Saturday, July 4, 2009

Day One!

Our flight to Paris seemed to take forever (particularly for myself and Elena since we couldn't sleep) and although I was tired and jumpy from lack of sleep, words cannot describe the thrill of seeing Eiffel Tower as we were flying in. It seemed totally surreal.

Once we arrived at our hotel we took a few minutes to unpack and freshen up for the day. We decided early on that no one was to take a nap so we could avoid any serious jet lag. It worked like a charm.
I loved our neighborhood in the 7th arrondissement, we were a 5 mintute walk to the Eiffel Tower and very close to the Rue Cler shopping/market street, which is where we decided to have our first meal of the day.

It's a lovely street, with alternating fruit stalls, bakeries, butchers, cafes and flower shops. Rick Steves (our guru) said that the neighborhood makes him feel like a "poodle". On our first trip to the market, I think we felt more like huge sore thumbs sticking out all over the place. It was the beginning of the lunch hour and we couldn't seem to find an empty table, when we did find one, we weren't sure if we could just sit down or if we should wait to be seated instead. Imagine us standing in the middle of the street with myself rapidly scanning the "dining" section of Rick Steve's book trying to find the etiquette section. Eventually, we just made the decision to sit down somewhere and were relieved to have an extremely friendly waitress who explained that it was perfectly acceptable to seat yourself.

Elena and myself at that first lunch. I think you can see the relief in our eyes.
Our fantastic lunch! These "crocs" became a favorite of ours since they were served at just about all the cafes and brasseries we visited.

After lunch we made our way to the Eiffel Tower.

Much, much larger than I had pictured in my mind's eye. We were surprised to learn when we got there that the elevator to the 1st level was out of service so we would have to climb the stairs all the way up to the first level. Assuming we could take the elevator from the 1st level to the 2nd level, I bought the ticket and began the 17 storie climb.

It took 327 steps altogether for the first level and I was quite happy to be done with it.

Until we learned that we actually had to buy our tickets for the second level individually - which meant that we would have to climb an additional 37 stories to the second level. Um, I don't think so. My best friend, Shalyn and the resident French expert for our group, came to the rescue and pleaded with the elevator operator to let me on. She worked her magic and I was able to take the lift up to the second level. The other girls, were totall champs though, and climbed their way up the tower.

Anyways, the views were fantastic. The building above, is Invalides and it also houses Napolean's Tomb - this was about an 8 minute walk from our hotel.

This building above is the Trocadero. We didn't have the time to fit in in to our intinerary for the trip, but it is a beautiful building!

And this white haired goof is Karl Lagerfeld. I recognized him immediately and he was trailed by cameras and about 15 people in his entourage. I have no idea what he was doing there.

Caroline missed seeing Karl, but was suitably impressed when I showed her my photos.

The park in front of the Eiffel Tower is expansive and gorgeous. In the picture above you can see it from the top of the Eiffel Tower and below, you can see my sister, Caroline relaxing in the park
after finishing our visit.

After resting for a few minutes we deicded to take an evening Sein river tour. It was probably close to 8 in the evening by this point and it looked like 4 in the afternoon. Crazy.
As beautiful as the tour was (you can see the edges of the Louvre in the above photo), it was probably a mistake. The boat was gently rocking, the music was soothing, the pace was relaxed...4 heads were soon noodding forward in sleep. No kidding, we had been up for about 36 hours straight by that point and it was so difficult to resist falling asleep on that boat!

We finished our evening at Le Champ de Mars - a Brasserie that served fantastic food! It was just down the street from our hotel and we enjoyed sitting outside. I believe that we ate almost every meal of our trip outside. We were pretty lucky with the weather, as it was bright, sunny and 65 degrees almost every single day we were there. You just couldn't ask for better.

We got back to the hotel around 10:30 in the evening and pretty much passed out. It was a lovely first day in Paris!


Shay said...

Wow! You captured the day perfectly! I feel like I relived it all. I feel honored to have been in the inaugural shot :) Great pics, babe!

Sarah M. Anderson said...

Seriously?? Karl Langerfeld IN THE EFFIEL TOWER????

All I can say is, Bitchin'!

Julia said...

Great Day one post! Looking forward to following you as you add on. I think the KL sighting beats Dave Nolda's moose photo...

lucylucia said...

Julia - Elena also saw Renee Zellwegger at a cafe! She didn't believe it was really her until she saw that she was in Paris that day!

Sally - for real! He was doing something on a computer, maybe a photo shoot?

Mama Nae said...

Great post! Great pix! keep em coming.... By thy way - I'm jealous already!

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

Oooh Aahhh, Ooolala! What lovely wonderful photos and a fantastic post!! I can't believe you saw M. Lagerfeld. That's so perfect ;-)

BTW, years and years ago, my husband and I stayed at Rick's old favourite hotel on Rue Cler--Hotel Leveque. I remember we could smell the cheese shop in our hotel room. LOL!

Now on to day two...