Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Few of my Favorite Things

People keep asking me what my favorite part of the trip was. Honestly, I think it was just the fact that I got to share so many neat experiences with my daughter. I think it’s one of those trips we will always remember and appreciate that we got to do it together. Even if she won’t admit that now, I suspect she will when she’s older.

As far as things we saw or places we went, I would be hard pressed to pick just one thing that stands above the rest. We squeezed in as much as possible, and I’m still trying to process it all. There was history on every corner and an ooh or ahh at every stop. Teen Angel brought back a postcard from every activity we did to give to a young friend of hers who collects postcards. On the plane ride home, she wrote on the back of each card what we did at that location and some thoughts about that activity. As she sifted through them, she said, “We did a LOT of stuff.” Indeed. We ran from early morning to late at night, trying to see all we could see. If memory serves me right, this is the list of things we did:

-Buckingham Palace tour (It’s only open in August & September. Kate Middleton’s wedding dress was on display.)
-Dinner at The Grenadier (Creator of the bloody Mary)
-Tower of London
-Westminster Abbey
-Big Ben
-St. Paul’s Cathedral
-London Eye (at sunset)
-Wicked Performance
-Train trip to Salisbury & Stonehenge
-Wrote our names on the wall at Abbey Road Studios
-Eiffel Tower ride to the top
-Arch of Triumphe
-Notre Dame
-Saint Chappelle
-Musee de Orsay
-Pere LaChaise Cemetery
-Musee de L’Orangee
-Musee de Louvre
-Lunch at Jardin de Tulleres
-Shopping in the Latin Quarter
-Window shopping at the Champs de Elysees (actual clothing purchases on Ru de Rivoli where it’s cheaper)
-The Catacombes
-Paris Beaches Festival
-Palace of Versailles
-Sitting on the law of the Eiffel Tower, watching the sun go down and the tower lights come on

And that list doesn’t include all the wonderful meals we had (or the theft of my phone, but that’s another post). When I look at that list I marvel at how much we were able to work in, given the long lines (thank goodness for the Paris Museum Pass) and all the subway rides in between. And can I just say Teen Angel and I are masters of the Tube and the Metro. We literally wore out those subways. It was just one adventure after another.

I have to say the most magical moment was probably our trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower. We arrived in Paris at lunch time last Monday via the “Chunnel” or Eurostar Train from London. We dropped our stuff at our rented apartment and immediately walked over to the Eiffel Tower. The line was terrible, and it was a loooong wait to get tickets and to eventually get to the elevators to ride to the top. As we got on the last elevator up it started to rain, and we were immediately disappointed. It was blowing light rain on two sides of the tower when we arrived at the peak, so the crowd gravitated to the two dry sides, making for a very crowded view of Paris. However, about five minutes after we got there, the rain stopped. I moved to the other side of the tower to take some pictures, and soon Teen Angel hollered over to me, “Do you see the rainbow?” “What rainbow?” She pointed behind her, and there was this big double rainbow stretching over Paris. It was glorious.

It felt like the good Lord has placed it there just for us. Of course, all of the other tourists probably felt the same way, but that didn’t change the way I felt. It was OUR rainbow. Our Paris rainbow, marking the moment we got to celebrate a bucket list item accomplished. We rode back down the elevators, feeling very satisfied.

We then walked down the street to the Arch of Triumphe, and while staring at it, we noticed other people looking in the opposite direction, pointing and taking pictures. We turned around, and there over the Avenue de Champs Elysees were TWO double rainbows. Two! Unbelievable.

Again, it was if they were there just for us. Honestly, I felt like pinching myself to see if it was real or if I was just imagining it. It was a great way to start our Paris leg of the trip.

And to end the trip, we went back to the Eiffel Tower at sunset on our last night, sat on the lawn and along with several other folks scattered on the grass with picnics and wine, watched the sun slide into the ground and the lights on the tower come one. Over and over in my mind, I kept thinking, “I can’t believe I’m sitting on the lawn of the Eiffel Tower.” Magical, I tell ya’, just magical.


oreneta said...

So glad it was so good.....the rainbows and extra special.

Jan n Jer said...

Wow...awesome moments! Very magical!!!

J.G. said...

Great memories, and the rainbows are just gorgeous!