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Published: July 12th 2013
Woke up before everyone else and wandered around the neighborhood. I made an attempt to find the metro stop close to our hotel without success. Breakfast was ok toast, juice and fruit. Various groups were forming at this point to either go shopping, Louvre, Eiffel tower or etc. My group had decided on the Eiffel tower first so we got on the coach and Mike would be dropping us off at major stops.
Mike is a really good driver and he showed it to us for the first time as he maneuver a large bus through the narrow and dangerous streets of Paris. I assumed it was the Topdeck training plus years of experience but I would learn otherwise later on 😊. Like I said my group was going to the Eiffel tower first but as we got to the Louvre we ultimately piled out and joined with a few other people to form a group of 11. My group for today was Shannon (Australia) , Amanda, Megan Compston (Australia), Debbie, Rachael, Kelsey, Ken, Patrina (Australia), Kelly, Zakiyya and myself. I will have to describe Shannon as cute and funny loving. She had told me on the bus that she
Statue at the Louvre
loved to party and she did looked like a good person to party with. Walking into the Louvre I had my first chance to chat with Megan Compston. She was a nice and pleasant person along with being an attractive blonde. I thought she was about 25 years old but as it turned out I was off by a number of years. She was also the woman I tried to help with her travel adapter the night before. Patrina I will say was nice and was one of the quieter people I met on this tour. She and Zakiyya actually formed a good friendship during the tour as well.
We went to look for the Mona Lisa first and admired the paintings along the way. We were so engrossed with the paintings we actually walked past the room with the Mona Lisa. Doubling back we fought our way into position and took the picture of the Mona Lisa. After that we wandered around the Louvre looking at Greek, Egyptian and Roman art. I had been to the Louvre before but there is always more to see. After we were done at the Louvre we decided to find a place
Group for the day
Shannon, Amanda, Megan Compston, Debbie, Rachael, Ken, Kelsey, Patrina, Kelly, Zakiyya and myself
to eat. Ken left at this point to go watch the French Open Semi Finals (Lucky). We wandered around a bit more and ultimately settled on a French café near the Louvre. I ordered the fish of the day but probably should have asked what it was first because I ended up with Sashimi (LOL).
We did some shopping afterwards and gathered various tourist items from a cluster of stores. It was actually hard coordinating among the 10 people who were in our group. At various times we lost track of one person or another but we ultimately stayed together. After tourist shopping we wandered towards the Champ D'elysee and went to various stores along the way. We took a casual pace until we realized that we were going to be late for our afternoon bike ride. Patrina, Kelly and Rachael broke off at this point because they were not going on the bike ride. Shannon, Amanda, Megan C, Debbie, Zakiyya, Kelsey and myself made a run for the Metro stop and quickly got off at Bir Hakeim metro and ran towards the south pylon of the Eiffel tower. As it turned out our fun run was completely unnecessary
Me and my bike
Bike was named Natural Balanace
and we waited another 15 minutes for the bike ride to start anyway.
I had not ridden a bike in 6 years so I was nervous about riding around Paris. Our bike leader taught us how to Dominate the roads and to give various hand signals to aggressive Paris drivers. The ride itself was challenging and enjoyable, we even took a break to drink a bit in a park. We chatted a bit with the bike leader who was a cool guy and we found out one of the other riders was from another Topdeck Tour. Scott (Australia) was from Timeless Trail and was a paramedic. We chatted a bit and I learned his bus was only half full and was balanced between men and women. He was surprised to say the least when I told him about our gender ratio.
The bike ride was full of interesting information from our the bike leader and challenging moments when we got cut off by traffic which happened to me frequently as I was one of the weaker riders. I am a fan of irony so I liked the fact my bike was named "Natural Balance" considering that I was
Drinking in the hallway
Jordan, Megan Campbell, Katie, Kelsey, Caitilin, Haylee, Ken
such a wobbly rider.
After this we had a picnic dinner in the park near the Eiffel tower. Food was good and it gave us an opportunity to interact with everyone in one place. As it turned out it was Jamie's (USA) birthday. We sang her happy birthday. Jamie and her friend Danielle (USA) were the other 2 Americans on our tour. I remember them because they were both from New Jersey and I remember Jersey Shore but for the record neither Jamie or Danielle are fans of that show.
After dinner most of us were going to a Cabaret show and to save time we all changed clothes on the bus. Once again I was impressed how dressed up the women were compared to the men. The curtains were drawn on the bus as we were in a public park at the time. We headed to the Paradise Latin for our Cabaret show. Photos were not allowed at the show so I don't have pictures of the show itself. We had a choice of 2 beers or half a bottle of wine. Decided on 2 beers myself and they were good beers as well. I went to
The avenue of rubies and diamonds
the bathroom before the show and as usual there was a long line up at the ladies room. As I was exiting the bathroom I remarked to the line of women that the men's room was empty, if they were brave enough. Debbie immediately went in and was followed by some other women and this actually caused a lineup for the men who came later (sorry guys).
There was a man in full makeup near our table and as I went past him he pretended to kiss me in good fun. I laughed and play along as I didn't mind. Show itself was entertaining lots of topless women and men. There was pick pocket who went around the room taking things out of people's pockets. My favourite part of the show was the guy on the giant unicycle who balanced more and more things on his head and even rode the unicycle with just one leg. It was a very impressive display of balance and skill.
After that we had to rush back to the bus and the hotel because Mike had to stop driving by midnight. Getting back to the Ibis Hotel a group decided to go out drinking. I am not much of a drinker but decided to make an exception for this tour. We drank in the hotel room hallways for a little while before Kate advised us we had to leave. Apparently in her last tour the same situation sparked a fight in the hallway. We drank a little more in one of the rooms before we all headed off to a nearby bar. It wasn't really a great bar but it was a bar in Paris so that helped. I remember one of the locals who spent a great deal of energy making a pass at Kelsey (Nebraska) she had a boyfriend but it doesn't stop all men from trying 😊.
Drank more than I should have and stumbled back to the hotel with Amanda and Debbie. Before going to bed that night I did my daily blog and in my drunken state I apparently was sending Facebook messages to people back home. I will say drunk dials of any kind are not a good idea and I was more careful in the future. With the alcohol in my system I went to sleep fairly easily and thought to myself this was a good 2nd day of the tour.
Tot: 3.114s; Tpl: 0.047s; cc: 12; qc: 51; dbt: 0.0438s; 2; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.5mb