First Day in Paris: Uzis, Flames and Tired Feet

Trip Start May 19, 2006
Trip End May 27, 2006

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

We ate breakfast at the hotel. It was good but no less interesting than the English breakfasts. We then used our Visite passes to hop on the Metro to downtown Paris, which takes about 30 minutes from DLP. We were all very excited to see Paris for the first time. Our first site off the Metro was St. Eustace, one of many beautiful cathedrals we would see on this trip. We continued to walk around, passing a building with an officer and an uzi, until we came upon a bistro. Snack time! We ordered beverages and creme brulee. DS refused to ask for his milk in French as we had practiced before leaving home. He could say it perfectly, but would not do it for the server. C'est la vie! After that we walked along the Seine and on to the Louvre. We spent a fair amount of time here, including eating lunch. We saw the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Victory, The Three Graces and so many works of art that were just amazing. We also went through Napolean's apartments--magnifique! From there we went by the Military Museum (we peeked in the courtyard without doing the museum itself) on our way to the Eiffel Tower. We were all amazed at how big the Eiffel Tower is--it's just massive. We got our tickets to go to the top (the line was not bad). So up, up we went. We stopped at each of the three floors. The view of Paris from the Tower was breathtaking. It was also a little scary when outside the observation room at the top. The wind was blowing very hard, and we were so very high! I had wanted to mail some postcards from the Eiffel's Post Office (since from there they have their own special Eiffel Tower post mark)...but it was closed. :( At that point we headed over to Marais (third arrondissement) in search of a bistro (les philosophes) we saw in a magazine. We did not find the bistro we were looking for, but Marais was fantastic: The shops, the little streets--so old, so much history! We were getting hungry--it was probably 9:30 PM by this time. It started to rain, so we ducked into this little restaurant called, Equinox. The tables and chairs were just crammed next to each other (very cozy), and the only light was from little candles on the tables. The place was packed. We were able to get a table at the back of the room, thankfully. The food...oh the food! It was SOOOOO good. Every one of us ate every morsel. When the plates came out though, I was trying to make room (imagine four of us at a small table and four big plates) I moved the candle over by the tiny little vase filled with flowers. It was so dark in there that I did not realize the flowers were not real and, uh, one of the flowers caught on fire! So here is dh and I blowing out this flaming flower. The two guys sitting next to us just laughed. The people working at the restaurant either didn't notice or didn't care. It made for a memorable moment though. :) We headed "home" after dinner. This, of course, didn't go as smoothly as one might think either. We got out of the train station and headed over to the bus area, but it was awfully quiet. DH and I looked at each other. Uh oh. We looked at the schedule, and it was after midnight. The last bus to the other hotels was long gone. We walked to one of the Disney hotels to see if we could get a taxi or a shuttle or something since it had to be a good three miles to our hotel. No taxis. No shuttle. Oh MY God. So we started the long walk. Thankfully, one of the valets from the hotel had heard us and got a van and drove out and found us. He took us to our hotel. Let's just say we gave him a very nice tip. :) I had worn my pedometer that day and we walked more than 30,000 steps that day. I'm not sure we would have made it back to the hotel if he had not come and gotten us!!! Monsieur...wherever you are...thank you! Our first day in Paris was one we will never forget.
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