Au Revoir Paris, Hello Again England

This morning, when we woke up I was somber. It was time to leave Paris. I hope we will be back. I was quiet and sad this morning. We got showered, got dressed and then went back to Tea Follies for breakfast for the final time.
When we arrived to the restaurant, the waiter recognized us and smiled. He looked me and the eyes and he said, “Bonjour.” I smiled and said, “Bonjour.” We took a seat at the same table, as yesterday. It was a bit chilly to start this morning, but it was going to warm up to be another hot one in Paris.
When the waiter came to our table, we both ordered the double espresso again and the same food from yesterday. He smiled. He went back to make the espresso. We made eye contact a few times, when he was behind the counter. I wasn’t flirting. Okay maybe a little. I tried to be discreet.  I love Drew, but Paris has a hold on me. I blame Paris.
When he brought our espresso, he brought us croissants. I sipped my espresso and nibbled my croissants. They will never be the same to me again. It was so quick, when our breakfast arrived. The waiter brought us our breakfast and gave me a quick smile and rolled his eyes. He knew it was too fast and we weren’t even done with our croissants yet. I smiled.
Throughout breakfast, the waiter and I made eye contact a few times and I smiled. When it was time to cash out, he was getting super busy, but still making eye contact with me here and there. We paid our bill, and he asked us how long we are going to be in Paris for? I said, “we leave today. I don’t want to go home.” He looked at me and smiled. I hesitated saying we were going to England, because there is a riff there with the French and English still, and it has been so many years since Winston Churchill blew up their ships.
Eventually we stood up, at this point the waiter was serving a table behind us. He was behind me when I stood up. I had my back to Drew. The waiter was facing me. We shared a moment. He looked in my eyes and said, “bonne journee.” I smiled and said, “Merci beau coup.” I took a breath and said, “Au revoir.” He smiled and said, “Au revoir.” I turned to walk away. We walked towards the Stress Relief Cafe, to go back to our Airbnb. I don’t know what came over me, but I blame it on Paris. I take a deep breath and look back. I don’t know why I looked back. Paris, it was Paris. There was the waiter. He made eye contact with me. I can still see his face in my head. I smiled and then slowly turned my head. I don’t know if he continued to watch me walk away, or if he just went back inside. I will never know. I don’t even know his name, but we connected. I know I am married. I would never hurt Drew, but part of me kind of wonders, if Drew knew I was having a moment, and it was Paris, and I would probably never see that guy again. No, that is not like Drew. I think Drew didn’t know, and didn’t realize…
When we got back to the Airbnb, we packed our things and I hung out in the living room and watched TV. We had a little time to kill before we left for the train station. I turned on the television and my limited French was a success. I found Versailles Season 3, but it was in French. How sweet, how authentic! I was in love.
While we were watching television, one of Eric’s friends came into clean up. We thought it was Eric. He told us his name (I forget now.). He said, “Eric is in the states for the summer.” I said, “oh okay.” We were on edge wondering if he would ever stop in, or not. The friend of Eric’s ran the dishwasher, and his English was okay, but not that great. He asked Drew to slow down, when he spoke. I did most of the talking, and tried my best to communicate with him in French and in English. He only stayed for a little, and then left. He was going to come back, when we were gone. I guess someone else was coming to stay the night and be in Paris. I am jealous of them and I don’t even know them.
When it came to leave, I opened the terrace doors one more time to say goodbye to Paris and take in the air and the sounds.

 
One thing about me that is a blessing and curse, is that I am very sentimental and full of emotion and feeling. I feel things differently then others, and I really try to savor everything and all the moments in life. I really try to squeeze as much nectar as I can. Paris, you will be so missed. This was so magical. I have no words.
Once on the Eurostar back to England, Drew snapped a picture of me looking less than thrilled. 
They served us cold quiche on the Eurostar for lunch. Ugh,this was not France.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before we left for Europe, I bought a book at Barnes and Noble, Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. This is a memoir about Hemingway’s time in Paris. I cracked open the book on the Eurostar and began to read. I really haven’t had a chance to read it. I turned the page and it was the second paragraph on page 18, “I’ve seen you, beauty, and you belong to me now, whoever you are waiting for and if I never see you again, I thought you belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil” (Hemingway 18).  I instantly thought of the waiter. Like Hemingway, who belongs to his pencil and pen. I belong to this marriage and to Drew, but we will always have Paris…
Once we made it to St. Pancras, we got a taxi and he drove us to our hotel in West Minister. It was so hot outside in England. On the cab ride, I took some pictures of Trafalgar square. The cab driver told us some things about the area and about this statue in particular, he asked, “Do you see the guy on the horse?” We both said, “Yea.” He said, “Well if you look really closely, you see the tail right?” We both said, “Yes.” He said, well right above his tail, you can see his the horse’s ass.” We all started laughing. I was waiting for something so profound. We were not in Paris anymore.

Our hotel is the Park Plaza, Westminster:

Oh, and they had our room ready for us, when we checked in. It was a gorgeous suite. Andrew immediately laid on the bed and it was so firm. We are going to sleep so good tonight.

Image result for park plaza westminster bridge london

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the inside, once you take the elevator up:
What a view! Once, we got inside our room, we changed and got ready to go explore Westminster. We had a reservation for the London Eye at 7:00pm, so we didn’t want to be too long exploring. We wanted to get showered and cleaned up before the London Eye.
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After we did some picture taking, we went back to the hotel got showered, and got ready to go to the London Eye. We ate dinner at the bar of the hotel.  Before we left for the London Eye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the bubble chandelier of the Champagne Lounge.

 I found a good window with some good natural light to get a couple selfies. I had a little photo session.   

When it was time to get on the London Eye, Samantha our tour guide called us to line up and she was going to walk us passed the general admission line, and then we would get into a pod, on the London Eye. We would all be in the same pod, and we will have another glass of champagne, once we are up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we arrived onto the platform, the wheel just keeps moving, there is no stopping it, so you can get on, you almost have to jump to hop on. Once you are inside the pod, it is shaped kind of like a pill. Our tour guide set up the champagne and once you are so many feet in the air, she starts to pour the champagne and hand it out. It started to rain outside, while we in the pod, the view of the sky was so beautiful, even though it was dark and cloudy. Seeing the rain, hit the pod was like seeing hail it the pod. The rain drops were so huge.

cloudy skychampagne.jpg

Thankfully, the rain held off for a few minutes, for us to make it off the pod in time, we were half way to our hotel, and it started to rain again. We both didn’t have umbrella.
Also, one more thing to note about our London Eye experience is that, we were in pod number 4. This was the same pod, that the Queen was in, when she visited the London Eye, shortly after it was built in the year 2000 to honor the Millennium. pod 4.jpg

 

 

 

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!

Image may contain: people standing

 

 

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!

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, sky, cloud, bridge, outdoor and water

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.