Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Paris- Episode 1: Eiffel Tower

I don't really know exactly when I became a francophile.  I know it was before the 6th grade, because I insisted on doing my 6th grade country report on France.  My mom made mini cups of chocolate mousse for my class and I learned a few french phrases to use in my presentation.  But by then, I was already in love.

When high school came around, I signed up for French without even considering taking Spanish!  Our class would plan vacations in Paris or sing French songs.  I was VP of the International Club (I'm a big deal, ok?)  I continued taking French classes in college and lived at the FLSR (Foreign Language Student Residence) at BYU which has to be one the best times of my life!  So basically my whole life has been just waiting for an opportunity to actually go to France.  And that time finally came in 2012!

Our nonstop flight from LAX to CDG was pretty miserable.  I think Air France has the tiniest seats I've ever sat in.  MY knees were hitting the seat in front of me which might give you an idea of how miserable my 6'5" husband was.  Not to mention it was about 1000 degrees inside the cabin.  But we made it there in one piece with all of our luggage so I was pretty happy.  If you know me, then you know I am an obsessive planner which really comes in handy when trying to navigate foreign countries.  I'm so glad I researched how to get through the airport to our correct train because it was a seamless operation despite our sleep deprived brains.

We had to change trains and we were mostly underground so I was getting anxious for my first view of the city.  I will never forget the moment when we came up and I saw all the buildings and an accordion started playing the typical romantic was SO enchanting!  When we came home, people naturally asked us "How was Paris?"  I am still stumped on how to articulate the experience of visiting that city.  I think "enchanting" is the best I can do.  There is just something about it I cannot describe. I think having an understanding of French culture really added to my experience.

We stayed at the Hotel Beaugrenelle for the first 2 nights which was just a short walk from the Eiffel Tower.  Everything in Europe is much smaller than the US.  Portion sizes, people, elevators, showers!  Oh how I wish we had gotten a photo of a [clothed] Luke trying to squeeze into our shower!!  I could barely fit through the doors!  And our hairdryer was circa 1980s, but they did provide a great breakfast to us every morning which Luke was very sad to leave.

Jet lag got the best of us that day.  So we managed only to get a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower (and the huge line) and get a hot dog baguette.  Ok, I don't really eat hotdogs, but these came highly recommended from one of Luke's co-workers. Whoever she is, I think she's either a liar or on crack.  Hotdogs do not taste any better in a baguette than in a bun.  Oh well, I salvaged my dinner with a phenomenal nutella banana crepe hot off the griddle.  SO GOOD!
Being an adult means you can have chocolate waffles and soda for lunch!

We crashed at about 5pm Paris time and woke up at about 10pm Paris time.  I looked at the clock thinking it was 10am and said, "Oh no! We've missed free breakfast!"  Luke then informed me I was off by 12 hours.    Dang that jet leg!  It DOES exist, even if you try to pretend it doesn't.

Aerial view of the queue

We set out early to get to the Eiffel Tower before it opened to try to avoid the "queue." Despite being early, we still had to wait for about 90 minutes which was better than the 3 hours we heard from other travelers.  One of the lifts was broken this summer which made for very long lines.  I loved visiting the Eiffel Tower!  I truly did.  I loved picnicking around it and I love the light show at night and how it glitters over the city.  The view from the top was a little underwhelming for me.  We were up so high that everything was so tiny.  I much preferred other views we encountered on our trip.  But it is something you simply must do in Paris, so we did and it was still wonderful!

On the lift...I'm not a huge fan of heights.

View from the Eiffel Tower...can you see the Arc de Triomphe?

1 comment:

  1. So exciting! I was the same in Jr. High & High School.... loved everything about Paris/France... did reports, took French instead of Spanish... but stopped around my Junior year so you definitely loved it more! But it's always been my dream to go there!! Some day!! So glad you had a great trip!! And thanks for eating yummy desserts for me. I'll do the same for you on my "Some day"!