Honeymoon 5B: The Underbelly and Overjoyment of Paris

We started our last day by getting in an hour-long line to visit the Catacombs. (Sidenote: while we waited in line, I had to go to the bathroom (surprise, surprise), so I used one of their street toilets. This was a space age system! The whole thing, ceiling to floor, is sterilized and dried between each use. When I was in there it told me exactly how much soap and water I should be using and wouldn’t let me turn on the hand-dryer until they thought I should be done washing. Neat-o.) You enter the Catacombs through an unmarked door and by taking 100+ stairs down. It starts with stone-lined hallways which are spooky enough, but then you go through room after room lined with bones! “All femers & skulls” seemed to be the decorating scheme, but we figured that’s because they were using those bones to decorate (ew) while stacking all the others behind. The Catacombs started in the 1800s and people have been having gatherings and parties in here since. While gross, this was the most unusual & fascinating stops of the trip.

We did this visit as part of a recommended walk, so we explored the neighborhood, including an observatory that has been around & still functions for a record-breakingly long time. We also had lunch in this neighborhood, which was great. We sat just outside a street-market, so we had the best people- watching of the trip!

After lunch, our plan was to go on one of the walks that included the Sacre Coeur and Moulin Rouge. We decided to take another train than what was suggested for the tour. Wow. Mistake. As we got close to our stop, the crowd got more and more shady. When we stopped, it was just plain scary! There were a ton of creepy people just milling about with a lot of folks selling stolen-looking goods and looking for opportunities to pickpocket. I’m sure if I knew the French version of “pot” or “cocaine”, I would have heard it here. We tried walking a few blocks to the start of the walk in hopes that things would be more comfortable, but for me, we never got there. We took the obligatory Moulin Rouge picture and got the heck out of there!

There was one good thing that came out of this mini-excursion. On our ride up, a reggae singer stood right by us singing and playing his electric guitar, amp and all. He was the first Metro musician to be good, really good. This lead to one of those future “remember when” moments for me. It was too perfect.

Our feet dictated the rest of the day, which still included much more walking. Our dinner stop had some of the best ambiance of the strip, but it wasn’t until we were done that we realized we were just two blocks away from the Eiffel Tower. After dinner, we found a spot on the lawn in front of the tower, along with a number of other folks having wine and cheese picnics (kudos to the North African dudes for finally getting it right – they were selling wine and Heineken here) waiting for the light show to go off. Blog friends, I witnessed the most beautiful sunset of my life that night. It was just perfect.

It was chilly that night, so we took off right after the light show, stopping underneath the tower for a picture and a kiss. Randy stopped me again by a merry-go-round. I jokingly asked him if he wanted to take it for a ride, but instead he led me in a dance. At the beginning of our trip, I suggested that there would be at least on burst of spontaneous dance, but it had not happened yet. Randy said our music was weak that night, but he didn’t want me to miss out. And thusly, the merry-go-round jingle is my new favorite song. I love this man.

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This vacation was 15 days of perfection. If we do half as well in real life as we do while honeymooning, Randy and I will be the luckiest ever.

I made a wish in the Louvre fountain that we would come back to Europe soon, but more than that, I hope Randy and I always laugh, talk, eat, explore, and enjoy other parts of honeymooning for many, many years to come. I am a lucky girl.

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