Note : Le Louvre est fermé le mardi

With the events of last night, we didn't really get up at 8:00am like we intended. I think we were delayed about two hours. Anyhow, we all got up at about the same time, and began to get ready to depart. After locking our luggage in the train station, we had plenty of time to make it to the the food court, the Louvre and Notre Dame. The Pompidou Center was still a possibility, but we would really just see how the day played out.

We made it to the food court at the peak of lunch hour. The lines were not bad, but finding a seat wasn't the easiest thing to do. Oddly enough, Aisha and I had trouble finishing out food. Jason tore through his burger and fries, but we had a hard time. It was so disappointing. On our full stomachs, we decided to enter the Louvre from the Carousel level. For those that don't know, this is the level that was mentioned in Da Vinci Code. Upon making it to this level's entrance, we found that it was closed. This should have been a clue to us, but, like idiots, we went to the main level. It was not until then, that we found a sign saying that the Louvre is closed on Wednesdays. Maybe it just wasn't meant for my friends to see this place. I wouldn't say they were missing much, but it is something that everyone should do if the chance presents itself. I suppose this time it didn't really present itself.

The next stop was to Notre Dame. We never found the Metro station that went there, so we walked in the wrong direction for about twenty minutes. When we realized that we were being lazy, we decided to head in the correct direction. On the way, Aisha acquired a wine gift set to carry along. When we got to Notre Dame, it was everything I remembered. It remains at the top of my list of places to visit in Paris. This time, we started inside of the Cathedral and then climbed to the top of one of the towers. I got glimpses of Pompidou while I was there, but time proved that we were not going to make it there. While we were in the towers, there was this cute little girl that kept asking her dad questions in the cutest little English accent. She would say things like, "Is that one [gargoyle] eating a bird daddy?"

After Notre Dame, it was time to head to Antwerp. This trip was all Jason. Aisha and I were excited about finally meeting his family. We knew it was going to be great... and it was! It was really hilarious. We didn't have a chance to eat on the train, so we were pretty hungry when we got to Antwerp. Jason's cousin Earl met us on the platform. He was a bit hard to miss because he is like... 6'9". He took us outside to meet his sister, Debra. The two of them (and her husband) were responsible for bringing us to Jason's uncle's house. Before that, however, we had to get some McDonald's because the house was way "in the country". We got the food to go, and after about a 15min. ride, we were at his uncle's house. Jason rode with Earl, so Aisha and I got to meet uncle Cecil Johnson first. He was so cool, and still retained a heavy Jamaican accent. He was so excited to have us. He sat us down at the dining table and asked us what kind of wine we liked. Since I like white and Aisha prefers red, he opened individual bottles for both of us. Luckily, Jason showed up to help me and Earl was more than happy to help Aisha.

After eating, Jason's other cousin, Canasta, had waited up to see us. Earl took us around the corner to their new home. I was excited when we first pulled up because she and her husband were still building their home. They gave me a tour and talked to me a bit about the process. They also had a whole spread of food and endless drinks waiting for us. It was crazy. They knew we would be hungry and looking for a good time so they had it all set up. What started out as an hour visit turned into about two and a half. When we got back to his uncle's, I don't remember going to sleep. They had rooms set up for each of us to sleep in. I remember looking forward to taking a shower that night. Next thing I know, I was waking up because I missed my shower. I guess I was full and tired. Oh well, the coming day offered more adventure.

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