Paris! Man how I could come all the time, and not get fed up. I just love Paris! We had now been twice, both times with hot weather, so we figured another time to see it around Christmas would be nice.
We had already spent 3 cold days at Disneyland Paris, so we hoped today would be different. Checked out of our hotel, packed the car to the max, and went to a shopping center where we parked to make it quicker downtown. We parked at Aushopping, at the Val de Fontenay train station. 24 minutes to the Charles de Gaulle Etoile station, right at the Arc du Triomphe. I have seen the Arc a few times now, and still get amazed at the architecture of it. It’s beautiful!
From there, in the distance, we could see a Ferris Wheel at the end of the Champs Elysees. I was surprised as I’d never seen it before, but realized later, it only gets constructed for Christmas. We decided to walk down. When we got about halfway to the Ferris Wheel when I noticed a Christmas Market – which of course I got excited to find a mug. Get a little closer, and you see the market being taken down. Santa and snowmen and reindeer being wrapped up until next year 😦 Gotta admit, that was a little depressing. John and my dad kept bugging my mom and I about “oh look, that was a Gluhwein shop, they probably had nice mugs” – they got hit a couple times 😉 Eventually you get to the Ferris Wheel (about a 30 minute walk), and see just how nice it is up close. Kids really wanted to go on, and my parents really wanted to take them. John and I were offered to go as well, but my fear of heights got the best of me, so hubby stayed with me. Let them enjoy their time together! Since there was a small line, I decided to explore the mini market right behind. Turns out, excellent idea because I found a cup! Not my typical Gluhwein mug, but an Apple Cider cup with Marche de Noel Champs Elysees on it – good enough! That, along with homemade fresh macarons made for a delicious snack! I also didn’t realize the Ferris Wheel was in Place de la Concorde. The last couple times in Paris, we always saw it from atop the Hop On Hop Off bus. To see it up close was nice. One of my favorite movies is The Devil Wears Prada, and since this area was a big part of the end of the movie, it was nice to finally see it up close!!
After Ferris Wheel excitement we kept walking towards The Louvre. It was maybe twenty minutes away – not terrible, but in the cold it felt longer. Again, The Louvre is one place we keep seeing atop the Hop On Hop Off, so to see it up close was amazing. We went into The Louvre once, but never actually got around to seeing it from the outside. The grandness of the Glass Pyramid was something. I am glad we got there this time!
Next we walked to Notre Dame. Maybe about 20-25 minutes, but there is enough to see along the way it goes quickly. The line to to inside was very long, so we opted out of that quickly. We looked around the front and the back. We even fed pigeons – and had some land on our heads. Way too close for my liking so I zoomed out of that area fast. Everyone else had a blast with the birds. Literally having them land on their arms, hands, and heads trying to get food. It was a lot of fun. Quick look around, and into the metro we go for our last stop.
As soon as you get out of the metro, there is a free bathroom – bug deal!! So while waiting for it, all of a sudden Tyler yells “Look! It’s the Eiffel Tower!!”. You look up, and right above the trees and buildings, is the Eiffel Tower. The look on the kids faces when they saw it was absolutely priceless. As we are waiting for the bathroom you can see the lights turn on. It was 5:00 now and dark enough to FINALLY see it lit up!!! Bathroom break over and we start to walk. I was walking with Nathan, and under his breath very softly, all you hear is “wow, that’s so beautiful!”. He probably has no idea I heard it, but I did. To know that he was excited to be seeing the Eiffel Tower at night, made everything worth it. To see the look on my parents’ faces made it just was worth it! It’s the Eiffel Tower for goodness sakes!!! Absolute pure joy! I love the Eiffel Tower! I can stand around and have a picnic or read a book (in summer of course!), or just stare. We took a lot of pictures, and then headed through the park to the opposite side. All of a sudden you hear people cheering. You look up, and the Tower starts sparkling!! Absolutely breathtaking. Incredible. No other words for it. To see it in the daytime is one thing, to see it at night – just wow… This was a moment I would not soon forget. I was so glad we were able to come back with my parents!! Last time they came, we didn’t do very much – I am glad to have spent time, especially in Paris. It’s just one of those places you want to see with as many people as possible, to experience it together!
We really could have stayed longer, but kids hunger and cold, and tiredness was taking its toll. I’m sure it was the same for the adults too. At this point it had been 4 days of waking up early, getting to bed really late, and staying outside for over 12hrs in freezing cold weather. Time to get to our car and drive the four hours back home!