do you have that in a soap, a perfume, a powder and a creme?
The heavy bags from Guerlain.
deJean checks out the crowds.
Ooooooooooo, perfume.....
deCol and Some Guy.
deJean and deCol, taken by Some Guy's wife.
The ad for the concert at St. Chapelle.



With as many things to do and look forward to doing in Paris, nothing comes close to looking forward to shopping. Especially when you're going to your favorite store, which was what deCol was going to do. She was going to go buy perfume at Guerlain, on the Champs Elysees, and she was going to buy as much as she could carry.

deJean and deCol got up that morning and pulled themselves together and took a cab to the Champs Elysees. Before they grabbed a cab to embark on their shopping trip, they popped into the St. Germain des Pres church to have a look see, since it's older than Notre Dame. Then they crossed the street to hail a cab and had the cabbie drop them off right in front of Guerlain, no sense wasting any time. When they walked into the store, deCol stopped, looked around and panicked. She knew that she was going to buy way, way too much stuff.

The saleswoman was beautiful, and looked very prepared to be haughty with deCol. After a few moments of fractured french, the saleswoman was clearly anxious to become impatient with deCol. Just another tourist who wants to smell everything, but will end up buying one cake of soap.

The saleswoman cheered up considerably when she began to understand that deCol planned on buying everything she could get her hands on. And that helped loosen her up and she started to show deCol a few items that she might of otherwise missed.

Meanwhile, deJean had already made his purchases and was somehow trapped in a conversation with a woman in the store. deCol was dully aware of his pain, but couldn't bring herself to look away from all the lovely perfumes and lotions long enough to try to rescue him. It seems that he ran into a rather chatty American who was delighted to find someone who spoke English.

As the purchases were being tallied up and beautifully wrapped, the saleswoman decided that she liked deJean and deCol enough to chat with them a little. How do you like the city, how do you like the food. Needless to say, deCol and deJean loved everything. She offered the name of a really good restaurant in the Hotel Meridien on the Boulevard Gouvion St-Cyr. She wrote it down on a little card and gave it to deJean. He looked at it and told her that yes, he recognized it. deCol never remembered to ask him if he just said that to be polite or if he did know the restaurant.

deJean had a few items he needed from Hermes, so off they went. deCol felt like a hobo in that store, everything was so posh. deJean made his purchase, the entire time acting like he owned the place, and they left. He tucked his red Hermes bag into his Guerlain bag in such a way that just enough of the Hermes bag was showing. He said he only wanted to show off a little.

In their rush to go shopping, both deCol and deJean completely forgot to bring their cameras. So deJean bought a few of the throw-away ones at a shop and they used that to record their day on the Champs Elysees.

They crossed the Champs Elysees and deJean insisted that they stop in the middle of the road and have their picture taken. deCol, completely confused and on sensory overload, had no idea why he wanted to do that. He pointed out the L'Arc de Triomphe in the background and explained why that would make a great shot. deCol agreed, but again was confused and thought deJean was a genius, when, in fact, everyone does this.

Including the gentleman that deCol chose to stand next to. Take the shot, she insisted to deJean, who was hesitating. What deCol finally came to understand was that she was supposed to have waited her turn, and let the gentleman have his shot first, then we'd take our turn. deCol turned to him, laughed, shrugged and asked him if he'd like a picture of the two of them. He smiled, grabbed deCol by the waist, and deJean and the man's wife each took photos of the two of them. Then they switched off and the man's wife took a picture of deJean and deCol, and likewise, deJean took a picture of the man and his wife.

They spend the rest of the day wandering in and out of shops, buying this and that, up and down the Champs Elysees. Naturally, the stopped for a meal and a drink. Eventually they had to grab a cab and get back to the hotel to freshen up, since they had a concert to attend that evening.

So it was back to the Ile de la Cite, only this time they went to Sainte Chapelle on the Boulevard du Palais. An exquisite church, built in 1248. And the perfect place to hear Vivaldi and Mozart performed.

The atmosphere was beautiful, the church was beautiful, the music was beautiful and both deJean and deCol fell asleep. It was the most soothing atmosphere. During the performance, both of them were thinking about food. But when the concert was over, neither of them felt like going out on a long hunt for a fabulous restaurant. Exhausted, they opted to find a place close to home.

They did. A little bistro down the street from the hotel. Aside from the lousy food at the cafeteria in the Louvre, they were about to have their worst meal in France. The place was nice enough, cozy and quaint. When the waiter came to take their order, he laughed when they ordered a bottle of the house wine, soup and a salad. Slow down, the waiter insisted. That's a lot of food! After the soup and salad, you may not have room for the meal. deJean and deCol just laughed, but gave in to the waiters warnings. He obviously didn't know the two gluttons at his table that night. They decided to do it the waiter's way, and order their entree after they'd had their soup and salad.

The waiter brought over the wine and it was as awful as Koolaid. Watered down and entirely too sweet. The soup was the most horrid concoction of salt, salt and then a pinch of salt. The salad was a limp grouping of greens, positively swimming in at least a gallon of salad dressing. deJean swore that they must be employing an American short-order cook in the kitchen. Probably one that had apprenticed at Denny's. They both laughed at the irony and ordered more of the cheap wine. Barely touching the awful food, they ordered a third bottle of wine. They eventually gave in to the effects of the wine and stumbled up the street and fell into bed.

day seven