Let those bitches eat cake-a day at Versailles

After a much needed night of sleep I woke up about 7:00 am Paris time. Susan, mom, and I were planning on spending the day at Versailles. Day I was a blur. The last thing I recall from my half drugged, half heat stroked brain was that we were planning on meeting Susan in front of our hotel around 9:00 am. I somewhat recalled that we were going to meet Susan at our hotel around 9:00 am. 

View of cafe

I was ready for the day to being and I decided to wash off the Paris grime by taking a shower. It took me about five mins to figure out how to work the shower head without getting water all over the floor but once I got everything working I felt much better after a shower.

But that was short lived. I got out of the shower and immediately started sweating profusely. It wasn’t even 7:30 yet and it was already as humid as a terrarium. Don’t ask my why I thought that blow drying my hair would be a good idea.

I put on some ‘sweat-proof’ sunscreen and started blow drying my hair. I put on what I thought was going to be a ‘cool’ outfit since it was again blazing outside. While I was getting ready I thought it might be nice to figure out what was going on in the world not to mention how the weather was going to shape up by watching TV.

We couldn’t figure out how to work the TV (directions in French) so we didn’t know how hot it was going to be. Mom finally managed to get out of bed about 8:00. While she got ready I just sat around and enjoyed the fact that we were in Paris and it was surly going to be better than the Charles de Gaulle fiasco.

Susan and I having breakfast
Mom must stay hydrated!
Mom and I were done getting ready about 8:45 and decided we needed to have coffee before facing the world or public transit again.
There was a little café right in front of our hotel where we could sit outside and wait for Susan. We tried to order a simple coffee with cream but I should have known that would not be as easy as it sounded.
My mom had more brains than me…she sensed this was going to be hard since the very very rude French man couldn’t understand my English. So she just leaves me to deal with him and goes outside to enjoy the Paris streets. I asked the guy if he spoke English? No. Espanol? No. Italiano? No.
Dear God this is going to be a long day, I already know it.
I asked for our ‘café creamas’ (I figured that was close enough) which cost 3 euro each (so roughly $3.50 USD which I think is pretty average for a cup of coffee).
I couldn’t believe that I just paid almost $4.00 for a cup of coffee with too much milk. I thought we were going to get traditional coffee with cream–instead, we got two lattes but whatever they were fantastic.
We sipped out coffees outside at a little bistro table enjoying the fact that we were in Paris when I realized we had been sitting for a rather long time and my sister still wasn’t there.
Finally she showed up around 9:30.
She brought us each an amazing pastry and another cup of coffee which oddly enough was different than what I got. About 10:15 we were finally on our way (walking again) to the Metro (M). We bought our RER (French railroad tickets) from Paris to Versailles which were about 18 euro for three people one way.
The temperature in Paris was soaring and it wasn’t even 10:30 yet. Our RER train to Versailles was PACKED with people–commuter and tourist alike. We never really knew how hot it was because everything was in Celsius and I don’t have a clue how to convert that! The RER was hot and we had to stand the whole way shoulder to shoulder with strangers not wearing deodorant. Thank God the train ride was only about 40 minutes with stops.
Mom and I having breakfast
We arrive at Versailles and unload the train and then we had to walk to the palace which took about 5-10 minutes but it seemed like hours in the heat.
There wasn’t a cloud in sight and it was sweltering. My mom didn’t put on sunscreen and though her and I both bought hats before we left we both forgot to bring them with us on the day we really needed them! The whole time mom complained that her face and scalp were going to burn off…..Susan and I were about to scream.
The shit ton of people at Versailles
Just as we were wondering where the palace was, we rounded a corner to Versailles’s entrance and were greeted by a sea of people. Its f-ing packed!
I mean REALLY packed….like worse than Disneyland packed!
There are also uneven cobblestone dotting the path from the block before Versailles all the way up to the front doors. Now I am like my grandma–totally unsteady on my feet, plus if I fall I could really have a problem here since I’m on a blood-thinner. But the biggest concern I had was that I was carrying about $1500 worth of camera equipment and I would not want to be camera-less on this trip!
We make it to the gate where there are two lines, one for people who have not bought tickets and another for the people who had tickets or passes. The first line was literally to the far far entrance all standing in the blazing sun and the other line had like 10 people. So I’m like thank God Susan bought passes before we came!
The shoe drops.
Susan didn’t have time to buy the passes before we came and the night before going to Versailles she tried to buy tickets from the tourist center but they were sold out.
We walk to the ‘no ticket’ line and wait for one of the billets machine (my favorite).
This is the line for people WITH passes! Note thereare no clouds in the sky
At my encouragement, Susan asked someone if we could buy tickets from anywhere else. Luckily, you can purchase tickets from various coffee shops and stores in the immediate vicinity. 
So we walked back down the dangerous cobblestone walkway in search of tickets. We found a coffee shop and bought two massive bottles of water and three tickets to Versailles. The tickets weren’t too bad, for three tickets which included admission to the Versailles gardens, was about 45 euro ($60 USD). We walked back in the blazing sun and up the walkway of death only to see that the line for people WITH tickets and passes had grown by leaps and bounds thanks to a giant tour bus drop off.
We waited while mom sought refuge in the shade because she was sure she was melting in the sun. We finally made it inside (again no AC anywhere) and it’s like shoulder to shoulder people pushing, swaying, and shoving their way through the palace so there is really no time to enjoy anything. Not to mention you have no idea what you are looking at because all the signs are in French.
We all really enjoyed it but when mom and I asked Susan about some French history she could tell us nothing useful since shes not into French history that much.
Marie Antoinette’s bed
We made our way through to the Hall of Mirrors which was beautiful–crowded–but beautiful. From there we saw Marie Antoinette’s bedroom where the magic didn’t happen for her and good ol’ Louis. Then we decided we needed to see the gardens because it was so beautiful out. We get to the admission window and mom has lost her ticket somewhere so we could not get in which was fine because as soon as we stepped out of the palace we realized it was way way way too hot to be outside. So rather than see the gardens, we ate, rested, and cooled off. 
As we walked through the massive groups of people sitting on the sidewalk of death it reminded me of a war zone…people were dehydrated, swooning, bleeding (one lady biffed it HARD), bruised, and just plain miserable.
We made it to a cute little Italian sidewalk café. Susan had to order for us and we sat around relaxing trying to get out energy back with food and massive amounts of water. It was still pretty early when we finished eating so we sat and enjoyed the ambiance. We got on the RER back to Paris which was now practically empty at 2:30 and decided that we would go to the big shopping areas which should have AC. We took another M from the RER station to the shopping district as per Susan’s map which is essental in Paris.
Mom and Susan in front of Paris Opera House
We got off the M at the Paris Opera House and I thought mom was going to cry when she saw it. The Opera is about 4 or 5 blocks away from the shopping areas so we walked…and walked…and stopped to check the map…and walked….and walked…and stopped to check the map…. The French also don’t believe in regular street signs, instead there these little signs randomly on the buildings making navigation almost impossible.
We finally made it to the shopping area and my feet were killing me. I’m just plain tired of f-ing walking! But I was excited to do some shopping, until we realize that it is Sunday and none of the shops are open. Here we are standing in the blazing heat with a little pocket book map with limited water supply and no clue what to do now.
The Hall of Mirrorsand yes this is how packed the whole place was
Susan suggested going to the Tuileries Garden which she said was ‘close’…..and to her credit it did look really close by on the map. By this point I should have known that when things look ‘close’ on a map they are really more like miles away. So we go back to walking….. walk…and walk…and stopped to check the map…and walk….and walk…and stopped to check the map….
Tuileries Gardens
We finally made it to the Tuileries which were founded by Catherine de Medici in the 1500’s and are now more like Coney Island. There was this huge carnival thing there which I am guessing is there all the time? The gardens are right in front of the Louvre (which used to be a palace) and it just looks a little out of place…..I didn’t plan on hearing carnival music and game bells at a park but whatever.
I found us a little place to sit in the shade and Susan and mom went to find food. Mom came back a few minutes later and asked her if she got food or water? She’s like no I went to the bathroom (which she had to pay for by the way….most public restrooms are like 50 cents to use).
Mom said that Susan went to get us food and water…..the next thing I know we see Susan coming back and she only has a crepe for herself and a small bottle of water. I’m like WTF where’s ours?!?!? She said she didn’t know she was suppose to get us food and water.
After mom and I got some food and water, we decided to people watch for the rest of the afternoon. My mom and I each got our own crepe, the French apparently don’t believe in utensils as they didn’t give us anything to eat with. They also don’t have the same health and food handling requirements that we do so I had to eat dripping chocolate which got all over the place and worry that some French man molested my crepe with his grimy fingers. 
Weird ball game in the Tuileries
A couple next to us practically have sex in their lawn chair, while another group of people were playing some weird ball game called Pétanque which was kind of interesting to watch. 

Mom and I at the Tuileries
The crepe was mouthwatering and we all felt much better after some good ol’ French pastries. We walked around the Tuileries until the late evening and then took the M back to our hotel so mom and I could go to bed and meet Susan the following morning. We agreed to meet her in front of Notre Dame Cathedral at 9:00 sharp.
Mom and I went to bed early (after we bought some cheese, crackers, and water from a little store next to our hotel).My legs and feet were screaming from all the walking in the end, the blisters were worth it.
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