Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm too sexy for my tower

Road Trip Day 10: The Eiffel Hike
I was just joking when I told Peter to 'strike a pose'. I didn't actually expect him to bust out his catwalk moves on the streets of Paris. But more on our incredibly fun and exciting trip to the Eiffel Tower later.

Before later, Zoolander was having a little trouble waking up.

Shortly after this initial love-shake, Tom and David gleefully came to the rescue by pouncing on Peter's head. Repeatedly. Tom, David and Papa began laughing hysterically, Peter began crying hysterically, and Mama started screaming hysterical things like 'stop sitting on his face' and 'brain hemorrhaging'. In the end, it was...uh...well,...hysterical! And, Peter woke up.

Kramer still had a crazy case of bed head going on when we jumped on the ferry, so I took Cosmo and the Face-sitter up to the top deck for a blow-dry.

David thought it was hilarious when he threw his Capri Sonne drink overboard. He didn't find it so amusing when I picked him up and told him he was going to go find it. The people walking by witnessing me about to throw my screaming kid overboard were also less than humorous. Yeah, but they didn't see his drink falling by the wayside.

After the whole 'please don't throw that little boy overboard' incident, I realized that maybe I needed a break. By break, I of course mean that I dumped the kids on Mama, who was inside enjoying the sweet sounds of Tommy Q screeching the blues.

After narrowly avoiding an extreme swimming lesson for any of our kids, we landed in France. In addition to stinky cheese, wine and fries, France also has the Eiffel Tower, a must see for anyone without impatient kids and a naggy wife.

As soon as we got out of the docks, Mama Negativa began. 'Do you know that we need to drive two hours out of the way to go to Paris?' Oh, really? Do you know that if I kicked you out of the car right now, that would be....mmm, I don't know - 60 hours of walking out of the way!

My logic and perhaps even my tone can occasionally chafe Angie's derrière, but in the end, who was driving? That's right, moi.

Moi began to get a little nervous when we arrived in Paris to a huge traffic jam. After adding an hour and a half to our already 'two hours out of the way' I began to get slightly annoyed at Angie constantly questioning my tiny little detour to see such a famous and memorable landmark.

'The kids will love it.'

'They'd rather play with their Gormitis.'

'Yeah, but I hate them - didn't you read my last blog?'

'I don't read that crap; I've told you that so many times.'

'It's not my fault you can't read. Now shut up and enjoy Paris - it's romantic.'

We finally made it downtown and parked. Not being one of those guys secure enough in one's self to speak French, I got a little lost trying to exit the underground parking garage. I later realized that we somehow managed to escape via a service exit through a door that should have been sealed. It's not my fault that the French staff are shit when it comes to locking these 'secret' staff doors. It was, apparently, my fault that we ended up in the middle of a parade field. It was also at this point that we began to realize why there was so much traffic.

July 14th is Bastille Day in France, a national holiday that blocks off most of the streets and a few of the parade fields, similar to the one that we somehow surfaced upon. This particular parade field had quite a few helicopters and special forces patrolling the ground to make sure that no crazy family-of-fives popped out of nowhere ready to attack whoever it was they were protecting. Let me just say, the French are quite skilled at protecting their own.

We exited the 'parking garage' into the middle of this heavily armed parade and were immediately surrounded by uniforms who were screaming a bunch of French shit at us. When confronted with screaming foreigners, I tend to scream back, although it is not always coherent. This time around, though, I thought I made perfect sense by screaming 'I love your mustard ' at the French S.W.A.T. team as they closed in on us. Angie smugly informed me later that French's mustard is actually manufactured in Rochester, N.Y. Thanks, oh-great-cranium-of-knowledge. Where the hell were you when the French ninjas were attacking me from the trees?

Somehow we managed to dodge the paratroopers who were seriously looking to put a cap in Angie's derrière. After being 'escorted' off of the parade field, we tried to make our way to the Eiffel Tower for our long-awaited photo-op.

I use the phrase 'tried' in the previous paragraph because the French and their inconsiderate 'national celebration' kept blocking off streets in our way. When we got closer, we realized after getting screamed at by the French National Guard that there was no way in hell that we would get closer than this photograph to the Eiffel Tower.

It's okay. though. You can see it, right? Please say 'yes'. In the end, it took us six and a half hours off course, so if you don't say 'yes', Angie wins and let me just say that her gloat is ugly. Really ugly.

After our extraordinary glimpse of the Tower, we returned to the secret car park.

Luckily, all of the helicopters and 'special' people had flown away, leaving my 'special' son and his odd ability to 'strike a pose'.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When we found this hotel.
David: When we need to sleep.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When David cried in the car and I need to close my ears.
David: 'Cause I make that with my shoe in the car door and then I cry.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To go home.
David: When we going tomorrow home.


  1. Ok, Steve! I did read this one!!! Oh, and you forgot to mention your brilliant idea of just spending the night in Paris - considering the city was practically desolate... Did like the hotel we found though :-)

  2. Yeah, intelligent input, darlin', why don't you just have another beer then?

  3. I -love- your blog. This is even though you haven;t mentioned that German friend of Angie's who lives in England who you threatened to visit on another detour, which just didn't work out :)

  4. @semioticghosts: Thanks and sorry for missing the visit. It was you or the Eiffel Tower and you can see how important our side-step to Paris was. I would say 'next roadtrip', but there is no way in hell we'll be pulling a repeat on that one. Germany's nice, though - come home for a visit! :-)

  5. I just love this entry!
    Angie is absolutely right, Paris is worth the trip. I love Paris.

    I survived with my fair knowledge of molds but none of the language.

    You're not alone, Steve. I was shocked to find out that Grey Poupon sold in the US is manufactured by Kraft - I feel cheated!

    Looking forward to the next leg of your trip. How lucky those adorable boys are! Enjoy and keep your cool.

  6. Thanks, Ceci. Glad someone loves our pain.

    I'm starting a class action lawsuit against Kraft for false advertising. They're not all 'Foux Da Fa Fa' like their Frenchy name implies and their mustard isn't even gray, damn it! The whole thing is just causing me mental anguish. A million in cash should do me just fine. You want in?