Sunday, October 2, 2011

Paris: Day 4

Day 4 of Paris here we come! We WILL get through this Europe Trip. Bear with me. :) This day was a particularly wet one. Being our second pouring down rain day in Paris so far, we learned our lesson and dressed accordingly. With rain jackets in tow, we took the Metro across town to the Eiffel Tower (finally, right?!)!

We got there early (about 8:30 - it opened at 9) to wait in line and get tickets. Thank goodness we did! It got super crowded but we were one of the first groups up there and it was great. We stood in line in front of these four British college girls. It was pretty entertaining listening to them. Fun fact: we saw the same group of British girls at least two other times on our trip in different parts of Paris. Small world city!

Oh, also while we were waiting we had the best cappuccino we had on our trip from the little coffee and pastry stand underneath the Eiffel Tower. It was cheap and SO yummy.

First thing, we went up to the very top of the tower. It kind of reminded me of going up the Space Needle (except maybe a little better). It was so cold at the top. I think the rain was still snow/hail we were so high. With all the rain and fog (it covered the top at certain times) it was still amazing views from up there!

After we were done got too cold at the top, we went down the the second level. They say that the views are actually better from the second level because you are closer to the landmarks. We took a ton of pictures, but most of them have quite a few raindrops covering the lens. Not cool, weather. Not cool.  We still managed to get a few good ones though.

After the Eiffel Tower, we headed out across the river to get a good shot of the full thing. It was P-O-U-R-I-N-G at this point. And my silly husband kept refusing (on principal!) to buy an umbrella from the street vendors. They were super annoying and would come up to you standing in line or walking along and try to push you to buy an umbrella. "Five dolla! Five dolla!" they would say. Even if you already had two umbrellas, they would come up to you and try to sell you another one. Along with a million cheap touristy trinkets.

Finally, I was so drenched I made Z stop and buy me an umbrella for 5 Euros. It was well worth it. And at least it kept our heads (and the camera in the bag) dry. From there we walked to the Arc de Triumph, which was not as close as it looked. You have to walk under the road to get to it since it is in the middle of a huge roundabout.

The good thing was that we didn't have to pay to get to the top since it was included in the Museum Pass. Such a good deal! Since the Arc is in the middle of the roundabout, the roads around it basically go out like spokes on a bike. It was so wet by this point and the rain was not letting up.

We stopped again (I think for at least the third time) at the little stand right by the big Obelisk in between the Arc and the Louvre to get hot dogs with cheese (delicious) for lunch. Next, we wanted to hit up the Musee d'Orsay because we heard it was almost better than the Louvre, but by the time we got there everyone had the same idea of trying to get out of the rain. The line was so long it curved around a whole city block - like it actually went around four sides of one block! We thought it was covered by the Museum Pass and we could get to the front of the line, but no dice. At this point, we were so cold and wet that we decided to just head back to the hotel for a hot shower and a nap. Of course we had to stop for a yummy Nutella crepe first!

After our nap, it finally stopped raining! Hooray! We got all gussied up for a night on the town. Zach planned a romantic night to celebrate our third anniversary. We had some time to kill before dinner, so we went to the Jardin de Luxembourg to walk around for a couple hours. It was so beautiful and nice to get out and enjoy the gardens. It was built by the Queen of the Medicis to remind her of the Boboli Gardens in Florence. So pretty.

From there we went to find the restaurant in the Marais district (North of Notre Dame and the Latin Quarter). The Marais district seemed like a really cool district - I guess it is the new trendy gay district. We walked around for a while and finally found the restaurant. Our reservations were for 9:30pm - we wanted to be authentic and eat as late as they usually do. :)

The restaurant was called L'Ambassade d'Auvergne and it was Ah-MAH-zing. It was a quaint little place that served authentic French country food. The waitress we had was a little butch lady and she meant business! But she was really nice and spoke English - she even gave us a menu in English. I told Z to order for me so he got me the duck breast with cheesy potatoes (he knows me so well), he got duckling leg with regular potatoes, and we split a bottle of red wine. Everything was delicious. When the waitress brought out my cheesy potatoes she brought out the pan, wound them up on the spatula and stretched them really high. Everyone in the restaurant watched and cheered. They were very exciting cheesy potatoes. Probably the best potatoes I've ever had. This place definitely got 5 stars from me! YUM.

Such a fun, romantic (and wet) day!

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