Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring Tour/ De-Tour: Paris

Alas, the first morning with the North Carolina grandchildren, the rain pouring, the hail pelting, the day's plans dashed on the rocks. Never fear. Your grandmother's here with a new plan. After a hearty breakfast of cinnamon rolls and bacon I enlisted Jack's (Jean-Pierre IV) help in constructing this limited edition, true to scale, no detail forgotten balsa wood Eiffel Tower. A good project for a lad with his engineering mind.

Punch out all 7,000 pieces that are numbered 1a to 75j. Sort into piles organized by section of the tour. (Tour as en Francais for tower.) Place all scrap pieces in appropriate Arc de Triomphe trash can.

With no written instructions to guide the young engineer, Jean-Pierre IV carefully begins the process of inserting tabs into slots. Pierced lips enable the process to continue with ease.

It quickly becomes apparent that addtional hands are required. Grandmere steps in to help armed with the french apron. Certainly that will be beneficial. Furrowed brow begins to appear on the young engineer.Yes, Jean-Pierre IV is correct. There is trouble in River City. The city on the Seine. Did Gustave Eiffel himself experience these same problems as he raced to complete the tour for the opening of the world exposition? By the way, the tower opened for tourists ON THIS DAY in 1889. How's that for coincidence?

Jean-Pierre IV and Grandmere consult the original plans. La Tour de 300 Metres. Sure enough, bending the four balsa wood base pieces to fit the platform proves to be as frought with peril as the process for the original four iron bases. Zut alors!

En fin. At last! It is finished in all it's glory! Liberte! Egalite! Fraternite! Then Jean-Pierre has a brilliant idea. "We need to move it to the dining room table." Followed by one even better. "Let's get all your Eiffel Towers and make a collection!"

Soon the sisters get into the act as the entire concept of The Eiffel Tower Museum is born. This is Charlotte. Tres chic, non? Tickets are made. Admit One. Adults 25 cents. Children 10 cents. No cameras allowed. You know how those pesky flashes destroy priceless paintings and artifacts.

Our first visitor checks in at the ticket booth and has her ticket punched. She may return any time before the 6:15 p.m. closing time. After all, our curator Jean-Pierre IV is only nine years old.

The staff poses with the latest member of "Friends of the Museum."

In the foyer adjacent to the museum you'll find our museum gift store. High quality photos of the exhibition are on sale for a mere 50 cents.

Not all local news sources have reported the latest developments but the tower had to be evacuated today due to this catastrophic engineering disaster. The museum staff has of this hour not determined when the exhibit will reopen.

Jean Pierre has not disclosed a detailed financial statement but was willing to report that admissions to the museum and sales had been strong up until the time of the tower's collapse. The curator continues to deliberate whether the accumulation of cash will be used to establish a trust, to repair the damages to the tower, or to purchase frozen yogurt for the staff.


  1. Oh my!!! How fun and creative!! I wish I lived closer so we could have come on a tour!

  2. How fun, Shirley!!! :) Blessed grandchildren!