Saturday, July 10, 2010

Bonjour! Paris---Day One

I have so much to blog about our trip to Paris that I decided I would break it into days. So here we go. Paris----DAY ONE!

We started our vacation having dinner with Drew and Ross at Pier 66 on the Seattle waterfront. We had a very nice dinner and it was fun visiting with our friends. We got a hotel close to the airport and we were up at 4:15am. We had a full day of flying with a short layover at New York's JFK airport. We got stuck on a plane for an hour that didn't have air blowing and it was hot and stuffy....but we were so excited about taking off for Europe that it didn't bother us much. We finally took off and flew high about the clouds and then saw the glorious moon. It was beautiful. We were very surprised at the ease of clearing customs. They opened our passports....put in a stamp and said "Welcome to Paris" We were met by a shuttle driver at the airport and quickly saw that Paris has the craziest drivers I have ever seen. There is no sense to it. No lanes....and people just cutting each other off and honking. Motorcycles everywhere weaving in and out of traffic. I couldn't believe that we arrived at our hotel in one piece. We had a quaint little room in the heart of the city. The elevator was so tiny. We could barely fit our luggage in with us. We went to the top floor and found our was not much bigger than the elevator. We were dumb americans and couldn't even figure out how to turn on the lights. We looked all over for a light switch. The maid giggled when we asked for help.....there was a place on the wall to stick our card key in and it activated the lights.

We had severe jet lag.....but we were in Paris....and we weren't going to waste any time by taking a nap....we put away our luggage and stepped out onto the balcony and I was so excited to see our view of the eifell tower. We headed out for a walk to go and see the eifell tower up close.

One of the first things we noticed is that there are statues everywhere in Paris. Well....we came around the corner by the eifell tower and this statue moved and nearly stopped my heart. Scared me half to death. There are street performers everywhere....wish someone would have told me that! They were neat to sit and watch as they moved around and performed. We walked along the Seine River for awhile and then we were going to head back to our hotel. It was a beautiful day....the lines were long but I looked at Scott and said "You want to go to the top of the tower right now."

So....we took our place in line....and I waited nervously as we got closer. I am scared to death of heights. I was not going to leave Paris though and regret that I hadn't gone to the top of the I sucked it up and got ready to go. Do I look terrified? My heart was racing the closer we got to the elevator. Can I just say....the elevator has windows....and you can watch as you climb higher and higher. I was grabbing onto Scott's arm rather tightly and then he said " are leaving nail prints in my skin."

The view from the tower was amazing. It is said that on a clear day like we had you can see for 45 miles. I believe it. We could see the Sacre Coeur clear on the other side of Paris....and had a great view of the arc.

Here we are on the first level.....yep....that's right.....we still have a lot higher to go. Yikes!

We still have a ways to get to the top

I can't believe how high up we are. Look how small those busses are down below. My heart was racing....but I was so thrilled to say I was at the top of the Eifell Tower. It was just incredible. I couldn't believe it. I was in Paris....the city I have dreamed of seeing since I was a little girl.

I was very happy to see the secure fencing around us. Looking down was a little hard for me but I am so glad that I conquered my fear of least long enough to go to the top.
The elevators are jam packed with tourists and on the way down we were stuck in an elevator with some people with extremely bad body odor. So we got off at the next level and decided to walk the rest of the way down the tower. We're still young. Right? What's a mere 702 steps down the Eifell Tower? Piece of cake......or so we thought.

Motorcycles everywhere....and pretty high classed ones. This one wouldn't be to bad in a rain storm.

The cars are so tiny....probably due to the high cost of gas in Europe. Scott didn't look like he would fit to comfortably in these little compact cars.
We stopped by a bakery on the way back to the hotel to get something for dinner. We had no idea what we were ordering and each got some kind of sandwich. I'm not going to tasted pretty funky and I wasn't able to get the whole thing down.....but the raspberry pastry that we bought for dessert was delicious. Scott went in and ordered at the bakery and I sat outside and people watched. He came out laughing and that trying to understand the procedure for ordering at the bakery reminded him of the Soup Nazi episode on Seinfeld. In one door, single file, order, pary and leave. No talking. Being deaf in one ear didn't help either and one lady that worked there started waving her hands and speaking really fast. The only work he understood was derriere. He said "I think she just told me to get my ass out of the way." We enjoyed every single bite of our dessert and headed to bed early as we had been up for so many hours.


Carolyn said...

I can't wait to see the pictures you took on the last day. :S

Stacie Lou said...

How awesome! Your picture at the top of the tower is pretty scary. I never thought about how high the tower must be. Looks like so much fun though!

kevin said...

So cool!

Grant Kellie said...

Agreed - the top of the Eiffel Tower pic was scary.

PS : I am glad you were able to go on your trip even if I was secretly hoping for a second volcano beforehand. ;

Mike and Lisa said...

The light switch scenario in the hotel room happened to us in Korea too! When Mike and I got to our room we COULD NOT figure out where the lights were. We looked everywhere, so we finally had to go 2 levels down and knock on my parents room door and ask them how they did it. Seriously, do they think that tourists can just figure that stuff out?

missdaleen said...

Hi Chandra, It was a pleasure to look at your photographs and read your commentary. It brought back so many wonderful memories of our time in Paris and France. Thank you so much for sharing. A picture really is worth a thousand words. I got out our photo albums and Bruce and I looked back on that happy time for us. Such good moments. Glad you had a lovely time. Thanks for the walk/ride down memorie lane.