"Trois tartes, monsieur?"
John and Leslie, next to that glass and brass coffee table pyramid thingy.
John poses his head with ancient heads, so he'll look younger.
That's quite a hairdo!
Tomb of Phillippe Pot
by Antoine le Moiturier
What the heck is that pyramid thing doing here? Ack.









Leslie and John had a terrible night sleep. The room was stuffy, the pillows flat and the trash truck outside was a little too loud for their tastes. Eventually they figured out how to work the air conditioner, which meant that they could sleep with the double-paned windows closed, thus affording them some silence and well circulated air. John went downstairs to ask for more pillows and to do a little shopping while Leslie got ready to go out.

John came back with two pillows and three lemon tarts. He said that one was for him, and one was for Leslie to scarf down. The third was for Leslie to enjoy after the shock and delight of the first lemon tart. He was right. Leslie almost wept at the taste of the first lemon tart, and couldn't stop munching on it. And, just as John directed, she took her time

with the second one. For the rest of the week, John would go buy three tartes in the morning. One for himself and two for Leslie, who was putting on weight faster than a sumo wrestler.

The pair took a walk over to the cyber cafe where Leslie checked her email and John stayed outside looking at books being sold by a vendor on the sidewalk.

Then they grabbed a cab and went to the Louvre. It was as big and impossible to fully take in just like everyone said it would be. And since our duo had had a lousy nights sleep, and the food at the cafeteria in the Louvre was as bad as any cafeteria in New Jersey, and the map of the Louvre that they purchased was confusing and just generally lousy, they both got grumpy.

Leslie's feet were hurting again, despite her having stopped to sit down and rearrange the silly moleskins, and John was insisting on finding the Tomb of Phillippe Pot, but didn't quite know where it was. Leslie was in no mood to walk for acres and acres in all directions looking for some stupid tomb while her feet hurt. Even though she was forced to admit later that it was a very, very cool looking tomb. So she did a lot of complaining and once or twice grabbed the horrid little Louvre map from Johns hands with the idea that she'd get them both to the stupid tomb faster...but she only got them even more lost and turned about.

They did manage to take in a lot of what the Louvre had to offer, even though they weren't in the correct frame of mind for it all. John had been there before but was still more than happy to make sure Leslie saw the Mona Lisa. She was unimpressed and felt a little guilty for it later. She did, however, really enjoy seeing the Venus deMilo, even though the entire room positively reeked of underarm stank. She stood looking at the sculpture and thinking that there must be a joke in there somewhere. But the smell finally drove her away.

The two finally found the Tomb of Phillippe Pot and then mutually decided that food and wine would be the only thing to soothe their raw nerves.

On their walk back to the hotel they made a few stops along the way. Leslie stopped into a tobacco store to buy some Cuban cigars. The shop was so small that there was no room for John, so he stayed outside. Leslie went in the shop and after the other two customers were waited on and had left with their purchases, she asked the woman behind the counter if she spoke any English. She did not. Great, the first time John isn't there and no one speaks English. So Leslie persevered and eventually John, noticing that there was now room for him in the shop, joined Leslie inside. She nearly fell on him with relief and the woman told John that Leslie was doing a good job with her French, and that she should keep up the good work. Leslie understood none of this and was so shook up John had to translate it for her twice.

They continued on to the food store to pick up some more bottled water, cookies, nibbly bits and fruit. John tried to buy bananas but the lady wouldn't let him. Apparently you have to weigh them back at the table where you pick them up. If that is not done, she can't sell them to you. Leslie didn't fully grasp this concept and just stared at a little girl who had a tiny baby bunny inside her jacket.

They returned to the hotel and freshened up. John was using the guide book to look up a restaurant he wanted them to try. He said that a friend of his had been there and said it was very good. Leslie agreed to try it out and off they went.

They had some difficulty finding the correct street and John stopped to ask a shop keeper, who was standing out in front of his store, for directions to 2 Rue Christine.

"Rue Christine? Monsieur, Ah, Non!". He continued on like this for a half a minute, indicating to the bewildered pair, in French, that Rue Christine was no where near where they were, and that they were certainly lost. As he went on and on about how far off base the pair was, Leslie looked up to see that a few yards away was a sign for Rue Christine. The shop keeper noticed her notice the sign and burst out laughing. Leslie started laughing and then John, realizing that the street was right in front of them, started laughing, too.

They arrived at the restaurant without reservations and a little earlier than the 9:00 pm seating the restaurant usually has. The waiter desperately wanted to treat the pair unkindly, but could see at a glance that they'd be difficult to intimidate, so he gave up, smiled, and found them a seat.

It was, perhaps, the most sublime meal ever enjoyed by either one of them. John ordered a piece of chocolate cake for dessert, and when he cut a piece with his fork, hot, dark, melted chocolate came spilling out onto the plate. It was then that they vowed to have their farewell dinner at this restaurant. Only this time, they'd make reservations.

day five