Monday, April 04, 2005


We got back from London around 2pm yesterday afternoon. Business class rocks the block. Not only did they have eighteen (18!) channels from which to choose in-flight entertainment--I watched "Meet the Fockers" and "Shall We Dance," the J.Lo/Richard Gere incarnation, neither of which were as terrible as I had anticipated, which is to say that I could watch them without wanting to kill myself--but the chairs were comfy and recline-y with a little lumbar support button, all Sharper Image-style. Also, there was plenty of leg room for me to stretch my flex my calves obsessively, because you know how I fear the DVTs. (This is not just some crazy idle fear, by the way. I had a patient as a third-year medical student who developed a DVT on a flight over from London. And she was in town for the marathon, so you know, she was all young and fit and such. And while I may be young, I am definitely not fit, at least not in that elliptical trainer, Pilates sense.)

So I was trying to get some rest during the day today, because I'm working a 7pm-7am shift this whole week, but I'm so jet-lagged and generally screwed up sleep-wise that after lying in bed ferociously willing myself to rest for the past hour and a half, I decided to just get up and post some vacation pictures. Here are a few snapshots from the first half of the trip, which we spent in Paris.

Joe at the Arc de Triomphe. Don't even talk to me about my French spelling, if there are mis-spellings, because 10th grade French class was a long time ago, and any such knowledge that I can dredge up from those times has been irrevocably corrupted by my pidgen medical Spanish. There were a lot of shady pickpocket-types around this area, probably due to high tourist density.

The obligatory shot of me at the base of the Eiffel Tower. No, we didn't go up, because the line was crazy long. Because of the angle of the shot, I decided to make an unflattering photo slightly less unflattering by pulling up my coat collar to hide the double-chin action sure to ensue from looking down into the camera. Also, it was cold.

Joe in front of the Paris Opera House. Our hotel was right next door, which made it very easy to find.

Joe in front of Notre Dame. It was all church-y inside.

Me outside the Louvre. It was all museum-y inside. Man, I didn't really notice it before looking at the pictures, but the weather was really kind of crappy those first few days.

Of course, we had to do all the obligatory drive-by photos of the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and all. Because we are tourists. At least we weren't clutching copies of "The DaVinci Code" while coasting through the museum. By the way, when I saw this exhibit, all I could think of was that Simpsons episode with the gummy Venus de Milo, where Homer is accused of sexual harrassment for grabbing at that "sweet can." You know what I'm talking about, don't play dumb with me.

Just so we weren't total tourist drones, we also checked out the extensive Egyptology exhibit at the Louvre as well. Because we are so scholarly.

Me dragging my carcass up the steps to Sacre Coeur. There were many steps. Many. And normally, I would not have had a problem, I swear, but let's see you climb up all those steps while lugging an extra 20 pounds on your bod without getting all winded. There was also a trolly that could take you up if you didn't think you could manage the climb, but I didn't want to be a total wuss about it either.

See, I made it up there alive. Coming back down was easier, obviously. The strangest thing about the neighborhood around Sacre Coeur, once you left Montmarte, was that it was totally surrounded by this porno red-light district.

Joe decided that he had to get his hair cut while we were on vacation, because it was "too long," and therefore driving him crazy. He is Hank Hill. I suggested that he wait until he got to London to get his haircut, so that he could at least, you know, communicate with his barber, but he was insistent that we get it done that very day. But I guess there's no real way to go wrong with hair that short anyway. I mean, unless they gave you an army flattop or shaved a word into you head or something.

The best thing about Paris was the bread. So tasty. And people really do go around carrying giant loaves of french bread. I thought that was just in cartoons, but nay, I am here to report that it is true. Also, I am here to report that I think that these low carb diets are a crock, because people in France are stuffing themselves with bread all the time, and they're skinny. So go figure.

Other tasty french delights: street crepes.

And escargot.

And hot chocolate. This stuff was so chocolate-y that I highly suspected that it was just a melted chocolate bar.

And this thing that they had at the McDonald's in Paris which was inexplicably called "Le P'tit Oriental."

Not so good food: fondue. Maybe it was just the restaurant that we picked. Joe had warned me that I was probably not going to like fondue, but I'd never had it before (being born at the tail end of the 70's), and was really curious to try, because oh, how cute, a little cauldron with forks in it. People, this it may look adorable, but be warned it is just meat dipped in oil! Or, worse yet, meat dipped in cheese, which we did not order, because we wanted to live beyond our 40th birthdays. Guh. No more fondue. Ever. See how Joe looks all mad here, like he's regretting having let me choose the restaurant that night.

Why don't we have cute streets like this in New York? We have sidewalks too. We should use them.

I love a city with a good subway system, though. We took the subway everywhere. In London, too. Either that, or we walked.

Anyway, I really should get some rest or I'm going to be useless tonight. I'm doing a week of being "second senior" on the wards, which basically means that I'm there primarily for backup, doing admissions or helping to put out fires on any of the sicker patients on any of the four ward services. Tomorrow, or whenever I get around to it, pictures from London.

Currently reading: The New Yorker article about Edward Albee.

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