L'eau Libre e "Familia"

Waking up on the train is not bad. You go to sleep in one country and awake in another. This time, we woke up in Paris. The sky was overcast, but we didn't really care. We had not trouble finding our hostel, but (once again) we could not check in for a few hours. We left our bags there and decided to get breakfast. We found a nice little cafe and I had my first crepe ever. It was good, but left me wanting. I also had some of Aisha's omelette. I think the best part of the meal was Jason's water. When we got the bill, he found that he was not charged for the water. This was great, "Free water? I want to eat here all the time!"

After the meal, we went to Sacre Coeur. It was great that I still remembered how to get there. It was even better that our hostel was right around the street from it. This was one of the many benefits of our hostel, but I will get to that later. We didn't spend too much time at Sacre Coeur. We started at the top and walked our way down through the garden to the main street. We decided it would be best to get our train reservations at this time. This would also come in handy later in the evening.

Once we got our reservations, we went straight back to the hostel to complete our check in. On of the benefits of this place was that we had a private three person room with a private shower. The bathroom was public, but that was no big deal for us because we were the only ones on our floor. What was funny, was that our shower was literally in the room. There was no door. There was a curtain and the shower was directly behind the curtain. In order for one of us to shower, everyone else had to leave the room. It was funny. After we got the shower situation figured out, we decided to go to the Louvre and Notre Dame. After that we would make our way to a jazz cafe.

When we got to the Louvre, we were disappointed to find that we had arrived just at closing time. After taking pictures on the outside, we decided the best alternative was to go straight to Notre Dame. As we set out, we got hit by a big rain. Perfect! We got stuck under a bus canopy for shelter. Once again, plans changed. Now we simply wanted to get something to eat. Jason chose the place. A "international foods" restaurant. This we perfect because we would be able to get a variety of foods. After searching for more than an hour for the place, we found that it was connected to the Louvre. What idiots we were (or maybe just me). When we found the restaurant it was a Luby's style cafeteria. Even worse, the prices were high and there was no way we were going to get full. We decided to eat lunch there tomorrow and simply find a nice sit-down restaurant.

We found a place we had passed a few times earlier. Upon crossing the street I found myself standing next to a distraught older Italian man. He was trying to cross as well, but he knew it was not like back home (step into the street and traffic stops). I looked at him, patted him on the back and said, "Va bene. Andiamo!" He looked at me with a surprised smile on his face. Campioni del Mondo! Dinner was great. I had a croquette, but I don't remember what the meat was. The most excitement was trying escargot. We got a serving of six shells. Jason tried one, liked it, but decided against trying more. Between Aisha and I, they were all eaten (what a surprise).

Originally, we were going to go back to the hotel, and change for the club. However, we felt that this move was not best considering what happened in Barcelona. We were dry, so we took the opportunity to go to the Eiffel Tower at night. As we approached, I was struck by something new. They have installed lights on the tower that cause it to sparkle at night. This was amazed us as we took out our cameras for pictures and footage. We had a great time on at the top. Specifically, on the way down we were crowded by "familia". Now we have coined a new phrase that will ensure that we never lose each other in a crowd.

After the Tower, we went to the jazz show. We sat down and ordered some rather odd drinks. We thought we arrived on a bad night because we did not see the live jam session we had intended to see. As Aisha finished her madudu... Yes, madudu... I found that there was another area upstairs. I was grateful to find this because the experience after this is indescribable. I bought the most expensive black Russian ever, but I think it was worth it because the jam session was great. We walked in as they were finishing up a glorious rendition of Chameleon. After that the introduced a few featured musicians and began their next song. This was the first that I had heard of the drummer and my goodness was she amazing. I think I fell in love right there. If her solo is toward the end of the video, but she was wrecking the show at the beginning as well.

At the end of the song, we thought it was best to go back to the hostel and rest up for the morning. We had to get up early to make it to the Louvre. However, when we got to the Metro station, it was closed. We had no idea it had a closing time, but we had barely missed the last train. We were in a state of controlled panic. We were tired, damp and lost. Luckily there was a police station outside of the Metro station. The police seemed very helpful as they told us how to get to a bus station with a smile. It took awhile, but with the help of another Frenchman, we were able to figure out how to get back to the hostel via bus. Like I said, it is a good thing it was located near Sacre Coeur. However, our elevated stress level caused us to get off the bus too early. We had to navigate back to a closed Sacre Coeur at night Though I wasn't worried about the environment, we kept trying to get Aisha to walk like she was "hard". Inspite of her lack of toughness (and she is from Brooklyn) we made it back safely. After our arrival, we were so tired that all three of us crashed for the night without a peep until the next morning.

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