Thursday, November 25, 2010

This time last year...

I was planning a trip to Paris.
Since I am not planning a trip to Paris now, I am going to reminisce about last years trip.

There was a little drama getting here though. The flights coming into Arizona from London were late because of heightened security due to a terrorist attempt in London last week. (Seem familiar? Last time I was in London we had to come home early because of a terrorist threat.) So, they had to switch our connecting flight in London to Paris, which left us getting into Paris a few hours late. When we got to the hotel, there was no one here. It was closed, closed, closed! Then we caught the attention of a person inside and the driver talked to him in French, he was just a tenant though and couldn’t help. Luckily the front desk guy was upstairs somewhere and heard the commotion and came to help. He got us a room but it only had two beds so we waited and he squoze another one in there.

Our Hotel Room

Once we got rolling, we went the speed of light. A sight seeing trip wouldn't be a sight seeing trip without a pass on the red double decker bus. So, first things first, we rode in around the whole city without getting off so we could get our bearings about us. That really did help a lot with the sense of direction. We rode around on the top to get the best view, but it was freezing!!!

View from the Top

We then got off at the Arc de Triomphe. The bus stops on the Avenue des Champs Elysees and the Arc is in the center of a ginormous round about. We saw people in the center of it but we couldn't figure how to get over there... The geniuses that we are, we walk completely around it before we realized we had to take a staircase down, go under the street, and then resurface on the other side. Well, at least we got our exercise for the day!

The Arc de Triomphe

I loved Notre Dame! It was so nice and beautiful. Art may not be my biggest thrill but I love architecture (not that I know anything about it, it just fascinates me). We walked around in and out side of Notre Dame, and we were a little hungry... so we got the most amazing street food, baguettes and crapes with nutella. Mmmm, I'd have it no other way! I could have eaten that for every meal (what am I talking about, I think I did!).


What a night!!! It was New Years Eve and we wanted to stay up and see the show at the Eiffel Tower. So we found a good view and camped out. After a while it got freezing so we decided to walk around and get close to the action (more to do with a little prodding from some Parisians). We walked around for what seemed like hours and we were 3 of what felt like millions at the base of the Eiffel Tower. There was music playing and festivities everywhere, but when midnight came... no fireworks. We felt so jipped! We stayed out all night for nothing! Plus we then had a long ride home (since we stayed outside the city center).

The subways were free for the night for the celebration, which meant they were insane!!! I can't even tell you, I am surprised we weren't killed or molested right there in the subway. It was so packed with people, no one would have even known. Well, after backtracking a few times we finally got to the bus depot near our hotel and just had to catch one last bus. . . we waited there for hours and no bus. We didn't have money to call a cab and we didn't even know how to talk to them or where to tell them to pick us up if they understood English. Finally, after we couldn't take it anymore, (you see it was freezing!!!) two gentlemen came in and were waiting. So, I got the courage to ask if they knew English and if they knew when the bus was coming. They had no idea; the schedule was all screwed up because of the holiday. I asked if they could call us a taxi. But they couldn't get a hold of any that would come out to the station we were at. . . By pure power of God, a taxi driver was off duty dropping off his family to catch a subway and the men we'd made friends with convinced them to take us to our hotel. He wasn't too happy about it but he did it, and he didn't charge us. (He didn't charge us because he picked up a drunk guy on the side of the road and made him pay for our trip!)

The Stroke of Midnight

We went to the Louvre and we stayed for hours! We were so tired only half way through but we had to get everything in. we got to see so much. I really am not the biggest art person but it was fun to see some famous stuff!

After hours of walking, it was nice to take a seat on a river cruise. I get pretty seasick and therefore, wasn't really looking forward to this part of the day. However, It was so cold outside and our feet were so sore from walking around the museum all day that that it was a welcomed relief to sit and enjoy a different angle of the things we'd seen on the bus.

The Pyramid

Mona Lisa

Vénus de Milo

The Winged Victory of Samothrace

After hours of walking, it was nice to take a seat on a river cruise. I get pretty sea sick and therefore, wasn't really looking forward to this part of the day. However, It was so cold outside and our feet were so sore from walking around the mouseum all day that that it was a welcomed releif to sit and enjoy a different angle of the things we'd seen on the bus.

Cruis'n the Seine

Next came the Musée d'Orsay. Of all the art museums I have been to in my life, I think it was my favorite of all. It had amazing architecture and I loved how you went in and out of different rooms so it wasn't just one long hall. We waited for hours outside in the cold because it was Free Sunday! But it was worth it! I really enjoyed it.

Le Bal, James Tissot

Oh, today was one of the most fun days!!! We went to Disneyland Paris. It was freezing and snowing on and off all day, so there were few lines. We went on all the big name rides and took our time to just enjoy the day. It was so magical, when we walked in thy had fake snow/bubbles falling down Main Street to greet us!!! Oh, if I could live at Disneyland I would!

Main Street

The TeaCups
(I get sick on them, but I will ride them for the sear fact that they make cool photos)

Mickey Mouse Hamburger

A long day of lines, baguettes, the amusement (aggravation) of two parents trying (or not) to keep their children at bay while in line, and finally an elevator ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower. It was better than both the Sears building and the Empire State Building. It wins for it's sheer view. How gorgeous!!!

What a View

Today was AMAZING! We spent the whole day at the Chateau de Versailles. Every step we walked I was in amazement! I loved every second of it (my feet didn't though). It was amazing because you got to walk around the entire estate and it's grounds. Oh, it was something you'd see on a movie (or probably have!).

Out Front

Hannah and me

Or last day we fit in a few things that had been out of the way, and there fore pushed to the end of the line of things to do. We ran to the Basilique du Sacré Cœur. My favorite thing about it was that while on the Eiffel Tower, we could see Sacé Coeur up on a hill in the distance. It was really neat to see and we enjoyed it even though it was freezing!!!

Tom's in Paris


Our final stop on the way home was Moulin Rouge. It was fun to go just to see it. But, we were ready to go for sure!!!

Last stop...

I know that it will probably be a while, but I am planning my next over seas adventure to be Portugal. When I go there, maybe it won't take me a year to get photos up!

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