but first, let me rewind a bit. because our flight didn't take off until almost 6 that evening, we still had a good chunk of time to spend in paris. upstairs in the breakfast room, the bean took advantage of the opportunity to enjoy one last pain au chocolat.
after doing a little shuffling in the luggage, everything was all packed and we checked out of the hotel, leaving our suitcases in storage until we needed to head to the airport. while we were eating breakfast, the thought occurred to us that we hadn't gotten any pictures of us all together in front of the tower. luckily, that was easy to remedy.
there was just one thing that we really wanted to do before we left, and this was our last chance. and so we hopped into a taxi and directed the driver to the "louvre, s'il vous plait."
standing underneath that glass pyramid with the sun beaming down is HOT, yo. i was sweating like mad by the time we figured out how to find what we wanted to see. scurrying up and down stairs and through crowded corridors and hallways didn't help to cool me off, but we saw some neat stuff along the way.
i wasn't the only one who was pooped from all that cardio.
she was really confused by a lot of things she saw in there. like here, she wanted to know why these men had birds in their "area."
and, "mommy, why is everybody always naked in these pictures?"
and she really didn't get what the big deal was about this one.
i, on the other hand, thought it was cool as hell. and i checked off one more item from the ol' bucket list.
now, i know that a bunch of you who have an appreciation for art will smack me for this one - but after we'd gotten our fill of the mona lisa, we were over it. i mean, don't get me wrong, i know there's probably a ton of stuff at the louvre that would've been awesome to check out, but we just didn't have it in us at that moment to scamper through more exhibits. instead, we found this:
the teen preened some more with her newest prized possession.
with a post office right across the hall, we decided to pop in and mail off a couple of postcards.
as she always does, the bean managed to find a shop that catered to her needs.
the hub thought this was kind of crazy - "so, like one day you wake up and think, huh, i gotta go to the apple store. so you go to the louvre. that's insane."
back in our 'hood.
since we still had more time to kill, the bean finally got her wish.
while she rode around and around, the teen and i goofed around a little. what else is new, right?
then it was back here:
to catch this (driven by the stinkiest cab driver in all of france, i think):
to sit in this (just like home!):
and finally arrive here.
then wait around to check in.
less than two hours on the plane and then we were here:
it was nice not to have to worry about transportation to our rome hotel. our travel agent had arranged for a private car to pick us up and whisk us off to our next home.
another friendly message from verizon.
the driver was really friendly. he joked around with us as he juggled several different phones and driving like a bat out of hell towards rome. not scary at all. ha! i just tried to keep my focus on the scenery outside and prayed we wouldn't die.
there were these little mini gas stations just off the side of the road. convenient.
finally, we arrived at the duke hotel.
here, we had connecting rooms.
the bean was super stoked to find another "butt washer" in the bathroom.
what's that in the little tray, you ask? well, i wondered too:
i wondered what kind of goings-on this hotel was accustomed to based upon that little packet of stuff to cleanse one's special parts. goodness. and the shower here was bizarre too - like, why did they put the showerhead in the middle?
while it was a lovely hotel, it was quite a letdown after the awesomeness of both our london and paris homes. this place was way out in the middle of a residential area and a good 10-15 minute ride from the center of town. our travel agent had assured us that we would be happy to be away from the noise and hustle & bustle of rome, but as it turned out, we were perfectly happy to be in the midst of all the action. alas, the hotel was prepaid and we were stuck.
that's okay, though. we were in rome at last!