Today I was planning on going to Versailles, and I intended on staying the whole day because first, there's a lot of ground to cover (literally) if you want to see everything, and second, because at night they have a light show with the fountains that only happens over the summer on Saturdays.  Well, I was going to go, but the train that goes to Versailles is out of service for construction through today and I didn't feel like trying to attempt the bus.  I also didn't wake up quite as early as I had intended too since it takes a while to get there. :)

Anyhow, my day ended up being adventurous enough and I will just plan to go one of the next two weekends.  It's been a bit of a scorcher today too so I don't know if I would have ended up staying there all day anyways.

So my day started off a little slow, but in a good way.  I was sleeping in and this week had been a bit more of to-do's this week.  Not in a bad way either, but as much as I love four day weeks, it's sometimes hard when you're then trying to do five days of work in four.  After I enjoyed my morning of sleep, I headed to the Paris Plages because tomorrow is the last day.  Since it was such hot and nice weather, I thought I'd attempt to get some color.  I knew I had to get there sooner than later too because it gets very crowded.  Below is what it looked like when I got there but within an hour or so, it was already packed, so I chose a good time.

It must be the Minnesotan in me too because within a little more than an hour of sitting directly in the sun, I was done with that.  I felt like I was an egg in a fying pan.

I had been reading previously about things to do in Paris and those 'must-do's'.  I had read many times about the Mosque.  There are certain times when women can use the baths and certain time for men.  There's four or five rooms, and they progressively get warmer in temperature.  Apparently, after all the exfoliation, etc, your skin comes out like velvet.  I did not do this as the admittance is a bit expensive and frankly, it was warm enough outside today.  

 Besides that, they have a restaurant and cafe that is to have superb green tea and baklava.  I thought I'd give that a try.  This was a bit of a challenge though - with my best-effort-French 'do you speak English?' resulted in a shake of the head no.  Ok - I just pointed to one.

It was delicious.  I didn't get the tea but I figure I'll save that for another day.  The patio/garden area of the cafe was really cool too.  The ceilings had lots of details.

Just a few blocks over from the mosque is the Jardin des Plantes.  It was gigantic and full of gorgeous flowers.  They even had a zoo!  

There was also an exhibit on National Geographic photography.

Some people enjoying the park among the flowers.

After the garden, I went to The Abbey Bookstore, owned by Brian, and it is a bookstore that is difficult to describe.  It is a bookstore full of English books.  They are literally stacked to the ceiling with walkways that only one person can pass through.  Somehow, he does have it all sorted by categories and alphabetized.  First thing he did was offer a cup of coffee or tea (sweetened with maple syrup).  He was a real nice guy.

While browsing the books, I met some guys, a German, a French, an Austrian and a Spainard who are attending a summer school at CERN.  You know, the typical particle physics project and particle smashing.  They were visiting Paris for the weekend, as the French one lives here and he was showing them around.  This bookstore was on his list of places to show them.  

The bookstore is one of those places that you are overwhelmed by the smell and then after being in there for so long, it goes away.  It was a fun experience to visit, and now I have a book to spare me while sitting in the parks (which I intend to do more often).
My legs were starting to hurt then, so I headed back home.  I stopped at the grocery store too since they're not always open on Sundays and I was running low on Nutella, and am now going to start enjoying my book!