Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Zoo in Paris: Day 4

After leaving Paris yesterday, the plan was to drive back home. Along the way, though, Angie hatched the idea that we would spend the night in Epernay under the pretense that the drive would be too long for the boys. Yeah, right.

It wasn't until today, when we drove by the Moët champagne factory that it finally clicked. Bubbles!

See, Angie has a slight addiction to bubbles. She will undoubtedly deny it, but I have documented proof. Besides, anyone that knows our livers can confirm our affection for bubbly drinks, especially on New Year's Eve. And any given Friday.

The morning started out with a stroll around one of the city's lovely fountains. Without pointing out exactly which game Angie is playing, can you guess?

As Angie bubbled around, the boys were busy having a ball. With three boys, it's pretty much a constant assumption that at any given moment, someone will be bugging someone else, so Angie and I certainly appreciated the choke-free silence. After a while, though, curiosity got the better of me and I wandered over to see what could possibly be entertaining the boys for more than twenty minutes.

'Hot Wheels? Are you serious?'

'Oh hey, Papa, look! This one can race around the edge of the fountain until David smashes it into the ocean. Then I have to save the day by fishing it out.'

'Well, that at least explains why you're soaked.'

I walked away scratching my head. Back home, we have a box of over two hundred cars and our bathtub's edge is quite similar to the fountain's.

I had just made my way back to Angie when Peter growled and started chasing David around the fountain.

'You just had to go over there, didn't you?'

Rather than respond to hostile glares, I rallied everyone up for a nice photo op in front of the Fountain of Youth. David had apparently struck gold, though and Peter refused to even sit close to the sibling he was now referring to as 'the kid I'm not speaking to'.

Even after getting screamed at by wise and sexually attractive male parental-types, David continued to drive Peter up the walls. Since there were no walls to be driven, Peter improvised. Kinda.

 'Peter! Quit your pole-dancing and let's go get some croissants.'

In France, they obviously put powder cocaine in their bread products. I ate my baguette and damn near choked my first born while trying to convince him that he didn't really want to eat his sandwich. Angie came to Peter's rescue with what was, I have to say, a reasonable suggestion.

'Why don't you just go back to the bakery and buy another roll?'

I love Angie for so many reasons, but her ability to keep me from stealing food from my young always tops the list. After a bellyful of French dough, we decided to go to church.

Luckily, I was still on vacation, which meant that going to church meant just that. We went to the church. We took a picture of it. And then we got in the car and told the navi to plot the course home. Three hours and fifty minutes to your destination.

I laughed out loud at Vicky's wishful thinking. She obviously had not taken into consideration the sheer number of our offspring.

'Papa, I need to pee.'

'Okay, buddy, but four stops in one hour means that Mama wins and we now have to visit another church.'

Had the boys known that Angie and I had a side bet, I'm quite certain that we would have never visited the Saint-Étienne de Metz. The French translation was 'Saint-Stephen of Metz', so I naturally approved Peter's nature call.

If you look close enough, you'll see that Peter is a) not exactly happy and b) still distancing himself from David. This might have something to do with the car ride, where David continued to push Peter's buttons to the point where his debonair creator stepped in.

'David! Stop screaming at Peter that his Star Wars collector cards are not worthy.'

'Can I at least tell him that mine are better?'

'No, and stop bragging.'

David continued on with a barrage of variations that his cards were better that I simply ignored. Partly to save Peter's dignity, but mostly to selfishly preserve my sanity. Instead, we took the boys on a churchy art tour of Marc Chagall's masterpieces. The boys might not know who Renoir is, but after the two-hour tour guided by Mama, they will certainly never forget the name Chagall. At one point, David grew slightly interested because one of the painted windows depicted King David. Shortly after, though, he ran off through the echoey church screaming for Tom to BE QUIET!

Before getting kicked off holy grounds, I took the boys to a nearby pastry shop and initiated a sugar high that culminated with me asked the boys what they thought of our trip.

Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter:  zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
David: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Tom: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
David: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Tom: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
David: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Tom: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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