Day 11 – Eiffel Tower Disappointment

by Jenn

So Midnight at the Eiffel Tower was a big bummer.  They did nothing!  Well, nothing apart from what they do every night, every hour, a glittering of lights we saw 3 times while waiting for the big moment.  There were no fireworks anywhere inside the main part of Paris.  Tourists, like us, were tres disappointed.  It was nice to be there at midnight though and have a kiss with my husband for the first time.  Here are some shots…

This isn't even midnight, I think it's the 10pm show.

After the 5 minute duplicate show was over... we understood that was it... a few fireworks from party goers made it a bit more magical

Day 11 – New Year’s Eve Festivities Begin

by Jenn

Just popped the champagne! Yeah it’s only 5:30 but we were thirsty.  Couldn’t resist posting a few photos.

Day 10 – Disneyland Parc

by Jenn

Disneyland was a blast!  And amazingly being on our feet all day didn’t make us too sleepy till the end: perhaps because we climbed maybe a 100thof the stairs we are accustomed to here in Paris.  The day was jam packed with yummy snacks, walking all over the park, and amazingly going on or witnessing 13 attractions!  And that’s with my necessary stopping and shopping and pin trading everywhere I go.  We traded all of our pins (12 we brought) away real quick and found so many keepers we had to buy more to trade.  Funnily though, some of the cast members are VERY picky about the pins we traded them, and it was a bit tough to release our 5 “cheap” pins we bought in the package to trade.  But all of the cast members in stores have lanyards, so we’d just keep trying and ended up with some neat stuff from Paris and even one from Tokyo.  The choosiness of certain cast members added to the randomness that is Paris.

We began our morning in Discoveryland, Space Mountain Mission 2 is now one of Jeff’s favorites.  Its different than when I was there and that’s not the only think that has changed.  Then to what else but Star Tours.  Since it has been closed at DL, Jeff has been bummed so this was a real treat even in French.  He still acted the whole thing out from memory.  We skipped Buzz Lightyear for the time being (but did do it later) because of a 70 minute wait!  There was a 2 hour wait for Big Thunder though! Fastpass! (the wait for that was only about 15 minutes – yeah, to get the pass).  We did wait in line for some rides, but no more than about 30 minutes, and the 3 fast passes we were able to get helped us out during the day.

We did all the big rides and some little things in the middle: Space Mountain: Mission Deux, Star Tours, Phantom Manor,  Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril (it doesn’t go backwards anymore! wtf!), Adventure Isle,  Pirates of the Caribbean, Le Pays de Contes de Fees (Storybook),  Big Thunder Mountain, Le Mysteries du Nautalis, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, Fantillusion Parade, Buzz Lightyear, and the Train.

We also ate dinner at Blue Lagoon (Blue Bayou) which we wouldn’t recommend.  The entree was only okay but the appetizers and dessert were great.

After all was said and done, Jeff “enjoyed every minute of it” he told me.  I did, too.  A fun trip indeed.  Picture time:

Day 9 – Christmas Village

by Jenn

Had a fabulous time walking the Champs and “window shopping” at all the booths, not to mention the eating.  I love eating in Paris.  First we had a polish sausage and frites, then onto barbe-a-papa (cotton candy) for Jeff and what else but a Nutella crepe for me (see the CRAZY cotton candy below).  I also have continued to be amazed by the amount of Nutella in this city.

The booths are all fun and different – mostly gifty stuff.  Last night I got some jewelry but yeah there is such a wide variety of items – from cotton candy and hot dogs at one booth, to booths with both cell phone covers and lingerie. LoL!

I need to do a post about the randomness in Paris. It’s a hoot!

Anyway, here’s pix of tonight.  Bedtime for us, DL tomorrow!

Day 9 – Versailles

by Jenn

Our first trip out of the city center so far, we went to Versailles today via RER.  Just a 40 minute ride to this chateau of Louis XIV as well as the domain of Marie Antoinette.  There is a ton of snow on the ground in this part of town, which was nice to see.  Jeff and I took about a 2 hour walk in it around the grounds and gardens, and while my feet did finally get wet, the walk was rather pleasant.  The tour of the inside was interesting too.  Jeff read to me about every room as he has been doing wherever we go.  Tons of interesting historical information in Rick Steves’ book that we have been carting around.

Before coming home, we stopped to get a crepe and panini from the shop down the street as well as some fabulous steak frites and an orangina.  A yummy lunch indeed.  We are looking forward to going back to the Christmas Village at the start of Champs Elysees tonight like we did last night before our date.  Hopefully it has dried up a bit as it was pretty mucky last night and I’m already down a pair of shoes from this mornings snow.  Looking forward to more yummy food!  Going to bring the camera tonight to snap a few shots of the lights.

Here are the photos from Versailles:

Day 8 – Romantic Evening at the Eiffel Tower

by Jenn

Jeff and I got all dolled up for dinner at 58, the restaurant on the first level of the Eiffel Tower.  We enjoyed a glass of champagne, a bottle wine, tiger prawns, chestnut soup, ginea fowl, veal, baba with rum and profiterol with chocolate, as well as a coffee night cap.  Soooo yummy and sooo filling!  The ambiance in the restaurant was nice and we had a lovely view of the city as well.  Of course we couldn’t resist taking a few photos both during and after dinner. =)

Day 8 – Late morning trip to Musee D’Orsay

by Jenn

After 12 hours of sleep, we woke up well rested, ate some yummies, and went to the Orsay Museum for a few hours.  “No pictures allowed” anymore, so I didn’t get much. =P  We are off to take a nap now before our big evening.

Day 7 – Notre Dame at last!

by Jenn

Finally open and de-iced, we got to walk not 285 spiral stairs like Arc de Triomphe, but 408 spiral steps to the gargoyle level of Notre Dame!  Very cool to see those little guys from a new angle.  We also got to see the old grand bell.  HUGE!  We stopped at the Judaism museum where I failed to take any photos, and then came home where I think we will stay for the evening.  It is 6pm.  Time for dinner.  I am starting to wish we could watch a movie or something – sick of world news. =P But one thing I’m happy about is the yummy chocolate mousse cake I get to eat after my yummy chicken, rice and veggie dinner!

Day 7 – Lots of museums!

by Jenn

One of the Water Lily Paintings

 

Well we tried to go to 5 places this morning, but only succeeded in going to 3.  The others were closed for one reason or another, but we did get to see Monet’s water lillies at L’Orangerie.  The photos don’t do them justice.  I’ll need to adjust color when I am home.  You could just sit in the center of one of the two rooms and admire his work for an hour or more. 

Seemingly Inside Out

We chose to venture onto Centre Pompidou after that, just to take pictures of the exterior, and we has nutella crepes on our chilly walk.  YUM. 

the pendulum

Most of our time was spent at the Pantheon, which houses the pendulum which first proved the earth rotates.  In the crypte are tombs of Voltaire, Rouseau, and countless others.

Day 6 – Success! No nap today!

by Jenn

So we slept pretty much 16 hours straight and finally didn’t need a nap during the day.  However it is only 9:30pm here and we have been fighting the urge to sleep since we ate over an hour ago.  What is it with this place? =P

Today was filled with photography, so all photos are in a gallery at the bottom of the page instead of within the text.

We started our day with Starbucks and pastries since our patisserie is closed on the weekends, and we walked to Notre Dame while we sipped our hot coffee.  Sadly the tower was closed due to ice, but we did get to visit the crypt underground which houses old foundations of buildings that were built on top of and discovered again in 1980.  The museum is small, about a 15-30 minute stop depending on how much you read as you go, but it is a nice warm hideout for a chilly morning.

After heating up, we took a walk around the cathedral and into the garden which was still snowy from a few days ago.  It was nice to just relax and enjoy the outdoors with the sun shining and the wind mellow.

Because of the nice bright day it was today, we decided to visit Saint Chapelle: the chapel best known for its amazing stained glass windows. (Be sure to check out these photos).  Some of it is under restoration which means part of the sunlight is blocked, but still the effect is amazing.  Jeff got himself a small stained glass replica to hang in his office.  Super cool.

We grabbed a sandwhich and crepe from a small vendor on our way back home to recharge and figure out what would be next.

We decided we had time for Rodin because it is on the small side, but unfortunately it was smaller than expected as the gardens are closed due to ice.  We did get to snap a few photos of “The Thinker” from afar, so it wasn’t a complete disappointment.

Next, we had time for Napoleon’s tomb – an amazing sight.  The red tomb is only the outer most layer of 6 other caskets made of various materials inside.  That man is uber-protected.  The area around him contains tombs of other family members though none as spectacularly displayed as his.

Last stop for the day was Arc de Triomphe!  A spiral staircase is the only way to the top and as soon as you start the climb, a fear that it will never stop arises.  284 steps later, you are finally able to see the well worth it views of the city.  When we got back down to the bottom, a military ceremony was happening under the arc, which was neat to see as well.

So all that, then dinner and playing some Fluxx means we are tired!  But today has felt very productive, and a ton of fun!

Now the photos:

Day 5 – Everything is closed on Christmas

by Jenn

Even some churches? Odd.  But anyway, we went to Sacre-Coeur again – better weather, nice blue skies, though I swear it is colder today, windy.  After that we tries to go to the top of the Arc de Triomphe but it was closed. Blah.  We are about to go to Pompidou which we think is open, but who knows because the info online seems to be incomplete.

Anyway, photo time.  I’m to tired to say more.

Je t'aime

much better weather today for photos!

 
 
 

 

The view from Sacre Coeur

Side view of Arc de Triomphe

We also got to talk to the whole family this evening to wish them Merry Christmas.  I’m a bit jealous of the breakfast burritos they are eating for Christmas morning.  Dinner is being made for us right now, though, and it will be yummy because Jeff is a good cook.  Then maybe a trip out for photos on this clear night.

Day 5 – Christmas and a mini “trash the dress” session in the cold

by Jenn

So as some know, I brought my wedding dress to Paris.  Why? Why not!?  Jeff and I thought it would be cool to do a mini trash the dress session here.  It was freezing cold and we got some odd stares of course, but I think it was worth it.  Not too much of a story to go with it, so I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

It’s a sunny day! And we are going to go get some quiche for lunch now.  It is possible that due to yesterday’s nap and our better sleep last night, we won’t even need a nap today.  Yay! And Bonnes Fetes! Merry Christmas!

Day 4 – Mass at Notre Dame, then dinner

by Jenn

So beautiful

So we slept like 5 hours in the middle of the day.  Either we are experiencing major jetlag or the weather and daily activities are wearing on the mind and body.  For that reason, we decideded to book it over to Notre Dame to catch mass before eating dinner at 10pm.  No midnight mass for us,  but it was pretting awe inspiring to be in such a historic cathedral for Christmas Eve.

Hundreds of people are inside at any one time and thousands enter throughout the night:

View from the back

Jenn and Jeff outside Notre Dame

Les Bonbons

And outside the decorative tree adds to the christmas spirit.  On the way home we stopped for les bonbons.  We purchased a bag of scoop-it-yourself candy for 24 Euros!  That aught to last us the rest of our stay.  But tonight for dessert: Buchettes!

Day 4 – It’s a white Christmas Eve, Le Louvre… more after dinner

by Jenn

After waking up somewhat early yet again, we showered quickly, ate our pastries, and hopped on the metro for a trip to the Eiffel Tower.  It snowed last night and we were able to get to the tower before too many people treked through the snow, ruining it.  It is amazing how quiet the city is at 7am on a weekday, though perhaps it is because of the holidays.

After a quick stop at home (our home in Paris, that is) we headed out to the Louvre to actually go inside today and view the scuptures, painings, and such.  Of course we saw La Jaconde (Mona Lisa), and Venus de Milo, among others – but the place is huge! And we were well worn out in 3 hours.  Perhaps we will go back another day.

The proverbial shot with Mona Lisa

Day 3 – Evening at Louvre

by Jenn

After waking up from our nap, we went on a walk to the Louvre – in the snow!  It was a nice 20 minute stroll along the Seine River stopping to take pictures of the powder covered patches.  Freezing cold but well worth it, we had fun taking more photos.  On the way back we stopped for desserts at our favorite little patisserie to enjoy after our dinner of burgers and wine at home.

Snow!

The Louvre

Pyramid at the Louvre

Us in the snow

Les Desserts! YUM

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