. That being said, there is really no equal to the stained glass of this church (except for possibly the one in Reims that Liz, Mom, Larry, and I visited in 1983). Of course, you can climb up the towers (if there are stairs, we are in!) so we waited pretty patiently in line behind a young Irish couple. Looking at her nose made me realize that there must be a million people (or more) whose noses resemble the O'Connor nose that is now in its third generation (yeah, Emily). At any rate, after the hour wait, we climbed the 422 stairs and admired the view. We posed, Quasimodo-like, in the bell tower; Larry continued his documentation of our trip and we were done with ND. We thought we were headed to lunch but instead we walked in the direction of the Musee d'Orsay. While that might sound interesting to some people, Lauren and Alison are NOT big fans of Impressionist art. As we were vascilating in front of the building, an announcement was made that the exhibit "Cezanne to Picasso" was sold out. So, we bought a gaufre sucre, some glace, some cold drinks, and headed back...somewhere. We decided to find Marie Antoniette's patisier...and did we! The picture that accompanies this post will explain it all. We bought 50 Euros worth of tarts and cookies (some water, too). We scarfed down some of it (Hoover-ed them, if you prefer) and were off AGAIN. For those of you who have been to Paris, we started at the Galleries Lafayette (basically), metro-ed to ND and then walked to the Madeline. This is no short walk. And, any calories we might have expended, we then consumed. We Metro-ed back to the hotel to catch our breath and plan our next strike. At approximately 9 p.m. we ventured out again, ostensibly to look for some dinner but we ended up at the Eiffel Tower and waited in a short line to climb some stairs. Alison and I made it up the first 480 stairs (1st level) and I had some kind of panic attack that I haven't had since the catacombs. Alison took pity on me and walked me back down while Larry and Lauren assaulted the 2nd level (an additional 300 or so). The top level was SO full that it was closed so Larry and Lauren came back down and met us (nearly midnight at this point). We marched back to our hotel and repacked our clothes for the quick shot to Dublin. Whose luggage will get lost?
Thanks to the help of Rick Steves' message board and the "pages jaune" we located a laundromat somewhat close to our hotel (about a mile walk). Larry and I spent most of the morning moving laundry through machines and being amused by a man who put his wash in the dryer and sat, double parked, on the street outside which was a one way and only two cars wide. After his forty-minute dry cycle ended, he retrieved his laundry, carefully folding it (car still outside, now empty); when his phone rang and he answered it "Pronto," we laughed. That is exactly the Italian attitude we love. The girls were grateful to sleep in (we returned with four clean loads of laundry and pastries from the local shop just after noon) and we hit the streets for our last day in Paris. It turned out to be quite the walking extravaganza. We headed to Notre Dame and walked into the church to admire the incredible interior. The absolute disregard of so many tourists is amazing (thank goodness it wasn't just the Americans who took flash photos when the signs clearly indicated no flash photography)