Bonsoir à tous!
We have not posted for quite a while, so we thought the time had arrived that we must add a post. There are many stories to tell.
To begin with, we visited Paris since last we posted. It is a lovely city (especially to be so large). When we arrived, the first thing we went to do was to find the Eiffel Tower less because we wanted to see it (most people who are not tourists detest the Tour Eiffel because it is so unattractive in person), more because it makes a wonderful landmark from which you can find the rest of the city. After browsing a gift shop under the Tour for a few minutes (Eiffel tower stuff EVERYWHERE!!!! Salt/pepper shakers, postcards, T-Shirts, ashtrays, ice cream cones... I might be exaggerating on that last one), we went across the Pont Alexandre III. This particular bridge is one we learned about in our modern Russia and Soviet Union class because it was built in a very prominent location in honor of Nicolas II's father (I understand pictures of the Paris trip will be soon to follow and... yeah, there are a lot of pictures of the bridge).
After crossing the bridge, we visited Les Invalides, which is a former military hospital, which was turned into a training school, which now houses a museum of French military history. For whatever reason, Anna (the military-historian-to-be) was highly interested in visiting this particular site. After trolling the halls of the museum, we visited the "Église des Invalides" ("Church of Les Invalides"), which houses the tomb of Napoléon Bonaparte. We paid our respects, then went in search of lunch.
Lunch was at the Café La Terrasse in the 7iéme arrondissement on the corner of the Avenue Bosquet and the Avenue de la Motte-Picquet. I ordered the steak tartare and a Bordeaux, and the waiter wanted to make sure that I know that it would be raw. I assured him that I consented to raw beef in my order, and I am so glad I did. It was delicious, mind-blowing experience. Anna ordered a grilled seabass and a white wine. Hers was very good as well. The meal was finished with a dessert for each of us. Mine was a coffee ice cream sundae (that is the best idea ever), and Anna had a Baba au Rhum. If you don't know what a Baba au Rhum is, stop what you're doing, buy a ticket to Paris, and try one. If you don't have the time/money to do that, I will explain: it is cake soaked in rum. Also known as, "Wow, did I just get drunk off of cake?" Making matters worse was that the waiter brought the bottle of rum to the table, and Anna decided (without tasting it, mind you) that it just needed more rum. Regardless, it was delicious.
After lunch, we headed to the Champs-Élysées, the center of all things high-end. It is bookended by Le Palais de l'Élysées and l'Arc de Triomphe. For the rest of the afternoon, we more or less took in the row of stores and took a few pictures of the Arc de Triomphe before heading to our hotel.
Unfortunately, we wound up a few minutes late for our check-in time, but the receptionist was very nice and allowed us to check in anyway. Breakfast the next morning was at the hotel as well, and it was delicious, even though it was very simple (ie, bread and coffee). Our next stop was to return to the train station and head back to small, chilly Orléans.
More stories (including snow!) to come.