Day 40, Ka-nip, Ka-nop and a Monumental Monument
Ok, if we were to go by the 3x5 laminated schedule that the wifey had done up these are the things that we would have done that day: number one, doesn't matter because I put that schedule in the shredder because we're on vacation. Shana and I took advantage of having a real bed and got some much needed sleep. I decided that since Shana made breakfast the day before I'd return the favor. There weren't any lines or words on the dials indicating temperature. I turned the knob until it stopped. I figured that meant it was on high. Well, I was wrong and it took way longer than it should have to boil water. No matter, the plan for the day was to have a picnic at the eiffel tower.
For our Eiffel Tower picnic we picked up fresh bread, cheese, wine and macaroons (the macaroons were puffed crap. Essence bakery in Tempe is WAY better). The food was pretty heavy so we also picked up some walking fuel (ice cream) for our venture.
Our apartment was a fifteen minute walk from the tower. We strolled over to the grassy area and picked a spot to camp for the afternoon. As we unloaded our picnic we realized we didn't have a wine opener. We scouted the lawn and looked for people with open bottles of wine. We happened to see a couple of girls not too far away with an opener. I asked Shana if she didn't mind asking the ladies if we could use their opener. Having a giant beard has its advantages, but walking up to strangers and asking them for things usually doesn't end well. They automatically assume I'm newly homeless (newly because I have semi nice clothes on and have yet to acquire that ripe smell). They offer me kind words of advice like "Get outta here you bum! Your an eye sore to society." and "I don't want to buy weed you dirt merchant." and "Get a job, long hair." To avoid these pearls of wisdom Shana kindly accepted this quest and ventured off. Hours went by as we people watched, ate and drank. Our favorite thing to do was to watch people take photos. You had the "leaning on the tower" photo. The "holding the tower in your hand" photo and "holding the tower by the point" variation photo. The "holding the tower on your back" photo. The "whole family smiling and the baby crying" photo. Our favorite was the "jumping" photo. This was great because people got so mad at the person behind the camera when they couldn't get the timing right. I mean with their three centimeter (roughly one inch) jump that gave the photographer twenty three hundredths of a second to snap a photo. Plenty of time. Seeing how everyone was giving it their best Ansel Adams, Shana and I came out and put them to shame with our patented look somewhere left and smile senior picture style photo TM (see picture "our pets heads are falling off"). After we got tired (aka ran out of booze and food) we headed back to the apartment to gear up for our next stop - PING PONG MANIA!!!!!
I had found a ping pong bar in Paris called "Gossima". It had eight very nice tables and enough quality paddles and balls to go around (insert joke here). We signed up for a table and had a couple of drinks while we waited for it to clear. As our names were called we started playing. Shana had never played on real nice ping pong equipment and boy was she... bummed out. She had enough of our thirty minute session within the first four minutes. I could see the anger and frustration oozing out her pores. After game seven (Jerrad - seven, Shana -zero) I could see her plotting to break my fingers with a ball pein hammer and cut my hair using spoons. Just then the lights went out. I thought "Oh crap, I've finally done it. I've made her so mad she's gained super villain powers and now I'm gonna die". I had just hoped she would leave enough material behind so I could have a proper burial. Luckily I was wrong and they tuned on some black lights for intergalactic ping pong. The tables and ball lit up. The ball left a trail when you hit it and this seemed to change Shana's attitude. We just rallied for the rest of the time. I love my wife for doing the things I love, even if she doesn't like them as much. At the end of our thirty minute ping pong adventure we decided to blow that banana stand and headed home for some sleep.
1994 Shana (thanks for the awesome skort jumper, mom)
that one tower
proof I was there
Paris wrapped up into one photo
Day 41, A Church, A Crepe, A Creme Brûlée, and an Arc, all walk into a bar...
The wifey and I had planned on walking up early. We really did, but instead we thought It would be more important to drink wine and watch movie trailers until three in the morning for the sake of our budding marriage. We slept in past regular breakfast time and figured we would get some snacks on the road instead of dirtying anymore dishes. Our stop for the day was the hills of Montmarte.
As we stepped off the metro in Montamarte we were greeted by the stairway to heaven, except that this stairway was spiraled, didn't have any hand rails, no classic guitar riffs (exquise me, baking powder), and didn't actually go to heaven. Instead the stairs lead us to new grounds. It felt like we're transported out of Paris. The 18th district was different than all the others we had visited. It felt more mom and pop and less big business. Thirteen steps out of the metro exit there was a stand selling Haribo gummies (gold bag of gummy bears and other tasty treats) by the kilo. Maybe this was heaven. Watching the seedy gentlemen thumb the scale (adding weight with their thumb to the scale so you pay more than you're actually getting), it was clear that we had not entered the pearly gates. We dashed around and tried to find a crepe. Shana had not yet experienced the deliciousness that the crepe had to offer. Milling through the hilly streets of Montmarte we had come across Snack Town. To say the customer service at this place was bad would have been a compliment. We stood there for at least five minutes while people around us had their orders taken and filled. I was hungry enough to throw a molotov cocktail behind the counter and dance on their ashes. Seeing how gas was more expensive in France than in the states we decided against it. Instead we walked down the block and found another food station; Snack City. Which was the same basic menu, but with a higher population and better customer service. Shana was skeptical on the tastiness that is the crepe. We ordered the fromage and tomat crepe to go (cheese and tomato). Shana took one bite and fell in love. Crepes are one of my favorite foods and Shana decided they were hers as well. After we filled our tummies we climbed the mountainous streets of Montmartre to the Artists Square. The area was filled with artist doing what they do. Artists arting all over the place. The only problem was it all looked roughly the same. Great art, little variety. After our fill of caricatures, doodles of celebrities, and Eiffel Towers we headed up to the tip top of Montmartre to check out the chuuuurrrrch.
The church was nice, but the view was nicer. We snapped pictures and enjoyed the view. Next stop, creme brûlée.
We headed down the hill and through the streets to the famous restaurant Café des 2 Moulins. It wasn't famous for its food, drinks, or customer service. It was was famous because a fictional character worked there in a movie. So those of you who own a restaurant and have mediocre food, make sure you also have a good movie filmed there. It will add at least one star to your rating. This was the restaurant that Amelie worked in (from the movie Amelie - Shana's favorite). We ordered the Amelie special: a cappuccino and a creme brûlée. The service was the best we've experienced in Paris and the creme brûlée was amazing (See photo "sugar plus eggs plus butter plus cream plus crack"). Shana was head over heals to be sitting in the restaurant cracking the brûlée just like in the movie. It was really cool to see it bring her so much joy. Now that we had the faux-trients we needed it was time to go to the Arc.
The Arc de Triumph was a cool site. Shana and I made it a point to be in as many photos as possible. Not our own photos, but other people's photos. What better way to make someone else's trip special than to have them realize they weren't the only one posing for their picture. We walked down Champs-Élysées street and made our way into Nike Paris to see if they had any Jordan IV "Green Glows" left. It turns out they had plenty. This was due to the fact Nike Paris charges more than the shoes are worth. I ain't no punk bitch, so I passed on the cop and we carried on. After spending zero dollars at Overpriced Highway Robbery Ave we went home for a proper dinner
Shana had made us an awesome dinner. Pasta, bread, cheese, wine. After our proper dinner we drank more wine and hit the hay.
the view from Montmartre
AMELIE CAFE OMG
sugar plus eggs plus butter plus cream plus crack
breaking creme brûlée like Amelie and like a dork