Saturday, October 18, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Parlaying in Paris

Well, our flight was changed and delayed a bit. Ms. Dallas got nastier as the time went by and even yelled at people with her microphone.

The seats on the plane did go back although that meant the seats of the person in front of me also reclined! I felt like a stick of gum that sticks when you pull it from it’s tight container. I am a small person and I have to say it was the tightest, most uncomfortable flight of my life. The two women in front of us decided to share their life stories all night and the little girl across the isle from us cut off her arm and bled to death - oh, wait, I guess she just got a paper cut from her napkin but you would have thought it was the other because she cried for an hour. But we made it through and are now in Paris. We got our luggage, and found our way to the train. (Oh, I had my first stupid Americans moment when I walked into a revolving door just as it was shutting! I am sure there are more to come!) When we came out from under the ground we were on the Champs Elysees staring at the Arc de Triomphe! It was very surreal. We left our baggage at our very nice Marriott hotel (I will get to that later) and headed out to find the Eiffel Tower. We got off the subway and looked around for something you would think would stand out when suddenly we turned a corner and it was right in front of us! Again, what a surreal moment to be standing there and looking at the Eiffel Tower; something I have wanted to see my whole life! We bought some baggett sandwiches and sat down on the steps to take in the culture and people while gazing upon this amazing structure. Next, we stood in line for awhile for tickets to the tower. Here is my advice for future international travelers....if the sign says “escalator” and looks like the SAME sign we use in the states for an escalator, don’t assume you will stand there while stairs magically appear to take you up where you want to go. No, it actually means you WALKING the stairs, or it just means stairs. So, we paid our 8 euros and were told we would be walking up the total of 720 steps! And that was just to the second level! Now I like to think that my legs are used to that kind of activity - um, NO they aren’t. Todd’s “trick knee” started bothering him but we plugged on and I have to say the view was well worth it. One frightening thing at the Eiffel Tower, armed guards patrolling around the crowds. And when I say armed guards, I mean camoflauged machine gun clad men. I guess the tower is a terrorist target. Anyway, after walking DOWN the 720 steps we headed over to a boat tour of the Sienne. If any of you ever come to Paris and take a boat tour (which I wouldn’t recommend) make sure you sit on the LEFT of the boat. 90% of the good things to look at were on the left and where were we sitting? You guessed it - on the right. At least we weren’t cold! The weather here has been perfect today and we hope it continues this way. The boat tour made me extremely sleepy so after disembarking we headed up to the food stand and bought a delicious chocolate crepe! We walked across the bridge eating and and bought another one at the next stand. I think we will be eating a lot of baggettes and crepes on this trip! Instead of taking the train back to our hotel to check into our room we started walking thru neighborhoods and ended up right at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe and wandered back down the champs towards our hotel.

So, now for the bad news. We don’t have free WiFi at the hotel. We have to pay 20 Euros a day for it! These luxury hotels charge your for everything! So, Todd is out looking for a Starbucks with free wifi and some burgers for dinner. Tomorrow we are going to the Orsay Museum which contains works by all the impressionist masters. I miss my kids and my television channels but so far so good. I can barely keep my eyes open after flying all day and night and walking around the city all day. The walk up the Eiffel Tower was a good workout too! I guess that means I get another crepe soon!

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