THE EIFFEL TOWER
First of all...I messed up the post. Sorry about that. I'm going to tell about the Eiffel Tower experience.
I didn't realized this, but the ET was built for the World's Fair in 1893 (I think) and was intended to be torn down after that but they ended up keeping it. Also, as WWII was drawing to a close, one of the German generals was instructed to blow up some of the famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, etc. before the Allies regained Paris, but he refused. (And we are glad) So, there's a little history for you guys who care about that stuff.
The elevator to go up in the ET is GLASS and ON THE OUTSIDE. I am terrified of heights. Put those two facts together and you get me turning green and forcing myself not to BEG Katie to just GO BACK DOWN! That being said, the view off the top was beautiful! You get a great view of Paris. Also, the wind was so STRONG and I felt like I was going to blow right off.
On the walk back to the subway, Katie said that she was afraid to tell Mom how much money she put on the credit card and that Mom was going to scissor-kick her when she found out. Then she proceeded to show me what a scissor-kick was. Well, this struck me as sooo funny that I had to stop walking I was laughing so hard imagining my 5'2'' mom jumping AT ALL, let alone jumping up high enough to scissor-kick Katie. (in fact I'm laughing right now just thinking about it...)
Later...I'm working on shortening these things...
Hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day! Jared and I celebrated Sunday night at Hamilton's. He got me some beautiful red and white tulips and bought me a cute outfit. I got him a Hermes tie from Paris, which is basically like casting pearls before swine b/c he doesn't care or know the difference.
My dad also came by my house and delivered me a big bouquet of flowers, which I thought was really sweet. My sister came by a delivered me a Peeps Marshmellow Candy maker (for ages 5 and up - Don't laugh, I can make those marshmellow delights in the shape of a heart, a chick, or a bunny) and a cute shirt that says "Redheads break hearts". Brad and Fallon ate lunch with me on Saturday.
So, all in all, I feel really blessed to have lots of "Sweethearts" on Valentine's Day! I also feel really blessed to have all you guys from church as friends and fellow Christians!
Well, I saw that ladyfire has posted the next edition, so I decided to update. First of all, I would have probably gone to the London trip part next, but I guess I'll go Paris since that's what Katie did...
First of all, Paris is EXACTLY like you imagine it in your mind. You know how you have a mental picture of how some place looks in your mind and then when you actually go there, it's totally different than you imagined? Well, Paris is the opposite. It lives up to almost all of it's steriotypes...1) It's old and quaint with lots and lots of cafes with great coffee - TRUE, it's lovely and the Cafe Au Lait and croissants are awesome!
2)People say all of those over-used French phrases like "viola!" and "bon apetite" - TRUE, when our waiters would bring us our food they always said, "Viola, bon appetite" and "au revior" when you left a store or restaurant 3)The French people are rude, hate Americans, and will not speak English to Americans even though they know how... - FALSE, while I'm sure this is true for some Parisians, people were very nice and helpful to us. It actually suprised me...I expected to hate the French...
The day we arrived in Paris, we had to walk about 2 miles down the airport to find the van we had hired to take us to our hotel. When we FINALLY found it (keep in mind we are walking all of this way with a 40 lb. backpack and a huge roller suit case) we met a mother and daughter from Australia. They had been on a month long trip to New York, London, Cairo, Paris, etc. They were so nice and we started talking and they asked us if we were Christians! They said they were too and the mom started talking about how she wanted her daughter to marry a good Christian guy. It was really neat. On the bus, I honestly thought that it was the second time on the trip that we were going to die (The first being on the plane ride over, of course). Those Parisians drive like MANIACS - They drive about 60-70 miles an hour on side streets and there are no lanes - everybody just kinda fits their car in whereever...I finally had to just cover my eyes and hope for the best.
We finally got to our hotel and low and behold right beside it was Hard Rock Cafe and McDonald's! I've never been so glad to see those golden arches. BUT, do we do the smart thing and just go over to McDonalds to eat....NO...We get on the subway and get off where the lady at our hotel said the Eiffel Tower was. Now, keep in mind we are starving, mainly because the food on the airplane was a SALMON SANDWICH (and I don't mean COOKED salmon). So, needless to say, that wasn't happening. Katie should have been doing better than me because she had sneaked a snickers at some point (If you have a snickers in your bag, what can you do?)but she was actually in worse shape than me...So, I believe that I have evidence that snickers doesn't really satisfy you...So, Katie, in her hateful (just read her blog and you'll see what I mean), hunger-induced delerium, was just walking aimlessly down the street IN THE FREEZING RAIN...I finally had to YELL at her, "JUST GO IN THERE"...Which happened to be the right decision because this very suave French waiter who spoke English had pity on us (At this point we looked like little pink drowned rats) and fed us. After the first sip of my Cafe au lait, all was right with the world again. Oh, and we also had this yummy lemon pastry there. Finally, we ran around the corner and the Eiffel Tower was all lit up like a Christmas Tree! The whole day was worth it at that point.
The trip was complicated by this stupid little alarm clock we had to buy in london b/c the hotels didn't supply them. Oh, and the French hotels did't have a hair dryer (NOT a good thing). So, half the time we were late - as in we never heard our alarm and actually got up at 12:00 one day - and our hair was CRAZY. But we used those late days to shop. I could go on and on about the shopping, but I'll try to keep it brief...When we walked in Hermes, I actually thought for just a second that I heard the Angels singing...The store had these security guards that looked like secret service agents (with ear pieces and everything). Evidently, the only things that need that level of security are the President and Hermes...I got an awesome scarf and we got our mom a scarf since she is the one who financed part of the trip and we got Jared a tie. They put all of the stuff in these boxes with ribbon tied around them like presents. I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman with those desinger bags...
Since it was January, all of the designers were having sales - which is kinda deceptive because when they say sales they mean $500 rather than $1000. BUT, Hermes was having a sale at a different location at this hotel ballroom, so of course, we had to go. When we got there the secret service was at the door asking questions like the sale was all very hush-hush. It was unreal because when we got in the room people were literally pushing and shoving like you would not believe. Of course, after we got over our astonishment, we joined right in...I got this great pair of gold sandals and a tie for Dad. Katie got a beautiful purple scarf. All that pushing and shoving really paid off!
After the shopping we walked down the Champs E'lysse to the Arc De Triompe (sp?). We stopped along the way to buy coats. I got a pink one with fur around the collar and Kate got a green one with fur around the collar. It was later that we realized what total idiots we looked like...I didn't care though, the coats were really cute.
This is long, so I'll stop and tell about the Eiffel Tower next time...
I thought this novel actually needed the input of BOTH travellers, so I decided to start my bloggin' this way. You might want to read ladyfire's version before you read part 2. Actually, I knew the trip was going to be fun and FUNNY when Katie sat in the gum at the Atlanta airport. The funniest part was that in true Katie fashion (Sorry, Kate), she had taken the gum FROM HER OWN MOUTH and put it in the wrapper FACE UP IN HER OWN SEAT before going to the bathroom. At first, Katie wouldn't turn around so that I could see the damage because she knew I was going to laugh at her, but she finally realized that she was going to have to show me how serious it was before I would just run around the Atlanta airport looking for new pants. When she finally showed me, I literally fell down in a chair across the aisle, I was laughing so hard. It was a classic.
On the flight, we got lucky and were the only 2 people on one side with 3 seats, so I lay across one of the seats to try to sleep on the plane. I really hate to fly, but love to travel and so have determined to overcome my fears. However, about 1/2 way there, the plane was in the most turbulance I have ever been in in my life. I was lying down with my eyes closed when it all started and Katie was reading and I knew that if I opened my eyes and acted like we were about to die, she would be scared. So, I just lay there and pretended not to notice that we were goin' down. I thought that was very sisterly of me.
It's really funny how you can live with someone most of your life and think you know them and still learn so much about someone on a trip with them. Some things I learned about my sister that I didn't know:
1. She NEVER drinks anything and ironically, has to go to the bathroom every hour on the hour.
2. She has an unnatural body heat. We would be in Paris in about 30 degree weather and I would be all bundled up and she would have on only a sweater and be "fine".
3. She is a HOT Y CHICK - I'll leave it at that
4. She actually likes to shop almost as much as I do.
I can see this is already getting long, so I'll just cut it short and save the rest for later...