Today, I was very confident with my French skills up to the point of actually understanding French. These people speak very fast! OMG!

So where to begin, I think the universe likes me again. Both of my flights were smooth and both arrived earlier than expected. I traded seats with a French woman on the Paris flight after a conversation that included three words I recognized and sign language. I’ve discovered the French shrug, which is apparently the best way to say “Eh.” That’s about it. To be honest, I’m a little intimidated, but so far, my attempts to speak the language seem appreciated. I keep with the niceties and that seems to get me somewhere. I also tried a recommended tact that consists of telling the cute waiter at the museum. “Unfortunately, I am alone.” Yes, I did learn that phrase in French. And it works!

I could not check into the hotel early, So I dropped off my luggage and went into the rainy city. Musee d’Orsay was first and I was honestly overwhelmed by it all. Monet and Van Gogh and Degas and so much more. Even saw Whistler’s mother, which blew me away. Just wow. However, I did discover at the cafe that quiche is gross! Lol Don’t like it, but thought I’d try. I think I disappointed the waiter by only eating half. At that point, jet lag had kicked in and that usually means my stomach starts bugging me a bit.

But, oh, the art. I almost cried after climbing to the fifth floor (whew!) and I looked up and this beautiful Renoir is just right there in my vision. I cannot describe it. I won’t lie: seeing much of it made me cry. I could get close to something painted by Monet or Van Gogh or see the beautiful ballerinas that Degas painted and sculpted. C’est magnifique! I bought a print of one of Renoir’s La Moulin de la Galette pieces, as well as a Theodore Steinlein calendar. My first souvenirs. I stayed there until noon and then thought I would head back to the hotel and check-in. That was easy! Got my room. It’s mostly one massive bed. I have a balcony so that I can look out on the neighborhood below. I am in a residential area, which is very French. It’s nice, I like it. About two blocks from the nearest Metro station. Getting around is incredibly easy. Even easier than the Tube.

Did I mention the rain? Never was this more evident than when I headed to the Metro Blanche station. The walking tour of Montmartre I was wanting to take was cancelled due to lack of interest. What? I’m the only tourist who likes Paris in the rain? It suits this city so well, after all. Anyway, I took some photos of Moulin Rouge instead. Undeterred, I began walking uphill to Sacre Couer. And the rain really started pounding at that point. But I climbed the 400 or so stairs, taking a breathing and photo break halfway up. They have an elevator thing to ride, but I was going to hoof it demmit! And I did. And was rewarded with a view of the entire city of Paris below me. Surrounded in fog, but I could see it all. Spectacular.

Made it downstairs before my legs started trembling, and finally decided to call it a day. I went back to my lovely hotel and snoozed for a few hours. I ordered room service that should be here soon, including a plate of chocolate goodies. I can’t wait!

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