It was exciting to take the Eurostar train from London to Paris because the train was beautiful and new and fast. My ears popped as we descended into the Chunnel. It was dark for less than a half an hour and then we emerged in France! The total trip is only 2 hours. After we got off the train, I felt like I'd really accomplished something when I figured out the route, bought tickets, and navigated the Metro with our suitcases in tow. We walked the few blocks to the hotel, and saved a ton of money on a taxi. I love taking public transportation because I like the challenge, and I like how it connects me closer to what's going on with the people who live there. The hotel is beautiful, and the room is huge by European standards. It's fun to have the luxury, but the trade-off is that no one in the hotel (employees and guests) uses French. I have to leave the hotel to know I'm in a foreign country. They did allow us to carry our own bags to the room. I always feel weird paying someone to do something I can easily do myself.
This is the view from our room:
The boat tours down the Seine that we went on today are extremely touristy, but also something that local Parisians do. It really is beautiful and romantic to see all the Paris monuments from
the river. I felt like I was visiting old friends as the Louvre, the Orsay, and the Samartaine Department store (among other familiar places), came into view.
The bridges are so beautiful:
Afterwards we tried to find my favorite restaurant in Paris-a little crepe stand that makes the most delicious crepes I've had anywhere. We were amazed first of all, that we could find it, and secondly that it was actually still there! The same green bench was still in front of it where we have pictures of the girls eating crepes in 2004. And the crepes were just as yummy as I remembered.
Jim at crepe place in 2009:
Jim and girls at crepe place 2004:
We walked for miles taking in the sights, hardly believing that we are actually here. I feel so lucky to be able to be on this trip and see this amazing city, and be with Jim having fabulous adventures together.