With the Underground not running yet, we had to leave at 4:00 to make the night bus to get to the station where the EuroStar leaves. While it is not entirely exciting to take a 40-minute bus ride that you know in a car would only take ten minutes, we were all excited to be headed to Paris.
Prior to Sunday, we had no real plans about where we would stay in Paris. It was honestly getting to the point where our only option looked like staying up or sleeping in a park. (I know, this is something I would have only told you about after already surviving, Mom.) But, our God is good. In our church here, we have a couple people from Paris. So, we were fortunate enough to have one of our lovely Parisian church members offer us a place to stay with her mother in Paris. We had no real idea where this place would be, so we were just willing to risk that we might have to travel forever to get in and out of Paris. But it would be better than a park bench. Anyway, we arrive and follow the directions to meet up with her mom.
It was a little weird just waiting around for a person we have never met before, but there we stood outside the Charles-Michael station. She found us, greeting us with kisses (I actually think we should adopt this greeting style. Kisses to each side cheek—it feels so friendly), then we followed her as she bought us croissants, a baguette, and a few other various bread items for breakfast. We walked to her place, which was within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower! You could even see it out of her window. And there it was—the Eiffel Tower! I was finally in Paris.
We sat down for breakfast, and she set out what looked like cereal bowls in front of us. I was not really sure what the bowls were for, so I was letting crumbs from my croissant fall in. Then she came in with a pot of steamed milk and poured it in Rachel’s bowl, then Eliott’s, and I quickly had to get all my croissant pieces out of it because all of a sudden, I was getting milk poured into my bowl.
“Coffee,” was all she said. So we were directed to put instant coffee into the steamed milk. And we drank coffee out of a bowl. And it was fantastic. I ate my croissant and drank my coffee in a bowl as I tried to convince myself, you are really in Paris. I was tired, but so excited. Going to Paris was something I have always wanted to do, but really didn’t know when I would ever actually make it there.
After breakfast, we headed to the Eiffel Tower. I am really quite afraid of heights, but when you’re in Paris, you just have to go up the Eiffel Tower. In the summer of 2007, I went St. Louis and had full plans not to go on top of the Arch, because heights absolutely freak me out. But that summer my mom said, probably in all seriousness, that I was not allowed to go home if I did not go to the top of the Arch. And I feel like it would have been similar with the Eiffel Tower. I cannot let fear stop me from taking every opportunity to experience the world.
The line for the elevator was over a two hour wait, so we got in the line for the stairs. When in Paris, I guess. Six hundred steps may not seem like a lot, but it is, trust me. You really only have so many stairs, because to make it to the top, you have to pay more for an elevator. So I am all afraid of heights and freaking out, but it was really awesome. I mean, yeah, I was completely scared, but I was climbing the Eiffel Tower. Life goal, now accomplished. Eliott was a bit disappointed by the pictures you can get at the top of the Eiffel Tower—I guess the view isn’t all that picturesque. (That and I think Eliott is quite fussy about his pictures.) But we took pictures and headed down. It was hot and sticky, but it was also great.
We tried to get as much as we could out of Paris in the two short days we were there, so Rachel and I went in the Notre Dame and we all went in the Louvre, but we really only saw the Mona Lisa. Because that’s also something that you just have to do. You could spend weeks in the Louvre and probably still not see everything, so we tried to get the most important thing. Which I guess is the Mona Lisa. And you know you are going to be disappointed when you see it, because I’ve heard how it’s smaller than you think and it’s in a glass case, but still, it’s something you have to see in Paris.
We made our way to the Champs-Elysees and walked down it multiple times, ate dinner along it, and enjoyed Paris. It was a productive first day. And at this point, we had already walked a lot and were tired, but Eliott wanted pictures of Paris at night. I really know nothing about how to take a good picture, but Eliott and his fancy camera wanted pictures at night. So we headed to the Eiffel Tower to get some pictures. It was a lot of walking and not feeling super safe walking around at night. And honestly, the tiredness was getting to us and we were all getting crabby and wanted to be sleeping. The joys of being a team means that sometimes you spend so much time together, you want to punch each other. But you know you still all love each other. So we got pictures and finally made it back to where we were staying at, like, one thirty in a morning (yeah, I know, I’m sorry, Mom. We will be better when we are in Rome).
The second day we went to the Sacré-Cœur, which even though it was on the top of a hill (my feet were tired), it was really pretty and surrounded by a cute village.
Rachel and I then searched out a really cute café that served coffee in a bowl. Seriously, coffee in a bowl is my favorite.
I enjoyed going to Paris, but I gotta be honest, it made me miss London. It was nice to come back to London and sleep in a (somewhat) familiar place. I know it’s not home, but it has gotten to become close to my heart.