{September 17, 2014}   Europe Vacay: Paris 1
Paris Day 1 has not disappointed!  DJ told me we need to wake up at 4 am to make our train. I was nervous I would run late, so I woke up at 3 am. That is when I learned that our train didn’t leave until 7:30! So that 6 am time he kept telling me was when he wanted to leave the house, for the train station 15 minutes down the road! 😦 You know I hate waking up early for no reason. But it worked out, we had breakfast and coffee and did devotion while we waited for the train. The train was so nice and our stewardess spoke perfect English so that was very helpful because there were some confusing moments. DJ purchased first class tickets and boy was it worth it. Plush seats, breakfast and Wi-Fi. Not just any breakfast a breakfast with crepes, croissant, yogurt, fruit, coffee and juice. I couldn’t believe how much they gave us for a two hour trip. It was gorgeous seeing the country side. The train runs so fast I couldn’t get good pics, we were on a bullet train.
Once in Paris we walked to our hotel. I was a little nervous because we had to walk through the red light district. I kid you not 18 sex shops in about 10 minutes of walking, I got scared and stopped counting after that. Well come to find out we were in the famous or infamous Moulin Rouge area. Luckily that is not where our hotel was. It actually was nicer than they showed on the website. Its painted all sorts of crazy colors and the lighting in the pictures makes it look like a 70s porn set. But in person it just looks like an eccentric French place. There’s nothing special, but it has a tv, wifi, a large bathroom (for European standards) and its CLEAN!  Plus it has an amazing view of the city and the Jazz area is below, so there is music and people all the time. I love it for people watching.
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Our check in wasn’t until 2pm and we arrived at 10 or 11 am so we checked our bags and walked the area. We found this really old church on a hill. Its huge and looks like a museum except they still have live mass there and it was going on while we were there. It was very beautiful. When you turn around you can view the city of Paris from the heights of where the church is. So we took some nice pics there. Then we wandered some residential neighborhoods and discovered that though Paris doesn’t have a lot of greenery they have created man made parks that are beautiful and each one unique, specifically for the purpose of sitting and enjoying the scenery. The architecture is beautiful, you can walk around all day taking pictures.
For lunch we found this restaurant, a local place. No one spoke English but they were very nice, so we played charades and order a fantastic dinner that came with dessert for the equivalent of about $15 a person. That’s a very good price for a Paris lunch.
After checking in, we played around with the train system, going to different stops and getting a feel for things. Then decided just to find our way to the Eiffel tower. We planned on actually going on another day. I read that if you go before 9 am or right after lunch you can avoid lines. We ended up there about 3pm and because it was also a Monday (Mondays are like Sundays in that many businesses are not open) there was no line, we walked right up to the ticket counter. Then we climbed the Eiffel Tower! That’s right I climbed the Eiffel Tower stairs all the way up, no elevator! That was my workout for the day. It was crazy, but I must be in better shape than I used to be because, I was winded and tired, but not dying like other times when DJ has had me do hills that were much smaller.
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There is a park right behind the Eiffel Tower where couples sit and lounge and read or drink wine. So we relaxed their after going up and down the Eiffel Tower. I can’t explain how amazing the Eiffel Tower was. Its much bigger than I thought and completely dwarfs the Space Needle. I actually got tears in my eyes looking at it, it puts you in awe that in 1889 they built this amazing structure that is still here without the use of modern technology. We wandered some more and then decided to call it an “early” night, as in 8 or 9pm. Parisians are out extremely late.
We went to dinner at the café right next door. They speak perfect English so that was helpful. I am actually picking up a few words of French, so that’s cool. Anyway, dinner was so-so there but the Tiramisu is the best I have ever had in my life. This is authentic Tiramisu! I loved it.

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