In honor of Robert’s birthday – we overslept – surprise! Then we got carried away at the breakfast buffet in the hotel and ate too much before heading out to locate the Eiffel Tower, where we had a 1:00 lunch reservation at Le Jules Verne. We’d been to Le Jules Verne during our previous trip four years ago and it had been a highlight of the trip. At that time it was a two star Michelin restaurant. During our absence they had lost a star. We would soon know why.
Video ascending the Eiffel Tower.
The service and food were impeccable. I totally won the order war. Robert requested guinea fowl and I ordered lamb.
It looked as though we were going to have another perfect experience – until something happened. I can only assume the manager who had been present throughout the early part of our meal waved goodbye to his staff and left for the day because they suddenly forgot they were waiting on us, and instead every table in the restaurant was waiting on them.
Waiting for a refill of water. A refill of wine. A check. Anything.
We are familiar with lengthy meals and taking our time, but truly, service (or lack therof) was obviously how they’d lost that star. The staff hovered between the dining rooms, chatting with each other and ignoring their tables. It was a sour note on what had been such a promising start. A chorus of “l’addition!” rang out when one of the wait staff mistakenly wandered back into the dining room.
Once we paid the bill – or “ransom” as I called it, we descended and walked through the Champ de Mars toward the Musée de l’Armée.
If you have a chance to visit the Musee de l’Armée and it is more than 80 degrees outside, DON’T GO. Not kidding.
The museum itself is fascinating, especially the medieval weaponry and armor as far as I’m concerned, but we began to realize as we made our way chronologically through the various sections, that air conditioning was non-existent. There are no words for how miserable we were. Wait. Yes there are: Hot, sticky, sweaty, Sweet baby Jesus…
Much like the Germans, we rushed into WWI haphazardly and made straight for WWII heated, offended and destined for disappointment.
Eventually, we gave up trying to soak up the history and dragged ourselves toward the exit. The last stop of the day was the Dome de Invalides, where we sought Napolean’s tomb. Here is where my ignorance knew no bounds. We approached an archway to our right, where I began snapping photos of what I thought was the little guy’s tomb. It was impressive indeed.
Then we realized it wasn’t his. This is one of those times the ability to read French would be really handy. We noticed a good deal of people looking over a railing in the center of the room and made our way over. What did we see? A freaking ridiculously oversized “tomb.” Seriously. Talk about compensating!
Note: Napolean lies within six separate coffins. They are made of iron, mahogany, two of lead, ebony, and an outer one of red porphyry. Don’t ask me why.
After fooling around and taking photos of Robert with the gargantuan repository of Monsieur Bonaparte, we caught a cab back to the hotel, cleaned up, and strolled to a quaint neighborhood café near the market, L’Atelier Du Marché.
Here, we were having a lovely evening when in came a pack of screeching American women. Approximately six of them came in sounding like twice as many. The table behind us, with two men and a woman (all French) turned annoyed eyes on the group and one issued a few sharp, “shhh, shhhh, shhhhh” reprimand. Surprise! They didn’t hear – or care. We went from being able to talk quietly to each other over a relaxed meal to discussing how best to shut them up without bloodshed. We felt it necessary to apologize to the owner and our server on behalf of all Americans. They kindly accepted and assured us most guests were NOT like the ones that were currently spoiling everyone’s evening.
As we exited, Robert stopped at their table and stood staring at them all, shaking his head. I’m sure they missed the subtle hint that they were rude hyenas.
Most rude hyenas do.
Day 3 to come!