Monday, March 29, 2010

Days Four and Five

Well, my pictures don't seem to be loading, so here's a blog with no pics...

Yesterday, we went to Versailles, which was incredible. I can't believe how absolutely huge it is. And the "gardens" are even bigger. Crazy.

Afterwards, we went to the Arc de Triomphe and climbed the stairs to the top. I've gotten quite the workout every day this week. I've been sore every day too... It was great, though, and we followed it up by sauntering down the Champs-Elysees. We stayed out until 9 last night, which is the latest we've made it so far (I know, pretty sad), and we even got up early this morning. Now that we're used to French time, it's time to go back to Utah time. Joy for us.

Today, we went to Montmartre and La Basilica Sacre Coeur, and then we went to the Eiffel Tower. It was crazy busy, but with our pre-bought tickets, it only took us an hour or so to get up to the top. I would definitely recommend to anyone going to get their tickets online before going. Before we went up, we had about an hour to wait, and we just sat at the base of it, enjoying the sun's first showing since we've been here and watching people. It was relaxing and very fun.

Now it's time to get ready to leave tomorrow. We have to be outside our hotel at 8:15 in the morning for our shuttle to the airport. We'll see how that goes...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Another Exhausting but Fun Day

We started off the day with a trip to the Hotel des Invalides, which houses the Musee de l'Armee. It was really interesting. We only went to a part of it, which detailed the history of French warfare between 1643 and 1871. Here's the front of the Hotel des Invalides...

Afterwards, we took the metro over to the Conciergerie, which is (among other things) where prisoners were held before being hauled off and beheaded by "Madame la Guillotine." It was a very uplifting day, as you can tell...

Just around the corner from the Conciergerie is Notre Dame. We have tickets to go up the towers, but they closed just before we got there (literally, like 10 seconds before we got there). Bummer! But we went inside and it was beautiful and amazing, of course...

After that, we went to the Ile Saint Louis to find an ice cream shop that at least two people have mentioned to me. Here we are with our ice cream below. (Well, with Casey's anyway. Mine appears to be shy of cameras...) It was delicious. I had Salted Butter Caramel and Raspberry Rose (and it really did taste like roses mixed with raspberries!), and Casey had Raspberry Rose and Dark Chocolate. Tasty! Tasty!

When we got back to the hotel, it was to discover that tonight is daylight savings in France. Lovely. We love changing times so much, we're gonna do it again!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Paris Day Two

Today we went to the Catacombs. It's an underground crypt where they've moved thousands of people's remains to empty out the graveyards around Paris (to make things healthier). It consisted of a million and one stairs (well, okay, it was more like 130 down and 83 up), a very long tunnel, and lots and lots of bones.

Then, we took the metro for the first time to head to the Musee d'Orsay. It started pouring rain when we got to the museum, so we didn't get pictures, and they don't allow them inside, so I just have one of the metro...

Still having a blast and getting tons of exercise (as sad as it is to admit, I'm actually sore from climbing those stairs, plus the ones up and down for the metro) and eating lots of nummy food!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

We made it!

After two days of travelling, we finally made it to Paris! Our flight got in at about 10:30 last night, and we finally made it to our hotel at about midnight. We were exhausted and a little overwhelmed with everything, but a good night's sleep helped a lot, and we've had a blast today!

We spent a few hours walking around the Latin Quarter, where we're staying, and we went to the Louvre. It is so much fun being here, and my French has definitely come back to me, which is a huge relief. Granted, nearly everyone speaks English here, but I have carried on at least one full conversation in French, and was told that I speak well. (Granted, the guy was flirting, but I'll take a compliment if I can get it!)

Anyway, wanted to share a couple of pics we took today (of the four million that we took...).
Crossing the Seine, with Notre Dame behind us...

Outside the Louvre...

A couple of shots of the ceilings in the Louvre. They are just as amazing as the art!

More to come as we continue to be major American tourists!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dallas is definitely not Paris

My friend Casey and I left this morning from Salt Lake City to head to Paris! We've been SO excited for this excellent vacation that we've had planned since last November.

But now we're at the Wyndham in Dallas, Texas. In case you're wondering, Dallas is NOT Paris. Despite the airline employees' cheerful attitudes, this isn't where we want to be tonight. We were a bit ornery, but we've decided that we need a better attitude and come up with some positive things about this unfortunate experience.

First, we no longer have to try to sleep on the plane. Now we have to try to keep ourselves awake on the plane. Possibly not as bad.

Second, once we get to Paris, we can check into our hotel right away (since it will be 11:30pm) instead of waiting around because we go there at 8:30am and couldn't check in until 1pm.

And third, we got to eat dinner at Denny's in Dallas. I mean, seriously. who would pass that up?

Certainly not someone heading to boring old Paris!