We had a late start today. Lots of sleeping in and that kind of thing. It was nice. We had a wonderful, fresh from the oven baguette and warm milk for breakfast. Then we straggled out of the apartment and to the metro. I started reading my book. That proved to be a mistake. Thanks to my family knowing how I get when I'm absorbed in a book, I did not end up in Lyon or something, but it was a very near thing. We went to Montmartre and came out near the Moulin Rouge. It was very cool. There were topless women in the pictures, but none of them had snakes biting their nipples... that we noticed. Snake-biting-nipple count remains at two.
We started ambling up towards Sacre Cœur through the narrow streets. They were paved with stones and very beautiful. There was a cupcake shop! Cupcakerie? I don't know. I sort of wandered away while Elise was looking at shoes and my dad was doing... something because remember what I said about my book? I really wanted to finish my chapter. As would soon become a theme in my day, I almost lost the rest of my family, but didn't.
We started walking again, and dad claims he saw Van Gogh's house, but I'm not certain he's telling the truth. It might be a different house with a plaque we couldn't read in the photograph. Then we kept walking.
It started to rain, and we took refuge in a food place. The waiter was very mean, cutting me off when I started to ask for an omelette with a sharp, "No omelettes!" So we left. Maybe their food would have been good, but it wasn't worth it.
We crossed the street to a square surrounded with art. There were tented food place in the middle with much nicer waiters. The food was mediocre. My burger was pretty good, though.
We didn't go far after we paid the bill. Our main reason for visiting Montmartre was to get portraits done, and this is where the portrait artists congregated. The problem was picking one. Everyone felt the need to accost us, offering us "special prices" just for us, apparently lower than their regular prices. It was difficult to say no, but really, not too difficult. We found someone to paint Elise, Julia, and me. In that order. That meant I got to wander around being accosted by other painters for a while. I did see one artist who did more interesting portraits. He had a minimalist, water color and marker type style. It was different. And beautiful. I got him to do one of me. It's awesome.
While I was posing, apparently there was a naked woman painting herself blue in the street, but I did not see it, only heard about it from Dad and Elise.
I finished right as the family artist finished drawing Julia. Time for me to sit still staring at an artist for another decade! Elise and Dad had caricatures done while they were waiting. Reportedly, Elise's is great and Dad's less so. Julia had a portrait done by an artist who made a beautiful picture, but it wasn't of Julia. Then the parents decided to get another portrait of the two of them by the artist who drew the three of us. I went to a cafe for hot chocolate, crepes, and reading. I really like my book. The waiter was really nice and we talked about my studies. Then I got cold.
You have to understand, I was wearing a dress. It's a very cute dress, purple and flowery with a skirt that goes down to a bit above my knees. It's wonderful in the summer, less so when it's windy, cold and rainy and I have no sweatshirt. I tried calling the family but couldn't find them. I walked through the church, hoping they were there and also enjoying the lack of it being freezing in there. No family, though. After walking around a little more, I located them where I'd left them. I hung out with them a little, then walked away on a futile quest for an affordable yet cute sweatshirt that didn't say "I <3 Paris" or anything. (Seriously, it could at least be J'<3 Paris. I mean, come on.) Everything was crazy expensive. I finally made a successful call and told the parents I was going home. One metro ride later, I wandered up to our warm apartment and curled up with some Buffy.
Meanwhile, every tourist baiter in the city targeted the rest of my family. Some French-Africans who constantly said "Jumbo Jumbo Hakuna Matata" made them buy friendship bracelets. They went to the church too. That's all I really know about their time without me.
We went to a great place on the corner for diner. Then we went back to the apartment to a movie for them and more Buffy for me. I'd already seen the movie.