Thursday, July 14, 2011

European Chronicles July 10-12, 2011

After saying a tearful goodbye to Nicole, Sam and I headed for Paris...

Our flights went well and the shuttle was there to pick us up as soon as we got our luggage. Our driver was a bit chatty and really difficult to understand, but we did get to see some neat things from the car--the Arc de Triumph and the Eiffel Tower. The first sight of the Eiffel Tower literally took my breath away--it was completely unexpected and I was so excited to see it!

We checked in to our small, but sufficient, hotel room, and went to find some dinner. After dinner we wandered over to the Eiffel Tower and waited in a LONG line to venture to the top--how could we not? The whole experience took about 2.5 hours, but we met some interesting people in line and it was so worth it! I planked at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Again, how could I not?

We also got to watch the sunset from the top...

And when we got back down to the bottom, it was beautifully lit up...

We wandered back to the hotel and got some much needed sleep.

The following day, we ate breakfast, got some directions from the hotel dude, went down to the metro, and rode to meet another FREE walking tour (our fav)! Our tour guide's name was Linda and she was awesome! She was quite animated and we got to see some incredible sights: Notre Dame, a bridge with locks all over it, a building with WWII bullet holes, a bridge with heads of rich people that the commoners made fun of, statues of all the Henry's, river firemen, the Louvre, Napoleon Bonaparte everything, Phantom of the Opera house, some gift from Egypt, etc. Check out my FB for all of those pictures. 

Following the tour we ate some duck (yum!) and caught the metro back to Notre Dame.

The details on that building are simply incredible. We shopped for a bit after that and rode the metro back to our hotel. We found a cute cafe near our hotel and enjoyed a crepe (so Paris!) and randomly decided to figure out where the Moulin Rouge was (we still had a few hours of daylight). We got back on the metro, rode across town, and walked out to the lit up Moulin Rouge--beautiful. We wandered around that side of town, went up to Sacre Coeur, and enjoyed the incredible view!

As we began to wander back down the hill, we caught sight of the twinkling Eiffel Tower...

We asked for directions from about three different people to find the nearest metro station and ran into a whole group of scammers on our way down. Good thing our trusty tour guide warned us about them. We swiftly walked past them and got back on the metro to head back to the hotel. Goodnight for the last time in Europe...

The following morning we enjoyed a breakfast of French baguettes and pastries before the shuttle picked us up (a bit late). The morning held quite a rain storm (we are SO grateful it was nice while we were there). We got to the airport without incident, checked our bags, and waited. We had a short flight to London (pre-game for the flight of death). 

On the long flight home, I watched four movies and two TV shows, ate two meals, read a book and a magazine, and DIDN'T sleep--that was my plan to kick jet lag in the butt. When we FINALLY got back to LA, customs, baggage, and security seemed to take forever, but my mom and Sam's dad were waiting for us when we emerged (but they didn't have a cool sign for us like Nathan and Nicole did). I stayed awake on the ride home to Bako (surprisingly) and even unpacked some when I got home. 

I slept well last night and felt great today--take that jet lag! Mom treated me to sushi for lunch today and we met the Jensens for Baja Fresh for dinner--my favorites! It's good to be home. I had a great time, but it was really nice to see my bed last night. I must go meet it again now. 


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