05 June, 2013

Paris (22 May)

What a day we had today!

At first it looked like we were not going to get to go up the Eiffel Tower at all. Courtney had been trying to reserve tickets on the website. The only open spots he found for a family of five was in two months! We were so bummed. But because you never know what will happen if you ask... We decided to see what we could find out.


When we got to the Eiffel Tower there was one really looooong line. This line looked like the reserved ticket line - if that was true, imagine already having your tickets and having to wait two hours to get in the elevator to go up!

There was another line with a sign that seemed to say "If you are crazy and want to walk up all the stairs and pay cash to do so, stand in line here." Paraphrased of course. It wasn't as long as the other one, so we thought to give it a try. 

Guess what?!? We were only in line for about 45 minutes and when we got up to the ticket booth the ticket lady asked us "Tickets to which level?" Whoo-hoo! To the third level of course! We had to walk up to levels one and two, as you can only take the elvvator to level three.  Well, okay. Sign us up! 

So began day two of the Marathon le Stairs. The information said that there were over 4,000 steps in the Tower. I don't know if they meant from level one to two or all the way up to level three - but it sure felt like we did 4,000 steps. We had a steady pace, but did need to take a couple of breaks. At each level, Chayton would get impatient and want to start climbing again. 

The tower itself is pretty darn amazing when you stop to look at all the individual pieces. Did you know at some of the joints you can seem metal in the shape of a Jewish Star alternating with an Eight-Pointed Star? Pretty interesting. I haven't found any information on why that is. There is very little embellishments on the tower, so to have these stars is a little curious. 

The view is fabulous! Even though a little windy.



After walking back down all those steps it was time to eat, again. Lunch on the grass with the Eiffel Tower behind us, quite Parisian.


Now off on our bus tour of Paris. This would have been nice to do on our first days here, but it was so rainy and windy we didnt want to sit on the top of the double decker. Which of course you have to sit on the top. Because we had already seen quite a few of the sites, we just rode the bus through the whole loop: Eiffel Tower, Chaps de Mars, Musee du Lovre (which we will visit on Friday, the next rainy day), Notre-Dame, Musee D'Orsay, Opera, Champs Elysees/Arc de Triomphe.


At the Louvre bus stop there was a wonderful artist doing charcoal drawings of the tower and paris. We made plans to come back to get one for our quest of buying art that is reminisent of every place that we have visited.

At the Arc de Triomph we got off to investigate.







Then it was time for our boat ride along th Seine River.


Everyone listening to the audio guide. Chayton wanted to have it in double-time.


By then we were hungry again. Courtney and I had planned a special treat for the kids - eating out and staying late in the city to see the Eiffel Tower lit up.

Dinner was delishes. We played it safe with the kids and found a pizzeria/hamberger joint right very close to the Eiffel Tower. Then it was back to the tower to grab a spot on the grass and wait for the lights at 10pm.








We stayed out so late that all the buses had stopped! Well, we were able to catch the first one. But it still meant a looong walk home! The children did wonderful and barely complained. One thing this traveling businss seems to have done to them is to make them a little more flexible when things don't go the way that we want them to.