The day that Europe kicked my ass… part 2… (or); I know I’m not the boss of you, but I am going to tell you what to do the next time you find yourself up on the Eiffel Tower anyway…

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Okay, sorry about that, I know the camera looks a little obscene… but look at that look on my face… that is the look of sheer terror… and excitement… because I am standing on a clear piece of glass hundreds of feet above those tiny little people down there on the ground.

a 2The next time you go up in the Eiffel Tower, there are a couple things you need to do. One of them is going to the lowest observation level and standing on the glass walkways. It is not for the faint of heart.

a 3It didn’t bother Mollie at all, but 16-year-olds have no fear.

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The other thing you need to do is take the stairs… no… don’t take them to get up the tower… what part of ‘the day that Europe kicked my ass’ did you not get??? You will be doing plenty of walking in Paris, trust me. Don’t wear yourself out walking up hundreds of stairs. But you should at least walk down from the middle level to the lower level when you go looking for  those glass walkways. Don’t look at my bizarrely uneven nostrils! Look at that look of pure fun on my goofy face!

a 5Yes, you will still get a workout. Yes, your legs will feel like rubber even before you try to walk 50 miles later on in the day. But you will not regret it. You will get to see the tower in a way that not everybody gets to see it if they just crowd onto the big old-timey elevators. It is like seeing behind the scenes. It is like looking up the Eiffel Tower’s skirt…

a 6Okay, that last part sounded wrong… but it also sounded French… and, ironically, when I was on the tower the last time I was there, I actually caught a guy trying to take pictures up girl’s skirts, so don’t shoot the messenger.

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If you were wondering what happened to that guy, well, let’s just say that I was with my other daughter and a bunch of other teenage girls at the time on a musical trip, and me and the creepy guy had a very heart-to-heart talk… about the ability of him and his camera to fly… and the probability that doing so from that height was actually survivable… and he saw the error of his ways… and he maybe became separated from the memory card in his camera somehow or other… who can remember details from ten years ago?

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Anyway, I promise these are almost the last pictures of the tower you will have to look at…

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But I also promise there are a lot of other pictures of a lot of other places all over Paris coming up in this little series…

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Because we walked a lot that last day in the city of lights…

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And you are all going along with me on this adventure.

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The day that Europe kicked my ass… part 1…

It was our last day in Paris, and we sort of fell into that mindset where we became determined that we were going to see everything that there was to see… or die trying…

a 1Yes, I know that I look happy and well rested as I stand there on a platform half way up the Eiffel Tower. This was still early in the morning, before we succumbed to the madness. We left mom at the hotel and Mollie, my wife and I strolled over and stood in the long lines to take the crazy elevators up the tower.

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This was my third time in Paris and second time going up the tower, and I still haven’t made it all the way to the top. These pictures will give you an idea of how high up you are when you are on the middle two levels… I want to say we didn’t go the rest of the way up because of long lines and time constraints, and there is some truth to that… but seriously, that upper deck is freekin’ scary high up…

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Oh look, there is the Sacre Coeur way over there… don’t worry, we will all end up there before too much longer…

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I think that is the Les Invalides museum which I showed you pictures of in an earlier post, and our hotel is way on the other side of that… just to give you an idea of how far we walked just to start our day.

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Ah, the ever enchanting river Seine.

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There is the Arch de Triumph in the middle distance… we are going to end up there later also…

a 7Even if, like me, you don’t really like heights, it is always awesome to see the views from way up in the air if you can manage it.

a 8Well that picture is zoomed in, and doesn’t really give a sense of how high we were at all.

a 9I mean, those aren’t small buildings down there.

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Okay, that is more like it.

a 11I have one more post about our adventures on the Eiffel Tower before we start in on the rest of that day.

a 12Because it is possible to turn even something as cool as going up the Eiffel Tower into an even more exciting adventure.

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Stalking the Eiffel Tower…

After our long day at Versailles, we took my mom out to dinner, and then strolled over to the Eiffel Tower. We were thinking that we might go up and enjoy the view from on high…

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There I am… well, me and my absurdly mismatched nostrils…

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We managed to arrive just as the first hourly light show was beginning.

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Okay, that picture is actually left over from my trip to the military museum, but I figured I would sneak it in here anyway.

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My wife must have taken that picture of Mollie and I walking with my mom.

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On our first night in Paris, we had seen the tower in the distance, and now we were going in for the kill…

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You don’t really get a sense of the size of the tower until you get really close to it.

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But, in the end, we decided that the lines were too long, the sunset would be over by the time we got through them, and that we were all exhausted from walking around the king’s big house… so we decided to get up early and go up the tower first thing in the morning.

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The next day was to be our last day in Paris, and it turned out to be one crazy-long day and we saw some awesome stuff, so I hope to see you here later.

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It’s not a poem… it’s a song… I just haven’t recorded it, turned it into a cute video, and stuck it on my blog with my other songs yet…

Outward Bound

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Well, they’re starting final countdown, and the seatbelt light is lit

Goodbye mother earth, I’m gonna miss you just a little bit

Well the stewardess is pretty and she brings me one more beer

As I was a last farewell, and I shed a final tear

And if you ever start to wonder… where I can be found…

I’m outward bound…   outward bound… (repeat X4)

I’m travelin’ 3rd class on this star liner, to space station one-sixty-three

Transfer to a deep space freighter, headed for the Dog Star colony

Gonna hitch a ride or work my, to the far frontiers of space

I guess you could say I’m resigning, as a member of the human race

If you ever think about me… and notice I ain’t been around…

I’m outward bound…  outward bound… (repeat X4)

Mother Earth, I’m going to miss you, I’ll miss your sunset-tinted skies

I’ll miss the smell of roses, I’ll miss the stillness at sunrise

I’ll miss dogs and cats and horses, I’ll miss the seagull’s lonely cries

I’ll miss the little babies, I’ll miss the magic in a child’s eyes

I’ll miss the pretty girls, I’ll miss love’s first sweet surprise

But I won’t miss the bloodshed, where it’s the innocent who dies

Won’t miss the rich getting richer, as they chase their golden prize

I won’t miss the politicians, telling us their lies

Or the way the treat you, Mother Earth, as if you’re something they despise…

I’m outward bound…   outward bound… (repeat X4)

So I’m sitting on this star ship, and I’m writing me this song

I’m gonna make my way to somewhere, ’cause it’s time to move along

I doubt I’ll ever make it back, to the place I once called home

I packed myself some bottles, I’ve got a long long way to roam

The engine started howling, it’s an awfully mournful sound

I’m outward bound…

Yeah, I’m leaving the planet of my birth, I’m leaving you, sweet Mother Earth

I’m outward bound…

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Spumonkey!!!

What the heck, I can hear you all wondering, is a spumonkey??? Don’t worry… it isn’t as bad as it probably sounds like it is. The other night my wife and I went out for Italian food. You know how good Italian restaurants have spumoni for dessert… that three-flavored ice cream that has like chocolate, cherry and pistachio mixed together?

Well what if you add chunks of frozen banana to spumoni?

You get spumonkey.

You’re welcome.

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A cesspool with teeth… AKA Donald Trump’s mouth…

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What happens when you fill a large, empty cavity with nothing but excrement, is a buildup of toxic gases thinly disguised as thought. It might actually be a good thing that he vents this buildup, because if it did ever reach a critical pressure we would have an explosion, and then his mouth would release a towering plume of ignorance… Ironically enough, when you consider his viewpoints on the immigration issue, the name for this orifice is much nicer in Spanish. They call it La Bufadora… ‘the blowhole’.

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Goodbye, Versailles… and a final word on living like a French king…

I hope you have enjoyed my three-part series on how you too can live like a French king. If you follow my simple guidelines, you will soon be alienating poor people and making the rest of the fabulously wealthy feel like cheap imposters.

We have covered how to build a really big house and fill it with lavish yet useless items made from ludicrously expensive materials gathered from the far corners of the world. We discussed how the decorations should only be furnished by the most overpaid of  artists, and how all of these element must be arraigned by only the snootiest of French interior decorators. We talked about how important the size of the grounds of the estate are to achieving the desired level of awe in all your visitors, and how the spirit of excessive wealth and a ‘money-is-n0-object’ mindset can be extended to every corner of your vast gardens.

But I forgot to mention the mirror room…

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Louis XVI isn’t remembered as a good king. But he is remembered… as the guy who knew how to spend his money in such a manner as to make everybody else feel like small potatoes. His palace at Versailles might well be the best example of this mindset in Western history, but even in that monument to wasteful prerogative and blatant disregard for the people he was supposed to be ruling, there is still one room that stands out above all the others, not only as a showcase of just how classy Louis was, but as a memorial to the fact that you can’t really pretend to be living like a king of France unless you are completely and horrifyingly self-obsessed… And believe me, I might not know much about being rich or royal, but I do know something about being self-obsessed…

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I give you Versailles’s famed ‘Hall of Mirrors’. I don’t care how big you make your big house, you are not really living like a French king unless it contains at least one big-ass hall full of mirrors.

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Yes, the hall still has to have chandeliers made from so much crystal that to walk under them is to risk one’s own life. It still has to have statues… and they must be made from rare marble by the best sculptor of his day in the form of ancient gods and goddesses, with a mix of you and your family’s heads thrown on some of them, or else they must have been looted from actual  historical antiquities collections or archeological sites. It must contain priceless imported marble walls where there aren’t any mirrors, and have lots of solid gold gilding…

a 3And of course the ceilings must still be painted, also by exceptionally talented and costly painters, in an ancient gods motif… with lots more gold just to frame it…

a 5But don’t be stingy with the mirrors…

a 6Your invited guests and future tourists can waste their time looking at the ceilings.

a 7You will be much too busy admiring yourself in the mirrors to be bothered with that nonsense.

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And make sure the hall of mirrors is at least as long as a football field. You know the other rich people are going to laugh at you behind your back if you try to cut corners.

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And, though I hate to be repetitive, it never hurts to throw in some more art featuring you… preferably attired as an ancient emperor… riding on a horse. Everybody loves horses, as I always say.

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Also, make sure the doors on either end of the hall of mirrors reflect the grandeur people are about to experience… ha… reflect the grandeur… hall of mirrors… see what I did there?

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I guess it is okay to squeeze a few windows into the hall, but only to remind people that the outside of your big house is just as impressive as the inside.

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And that, as they say, is that. Just follow these simple steps, and you too can live like a French king… and not just any run-of-the-mill French king… but the most awe-inspiring, despised and soon-to-have-his-head-removed of all the French kings!

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