Eiffel Tower and More

Eiffel Tower and More

This morning, we woke up got showered, and got ready to go explore Paris. We needed espresso, as well. When we stepped outside, we looked around and saw some cafes. Our Airbnb was on Rue Clazel street. If you walk up the street some, you will see some cafes all in a row. One of them was the Stress Relief Cafe. A man was outside spraying off the sidewalk, and the property. When we crossed the street, Drew walked right where we was cleaning off the street. I tried to step around it. I looked at him and did say, “excuse me and sorry.” It still didn’t matter he gave us an evil look and shook his head. It didn’t seem to matter to him. They are big on the little things like that over there. It really wouldn’t have mattered in the U.S. They know it’s a public area and people are bound to walk there eventually. The plan was to go to that Stress Relief Cafe, but apparently we caused some stress for one of the workers, and I didn’t want anything to happen to our food, the place two doors from the Stress Relief Cafe is this little place called, “Tea Follies.”

Tea FolliesWhen we approached Tea Follies, they had the menu up outside. While we looking at the menu, the host/owner said, “Bonjour.” I looked up, smiled, and said, “Bonjour.” He motioned for us to come and said, they were open. We took a seat at the table by the entrance of the restaurant.  He brought us two menus. I smiled and looked up at the water and said, “deux double espressos sil vous plait.” He smiled and went into the restaurant. He had to know I was trying my best. I think he respected it. While he was getting our espressos, we looked at the menu. Drew and I both settled on the l’Anglaise which means in French, that is cooked in the English manner.  The l’Anglaise came with an omelette, fresh greens with a vinaigrette dressing, croissants, freshly squeezed orange juice.

The croissants were amazing, so big, so fluffy, crisp, and buttery. I confessed to the waiter at one point that we were American, and that it was my dream to come to Paris. He said, welcome to Paris in French. I smiled and so did he. Once we were finished, we cashed out and said, “Merci, au revoir. he said, “Au revoir.” We walked in the direction of the metro station and I asked the woman at the information counter, in French if she spoke English? She said, “Yes.” I smiled and I always feel so silly, when they say yes. Then Drew took over and he told her where we were going and she printed us a ticket. It was good for the entire day.
After we got off the metro,  we walked what seemed like forever until we finally saw it in the distance. There she was, this was my first picture of the Eiffel Tower.

As soon as I saw it, I grabbed Drew’s arm. He knew how long I have been waiting for this moment. I was instantly starstruck. I wanted to fall to my knees. I could feel them buckling underneath me. I have been obsessed with France ever since I started learning the French language. Everything, almost everything in my house is the Eiffel Tower. It is a serious obsession for me. I couldn’t believe it and there she was. I took a deep breath and we kept walking.  We had to go to the History Group Center in order to check in for our tour.

As soon as we walked in, the receptionist behind the desk said, “Salut.” I said, “Salut, ca’va?” She said, “Bien, et toi?” I nodded and smiled, “bien, merci.” Then I confessed. I am American and she laughed. We told her we were there for the Eiffel Tower tour. She gave us our tickets and said, to come back in 15 mins, or we can wait in the lobby. I said, “We will be back in 15 mins.” We went together to see the Eiffel Tower. It was so magical.

 
I couldn’t believe we were finally there. After we took some pictures, we went back to the History Group, we met with our tour guide, Igor. He took us all to the Eiffel Tower, and then we skipped the line, and went through secuOnce through security, we entered the plaza part of the tower. This picture was taken underneath the Eiffel Tower:
 Once through security, we entered the plaza part of the tower. Once we entered into the Eiffel Tower, we had to go ups some stairs to an elevator.  At the elevator, Igor was telling us some primary information about the tower. I couldn’t help it. I took a selfie of me touching one of the beams of the Eiffel Tower.  I was so in love and so in the moment. Below is the view from the top of the second tier of the Eiffel Tower tower.

Igor,  tour guide pointed out that everything in Paris runs on a line and is all connected. The giant sky scrappers in a cluster are called the “financial district.” We would call it downtown Pittsburgh, or corporate. Igor pointed out the area of  Montmaire. This is where the Sacred heart is, and where the events of the movie “Midnight in Paris” took place. Montmaire is where all the writers like Hemingway and Fitzgerald got into some drunken trouble. I would love to have seen that town, but we don’t have time and I heard it is not that safe, which is unfortunate. He also pointed out the Concorde, where Marie Antoinette was executed. I had to stop myself from getting so excited. Unfortunately, there is no plaque dedicated to her, or to mark her execution site, which is sad. She didn’t do great things for France, but still.

napolean
This is the military training location. Napoleon built it to train the French military. Drew wanted to go there after. I was excited to see the view of the tower from that area.
After we finished at the second tier, we took a selfie with Igor, our tour guide:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we made our way to the Summit. An elevator took us to the top of the tower. The view from the Summit was so breath taking. We had champagne at the top of the Eiffel tower.

On our way down, we found a macaroon stand, so of course we had to have macaroons, while being in the Eiffel Tower!

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We also stopped at a souvenir store and I got Angie an Eiffel Tower key chain, Drew got a bottle of XO; the bottle is in the shape of the Eiffel Tower. I also picked up a miniature Eiffel Tower in the french flag colors for my desk at work, Lord knows I have so much Eiffel Tower stuff at the house already. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On our way down from the tower, we took the stairs down one of the legs of the tower. It was so cool! I was walking down the stairs of the Eiffel Tower.  Look at at sun! I like to think. It was my Grandma shining down us. My Grandma wanted to take me to Europe when I turned 14, but her knees were not in good shape. It would be too much walking for her. I understood, but there she was that sun, shining down on me, making sure we had a warm and beautiful day for this memory to occur.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next stop was Napolean’s military training center, but the view of the Eiffel Tower from there is amazing!

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When Germany took over France in WWII. This where Hitler stood to admire the Eiffel tower and his victory over France.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next stop on the list was the Arc De Triomphe:
The Arc was built to honor the members of the French military. In order to get over to the Arc and see it you have to cross this busy intersection. In order to cross, you have to run. As soon as we found a break in the traffic, we ran so fast to the other side where the Arc is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So worth it! I was a sweaty mess in this picture. There I am directly under the Arc, so cool!
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next stop was the Louvre. When you think of the Louvre, you think of the pyramid structure and you think that is all it is, right? Maybe it was just me, but I was confused. How is this the Louvre? and where is the pyramid structure thing? I asked a random person if they spoke English, in french? and she said, “Yes.” hehe another. I asked what this place was. She said, why it is the Louvre! I said, “Oh okay. I didn’t know this all was the Louvre. I thought the Louvre was just the glass pyramid structure.” She said, “No, this is all the Louvre. It is the biggest museum in France. This is also where all the Kings of France lived, except for Louie the 14th. He built…” I cut her off and said, “Versailles.” I smiled, and wanted to give off the impression like yea, I know lady. I said, “Thank you.” We walked away and just were in awe of the structure. I learned something.

Oh, there is the glass pyramid structure. *palm to forehead*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the Louvre, the last stop on the agenda for the day was to see Notre Dame. We walked 18 mins from the Louvre to reach Notre Dame for quick picture, then it was back to the Airbnb!
 

Once we got back to the Airbnb, we showered and got ready to go to dinner in Pigalle. It was a metro ride away from our Airbnb. We ate at a mistro outside of the Moulin Rouge. This area of Paris was kind of trashy. There were so many sex shops and weird people in the streets. I wasn’t all that comfortable, but this was Drew’s idea.   Rouge Bis

I didn’t want to leave Paris. I wanted to stay. I dreaded the thought of going back to England. I knew we would have a good time, but Paris has been my dream for so long, now just leave me here.
Our waiter at this place was so cool. I tried out my French and he was appreciative, but we communicated better in English. I was in the mood for a burger and fries, so that is what I had. I also had two vodka and tonics, then it was time to go back to our Airbnb for our last night in Paris.

Paris, France

This morning we woke up, got showered, got dressed, and then went downstairs to eat the hotel breakfast again. This time we had double espresso. It was so yummy and the little cup is so cute.
After breakfast, we went to our hotel room gathered up our luggage, and went downstairs to the desk to check out, then we got a taxi to take us to St. Pancras, where we had to catch a train to Paris. I was so excited. The Euro Star station, was so huge. It had a bunch of stores in it, including a Chanel store. Drew gave me some notes to get coffee to distract me from the Chanel store. 🙂 I bought my first coffee with a British note.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Danielle Hornyak, people smiling, people sitting Once we got on the train, I made sure to get the window seat, so I could see us arriving into Paris. When the train operator made the announcement that we were in Paris, I instantly freaked out! I was so excited. Right before we arrived to the station, I kept looking around for the Eiffel Tower, and I think I may have caught sight of it for just a moment. I can’t wait to see it! Once we arrived in Gare Du Nord, we followed the signs for taxis. All around us, we could hear the French language. I was in heaven. I was loving it. I heard “Salut, Ca’va, Monsieur?” I saw French police patrolling the station. On our way to the taxi area, a woman approached us and asked if we were looking for a taxi? I said, Yes. She told us to follow her, but we decided against it. It seemed shady. We walked outside and followed the line for the taxis, so apparently there was a demonstration (protest) happening, which was causing all the taxis to be late.
Once we finally got a taxi, it was around 3:30pm-4:00pm Paris time. We were so ready to get to our Airbnb, but so happy to be in Paris. On the taxi ride, I took some pictures out  of the window, we were finally in Paris, my dream city:
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Once we arrived at our Airbnb, I took a picture of the outside of it. Our Airbnb was located in the 9th Arrondissement of Paris. You need a code to get inside the red doors.
Then go past the mailboxes, where you enter another set of codes.No automatic alt text available. Now you are in the lobby of the building, there is a tenant office, a staircase, and a small elevator, that looks like you could only fit one person in it. Drew took the stairs, with two suitcases. I got into the elevator, and I stacked one suitcase on top of the others, so the door would close, automatically. Then I pushed the second floor. Once, I got to the second floor, the doors opened, right in front of me was the door to our Airbnb. Drew came up the stairs at that point with the two suitcases. We used a card key to open the door. You put the card up to the door and turn the door knob to the right then the door, unlocks. You have to do all motions simultaneously for it to work.

Once inside, it looked just like the pictures. We put our suitcases in the bed room, and then we both go showered and got dressed in clean clothes to explore Paris and have dinner at a cafe, and sit outside like Parisians. We stopped at this place called, Cafe Marguerite.

First Night in ParisNow is the time to try out my French. When the waiter came by, I said “Bonjour Monsieur.” he said, “Bonjour.” He handed us our menus. I looked at the menu. It was most certainly in French. My eyes widened a bit. I only had French 1 and 2 in high school. I ordered a glass of Rosé, so I said, “Une Rosé, sil vou pliat.” and smiled. I was really trying here. Drew said, the name of the beer he wanted, and said Sil Vou Plait. I gave him a crash course of French basics, as much as I could before we arrived, plus he heard me speak French here and there.
When it came time to order our dinner. When the waiter came back over, I broke down. I said, “We are Americans. I am trying.” He said, “No problem. I will get you the English menu.” He took our French menus away, and brought back English ones. I sighed. I felt disappointed and bummed. It took the fun out of it for me a little. Drew tried to reassure me that I am doing well. I sneered. I wanted so badly to be good at this and perhaps wanted them to think I was Parisian. It mattered a little to me.
When the waiter came back with the English menus, I have to admit it was easier, but definitely less fun trying to deceiver what everything was. He gave a us a few minutes. I was going to try the chicken and spinach thing with potatoes.
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Drew at first ordered a burger, and the waiter said, “How American of you.” he had a little smile, but not really. We both laughed at the awkwardness. He said, “Okay, what do you suggest?” He said, “Chicken Cordon Bleu.” He said, “alright I will do that. I said to Drew, “You have had it before, however it is not like back home where it comes out of a freezer.” He said, “True.” Dinner was amazing. We had another drink, then thought about going some place else, or calling it a night because we didn’t want to be out and about after dark. We had a day of exploring Paris tomorrow.

When we arrived back at our Airbnb, we got ready to go to bed. The only down fall about our Airbnb is that it did not have air conditioning. It was so hot. We slept with the balcony doors open. We weren’t sure if Eric (the guy that owns our airbnb) was going to come back or not, or if he was gone for the summer and rented his place out, while he was away, but we were never sure if he was going to show up or not. It was 80 degrees while we were in Paris.

 

 

 

Happy Hour

In the afternoon, a student stopped by my office and asked if Nancy was around? I said, yeah she is right next door. He went into her office and asked her if he could use one of our classrooms in the summer. He was from Poli Sci and needed a classroom to use. Nancy asked me to confirm if there were any classes in there in the summer? I said, no we just booked up WWPH 2200. She said, would you mind taking him down and showing him the room, and seeing if it is something he would be interested in. I said, not at all. I shut my door and walked with him down to the hall way.

On the way to the class room him, I asked him why he needed a room? he told me he needed it for a study he was conducting for three weeks in the summer, and how he is from Poli Sci, as he was talking, I noticed he had an accent. I asked him, where he was from? He said, France. I said, Awesome! I love France!  He said, Have you been? I said, no I am going there in May with my husband. We are combining France and England. I love the French culture. He said, when did you fall in love with France? ugh, his accent and the way he worded that question. I was weak in the knees. I know I am married, but a girl can still get weak in the knees. I said, “Well I think I first fell in love with France, when I started studying the language and that was my freshman year of high school. He didn’t really say much. I opened the door to the room and we walked inside, he flipped on the lights and looked around. He said, “Yea, this would be perfect.”

When we walked out of the room, I told him how I named my dogs Paris and Louie, and he said, Americans and their dogs. I was instantly deflated. I didn’t know what more to say. I love my dogs. When we got back to my office, I gave him my card and told him to e-mail me the details of his room reservation and off he went.
After work today, I had to stay and help with the Comprehensive Examination Event. I help Nancy set up throughout the day. Around 5pm, she left to go home. I stayed behind and helped to clean up. I felt bad. I stuck her with clean up after the Capstone event. I was having one of those days, where nothing was going to be said right to me. I just didn’t want to deal with people’s weird ass personalities today.
Towards the end of the event, I started cleaning up and putting things away. I wanted to get out of there, but I had to wait until everyone was finished. When I was washing dishes and putting away the snacks, my husband, Mark (professor), and another professor were standing in the kitchen talking to me. I told Mark about the French guy that I met, a real authentic french man. Andrew and mark teased me about the cute French guy. Mark said, I thought you liked England? and the English culture. I said, “oh don’t make me choose.” I can’t choose. A girl can’t choose. They all laughed, including my husband.
After I was finished, I locked up the department, finally done for the day. Mark, went out for drinks with Andrew and I to make sure we had everything good to go for our trip. We wanted to go somewhere we could sit outside, the only place we found was this bar called Garage door. I had never been there before, but it was jam packed for the pen’s game. We walked to the back area, where there was a pool table and a few small tvs. Mark got us two pitchers of beer. We talked about the department, England, life, and the human experience.

After we finished the two pitchers, we got another two pitchers. The beer was the Brackenridge Ale. It was a dark ale. Ugh, I should have stopped right there.
When we left, it was almost midnight. I had to stop at Posvar and get somethings from my office to write my paper over the weekend. I was dreading this paper. When we left, we said goodbye to Mark, and then it was home. When we got home, I got sick and threw up a few times. I shouldn’t drink again, ever. It was going to be along day tomorrow. I had a wedding to go to.