July 5, 2012
You know those movies with scenes of travelers running toward their train just moments before the doors shut and it pulls away? Yup. That was us this morning running for the train to Paris. Waking up at 3:45 am wasn’t the hard part at all. Realizing the tube/underground doesn’t run as early as we needed was harder (to deal with). Thankfully, we made the bus and literally got to the train station with very little time to spare. When we got to the gate, the woman was kind enough to point out the fact that we were supposed to be there a half hour before departure (thanks again for stating the obvious, security woman). She smiled as she told us we may not make the train 🙂 ha. Anyway, we made it through security and got our stamps in our passports then ran to the train (where the more hospitable woman told us to slow down, we would be fine). As we got on the train and took our seats, the doors shut and the train pulled out of the station. Fresh London raspberries and bananas were enjoyed between Kelly and me over many more rounds of gin rummy as we made our way to Paris!!
When we arrived, we met Laurene at the train station. Laurene is a long time family friend that did an exchange program with my sister when they were eleven years old back in 1999. I haven’t seen her since around that time or maybe a year later so it was great to see her again. She picked us up and dropped us at the Arch de Triumph. Unfortunately she couldn’t hang because she had to work but she gave us a personal walking tour goal for the day with directions and stops to see and all the details. Incredible.
We walked down the Champs de Élysées to the Concorde. (mind you, we stopped at a vendor just before we reached this point for crepe number one of the day)
Then to the Louvre! Amongst the crowded exhibits we stopped by to say hello to an old friend Mona which was clearly a must.
Next on our list was to take the metro toward Notre Dame. When we arrived in the area, we saw some really neat street art.
On to Notre Dame – with crepe number two along the way.
Way too long of a line to go in Notre Dame unfortunately and we were sort of on a tight schedule to meet Laurene again. Back on the metro and back to the Eiffel Tower! I nearly fell asleep on that metro ride… We’ve walked quite a bit.
We climbed the stairs to the second floor. I need to look up how many steps that is because between the Arch de Triumph and Eiffel Tower we dominated a hell of a lot of steps. As we were waiting in line to take the elevator to the top it started pouring. The wonderful European weather has yet to fail us! Though it actually was pretty incredible – from the top it looked like the world was coming to an end.
And in Paris, I made a new friend:
Laurene took us to dinner with her parents (I haven’t seen her mother since 1999 either!). Her parents said hello to you, mom and dad. It was a delicious restaurant that we went to where her friend works with fantastic French food! Dinner was around 9:30 and when we left around midnight Laurene took us on a car tour of Paris by night. BEAUTIFUL. I love Paris.