I have mentioned before that, as my vacations draw to a close, I begin to panic. Have I seen everything I wanted to see? Have I done everything that I wanted to do? Have I bought enough souvenirs? The latter question tends to weigh most heavily on my mind, in part because it’s easier to go out and buy a bunch more souvenirs (for myself and as gifts) than it is to visit a slew of attractions in one day. Considering this, I was happy that we decided that our last day in Paris would be filled with casual sightseeing and shopping. Our first stop was the Galleries Lafayette. I must say, they don’t make malls with domes like this anymore!
Outside the Galleries Lafayette, we stopped for a while to watch a street performer with the two calmest, most tolerant cats I have ever seen. He held them, put them on his head, had them catch things, all without so much as a peep from them. I actually started to wonder if they had been sedated.
I acquired 2 more hats and spent sort of an absurd amount of money on chocolate, but I still had some things I wanted to get–a Paris-themed charm for my charm bracelet and a few other gifts that would most likely be found in the type of cheesy souvenir shop that you normally can’t seem to walk a block without stumbling upon. Of course, they’re never around when you actually need one! We wandered around the area of the Galleries Lafayette for a while and then decided we might have better luck in the Latin Quarter. Surely, there must be a slew of souvenir shops near the Pantheon, right? Nope. Of course, seeing the Pantheon was cool too.
In all of our shopping fervor, we had neglected to stop for a snack, so I was getting hungry and cranky, and just wanted to stop in the middle of the street and shout, “I just want a crappy souvenir shop! Is that too much to ask, Paris?!” Luckily, we found some shops on another end of the Latin Quarter before it came to this. I didn’t get my charm, but I completed the rest of my shopping mission, so I was content.
We split up for dinner that night. My mom, Carol, and Mari went to a place in the Latin quarter that was oddly empty of people in comparison to most other restaurants in the vicinity (although, it was slightly off the beaten path), which gave Rachel and I pause. They enjoyed their meal, though, so that’s good. Meanwhile, Rachel and I returned to L’Assiette-Aux-Fromages to dive into another pot of melted cheese and make the most of our last night in Paris.
On the way back, we passed the same shop we had been to 2 nights earlier. Oddly enough, they had more inventory, and a man in the store again implored us to come in and check out the huge sale. Renovations were beginning tomorrow (just like 2 days ago)! I felt slightly deceived, but I’m still happy with my 10-Euro cardigan.
Rachel and I had earlier flights than the rest of the the group, so our shuttle to the airport arrived quite early the next morning. We made it to the airport with time to spare, despite getting stuck for about 15 minutes behind a large truck maneuvering along a narrow street with motorcycles parked along one side of it. The truck was attempting to turn, and one wrong move would have sent the bikes toppling like dominoes. After countless iterations of backing up and inching forward, the truck made the turn, literally, with a few inches to spare on each side.
Neither Rachel’s or my tickets indicated an airport terminal on it, so we asked the driver to drop us at the appropriate terminals for Delta and United, respectively. I felt less than confident that I was at the correct terminal when I saw no sign for United, but the driver insisted this was the right place. A short time later, at the information desk, my suspicions were confirmed. I was not in the right place. Thankfully, I was able to navigate the sprawling mass of confusion that is Charles de Gaulle Airport, find a tram, and get myself to the proper terminal.
All in all, it was a great trip. I’m happy to say that my camera made it through.I was able to get the vast majority of pictures I wanted, even though I was sore in multiple places from repeatedly whacking the camera (when my hand got too sore, I hit the camera against my hip bone if I was not in the vicinity of anything else that seemed suitable to whack it against). Anyhow, despite my discomforts, I’m happy I didn’t have to replace the camera a rush while on vacation. My little Canon Powershot A85 has served me well for quite some time, but yes, it is definitely now time to replace it!