Breakfast with a Friend and then a visit of Cimetière Du Père Lachaise

Today for breakfast I met up with Sannie and her little girl. She was oh so nice to take the Metro (actually I think she took a cab! heh) to my hotel and then we walked to the Metro together and took that to I **think** Bastille? I know we had to do 2 changes, which is why she took a cab here first so she would avoid switching on the way here.

She and L show up about 10:15 and we headed off the closest Metro (Cour St-Emillion), did two transfers and then stopped for Breakfast at a small cafe. I have to say that I still can not get over the prices here for food! Since arriving in Paris I've pretty much been living on Baguettes, Croissants and any other type of bread since it's the cheapest thing (2-2.50 EURO). We had a nice chat, talking about her Husband's transfer next yr, her pregnancy, service in Paris Restaurants etc. She's just as sweet in person as she comes across on a parenting board we are both on.

After breakfast we took a walk and I found out that she actually lives super close to where we ate and that the Cimetière Du Père Lachaise was close by as well as L's daycare. So we walked in the direction of the Père Lachaise and also to get L some sushi for lunch before Daycare. We parted ways about 10 mins from Père Lachaise with promises to meet up later on in the week at Champs de Mars, which is near the Eiffel Tower. She has graciously offered to take some photos of Natasha and I in front of the tower so I'm pretty excited. Owen is suppose to have a free day on Saturday but I'm not banking on it. Everyone says it is not really a 'on your own' day so I decided not to schedule it for that day since chances are he won't be able to come anyway.

Before we parted, Sannie graciously loaned me her Maclaren stroller (I left the Frog at the hotel bc I could not bear to use it on the Metro again). :0) She said she had another one at home, plus one other stroller and that I was free to use it for the week since it easily fits through the turn styles in the metro and is super light for lifting up stairs. I was pretty happy she was willing to loan it to me! It will make the rest of the week so much easier while travelling the Metro which I was starting to feel down about.

As Sannie said, the Cimetière Du Père Lachaise was just a quick 10 minute walk down the street. Not the best attraction for an umbrella stroller, as it has very stoney and rickety pathways, but after about 5 mins there Natasha decided she was 'rested' enough to walk. Mind you not beside me, mostly running in front of me. The Cementary was empty enough though that I did not mind, as long as she stayed within view.

I was actually more impressed with the Cementary then I was with Notre Dame. The Monuments are HUGE and a lot of the Crypts are very beautiful. Some though had been vandalized which made me sad. The place at the front entrance that sold maps did not open until 2pm but my guide book Paris Day by Day had a map, not that I really used it. It was just so nice to walk around aimlessly enjoying the soft breeze. Plus, there are a lot of trees in the cementary and it was a bit like home (NB not AB) to see all the diff. coloured leaves.

When I started to notice Natasha was getting tired (and NOT wanting to ride in the stroller) I decided to pull out the map so I could at least visit Jim Morrison's grave (to say I'd been there) before I left. I imagined everyone that heard I had been there would ask if I went to his grave since the Cementary is known as his resting place.

My guide book told me to 'follow the crowds and you'd find his grave'. hah! I must have gotten there early (I don't have a watch so while I'm out I rely on the numerous big clocks on towers/buildings to figure out the time) because the cementary was practically empty and there were no crowds leading the way. :p What I found instead was a lot of ppl asking me where his grave was. :P I checked with my map several times and I got roughly in the area but still had trouble locating it. I kept looking for a crowd around a particular tombstone but never found any.

I guess as well I was 'assuming' his grave would be a bit more elaborate (bigger?), so it would really stand out. I eventually found it and as it turns out, it's quite small and not really as nice as the others in the cementary. It's also in off the pathway a bit and the only grave that has fence in front of it.

There were some flowers thrown in front of his headstone, the busk of his head apparently was stolen years ago by "fans" and it was not as 'dirty' (cigarette butts and the like, again from "fans") as the book mentioned it would be. It's probably vandalized a lot less now as I noticed there is a security guard that watches when the crowd around it gets too big. As I was leaving it did start to get crowd.

After a young boy finished video taping it for a few minutes and stepped away, I moved up, zoomed in on his headstone so I got a shot of the name/inscription, zoomed out and snapped a few more pictures and then started my way back to the entrance after prying Natasha off the fence as she wanted to climb over. :p

She had her first Tantrum of the day on the way out. There were several Crows on the ground which she decided she wanted to chase. Ever since we arrived in Europe she has taken great joy at chasing ANY bird that is on the ground and because the birds are some what immune to humans she can get pretty close before her shrill squeals scare them off. The Crows though were not going in the direction I was going in though, so there were much tears when I finally picked her up. She lost it when I put her in the stroller and strapped her in. It's amazing how well her screeches carried through the 'hollow-ness' of the Cementary. :P But like any other time she gets upset (at home or while on vacation) I just keep moving. It's a mom skill that you learn early on. It's the same with the looks of judgement as well as the looks of "I've been there and I feel your pain" you just take them all in stride and carry on your way.

I made it out of the cementary and as we walk toward the metro she slowly to calms down. I got a bit nervous when I followed the map and did not see it, (Paris does not believe in giving you any 'extra' warning through signage about where something is. You are pretty much right on top of it before you see the sign stating HEY! Here it is!) but found it once I crossed the street. My map led me to believe it was on the corner, it was not, the entrance was in the middle of the street. :p

With Sannie's awesome directions about what Lines to take (2, 6, 14) and knowing where I was going (always helpful to know the metro name you want to end up at :p) I found my way back to the hotel without a problem. The Umbrella stroller (Maclaren) was also much much easier to get through Metro instead of my Frog. It fits through the gates/turnstyles and is a lot easlier to get up the stairs. Although on my way to the Cementary I did stop at a fruit market and get some more fruit for Tash so I could not really fold it up to go up the stairs. As before though, many nice Parisans offered assistance. :0)

I'm not sure what I'm going to do tomorrow. I was thinking I might try the Musee D'Orsay again and maybe the Louvre, but I think I might be pushing it by trying to fit both museums in. Today we got back to the room around 3.30ish and as mentioned, near the end of it, Tash was beat. I would like to go back down though. And of course I still want to see the Eiffel Tower and D'Arc but Owen keeps telling me our next Hotel, Paris Hilton De La Defense is a lot closer to both those Monuments then where we are now.

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