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.

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.

Chelsea Stadium

Chelsea Stadium

This is the part where I am playing the role of the supportive wife. I do not know anything about European football, but Drew does. I wanted to make this a good experience for him and I didn’t want to take away from the fun he was going to have checking out this stadium, so I tried to just suck it up for him, but all I wanted was a shower.
When we arrived in Chelsea, there were signs up on the lamp posts that lined the streets of Chelsea players in action, kicking a ball, or posing. I knew we were close. We found the stadium, and had to have our bags checked for security. Then we made our way to the team store first. We had some time to kill. I checked out all the merchandise. It would be cool, if I was into the sport. Drew ended up buying a shirt. I was happy he got what he wanted. Then we made our way to the field.
When you first walk in there is a guest services counter, we checked and said, “We are actually here for the 11am tour.” he said, “not a problem we can fit you into the 10am tour if you like.” We both said, “Yes, of course that would be awesome.” The tour guide  made us all sit down on these stadium seats that were in the lobby. In front of us was the FA cup. Chelsea won this cup the weekend before we arrived. I thought that was cool. We weren’t allowed to take pictures of the cup, but I secretively snapped one with my phone.

Then the tour guide, took us around the field, into the dressing rooms, and the room where the players get worked on if they are injured. It was pretty cool to hear about the team. then I saw this:

Image may contain: Danielle Hornyak, standingI never knew Beckham played for Chelsea. Okay, I am interested now! After the tour, we checked out the museum. There was this room, that was closed in, on the wall were signs with various points on it. There was a soccer ball in the room, so Drew and I kicked around the ball and tried to see who could score the most points. I was trying so hard to be the supportive wife.

After the museum, we were supposed to have lunch  that we bought with our tickets to the tour at this one diner, but it was closed. However, they partnered with this swanky upscale looking restaurant outside of the stadium. I forget the name of it. We were able to order off their menu and it would be included.

When we sat down at the table, I was so tired. I needed to shower and that is all that I could think about. I am sure Drew felt the same way, but he channeled it differently, as always. I am the overly dramatic one. The waitress came over to take our order and I was in the middle of powdering my face. I felt so gross. I said, ‘You have to excuse me. I am not myself right now. We just had an 8 hour flight, our hotel room isn’t ready yet, I haven’t had a shower yet, and I am a mess.” She laughed and said “no worries, I understand. I have had that happen to me before too.”  I was craving a burger. We both ordered a burger, fries, and a coke. They serve lemon with the coke! What a fabulous idea! I never thought to ask for that before.
After lunch, we made our way back to the hotel where our room was ready! When we arrived back to our hotel, we checked in, and they gave us our keys. The front desk woman looked like she about had it with us. I couldn’t wait to shower.
Once we got to our room, we showered, and I got comfy clothes on and laid down in the bed. While I was waiting for Drew to get out of the shower, I flipped through the channels on the television and tried to find something interesting to watch. I found this show called Gogglebox. It is the funniest show ever! British families hanging out watching television and commenting on various shows. This camera, or camera crew is set up in their living room, taping their reactions and the things they say. It was hilarious.
When Drew got out of the shower, and got into bed with me we watched the rest of the show. We laughed so hard at their comments regarding the Royal Wedding. A woman was crying and her husband told her, that she wasn’t being very British and she needed to have a stiff upper lip. She said, “No, Harry wants us to cry.” He did this whole thing on mental health and he doesn’t want us to hold our emotions in anymore.” Drew and I both laughed. There so many other funny statements in that show and reactions to various shows, such as the BBC show about Jeremy Thrope, which was so scandalous. The other show, they commented on was Jamie Oliver’s 5 ingredient cooking show. Where you can make these recipes with just 5 ingredients. The one guy said, “Where I am going to get clams in a landlocked county?” Drew and I laughed so hard. At one point, we turned off the television to go to bed. We have a busy day tomorrow.