Friday, September 11, 2009

a boat ride and sore feet

Today we got off to a late start. I had Eva go wake the boys at 11:00, so they would have a chance of getting on a better schedule. They each said that they had had extreme difficulties sleeping and didn't manage to fall asleep until 6:00 a.m. Oh dear. (Oh! Eva slept through the night last night! I am crossing my fingers that it's a trend.)

I thought we were all finally ready to go on a little excursion around 1:00, but when I went to find Eva, I discovered that she had put herself down for a nap. What the? That has certainly never happened before. We didn't actually leave until closer to 4:00.

We didn't have a whole lot of time, so we wandered around Notre Dame and took pictures. The line to get inside was longer than I've ever seen, so we opted to stay outside (phew). Between Lucas whining about being thirsty -- he didn't bring his water bottle -- and Eva whining because she was bored, it was not our best foray. I was feeling a bit discouraged, truth be told. (I could just stay home and knit and read, but then they'd be whining about wanting to go somewhere...)

We saw the largest ever pigeon congregation. I don't know if it was a pigeon conference or what, but I was creeped out. Max and Lucas were teasing me and trying to get me to understand that pigeons are not creepy. Um, no. That is just a fact.

We went to meet Marc for a bateau mouche ride (boat ride on the Seine) at 6:00. All of the study abroad students arrived today, and he does this as an attempt to keep them awake.

I've been on these boats a couple of times before, but I still enjoy it. The cool breeze was certainly welcome.

You never know what you're going to see on the river banks. We couldn't figure out what this multiple bridal party was -- a photo shoot? We also saw people fishing, a band, people dancing, people making out, people studying, and a Fabio look-alike (I saw him too late to capture him).

I love the bridges.

It's all pleasing to me. The students and Max and Lucas seemed to enjoy it. Marc took a lot of photos. Eva played games on his ipod.

These are my shoes and feet covered in the "poussiere de Paris", the dust that is ubiquitous in this city. I brought these shoes as an afterthought. I was considering getting rid of them, as they are getting a bit worn -- I have really worn them a lot. I put them on today because I had a little blister on one of my feet from my other super-comfy, worn-in pair of shoes. I don't know how, but I came home tonight with 2 horrifying blisters, one medium one, and one small one. What the? If I am getting blisters from wearing these shoes, I'm in trouble.

We didn't get home until 8:30. Marc had to call all of the host families to arrange the students' arrival there tomorrow. I went out and got Grec sandwiches (should have taken a picture) -- yummy bread filled with rotisserie pork, lettuce, tomato, onion, an herbed white sauce, and then stuffed with fries.

The kids went to bed at 11:00, and I am exhausted. That one little outing completely wiped me out. How will I survive all that will surely follow? Apparently I'm a wuss.

17 comments:

Amy said...

Oh no! Not blisters! Hopefully the skin on your feet builds up some calluses soon so you're not in pain the whole time.

One of our favorite places to hang out was in the courtyard outside of Notre Dame. The kids chased the pigeons, and we enjoyed the sunshine. The time we went inside was not as successful as the time we chose to just stay outside!

Good luck tonight with Eva and sleeping, and to the boys getting on a good schedule. You're going to have to get an earlier start if you're actually going to see anything. . .but of course you already knew that.

Hey, is it wrong that I've been obsessively checking my reader to see if you've posted? I'm living vicariously through you for the next three months!

Jill said...

I don't think you're a wuss, I think you just have to sort of get in shape for days like this because normal life isn't like this.

I'm so thrilled that Eva slept through the night and then put herself down for a long nap!

I am worried about my footwear situation because of the blister debacle I had last time. Basically I'm looking for an air conditioned bubble wrap cocoon for my feet.

Jill said...

P.S. I remember the pigeons of Paris and they were so plentiful. They're noises are one of the sounds I associate with the city.

Amy said...

my mouth is watering for a Grec! I served my mission in southern france and these were my favorite! YUM, i'm so jealous!

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Bird conferences are disturbing to me, too. Especially birds with bright pink feet.

I love Paris through your eyes. Please take care of your feet so that you can keep seeing it for us.

I say an excursion like that is a good day's work.

Elizabeth said...

I agree the pigeons are creepy. Like rats with wings.

Now I want/need a grec sabdwhich for dinner!

rebekah said...

Oh my goodness, a bateau mouche ride was one of the first things we did when I was little and we went to Paris.

So, what do the students do all day? I only did Washington Seminar, so I was interning all day. Does Marc have to spend all day everyday with the students taking them places and teaching them? I don't think I'd have the stamina for that -- either being the teacher or the student!

It seems like you can never make more than one child happy at the same time.

Michelle said...

How on earth am I going to stay awake!? I think I will bring those special blister bandaids of Jill's. We are heading to Macy's now to find Kristen some good shoes. But the sandwich - now that sounds YUM!

rebecca said...

Michelle,
Thank you a million times over for posting about your adventures, though they may not start until 4pm and might end with blisters. What a treat it is to look over here wondering - what did Michelle and the kids do/see/eat today? LOVING your documentation!

Rob said...

Hello, I am Elisa Ray's friend and I cannot say how much I enjoyed seeing your pictures! My husband, Rob, and I traveled to Paris 3 1/2 years ago and I loved it. It is so awesome, I wish that we had found one of your sandwiches and tried them. I too loved the boat rides, it was so relaxing, such a break from all the walking. And I love seeing your pictures, I loved Paris architecture (my husband is an architect so that is what we focused on a lot). Thanks for letting me peek in on your trip. -Diedre Gray

Barb said...

You must be doing a lot of walking to get blisters like that! I hope your whole family has now been sleeping soundly for the past 7 or 8 hours or so. Down with jet lag!

jenn said...

I'm sorry about the blisters. I'm sure you'll work your feet into shape for these outings in no time! The whining kid thing doesn't really end, but you have so many beautiful things to see, you'll stop hearing it eventually.

The boat ride is just where I want to be right now- cool breeze, beautiful scenery, something about being on the water is so delightful!!

TX Girl said...

The bird conference cracked me up. I always wonder the same thing.. I guess the old adage is true- birds of a feather flock together.

I would be discouraged too. The plus side- because it isn't a vacation, your days there aren't golden. You can go home and not feel like you missed out on something.

Kelly said...

Sorry about your sore feet! Blisters from worn, comfy shoes are just an insult to injury. Perhaps your feet just need to ease into the Parisian lifestyle.

Funny, I don't find individual pigeons creepy, but pretty much anything in large quantities is definitely creepy.

I hope the sleep woes are becoming less and less as the days go by!

Ashley said...

Yikes, pigeons!!! So icky... I'm sorry that I didn't get a chance to call before you left. We were visiting Brandon and family in Idaho and I lost track of the days - next thing I know you are out of the country. I'm so excited to see your Paris life chronicled daily though. I wish I could come visit again! I will email you separately because I have a funny story I have to tell you. Love you... Ash

Robyn said...

Amazing. Gorgeous photos. Everything seems interesting and cool.

amy m said...

I think you are anything but a wuss. I can only imagine this pace of life must be something you have to get use to. At least you have time on your side and can take it slower when you need/want to.

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