April 10, 2008

In which my brother arrives, and we see him for about an hour

Posted in Exploring, Visitors tagged , , , , , at 12:15 pm by Lauren

On our day off between visitors, Allen and I fit in some babysitting at Mimi and Jack’s, so we were ready to sleep in on Sunday, March 16. But we had more visitors coming! My brother Alan, his girlfriend Megan, and some guy named Dave would be in Paris from March 16 to 24. (A note: Dave, if you are reading this, we no longer refer to you as “some guy named Dave” but at first we were kind of like, “Um, who’s Dave?”) Right on time – that is, at the crack of dawn or near enough – they arrived at our apartment loaded with backpacks and suitcases. Alan had forgotten his jacket. They were all tired.

But tired? Tired is a surrender. So they all said, “Screw, tired!” They were going hashing. Now, someone will correct me, but my understanding of hashing is this. One person is the rabbit, and they run, run, run, creating false trails on the way to confuse the pack. The rest of the people (a large group) runs after the rabbit, trying to follow the trail and determine which is the real trail and ultimately catch the rabbit or get to the finish. And before, after, and in between, there is much drinking.

So shortly after our visitors’ arrival, they went off to get the keys to Dave’s apartment, cat nap, and then go find a bunny. (And also drink.) We crawled back into bed.

That afternoon, we met Antoine and Typhaine at the Musee Carnavalet. It took us quite a while to find the exhibit we’d come to see – paintings of Paris by Pelletier – but in the meantime, we took in the amazing collection of ensignes, or signs, that used to hang out over various shops of Paris. There was one from the Tour d’Argent and another with a black cat on a crescent moon. We finally found Pelletier and took in his paintings. Then we managed to squeeze into the Art Nouveau jewelry shop (covered in green peacocks and little fish and lilypads) before we got kicked out so the museum could close.

We stopped at a nearby tapas bar, but it was chilly, so we opted for coffees and hot chocolates (rather than sangria, which I daresay might have warmed us just as well). We had a short chat – trying, for instance, to explain hash to them, to which Antoine said, “We have games like that too. But they just involve drinking.” Then we told them we’d better head back to the apartment to see if Alan and company had returned from hashing yet.

Because my parents’ hotel reservation went through Monday morning (due to Marriott time share requirements), we left Alan and Megan in the apartment Sunday night, and we stayed in the Marriott Champs-Elysees. It was fancy enough, but we were mostly pleased to be sleeping in a really comfortable bed again. Our bed in Paris is a six-inch thick pallet mattress, such as you’d find at Ikea, perhaps. The loft below it creaks loudly when you turn over (which is a treat for guests sleeping below on an air mattress). Sometimes it bumps into the wall when you barely think you’ve moved. And don’t even think about drinking any water before bedtime, or you’ll have to climb down in the middle of the night. So yes, we appreciated the Marriott Champs-Elysees. I particularly liked the fresh rose in a bud vase over the sink. Posh!

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