Monday, February 4, 2013

Best Day EVER!!!

Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013

This morning we waked up (LOL, that's an inside joke for Lea!!) and Brad went out for croissants (ever-present in Paris!) and cappuccino (also ever-present in Paris!)
Croissant and other goodies :)

We had our breakfast then packed up our stuff.  Since the landlady didn't have an apartment available for 3 nights, we had this apt for one night and we are moving to the other one for our last 2 nights.  Since she compensated for our inconvenience with a free night, we didn't complain!  A taxi picked us up and we headed to the 4th district.
Goodbye apartment!  (Bottom windows on left of door)
Hello new apartment!  This is just the courtyard inside the building.
Our new apartment is next door to the mounted police and we could hear some clip-clopping!  Look!
View from kitchen window.  Wish I had gotten some better pics!
The landlady's assistant was there to clean from the guest that JUST left (like....they were actually still there when we arrived!) and he told us how to get to the bus stop for the Paris l'Open tour.  This is a double decker bus that takes you all around the city.  You hop on and off wherever you want.  We also booked the boat tour of the Seine on the same ticket.  The bus stop was only a couple of blocks away, right near this dude:
This was our landmark!  The dude faced the street we needed to take to get home.

Lainie waiting for the bus!
We are staying near the Bastille.  Disclaimer right now: I do not know Paris.  At all.  I didn't ever bother to learn much about the buildings!  I just enjoyed how everything looked.  So all of you experienced Paris travelers, pardon my lack of knowledge!!  :)
On top of the bus!

Awesome views from up here!!

Some pretty building :)
I really loved how all the buildings matched!  They are (almost) all beige with black roofs and black wrought iron on the windows.  Really pleasant to look at!!
Lainie checking out the audiotour

Ooooo...the Seine!!

The scooters/motorcycles had these hand and leg warmers on them!  Brad was very impressed.
This obelisk was a gift from Egypt and was made in 1200 BC.  Whoa.  Great view with the Eiffel Tower in the background!
 We jumped off the bus to ride this humongous ferris wheel!  (Well, the non-chickens rode it.)

They took some pics from the top...incredible views!!

There's some chickens down there

That was an expensive ride, but they said it was worth it!!!

Look how French Lainie and Grandma look!

 OK People, I gotta tell you, the Eiffel Tower is even better than all it's hyped up to be!  I was worried I would be disappointed, that it wasn't "all that."  Oh my, it was!  It is so huge...beyond my expectations!  Really beautiful, I loved the heck out of it!!  And what an experience to eat croissants under it!!
Photobombed.  Again.
I warned you that I love the Eiffel Tower!  Here are 8 million pictures, from every conceivable angle!!!  #can'tgetenough

I never knew it had all this detailed scroll work!

We made our way down to the river to catch the boat ride and see Paris from the Seine.  The problem with these bus/boat tours is they only come every 30 minutes in the winter, and you never know when that is going to happen.  There is a bit of standing around, in the cold.  Grandma took Lainie and ran off to get another cappuccino.  And here comes the boat!  Brad was running around like a maniac trying to find them, to no avail.  The boat left without us.  We didn't want to wait another 30 minutes!  We made a new rule: no cappuccinos until we get OFF at a stop, LOL!  Half of the 8 stops along the river were flooded anyway and couldn't be used.  :(

Here it comes, there it goes!

So we went back up the Eiffel Tower bus stop.  Remember those sunny, blue skies from the pics about a half hour ago?  Well, look now:
Pelted with hail!


See those hail stones falling?

There was hail in our hair, down our backs, even inside my purse!!!

Lea's toes were getting cold!
But it must be like Michigan because a few minutes later:

 This next photo is to give you a glimpse into Parisian traffic.  I can NOT explain how AWFUL this is!  I have never been so scared in my whole life!  The CRAZIEST DRIVERS EVER!!!  (Brad and Lainie disagree as they have been to Haiti!)  I don't know how there aren't accidents constantly.  It is beyond crazy!
Just like in Germany...such fresh flowers everywhere!

Lunch time!  Dinner time?  It was about 4pm, I think.  We stopped at a place with a view of Notre Dame.  We decided to share some meals.  Paris prices are outrageous!!!  This place was super expensive, not great service and only mediocre food.  But hey, ya win some, ya lose some.
Wieners and fries

Croque Monsieur is a ham and cheese...with extra cheese melted on top
French onion soup.  Or, as the French call it, onion soup.

We could see Notre Dame from the restaurant.  We saw a ton of priests or something on the white platform in front, all wearing white or black robes.  Tons of them!  (Sorry if I offend any Catholic friends...I don't know the right terms!)  Apparently there was a ceremony going on.  ND is 850 years old now and they got some new bells for their bell tower.  It was a big ceremony.
We had crepes for dessert, almost forgot to take a pic!  This one was lemon.  Crepe with sugar on top, then you squeeze a fresh lemon on it.  It was good, if you like crepes (which I don't.)

The food was good, but not great.  A bit disappointing.  But it was still fun to be together!

We were tired and headed back to our apartment.  Since it was being cleaned when we dropped off our stuff, we never had a chance to look around.  We were excited to see it!
Me and Grandma photographing the kitchen/living area.  Small, but good enough!

Master bedroom

2nd bedroom

We did a very touristy thing.  We bought TONS of little tiny cheap Eiffel Tower key chains!  We thought some friends back home might like a little token of our love for them <3  We ended up buying more the next day as we thought of more people!  Crazy tourists.
Only a fraction of our collection!
So now for the evening festivities!  Lea and Grandma were hanging at home while Brad, Lainie and I went to the Neon Trees concert!  We were so excited!  We decided to be cheap and take the Metro instead of a cab.  Should have taken the cab!  We got off at the wrong place, had to pay to go back on and get directions from some youngsters.  We finally got off at the right place, but didn't know which way to go next.   I asked some other youngsters if they knew where the club was (La Maroquinerie) and it turns out they were just checking their GPS for it because they were headed to the concert, too!  We followed them.  It was uphill, we were in a hurry because of the Metro mix up, and I almost had a heart attack from exertion and stress!!  Finally huffed and puffed my way there, sweating!  It was the teeniest, hottest little bar!!  The warm up band was already on and there were 400 people crammed in there.  We wandered around and surprisingly enough, found a good spot to watch from!  It was only a standing room bar, no seats anywhere. We were on a small 2nd level, up a few steps from the floor, behind the lighting dude.

We were SO EXCITED when Neon Trees came on!!! They started with "Moving in the Dark" which is a song we totally love.  They played some of our faves!!  My fave of theirs is "Mad Mad Love" and they played it which made me very happy!  And of course, the ones everyone knows, "Animal" and "Everybody Talks."  They really rocked and we sang and danced and sweated for the whole thing!  Brad was super nice and held our coats the whole time.  I was having serious hot flashes!!  LOL, guess who is too old for a concert?  Ha, there were people even older than us there!  Brad took some pics with his phone but they all stunk!  Too dark in there.  2 videos turned out a bit better, but not great.  I am posting them anyway!!  They are short.  (too short!)

The concert was the whole reason we decided to go to Paris!  It was totally cool to be there!

We took the stinky and scary-at-night Metro back home and went to bed, exhausted.  My ears were ringing :)

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