Paris is amazing! We had so much fun. Internet connections aren’t great so I’m going to have to try to add pictures later. Sorry, but wanted to at least get the written stuff out there.
I thought I’d give your the tour guide version, followed by my feelings and thoughts with pictures included where they work best. Hopefully this format will work. I will also be uploading my pictures to a flickr site so that you can view a greater number than I can put up here.
We arrived at 8:30 into Paris. By the time we got luggage, caught the bus and survived Paris rush hour traffic it was close to 11am. We found our way along the streets of Paris to my cousin, Les Arnold’s amazingly cute apartment. She lives less than a mile from the Arc de Triomphe. We headed out to explore Paris with her and her son Max. He is great trouper. We ate lunch at an outside cafe with a great view of the Eiffel Tower. After walking around and getting some great pictures we headed to the Louvre. We explored the ancient egyptian area (it is hard to really understand how those artifacts are really 2000 – 4000 year old) and headed up to see the Mona Lisa. She is still there with the crowds flocking to see her.
Notre Dame was our next stop. The stain glass windows were incredible. We found a playground for Max to play at and so we could rest. Dave Arnold joined us for dinner at Crepes de Arts. Becky loves crepes so we ate some in her honor.
After dinner, the Arnold’s headed home and Owen and I headed to a Seine River boat cruise. We picked the perfect time and braved the crowds to get the front row seating on the cruise that included a perfect sunset and the nighttime (on the hour) twinkling lights on the Eiffel Tower.
We headed to the bus stop and had a 15 minute wait for the bus. While we waited I worked on catching the Paris nightlife in action. Lots of fun. Successfully got back to Les’s place and had a shower and much needed sleep. 2 hours was all that I got on the flight over – kept telling myself that I am getting my Ragnar training in (not much running, but working on low sleep skills).
Here are my observations/thoughts from Paris:
* A tour guide is priceless – Thanks Les, Max and Dave
* Fun to be called Madame
* Flight Attendants on Air France are 15 – 20 years younger on average than on US Flights.
* Love Love spending time with Owen
* Love the architecture of Paris. Love that on top of the building you’ll see many many chimney’s. That mixed with Satilite dishes makes a great contract of old vs new.
* So fun to see all the people gathering down around the river on Friday night. There were large groups of people; people playing guitars; couples together; picnics happening; lots and lots of people just out – many waving at the boats as they passed.
* Still trying to wrap my head around how everything is so much older than in the states – buildings were build hundreds of years ago. They are young compared to the building we will be seeing later on in the trip.
* Next trip to Paris we need to try out the bikes they have around the city.
* Love to hear all the different languages spoken around me.
* Everyone smokes. It is amazing to see so many people smoking.
* Amazingly blessed to have this opportunity. We arrived home last night with such a feeling of total bliss. Looking forward to this every night. I knew this would be a trip of a lifetime when we left, but am thrilled that it is even better than I had imagined.
* Love my kids – So grateful that I have incredible kids who are allowing me to have this experience. If you see them – give them a hug from me!