Today was a killer day. We woke up at a decent hour, then got out of the apartment by about 10:00AM and rode the bus to the Invalides and Army Museum. The Invalides is a hospital that was originally built by Louis XIV, I think, and is now an army museum. Sounds boring, but it was actually really well done. We picked up an audio guide and it wasn’t explained very well, so we didn’t do a good job using it. We stumbled through the museum, which has a vast array of swords, guns, pistols, armor, even Napoleon’s horse that had been stuffed. The horse was actually pretty gross, but the rest was unbelievable. The numbers of uniforms saved throughout the years is a tribute to the French, who have made such an extraordinary effort to try to save remnants of their history. Some of the uniforms are hundred of years old and it is simply amazing that they are in such good shape. The many wars are explained and it was very obvious to us that the English and French have never gotten along very well. I do not remember anything in American history about why the French helped us out against the English. The museum stated that the French were still angry over their last defeat and it was “pay back” time. They learned from their mistakes and were able to use that to their and our advantage during the Revolutionary War. There were several rooms dedicated to this war and our friend, Lafayette. We never even made it to the second floor and WWI and WWII because we simply ran out of time. Over the thousands of years, the French have fought many wars and it was apparent in this museum. I may decide to do a little reading about this later. We did make it to Napoleon’s tomb, which was pretty fantastic. Louis XIV had commissioned a church to be built in his honor and they used the same dome architecture that they had used at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome. Our capital dome is actually modeled after this one. There is an altar with Louis XIV’s likeness on it in the rotunda, but the big thing there was the magnificent tomb for Napoleon. There were also tombs for several famous generals throughout the ages, including Napoleon’s two brothers. I am sure Louis XIV did not plan on this. It was pretty spectacular and well worth the visit. I would like to return later in the week, if possible, to see the perspective of the French on WWI and WWII. We went across the street to the Rodin Museum, which had a wonderful garden with recreations of some of his works and the real art inside the museum. We were beginning to get a little hungry, so we thought we’d head over to the Eiffel Tower, since we had tickets for 3:30PM and it had been a zoo last Saturday. We got on the Metro and came out of the underground a couple of blocks from the Tower. We stopped and had lunch and a couple of glasses of bordeaux, then headed towards the Eiffel Tower. We got there about an hour ahead of our appointed time and just got a sense of the place. We sat down on a bench and did a little people watching and tower gazing, then we got in the very short line to go up to the tower. We soon realized why the line was so short. Everyone was in the tower. It was not pleasant and I hope this is the last time I do this. This was my third time and all you did was stand in line. It was by far the least impressive of all three times. It was so crowded that you couldn’t figure out if you were in line or just standing still. The best thing about it was that we watched a thunderstorm come across Paris. The lightening was really beautiful to watch, although we were a bit worried that it would ruin our trip to the very top. We waited in an unbelievable long line for the elevator to the very top. It was pretty foggy on one side and the other side was clear, which was pretty amazing. Otherwise, I would say that the trip to the top was not worthwhile, particularly because of the long wait and the fact that it was so crowded that all you did was stand in line. The entire thing took 2 hours and it was the longest two hours I have spent in Paris. I have decided that the Eiffel Tower is best seen from across the river. I have an awesome picture of that. After we came down from the tower, we did walk across the river and took pictures as we walked. By far the best was from Trocodero Square — across the river. We picked up a bus and made the trip home. The first bus was a nightmare with a crying baby and so packed in that you could hardly breath. The second and third buses were not as bad. And, of course, the view and partial walk down the Champs Elysees was a treat. When we arrtived at the Arc de Triomphe, there was a band playing under the Arc, so we watched them play for awhile, then picked up the last bus towards home. As had become our custom, we stopped by the market and picked up some salmon and bread. We came home, had a couple of glasses of wine and some bread and then cooked the salmon and the other zuchinni that we had bought earlier. We put the crab salad in with some lettuce and we had a great dinner. It was tricky trying to figure out the toaster oven to cook the salmon, but we did and dinner was really good. We had picked up some herbs and spices earlier in the week that we used on the salmon and it worked out perfectly. Bobby is washing dishes, while I write this post. Tomorrow will be a big day, as we are doing the Louvre, the Orangerie and the Orsay Museums, which will be the last day of our museum pass. We had bought the pass to bypass the lines that we had expected, but have found that we didn’t have the lines that we thought we would. I am not sure that this purchase was a good purchase. We might have saved ourselves some money by not purchasing it. Oh well. Live and learn. It looks like we may have some rain, but we will be prepared with raincoats and an unbrella. Air France is still on strike and we are due to come home on Tuesday. We are watching the news everyday on this.