Wednesday, June 26, 2013:
While we drove towards our hotel, I kept my eyes peeled for special landmarks! When we arrived at the Four Seasons (Bruce Springsteen was staying there too, but I didn’t get to see him!) We had to wait almost four hours for our rooms (Mr. Keev said we waited an hour per season...he’s so funny!) We ordered French scones and some other snacks while we waited and perused our phones...which we are very good at!
Once we changed and got settled in our rooms, we headed to the LOUVRE! It is so neat that this museum used to be a palace! Talk about lots of space to roam. I wonder how many workers there were in that building! The kids went on a small “Scavenger Hunt” to find extraordinary art in the Louvre. First, we have Havaravi’s set of rules for people. Punishment for hitting your parents resulted in the chopping off your hand! Then we got to see the original moat of the palace (it looks just like the ones in movies). My favorite thing about this moat is that each brick that was laid to build it is marked with a symbol of the masonry company. Guess what the symbol was...a heart! So every brick has hearts on it! Next we headed to see the MONA LISA...on the walk there we also got to see Venus (what a rockin’ body she had!) The Mona Lisa was a lotttt smaller than I thought she was. I don’t think I knew that a little over 100 years ago an Italian who worked at the Louvre stole her and she was missing for a while. He believed that she belonged to Italy since the Mona Lisa was made by an Italian. The tour guide told us that people came from all over just to stare at the space where Mona was...pretty cool fact huh? We didn’t stay at the Louvre for nearly enough time, but kids don’t last long in hot, crowded museums!
Next, we headed to drop Mama L off for some Hermes shopping. While she and the W men shopped away, Jenny, Ms. S and I walked to a little cafe where we had a snack. Ms. S of course needed some ice-cream (a banana split) and we ordered some french fries (because the french make the best french fries right?) We sat and ate, chatted, and most of all, we laughed!!! Jenny thought a dare game would be perfect to play with our snack so we mixed and matched all kinds of YUCKY concoctions and dared each other to eat them! Then, those two crazies put french fries in their ears and noses. It was hilarious!
Back at the hotel, Little Miss S enjoyed eating her favorite (chocolate) off a miniature chocolate Eiffel Tower! It was too cute, but withered away a little each day! ;) Jenny and I hung out with the kids (Jenny and Ms. S practiced cheerleading) and then it was time for dinner. We were 45 minutes late because there was SO MUCH traffic (and we were a little late too!) But we ate at this little Brasserie (which is just like an Italian word for restaurant). It was sort of a hole in the wall, but it was delicious. I was more than happy to be away from the filling pastas and pizzas I’ve been eating in Italy. I got a vegetable plate and it felt good to eat well (it’s true, you are what you eat!) When we left dinner, Jenny and I were exhausted (she got to stay with me the entire Paris trip!)
Thursday, June 27, 2013:
Today when my alarm went off I couldn’t believe it was time for another day! Up I went to order breakfast for the W fam and to get myself ready for the day. We enjoyed a very nice breakfast and then we were off for the Paris sights. First, we went to see the Claude Monet Waterlillies. These Impressionist paintings were so beautiful in person. It was lovely to see his different perspectives of time. Some paintings were at dawn, some at dusk, and some at night. I loved the evening painting. All the shades of blue just made me feel like I was there. Too bad, I could take no pictures here!
Then it was time for Paris shopping. This week, two big things are going on in Paris. Men’s Fashion Week is the big event and now all of the stores are holding BIG sales. Almost every single window screamed “SOLDES” which I quickly figured out meant sale! We family shopped for about two hours and then headed to lunch. We tried a couple of nice restaurants that didn’t have lots of options for kids/vegans so we ended up at the TGIFridays of Paris called Hippopotamus. While we waited to eat, Jenny, the kids, and I went over to Starbucks and got coffees. None of us really wanted to eat much lunch. Mr. E & Ms. S; however were hungry for some Nutella Crepes. I love how there are just crepe stands all over the place!
When lunch was finished, we headed to one of the secret touristy places of Paris. It’s a game museum compiled of tons and tons of old carnival games, dating back to before the 1800s. Everything looked like new! We played two games similar to today’s ski ball, rode OLD carousels, one with horses, one with pedaling bikes, and knocked down the cans. It was awesome! Each area had a theme, like Venice or Rome and the space was decorated with symbols from this space. It was super interesting and fun. Soon it was time to head to the EIFFEL TOWER!!!
The Eiffel Tower is so splendid! I can’t even explain it’s grandeur. I LOVED IT! It’s so big! It’s clean and painted so nicely! Our guide took us through the control room where we could see how the gears and elevators work. Then, we got to ride the elevator to a special private balcony. It was a gorgeous view!!! You can see all of Paris so clearly. I just stared forever, well, that is, until Ms. S panicked at the height of the Tower and started getting emotional! We hit the road pretty quickly after that, but oh it was lovely!
From the Eiffel Tower, we went home and rested and prepared for dinner! Tonight’s dinner was my favorite. It was on top of the Contemporary Art Museum and it also showed the entire city. We had a pretty sweet view of the Eiffel Tower too! Our conversation was so interesting at dinner, the kids were angelic and it was my favorite night of dinner on the trip (Black Cat in Lake Como had the best food though!) As we were leaving at 10, the Eiffel Tower starting sparkling (it flashes gorgeous lights during the first five minutes of each hour!) We were oohhing and aweing from the glass. We walked back to the cab and again, were all so tired!!! Everyone’s looking forward to tomorrow but I also think we are all getting a little homesick! The kids are definitely missing their fur ball babies!!! And I miss Mr. Keev, American salads, and consistently talking to my friends and family!!!
Friday, June 28:
Today was Mr. W’s birthday!!! It was also the last day of our trip, but we still had lots planned for today!!! After breakfast, we rode to the Seine River to see the sights of Paris by water. It was rainy, but no one cared because our heads were covered in the boat. We saw lots of famous bridges, churched and buildings like the French Government building, a building that Thomas Jefferson used to model the White House, and the “love lock” bridges. We also got a sweet view of the Notre Dame and again, the Eiffel Tower. ;) I just can’t get enough of that thing!!!
Lunch was at a yummy place, but I don’t remember it’s name. I had this eggplant dish that rocked! Our last big “sight seeing” adventure was a “Paris Scavenger Hunt.” We had a special guide who took us to see some parts of the city. On the drive, we passed THE MOULIN ROUGE (One of my favorite musicals of all time!!!) Then we rode on a sideways, clear elevator to “M....another beautiful view of Paris. Here we saw a very talented athlete balancing a soccer ball in lots of bazaar ways and up at the church a couple had just been married (there were heart shaped balloons everywhere!) Then we walked to a little art market with gorgeous paintings made from lots of different mediums. It was so cute. I wanted to stay longer but we had to hit the road!
Once we got back to the hotel I packed the kids up and got a little “me” time to pack my stuff up too! Then, when everyone was reunited, the W Fam said Jenny and I could have the rest of the night off and do dinner or whatever on our own! I was so pumped because I really wanted to see the Eiffel Tower at night, do the “love lock” bridge, and see the Notre Dame!
On our way to these sights, our first cab driver could not speak English. I’ve always heard that lots of French people do not like Americans. I have learned first hand that this is a true story! Our first stop was the Notre Dame. I can not explain the amazing detail on this building. We of course did not get to go inside because it was closed by night time. Plus the normal wait time was three hours and that clearly was not happening with this crew! Next, Jenny and I saw a Subway (Which the kids love!) So we stopped there to give them an American surprise. The workers were CRAZY RUDE!!! They could not give us lettuce in a separate container and were talking about us in French. It was irritating and I don’t get angry that often!
To end the evening, Jenny and I went to the Eiffel Tower in the dark!! We took some stellar pictures and I was so excited to see the glitter of the tower close up!!! :) It really was such a sight!!! I am so glad Jenny waited it out with me because she was so tired and has to be the flight attendant tomorrow. In other news, while we were there, this Arabian man asked to take a picture with each of us. I’m not going to lie, that was a little weirdo, but world traveler jenny says that its pretty typical!!! We headed home and that was the end of it! I LOVED tonight. It was so fun to walk around and see the city for all that it is! J T’aime Paris (I LOVE PARIS!)
Saturday, June 29
WE ARE GOING HOME TODAY! I have loved traveling the world and hope that I can continue to do so in the years ahead of me...but I am ready to be home. I can’t wait to see Mr. Keevan, to sleep on my very flat pillows, to drink American iced tea, to order salads that are yummy, and to just be in the United States again!!!
As long as I live, I will forever remember this trip. It was the experience of a lifetime!!! I will miss the beauty and anticipation of seeing new sights, but look forward to knowing I will go back one day!!!
This is BEAUTIFUL!!!