washroom.

So while the folks with TB (tiny bladders) use the facilities; six thousand, four hundred and twenty seven arriving passengers pass me by.
Eventually, the ladies re-join me and we head off in search of customs.
Ah. There it is.
And look! There's only a moderately long line! Let's get in it!

Whoops! That's just where the line turns the corner... the end of the line is over there...


After standing in line for about 10 minutes, I notice that there are in fact two lines. One for EU (European Union) arriving passengers and one for everyone else...

wanna guess which line we were in?


We get in the correct line and you know what? It moved fairly quickly.
Before we knew it, we were in front of a customs agent.

You know the drill, right? "Where are you from? What Nationality are you? How long will you be staying in Europe? Are you bringing in vast, copious amounts of cash? Are you bringing in any dairy, meats, vegetables, fruits, wine, women or song? Have you been on a farm in the past 30 days? Will you be visiting a farm? Do you have a criminal record or cassette or 8-track or CD or mp3? Have you ever taken the tag off a mattress? What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow. (European, of course) Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah...."

Except it didn't happen.
I handed our passports to the agent who stamped them, smiled (<shock>! Yes, he actually smiled!!), then handed them back to us. That was the whole thing.

We went in search of the luggage that we had last seen twenty or so hours and forty one hundred miles ago.


You might think that LFPG... what? Everyone knows what MCO is, but you don't know LFPG? There's a Disney there too, ya know!

Anyway, you might think that LFPG (Paris, Charles De Gaulle airport), being a major European hub and the gateway to arguably the most visited city in the world would be a marvel of automation and efficiency.


You would be wrong.



After passing through customs, we arrive in a room with numerous conveyor belts disgorging half eaten suitcases and partially masticated bags... And no clear way of discerning which belt is for which flight.

Now granted, I was a little groggy, so I may have missed something oblivious...

...obvious...

but surely (Don't call me Shirley) I can't be the only one?


After wandering around for a while demonstrating an amazing display of futility, I decide to ask at the long lost luggage desk, where an industrious civil servant is studiously avoiding any eye contact with desparate, helpless travellers. It's then I see that there's a whole other room, over yonder.
We wander over and find more conveyor belts. There's two bewildered looking people standing by a conveyor belt.... and there's one of our bags!

Everyone else was already gone.

Within short order, the belt barfs up the rest of our bags and we are on our way.

The airport is a ways outside the city and you have a few choices on how you want to get there.

1. Take a cab. Easily the most expensive option unless you have a large group sharing the cost... with few bags. Not us.
2. Take a bus. Cheap... but slow.
3. Take a train. Our best bet.

We get tickets for the train, along with "deux carnets" (two 10 ticket booklets) for the metro (subway).

We find the train platform... and there's two sets of tracks...
ummm.... which one do we use? I pick the one on the right pretty much at random.

I eventually see a sign saying that all trains from this platform are bound for Paris. Okay. <phew> Problem solved.



Kay looks pretty happy, but I love the dude photobombing. Doesn't he look bagged?

We arrive in Paris at the Gare du Nord (North Train Station) about 30 minutes later. Now to get to our 'hotel' we have another three choices.
1. We can walk. It's about a half hour walk... with heavy suitcases.
2. We can take a cab. Parisian cabs are not for the faint of wallet.
3. We can take the metro to a nearby station and walk 5-10 minutes.

So I do what every democratically run family would do.

I don't ask anyone and opt for number three.


The Paris Metro. Ya know what? I love it.
Its so easy to get anywhere. Trains come every 2-4 minutes. Just pick a spot and jump on the colour or number and go. Easy peasey. The map is confusing when you first look at it, but once youve traced out one route, its no problem.



Kay and Elle hated it. They found it dirty and scary. I sometimes wonder if weve sheltered them a bit too much? Its a subway, not a Disney ride.

Ruby was okay with it. She did have a pickpocket stick his hand in her back pocket. She didn't have any money there, so no harm done. I think she thinks that a Parisian was trying to pinch her bum.

I don't disabuse her of this assumption.
She has a silly grin on her face for the next few hours.

Don't know why.


The place were staying is... uh... kinda hard to describe. Tripadvisor, where it was rated very highly (95% excellent rating), calls it a holiday apartment. Its a B&B without the second B. A middle aged couple own a place with a few rooms that they rent out.

Im glad I Google mapped it before we went so I knew what I was looking for.
Heres the street view from Google Maps



See it? Its the double green doors on the left, of course.


I can't say enough about this place... or more specifically, our hosts.

We were warmly greeted by Helene and her husband Jean-Louis. We arrived at their place about noon and our room would not be ready until 2pm (we knew this ahead of time). They gave us maps and booklets of Paris attractions, then left us alone while we enjoyed fresh croissants, baguette (long, crusty french bread) with jelly, fresh peaches, a bottle of water and later, a bottle of wine.

Elle, enjoying her snack. (The other two are visiting the powder room... TB)



That's her 'mischievous' look. You can tell when she's going to do something evil, she does that look.

There are a couple of things to note:
The first one is that our room was on the top floor, three flights up... with no elevator. I was not looking forward to hauling all those bags up!
The second is that there's no air conditioning. We weren't bothered by it since we could leave the windows open all the time and there was a nice breeze to cool the room. But I could see it possibly being a problem if it was stinking hot with no breeze.


At one o'clock, Jean-Louis returned and announced that our room was ready.
When I went to start schlepping our bags up.... they were gone!

He had already taken them all up!

Here's our room:
Parental units' bed


Kidlets' beds


Kitchen


Behind the counter was a mini-bar fridge stocked with soft (and not-so-soft) drinks which were included in the cost of the room. No hidden bar bill!


Even though we were dead beat.... no, we're not deadbeats... at least I don't think so, others may disagree...

Even though we were dead tired, we freshened up and decided to see some nearby sights. Although it was now 6am back home, it's only 1pm here.

Too early for sleeping.

We head out... but not before the trials and tribulations of secure lodging are conquered!

To get into the apartment you must:
1. Enter a 7 digit code to pass through the green doors into the outer vestibule.
2. Use the square key to pass through the locked door to enter the inner vestibule.
3. Enter a 4 digit code to pass through the locked door to enter the outer courtyard.
4. Use the round key to pass through the locked door to enter the foyer.
5. Ascend two flights of spiral stairs.
6. Use the room key (an actual metal key! Not a plastic card that never, ever, no matter how much you pray and hope, retains it's code for more then a day.) to pass through the locked door that leads to the flight of spiral stairs that leads up to the loft/apartment where we collapse from the sheer labor of both mental and physical exertions.

Repeat in reverse when leaving... well, you could skip the codes... but you still had to use the keys.


Here's the goyls ready for their first real look at Paris


Please note that while we made sure to get walking shoes for Kay, she chose to wear flip flops for this leg of the race.

Our first stop is the Basilica of Sacre Coeur (Sacred Heart). This church was built from 1876 to 1914. It was consecrated in 1919 after WWI. The church is located on the highest point in Paris and gleams white due to the fact that it's made of stones that react with rainwater so it basically bleaches itself.



The view from up here, while quite nice, is missing an essential ingredient.



No Eiffel Tower. It's behind the trees to the right.

I don't remember if we went in or not.
I'm sure of two things.

I was groggy, so that might be why I don't remember...
If we did go in, I didn't take any pictures.

Behind the church we found our first major tourist area. A side street filled with sketch artists, begging to sketch you, or your spouse, or your kid, or anything!!! just please let me sketch something!!!

plus a bunch of little shops selling cheap Paris souvenirs. So of course we went in.



A little farther on, something bad happened.
Something that sent shivers up Ruby's back (Nope. Not another frisky pickpocket).
She had to face one of her worst fears.

"No!" She begged. "Anything but that! Oh, the horror!"



Yes, it was that particularly Parisian penchant for.....



mimes.



Oh, the humanity!
Poor Ruby stood stoically by while I snapped a pic of the still creature. I didn't want to prolong Ruby's anguish, so we moved on.



We passed by this shop and had to stop for a little sumthin' sumthin'.

Wouldn't you?





To the far left, in the display case, can you see those little green, pink and brown circles? Those are called "macarons". They are NOT coconut macaroons! These are bite sized bits of meringue heaven. Kay and I each had one, and made it our duty to try other places to find the best ones. Luckily, you could find them in almost every pastry shop.



A little farther on we came to Place du Tertre, a square considered the heart of this neighborhood. Artists congregate here to sell their wares or paint or sketch passersby. It was fun just wandering around, looking at the various paintings or portraits being done.



After we'd had our fill of the square, our next stop was the famous Moulin Rouge. It was a bit of a hike, and as we strolled along cobblestone streets, Kay started to complain that her feet were starting to hurt. It was only now that I noticed that she wasn't wearing the brand new shoes we'd gotten her specifically for this very purpose.

We gingerly made our way down the street and arrived at our destination.



After resting for a bit, I was hoping Kay's feet would feel better, but no luck. Unfortunately, we had to now walk back to our room. We took it slow, but Kay's poor feet took a few days to recover.

The walk back was.... educational for the girls. We strolled along famous Pigalle street, or as it's also known, "Pig Alley". The street is lined with cheap knockoff and bargain stores... and lots and lots of strip clubs. It's also the location of Paris' Erotic Museum. I thought about going in (what's more educational then a museum, am I right? Or am I right?) but took pity on poor Kay's feet and passed it by.


About half way back to our room, we stopped at a little resaurant for dinner. I had my very first French Onion Soup that was made (and eaten) in France.



But honestly? It was only so, so. I make a couple of different versions that are both better. Ruby had one later on that she said was really good, but I had no such luck.

I also had a Croque Monsieur. Basically a ham and cheese on a crusty bun. That at least was quite good.

And what new Parisian foods did the girls eat?

Kay: Cheeseburger and fries
Elle: Cheeseburger and fries
Ruby: Cheeseburger and fries



Kay grabs her burger, splurts some ketchup on it and digs in.
Elle grabs her burger, splorts some mustard on it and digs........


Right there is when Elle realises that she's not in Canada any more.

Did you know that mustard isn't the same the world round?


Elle then spends the next few minutes painstakingly removing said offending spicy mustard from her burger.


The look on her face was lots of fun, though.


After Ruby and Elle shopped in a nearby store for a bit, we manage to stagger (Kay more so then others) back to our apartment.

(Enter 7 digit code. Use square key. Enter 4 digit code. Use round key. Climb two flights of spiral stairs. Use room key. Trudge up last flight of spiral stairs...)

Made it!


Kay is overjoyed that the room has wi-fi so she starts catching up on "the real world". After a few seconds, I look over and.....


Kay's lying in bed... fully dressed... headphones in ears.... iPod playing some YouTube video... and passed out cold.


Poor thing.

Let's leave her there to rest and we'll come back for the next day later, ok?
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Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice. - Allan Arbus as Dr. Sidney Freedman - RIP


Teenage Mutant Backseat Dancers - A Canadian Buffoon Adventure
Canadian Buffoon's Vacation - PTR/mini TR
Canadian Buffoon European Vacation
Just a silly little TR - run away!



1977 - offsite 1987 - offsite 1992 - offsite 2005 - POR (never going offsite again!!!) 2009 - ASMu

Last edited by pkondz; 02-26-2014 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:23 PM   #189
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What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow. (European, of course) Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah...."

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

surely (Don't call me Shirley) Airplane

she chose to wear flip flops for this leg of the race. Reference to The Amazing Race

Oh...we aren't playing the movie quote game?

Great first day in Paris! I've made that walk from Sacre Coure to the Moulin Rouge and it is a LONG walk...can't imagine it in flip flops!

Ah, macarons! Everything tastes better in Paris! Scary Mime!

I loved the Paris subways...nothing better than it shutting down with no A/C and people who don't know about that modern invention called deodorant.

Jill in CO
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:44 PM   #190
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I LOVE your pictures. It looks amazing!

I was available to accompany you and your lovely family. No, I don't know Paris, but is that really necessary?
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:49 PM   #191
Backstage_Gal
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Awesome chapter! Glad you made ok. Love the place you stayed in.

I don't want to bore you me my Paris experience, Honeymoon with MIL along, we never did get to see the Eiffel tower..........
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:55 PM   #192
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Awesome chapter! Glad you made ok. Love the place you stayed in.

I don't want to bore you me my Paris experience, Honeymoon with MIL along, we never did get to see the Eiffel tower..........
Honeymoon with you MIL in Paris??!?!?!?!!? Oh my.

Jill in CO
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:45 PM   #193
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Originally Posted by pkondz View Post
Actually....

They're all right!

a) city : Canada derives from the native "Kanata" which means village, so you could say this is correct.

b) country : self explanatory

c) state : given the state of our various levels of government... we are in a state of despair or disillusionment... so this is correct, too.

d) frozen wasteland : again... self explanatory

e) pavilion in World Showcase : so I hear... haven't been in it though. Which is kinda weird, no?




How'd the tests go? And feel free to post away...
Okay, I am mere moments away from reading the new chapter I promise, but I could use everyone's creative mind to help me figure out the best way to break up the word responsible for DS. His challenge words this week are as follows:

apply
occupy
citizen
relieve
responsible

He did great on the tests last week, a 100 on the history, 97 on math, and a 110 on spelling. There is a new wrinkle though, in that beginning this week if he correctly spells all 25 regular words plus all five challenge words he does not have to take the final test on Friday. Thursday's practice test can become his final test with a score of 110.

Any creative thoughts on how to easily break the challenge words above so DS can learn and remember how to spell them would be appreciated. Consider this a weekly puzzle challenge.

And now back to Paris with Pkondz.

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Old 09-09-2013, 11:01 PM   #194
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Honeymoon with you MIL in Paris??!?!?!?!!? Oh my.

Jill in CO
I second Jill Marita!! Honeymoon with your MIL? There wouldn't have been enough wine in Paris to get me through that experience!
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:02 PM   #195
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Rob and Laura Petrie took a 2nd honeymoon in a room without air conditioning... it didn't go well.

for that matter, nebo and smidgy (well, nebo) bought a townhouse without air conditioning. ... the jury is still out.


all I can picture is the scene from National Lampoon's European vacation, and the couple renting out rooms.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VA9p8rgsoM
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