Friday, September 7, 2012

Paris - Day 1

Since Luke was fortunate enough to be included in the Spanish tradition of taking nearly the entire month of August as vacation, we've been traveling all over the place with just a day or two pit stop at our apartment in Madrid.  In just one month, our schedule was like this:

Madrid ----> Paris ----> Madrid ----> Dallas ----> Madrid ----> Greece ----> Madrid ----> Italy ----> Madrid.

Now we're safely back in Madrid, completely unpacked with no upcoming trips scheduled (yet!), and I've got a lot of blogging to catch up on and tons of pictures to share. (We took nearly 500 in Greece alone!) Although it's been nearly a whole month, I figured I'd start from the beginning when we visited Paris from August 3 - August 8 and celebrated our third anniversary!

We took an early morning flight to Paris and even after some bus ticket confusion and a 1.5 hour bus ride, we arrived in Paris with plenty of the day left.  We checked into our hotel, which was nothing special but clean, comfortable andf in a prime location right in the middle of the St. Germain de Pres neighborhood. We quickly grabbed a bite to eat to fuel the rest of our day and set out to walk the city.


First French lunch and wine.
Although I'm not typically a fan of gray skies or rain, it was really refreshing in Paris.  Each day (except our last), the temperature was probably in the mid 60's with periods of sun, clouds and several little rain showers.  Since we came equipped with our matching rain jackets, which we wore pretty much the entire time, we never minded the drizzle, and when the rain picked up, it was the perfect opportunity to pop into a nearby cafe for a cup of coffee or glass of wine. 

Our first glimpse of the famous tower.

Cloudy skies in Paris.
Our first day in Paris, we didn't really have a plan (or a map), so we just started walking and happened upon the Museum of the Army and the Tomb of Napoleon.  There's not much to say about this except that we walked through quickly and checked it off the things that you should see in Paris list. :)  However, it was at this Museum that we decided to buy a 3-day Paris Pass that I'd read about in Rick Steve's Guide to Paris and would allow us "free" entry into most of the major sights and, at times, even allow us to skip the long ticket and entry lines.  The pass ended up being a great decision and gave us a plan for the upcoming days. 

Luke's artsy take on the Museum of the Army.

And again with the Eiffel Tower.

Sunny skies outside the Museum and just after a quick rain.

Next up, the Eiffel Tower, which was my favorite part of Paris.  Before visiting the tower, I wasn't sure if it would be really cool or really touristy and kind of a let down after seeing so many pictures of it and stuff, but it didn't disappoint.  It was beautiful during the day and night, and it was so cool to look up nearly anywhere in the city and be able to point it out.  We waited in line for tickets for about 30 minutes and chose the option where we would climb the stairs up to the second platform and then take an elevator up to the very top.  The stairs weren't as bad as you might think, and you could even stop on the first platform to enjoy the view and grab a snack or drink before continuing up. 

Lukie Tower.

White girl can't jump.

Up, up we go.

View from the lower level.

Taking a brief rest before continuing the ascent to the top. (And my oh my, so handsome. :))

At the very top, we posed for pictures, shared a (pricey) champagne toast to 3 amazing years of marriage and enjoyed the romantic view of the city.  

Cheers to 3 years!

And many more to come!

After thoroughly enjoying our visit to the Eiffel Tower, we strolled back towards the hotel, stopped for a light dinner where I had a pretty nasty bowl of fish soup, which was basically fishy broth with no signs of actual fish except the (opposite of appetizing) smell, and called it a night. The next morning, we woke ready to make good use of our Paris Pass and Rick Steve's Guide to Paris! The famous Louvre museum, Notre Dame and more to come soon!

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