I am SORTIE-ing (Day 192, Year 2)

The day began with one of us (me) getting on a Metro, after being urged to by a family member (my husband) and then watching the doors close and the rest of my family on the other side. 

I jsut got off at the next stop and we met up, so all was well. But the incident did cause us to create an emergency Metro plan, in case a family member (my husband) urged another family member (the rest of us) to get on a train unaccompanied. We determined that Nicholas would absolutely be lost in Paris forever and the only thing to do in case of this situation is to immediately contact the embassy or consulate or the BBC or whatever. 

The day ended with us unable to "Sortie" our station. (Sortie means exit.) Everytime we'd find the a "Sortie" it was inexplicity gated shut or sealed as if a vault filled with the Crown Jewels. But we are in France, not England, and I believe the French Crown Jewels were divied up amongst the revolutionaries around the time Marie Antoinette lost her head. (but this is just a guess). One "Sortie" even had an unseen, yet very loud barking dog nearby.

The whole thing was like a French version of Tombraider. 

It took us 25 minutes and a lady in a neon vest with a magical card that opened one of the Sortie gates after I said, "Bon soir, WE NEED TO SORTIE" in a very, very, very loud whisper. (I did not want the pick pockets or the gypsy cab operators to hear.). 

We walked 12-ish miles today and climbed 38 flights of stairs. Several of those flights were to the dungeon/catacombs of lovely cafes to use the toilet. It was a spectacular day! We did so much; mostly in the Ile de la Cité, the neighborhood around Notre Dame and the very spectular Saint Chapelle. 

Even though Lily and I were in France in April; there was so much more to experience. Saint Chapelle is one of the msot spectular churches that I've ever entered--opening like the inside of a jewelery box. We had gelato in Île Saint-Louis, the other natural island in the Seine. We strolled and shopped and explored and ate and drank and I think our kids grew up so much learning how to navigate a big city, in a foreign country, where they don't speak the same language. Mike had his first pile of Tartar; Chloe had her first French omelette. I got to take everyone to Shakespeare and Company, the most amazing bookstore at 0km in Paris. We ended the evening by climbing the Arc de Trimuphe to watch the sunset and the Eiffel Tower light for the night--seeing all of the city of lights come alive for the night. 

Tomorrow is another day of adventures--we haven't decided exactly what yet--but whatever it is, I hope everyone remembers the number for the American Embassy.  . .