So we're driving around Paris. We have an iPhone GPS which gets lost every so often, and if we just use the iPhone map feature, it's free, whereas if we do the give-us-turn-by-turn-directions thing, it costs $$, so I was trying to get by with just the maps.
Apparently I used the expression "or I could just stick a fork in my eye" a lot. Last night after we had gone through the same intersection TWICE and taken the wrong exit out of it both times, B leaned over to me, holding out something.
"Here, Mom." he said "Would you like my fork?"
I finally broke down and using the data roaming feature, and my life became a quest to make the bleeping blue dot go where it was supposed to go. I was in the back seat, and the only way the sensor could figure out where we were was if I held the iPhone out the window (with both hands!!!)...now I know what all those weeks of using hand signals for turn signals was for.
The only thing wrong with navigating with your hands out the window, in Paris, is ...there are motorbikes splitting lanes everywhere. I'm lucky I didn't get my arms broken by a motorcyclist!!!
It has been SO MUCH FUN to try to use French. Today I bought something from a bakery without once resorting to "Anglais?" I was far too pleased with myself after that.
ALSO - I found a little place called L'Oisive The (accent ague on that e) on the Internet, and after an hour of GPSing/pleasing the blue dot (I think the thing actually burst into tears at one point) we found it and I went in to this darling little corner tea shop and ...(deep breath) bought some sock yarn. I carried it in my purse with me all day, and kept taking it out to pet it.
So what else did we do today? you ask. Well here's the thing. We were trying to decide if we should go to The Louvre or Notre Dame or scrap them both and go wander the gardens at Versailles and we finally decided that making the children wander through the Louvre was really not fair. We've been to Paris twice but never been to the Louvre but we figure we will somehow someday recover from the financial hit eating in Paris has been, and come back.
This morning as we were getting ready to pack up and check out, A said "I really want to see the Mona Lisa." So we discussed it for awhile and ...off to the Louvre we went. And then she wanted to see the Renaissance areas and can I just tell you what a delight it was to walk around and listen to her talk about what she's learned at school about the Renaissance, etc?
I loved looking at paintings. B wasn't much into it until I started talking about the story within the story in some of the paintings, and we spent a lot of time together in an area where there were a lot of Bible story painting - the wedding at Cana, John the Baptist's head on a platter (apparently it was a bloodless beheading), all the different ways people thought Mary looked, and Jesus looked. There was one especially interesting one that I tried to write down the name of but could not find a pen, by G---dano (possibly) that showed Rachel and Leah and Jacob and Laban and I was struck by how much Jacob and Laban looked like I thought they would - not physically, but personality-wise. Jacob looked like a cheerful mover-and-shaker, and Laban looked a bit like a mover-and-shaker gone to seed. And Leah had several small boys climbing all over her, and a much-prettier Rachel had eyes only for Jacob. IT's the first time, I think, that I've thought of paintings as story-telling, and I wonder why it's taken so long to work that out.
Tomorrow we are trying to wander the gardens at Versailles (if the rain stops) and then head to Calais for a ferry to Dover. I cannot tell you how delighted I am to be going to England. I love England with my whole heart fervently. The friends we are going to visit are people we met on our first trip overseas, almost exactly 20 years ago. (The three year old who assured us he didn't use much electricity graduated from University this year!) We have visited each other back and forth over the years - they've been to Canada at least once, and we've been back to England with an almost-two-year old A (when she could still fly for free) and then when B was just 2 and we came overseas with TG's parents. It's been too long between visits this time - I can't wait.
Yap yap yap. I am having a seriously lovely time. I am so reluctant to leave the charming small town on the outskirts of Paris that we have found ourselves in - but I know that other delights await.
It's a lucky lucky life.