Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Day One Vacation Time: Paris!

Well, here we are.

We woke up in the hotel and our long-time family friend Allan came to the hotel to help get us from the hotel to the Cathedral (read: to help haul our luggage up 67 steps!).

We started out the day walking to some of Allan's favorite haunts in Paris, not the least of which was lunch at this fabulous place in Saint Germain:

Here's Allan and Steve at lunch:

The amaryllis hanging out the back of Allan's head were not only real, but HUGE. The flowers we saw being offered for sale throughout Paris were not only beautiful but HUGE! Dahlias, Amaryllis -- beautiful! Lunch was equally beautiful as you can see from the following photos:

We walked around Saint Germain some more and admired the sites. LOTS of stores and people walking and shopping.

We found this plaque on the outside of one of the buildings -- I thought our children would get a kick out of it:

Allan also found a favorite macaroon store (LaDuree) to buy presents for his neighors:

We continued walking -- I was going to get ALL my steps in whether I wanted to or not! 

We saw lots of interesting things:

All around Paris they are setting up for an art festival. Around the smallish pool in the Jardin de Tuileries. They were putting up zodiac heads -- so just like in Seoul a few ago I had my picture taken with my Asian Zodiac symbol -- yes, I was born in the year of the Monkey.

And we found this and thought of our daughter Jardine --

Steve found a laundry mat -- and you know given his Laundry Love connection -- we had to take this photo:

We continued scouring the streets around St. Germain, and stopped near where we were going to catch up with a night tour that we had booked (a Seine cruise and a night Eiffel Tower tour). Steve got his wish and we sat outside to have a little bite to eat before we got on the boat (I had been craving French Onion Soup and the place we stopped at was reported to have a great one. Now, I will report honestly that I was the one that has NOT let Steve "live his dream" of sitting out and sipping coffee outside a bistro/coffee house/patissiere. Here's the problem: that is the smoking section, and apparently everyone (or the bulk of people we saw) smoke. Well, it was true out there a well. While we were away from the bulk of the smokers, even outside in the open air -- it travels! There it is. I thwarted his biggest desire for our time in Paris, but the truth be told he couldn't stand it either.  Here's the soup though and yes, it was delicious!

We met up with the person who sorted us into two groups for our tour, and waited to go to boat - our first part of the night tour. While we were waiting we were able to see the Eiffel Tower change colors and sparkle! it was beautiful to stand in that square and look at the Eiffel Tower.

I also couldn't help taking a selfie with the Eiffel Tower!

It was impossible to take pictures from the boat (the glass obscured the pictures) but the guide was great at describing what was what up and down the Seine -- many of the things we saw from the boat we saw and heard about from the previous tours we had, but it was great to be able to see it from this vantage point. 

People do live on houseboats on the river! Two months per year they need to move them, which they do. 

After we got off the boat we walked over to the Eiffel Tower -- we went through the express lane and up to the next level. We then took the elevator all the way to the top -- an exciting ride to be sure! Here is a picture from the top:

Although I'm not afraid of heights, I was ready to come down quickly!

We walked back to the Cathedral -- smiling all the way. What a great day!

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