DAY 43, JUNE 29
(JON) We slept in till about 8:30. I slept while the other boys went to breakfast. Then we left for the monastery (Benedictine.) We arrived just in time for the ringing of the church bells. We watched the four monks tugging on the ropes. Mass was beautiful and in Latin Gregorian chant. The monastery was cement and lacked carpet and warm finishings. After Mass, we all went souvenir shopping. First to the religious store, then to the center of Kerkrade to get a Amsterdam soccer jersey for Sam and a cap for Chris. Important note: Sam was sick this morning. He threw up in a garbage can on the street. He felt better afterwards. Thank goodness!! We were supposed to be back to the seminary at 12:30 for lunch. We were already 1/2 hour late. We still got to eat--Yeah!! We then vacuumed the car, packed our things, and said our good byes to Andrew.
(ANDREW) excursus: It has now come to saying good-bye. The wind blows gently on this beautiful summer day as it picks up our slightly-tired, still-excited, sometimes-nauseated, greatly-enriched travelers on the last leg of their journey. I, the "Ordinary American" (as opposed to the title Dutch Mystic) (no alleluias) would like to wish my friends Godspeed and God's deep and resting peace and happiness as they continue their journey and as they continue their lives. I beg you to pray for me. I thank God daily for the memories and the friendship. Be holy and we will see each other in heaven (and if God wills it, sooner.) Good bye, my friends., Greetings to Virginia, Christendom, Katie, and most especially Mary Lou. Thy Will be done! In Christ, Andrew.
(JON) Off we went to Paris where Jean was going to meet us. We finally reached Paris. We did not see Sacre Cour last time, so this time, before we left, we had to see it. The outside of the church was beautiful. It was hot, I wanted to be at Jean's on time, Chris wanted to see the Eiffel Tower and Matt was hungry. Bad combination. So we compromised. We went to get Jean to eat with him and see the tower later that night. Dinner was great. Jean took us to a place called the Hippo. (American cuisine.) We treated,. Actually, I treated everyone out of the community fund. After dinner, we walked and talked.
(MATT) Then decide to see a movie. We bought a movie guide and eventually (having not so many options) decided to see Kiss of Death (Nick Cage.. Helen Hunt.) It was pretty good, with some serious gratuitous violence, but good, nevertheless. I think we would have rather seen Die Hard III if we were going to see a violent movie, but it isn't out in Europe yet.
We walked back toward Jean's house, realizing in route as he asked where are you staying tonight that we were not staying, as we had hoped, at Jean's house. His brother Ud (Editor: Eudes) was there and Jean had stuff to do. It was nearly 12:30 a.m. when we said goodbye to Jean on his doorstep and walked off into the Paris night. At first, we were all awake, but I think that yesterday's football game caught up to Jon, Sam, and I because we decided staying up all night wandering Paris does not sound all that attractive. Now, if you gave me a shower and Liz to keep me company instead of three smelly guys, I think I'd have summoned the energy to enjoy the romance of Paris. Well, we did end up walking to the Eiffel Tower, along the Seine, and I fell asleep underneath it for a little while. I awoke to some kind of discord. Chris was walking in front and kicking cans. I never did find out exactly what brought the violence out in him that night. Maybe it was the gratuitous violence of the movie; maybe it was the romance of Paris without a lady to share it with. I guess we'll never know.
We walked across the River Seine, watching the river and the young couples drinking in the romance of the night. Sitting and watching them reminded me of the monastery/bier hall outside of Munich. We (which ever Tumbleweeds would like to include themselves in this "we" are welcome) wanted to drink, but had no currency (and they wouldn't take Visa,) so we once again were led to the trough, but were not allowed to drink. I mentioned this to Jon as he gazed out over the water thinking of Liz, I mean Sherri. Oops. He turned and spied a young, happy couple exchanging sugar. Jon turned to me and said someday; unfortunately, he was somewhat incorrect--Sunday, I gently corrected. He gave me a knowing smile and turned back to the river and thoughts of Sherri.
We stopped on the Champs de Elysees for a drink. (Paris, unlike Rome, which has fountains everywhere, has no water to drink anywhere. I'm not joking. So remember, reader, to bring your water.) We ended up spending $20 on three Cokes and a bier. Now, if these had been a liter each, we wouldn't have felt so abused, but they were the small, very small type. But it took the edge off our thirst and we were grateful. We walked back to the car, passing several young gypsy beggar children who actually were cute kids, I baffled a few of them by showing them my empty pockets and begging for change--from them. One held up her cup of alms to me but took it away when I reached to accept. I think that is a new one for them. We saw one little gypsy girl playing the accordion and making pretty good money at it. I think that if they can do something, anything, they will make more. We had seen one girl near Sacre Cour that was sitting chewing gum and blowing bubbles in relatively nice clothes. I wasn't even tempted to give her money.
Once back to the car, we drove to the Charles de Gaulle Airport and decided to spend our last night in Europe "camping wild." 1 say that in quotations because it was unlike every other camping experience we had had on this trip. We stopped on a spare piece of concrete. Sam and Jon slept in the car; I slept on the pavement next to the car, and Chris slept in a patch of grass 30 feet away.