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Archive for January, 2009

Arcs of Triumph

For our last day in Paris, we visited the Arc de Triumphe and took a stroll down the Champs-Élysées.

Our camera ran out of batteries at the Arc, so following are the pictures we were able to get.

Here’s me, learning our best friend Rick, in front of the Arc:

After our camera puttered out, we walked down the fancy shopping street and went into stores where most items cost easily more than the sum of everything we both own, put together (among them, a concept car store, Louis Vuitton, and Starbucks).

We walked all the way to the Louvre, and around some stores to buy some souvenirs. I ended up falling in love with a free trade store that sold items that, while not even a little bit Parisian, were excellent. Like little elephant sculptures and Indonesian scarves. I would fall in love with a store that I could just as likely find in Uptown, Minneapolis :).

We also ate at a McDonalds and went on a search for a chocolate shop. We walked all the way to the Notre Dame before giving up. My coworkers told me if we’d gone another block past the Dame, we would’ve found a great one. Oh well. C’est la vie! We ended up finding something near our hotel anyway.



We had to get up at about 3am for our flight, so we decided we’d try to stay up all night since our walking excursions took us well into the night. We finished up Band of Brothers, then talked with Emily on video chat for awhile, then finally gave in and crashed for a few hours.

Our flight to Amsterdam was severely delayed, so when we arrived there, we literally sprinted across the airport to the flight. I’m talking, sweaty, out of breath, almost passing out (for me), sprinting. We made it just as they were doing final boarding. Our baggage, of course, did not. This is because it can not run like we can. No bigs though. Since the airport delivers luggage to people’s homes as soon as possible, I’d almost rather lose my bags every time I fly.



The End! I hope you enjoyed your virtual trip through time to Paris with us! I also hope you didn’t catch the stomach flu!

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Versailles

After an evening of rest after the Tower, we woke up enthused for our trip to Versailles!

Figuring out the trains was interesting. They kept telling us to take any train that started with V, and it would get us to Versailles – but the trains proved much more confusing. We did make it to Versailles, but not to the right train station, so we had to walk through the city to get to the castle. As bitterly cold as it was, it was still one of the highlights of the trip for me – I thought the city was quaint and beautiful. I wouldn’t mind spending more time there someday.

Without the Rick Steves guide to help narrate us through the pictures, these will seem nothing more than pretty photos. Take my word for it that the history in these rooms is fascinating stuff. Jim and I are now on the look-out for a good documentary on the French Revolution during King Louis XVI’s reign.

Here are some pictures:

These balloon-animal themed sculptures were scattered throughout the castle. Our opinion was negative.

Where King Louis XVI married Marie Antoinette:

The King’s Fake Bedroom:

The War Room:

Hall of Mirrors:

Mirrors were considered a great luxury at this time, and this is about the time people decided it was no longer a sin to gaze upon yourself in a mirror:

A view of the gardens from the Hall of Mirrors. I’d love to go back sometime when it’s warm and explore the grounds:

Rick Steves, helping us along. When we went through these pictures with Dad Schofield we read through the guide to explain the context behind each picture. So of course when we got to this picture, I was on this same page again. Made me laugh at least:

In Louis’ real bedroom:

And this is the window that Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI looked out when the revolutionaries stormed through the gates to yell, scream, capture, and eventually behead the King and Queen for living their luxurious lifestyle while they were dying of starvation. Imagine a sea of angry Frenchmen.

Counsel Room:

The Peace Room:

Another view of the Gardens. Jim and I walked through this garden. Below our feet were the horse stables:

Marie Antoinette’s Room, decorated for summer:

Marie:

This is the room that the couple was finally captured in. Excuse the distracting “sculpture”:

Now into Napoleon era. Here he is refusing to be crowned by the Pope:

The first meal in France that didn’t make us sick:

Here we are wandering the garden area that I mentioned earlier:

I love Versailles, in a way!

Standing at the edge of the garden looking down:

And then we ventured hotel-ward:

But stopped when we saw the Eiffel Tower all lit up for the evening-time. We could see it “dancing” from the train!

Fin!

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More on the Cat

This morning I got an email from Jim that he had discovered our cat “half-way up the Christmas tree, buried inside the tree limbs.”

My previous cats were always content sitting under the tree. Who does this cat think he is? A monkey?

Speaking of monkeys, Jackson is smarter than six of ’em – read more about this on Jim’s blog, here.

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Eager, Early and Enthused Update

“I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” – Romans 7:15

Getting up early is proving a very difficult thing for me to do. I find myself lying in bed giving puppy eyes at Jim, hoping he’ll be nice and hit the snooze once or twice for me. He doesn’t.

A humorous moment happened today when I was sleepy and stretching. Here is an artist’s rendering of the happenings of this morning between 7:15:30-7:15:32

That’s 90% collapse, 10% Pilates stretch (but I think I just collapsed into the stretch position)



I’m working on it. Anybody got any tips on how to not collapse and fall asleep while standing/walking around in the morning?

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Thank you, Mr. Eiffel

The next day Jim woke up feeling less than eager to go out again. The cuisine from the evening before had done quite a number.

But after resting for awhile in the morning we set out to go see the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triumphe:

Did I mention that it snowed? It was the wettest, grossest kind of snow to walk in, but it did make everything (besides the ground and the bottoms of our pants) look beautiful.

Here’s the view from the Trocadero Metro Stop:

And here’s the free toilette nearby the previous picture:

More cool views of the Eiffel Tower as we walked closer to it:

It’s behind us, can you see it?:

We were standing on the site of the World’s Fair, what the Tower was originally built for by Mr. Eiffel (did you know he privately funded and took full legal responsibility for it? Good thing it worked out, and didn’t kill anyone, right? At least I assume it didn’t kill anyone):

Proof this is fair territory:

Because of the fog, we had to use our imaginations here. We think there were mimes up there, but they couldn’t get down because they shut down the elevators when they closed the Tower (on account of the weather). And they left them up there accidentally because they were so quiet. And that’s why we didn’t see any mimes on our trip. They were all up on the top of the Eiffel Tower. They’re probably dead by now. Unless they opened the tower up again, which they definitely didn’t. Mr. Eiffel’s descendants are to be held responsible.

I feel justified posting so many pictures of the same thing because this turned out to be all we did this day.

We were feeling more sick and tired by the minute, so after this venture we decided to nix the Arc idea and retreat back to the hotel. Jim was feeling evermore physically sick, and I felt physically and psychologically sick (for various reasons, one of them was obvs the cold and wet feet and lower-half-of-my-pants – this always does a number on my psyche. So, no, I do not want to go sledding with you).

We spent the rest of the day drinking 7up and watching Band of Brothers and Project Runway.

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Paris Paris!

No, not the hotel in Las Vegas! The CITY! In France!! Where the clothe-ed people do not dance!

We spent the first three days in the hotel, which at first was intentional: to relax from a hectic couple of weeks. But quickly that hotel became our germ infested teeny weeny prison. First, I got sick, then Jim got REALLY sick, then Jim stayed sick, then I got sick again, and of course Jim was still sick, etc.

After 3 days of staying in the hotel, we ventured out to Notre Dame and the Louvre:

Notre Dame!

Rick Steves taught us lots of interesting facts!

We saw St. Denis!

and Joan of Arc!

We went to Jess’ Cafe:

To drink coffee from little cups:

And Coke Light from regular sized bottles:

We went to the Louvre!

And saw all kinds of art!

And Roman Emperors!

If you’ve ever read the Bible and wondered what Agrippa looked like, here he is:

And when Jesus tells the Pharisees to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” this is the Caesar that Jesus was referring to (Agrippa’s son):

And here’s Hadrian, who made the beard famous!

Here are the French crown jewels, looking kinda chintsy if you ask me:

The Wedding at Cana:

Mona Lisa:

Napoleon:

We also saw some of the sculptures from Babylonian Palaces (the same palaces that Daniel would’ve gone to in the Old Testament book of the same name – so cool!):

Then we got some food court food to made us sick again and ventured homeward to our prison:

Tune in tomorrow for our trip to the Eiffel Tower on the snowiest day in Paris history (so I assume).

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Mistaken for 5th Graders

Have you ever been mistaken for a high school student?

Most of us who are short, or have soft round cheeks, would sigh and respond to this question with a reluctant “yes.”

Well, walk in self-pity no longer, friends.  Rachel and I had a much more shameful encounter on Friday than you ever have.



Our church meets on Friday nights at an Elementary School in Uptown, Minneapolis.  Rachel and I meet there a couple hours before the service every week, to go grab dinner and talk.

So we did that last Friday, per our normal routine.  As we were leaving the building to walk to The Uptown Diner, we were stopped by a janitor who was running after us:

Janitor: What room did you two come from?

Us: We were just meeting in the hallway, we didn’t come from a room.

Janitor:  You’re not students in the afterschool program?

Us:  No, we’re not.

Rachel (to Christine):  What??

Christine:  I guess our hoods were up…

Rachel:  And I do have a back pack on…

Christine:  But I’m 25 years old.

Rachel:  I’m pregnant.

I hope that you caught that this was an elementary school. 

Both of us have been confused for younger people our whole lives, but never as elementary-agers.  It was funny to imagine ourselves, as we are, in 5th grade though.  That would mean Rachel got married in 1st grade – is that legal?  Even with parental consent?

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