Thursday, June 21, 2007

if you like, continue to check the blog for the next couple of days, i will post some pictures of paris, since we had a hard time while we were here getting to a computer for very long. we are getting ready to leave now, just deciding what to do with our last euros, for breakfast.

It is hard to believe a month has gone by...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

One More Day...

Well, we had our last day here in Paris! It is sad, I think this time has flown by faster than any other city. I woke up this morning with songs from the Musical, Les Miserables, in my head. I think it was appropriate considering that movie was about the French Revolution, and we are in Paris. The song in my head was, "One more more day more!"

We went to the Pantheon this morening after blogging a bit. Then we split up. She had some shopping to do, and I did not want to watch. I have no money to spend, so I did not want the temptation of spending any! I went by a few things to take some pictures. I went by the hotel I stayed at last time, but could not find it. I found the street, but the hotel was gone. I guess it did not get much business. O Well. I did recognise the streets on the way there..and it was fun being my own navigator for a while. (Katie has been a bit of a map hog this trip) ;)

I also went back to Notre Dame. It is just so excited to see this ancient architecture, I cannot help but take pictures of everything! (not just the E. Tower...although I probably do have more pictures of that than anything else.)

I think, this was our first day that it has not rained on us! It was good! I thought it might be cold, but it was lovely. I cannot tell you excactly what Katie did all day long, but I just walked, and looked at everything. I took the Metro a bit too...even though I like walking around better.

We met up for dinner at the place rocomended by our tour guide yesterday. It was similar to french style pizza, thin crust. He said it was french. I also had a ceasar salad, but it was SOOO full of parmesan cheese...i mean, it was falling off hte salad...a bit strane. Katie's salad came with Bologna...I think. It was pink colored meat in a sausage shape...I have never heard of a bologna salad before!

After dinner we went to Starbucks. Katie owed me a coffee! (from our bet last night!) actually, she is the only one with Euros out now, so she has been paying for everything anyway. We sat in the shop, relaxing, waiting for it to get dark. We were axiously awaiting the view of Paris at night, our last night.

There were so many people on the lawn in front of E. Tower. They were all waiting for the sparkling I guess. We got there a few mins before it started. I will try to put some pictures on a bit later. It was like magic, again. I can never be tired of looking at hte E. Tower at night, especially when it is flashing so brilliantly! I know, katie has told you about my facination...maybe she has exagerated a bit, maybe not.

We went on a walk to the Arch De Triumph. It took about 20 mins, and on the way we caught a glimps of the E. Tower sparkling at 11. it was lovely...sigh...

Then we headed back to pack, and so we are still doing...see you all tomorrow!
Wall behind fountain in garden, dedicated to American Soldiers.

Cemetary, US Land, given by the French to the United States. We were home for a while...

Floating roads that were on the beaches, to recieve supplies from ships.

German Bunkers and French Beaches

on top of hte Eifell Tower


We had a great tour of the D-Day beaches, as Rose told you. It was a very moving day. It really is incredible to see such beauty and know what horrors happened there. We visited Omaha beach, were almost 4000 soldiers diedin 1944. It is incredible. We also visited Gold beach, and saw the remains of the artificial ports that the allied forces brought to provide supplies to the Armies for the invasion of Normandy.

We learned so much about various details of the day. We had an incredible tour guide, as Rose mentioned. His grandfather was a French soldier, who participated in the invasion of France from the south. It was a very sobering experience to visit the American Cemetary overlooking Omaha beach. The memrial is very well done, and commands a great amount of respect for those who died freeing France and protecting the rest of the World.

I hope Rose can post some pictures. If not, we will try to later. Today is our last day in Europe, so we are anxious to hit the streets for a few last experiences!



Our American Breakfast!

Katie's Coffee was WEAK!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!! and she got 2 CUPS!!!!!!!!!!!
My First Dr. Pepper....

Notre Dame

Monday In Paris

Wow, we have two amazing days to write about!!! It has been frustrating trying to get on the Internet, but I’m finally able to, even though it is costing over $5 per hour. This is crazy. Anyway, I’ll start with Monday.

Monday was our day at the Louvre. We had budgeted an entire day there, because we didn’t want to be rushed and knew there was a lot that we wanted to see. We arrived a little after opening at 9:00 AM. We have a museum pass, so we didn’t have to stand in the ticket line. Yea!!!! We went straight to the Mona Lisa, to see that before the crowds hit. It wasn’t too bad. They have banned picture taking, so that helps people move along. It is frustrating when people try to take pictures anyway. I guess I’m not very nice, but I blocked a kid who was trying to take one. He was kind of mad.

The Mona Lisa was fine. It was kind of a been there done that moment. There are a lot more paintings I like more.

We explored the rest of the museum at a leisurely pace. Well, not all of it. We looked at most of the paintings, but didn’t linger over many. We spent some time in the sculpture garden, which was enjoyable. We also visited Napoleon’s apartments. That was my favorite part of the louver. I enjoy visiting palaces. 

We left the Louvre around 2 or 3, I think. I don’t remember exactly. WE went to a cafĂ© to have lunch, which we were very ready for by then! I had a chicken baguette, and Rose had a quiche. We both had fruit tarts for dessert.

After the Louvre, we went to Invalides, which is where Napoleon is buried. It was originally a hospital for wounded soldiers built by one of the King Louis’s. (I get all of those Louis kings mixed up). It is still used as a hospital, and also houses three museums, and the chapel which holds Napoleon’s tomb. We visited the tomb first. Then we visited the chapel next to the tomb, and then the Military museum. The Military museum was actually pretty cool. WE saw a lot of medieval armor and weapons first. Then we went through their exhibitions on World War I and II. Those were really interesting. It was great that everything was in several languages, including English, so we could read all of the displays. It was perfect timing to get a big perspective on the wars prior to visiting Normandy the next day.

We stayed at the Museum until they closed at 6:00. After that…the Eiffel Tower! Rose was getting more and more excited by the minute. We walked to the tower, and promptly placed ourselves in line. We waited and waited. The line went pretty fast. Finally we purchased the tickets and then waited for the elevator. Finally we got on the elevator and went up to the second of three levels. At the second level, you have to get into another line to get to the top. So, we stood in that line. It went much faster, and pretty soon, we were at the top of the Eiffel Tower! The weather was beautiful, and we could see very far. It was gorgeous on top, with a nice wind. I don’t know how long we stayed at the top taking pictures. It was a good time.

By the time we got down, it was after 8 and we were starving. We had a restaurant picked out of my guidebook, so we set off to find it. It was pretty easy to find. We passed a building that I swear came out of Mario world. Nintendo music started going through my head…anyway, we found the restaurant, and, of course, it was closed. Oh well. We had passed about 50 restaurants getting there, so we just turned around and tried to decide which to grace with our presence (ha). We settled at a little tavern like place. They kind of had a menu in English. We could make out half of the words. Between the English and French menus, we figured out what to get. I ordered a hamburger and Rose ordered chicken, both with fries. I think she told you about that already. My hamburger came with an egg on top!! Yep, a sunny side up egg, runny yoke and all. It was interesting, but since I love eggs and I love hamburgers, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Rose’s chicken was cold slices of chicken, but she enjoyed it. After that, we finally made it back to our hotel room around 11:30 and got ready for our early morning to go to Normandy. Monday was a great busy day, and we were looking forward to our D-Day tour! I’ll start a new post to tell you about that.


i don't know if you all remember about the starbucks contest, well, last night i spotted the FIRST starbucks ofParis, well, i don't know if it was the first one, its just hte first one we have seen. so, katie had to buy mine...but, it was CLOSED! at 9:30pm...unbelieveable! STRANGE HOURS IN EUROPE! so, i guess we will have to go back today, or tomorrow before our train out of town or something...hehe.

yes, yesterday was a GREAT day! we woke up at an ungodly hour....5:30. IT wouldn't be so bad, except we kinda had late night the night before. But, we made it to the train station to catch our train to Normandy. We were a little early, so Katie and I bought breakfast, pastries and coffee. i didn't have coffee though. the train ride was uneventful. The sky looked a little grey at sometimes, but it turned out to be a beatuful day in Normandy. We started our all day tour at the Museum. It was a great museum of WWII, giving plenty of background information about WWI and The Hollocost, etc. It realy was quite distressing at some times. Any time you hear about one man having such a deviasting effect on SO MANY people is daunting. True, he was a genius, but he used it in such an evil way. We had a bout 2 and half hours inthe museum, then ate lunch in the cafeteria. WE ate with our tour guide, who is facinated with WWII and everything connected with it. HE was the best tour guid we have had, because his knowledge was so deep, and he was so respectful about it all. (on a side note: he gave us advise on authentic, affordable food for dinner tonight, so we are excited.) there are even gardens at the museum dedicated, one to British, one to Canadian, and one to American soldiers who fought in the war, especially D-DAY. At 2 we began our journey to 5 of the D-Day landing sites on the Beeches of Normandy. That was beautiful! We were 8 in a van, with the same tour guide. He had answeres for every question anyone had. HE had seen every movie about D-Day, and knew what was real and where it was filmed, and who the actors were...etc. He knows his stuff. i will post pictures of the day. it started raining while we were at hte memorial to the American Soldiers who died in the War. There are over 9 thouand crosses above the soldiers barried there. and there is a grave for over 3 thousand for those MIA. That is only 40 percent of hte soldiers who died in the war, the rest were barried in there homeland. We visited the grave of Theadore Rosevelt, the presendent's son, who recieved the medal of honor for risking his life and disobeying orders, which resulted in a great victory. It was all very incredible.

WE got stuck in some rain...I got pretty wet, again. So, when we arrived on our last landing site, i could not resist stepping into the ocean. It was all sand, and so beautiful, in between thunderstorms! I think KAtie has pictures of it...but they are not on my camera right now, so i can't post them. i do have some of hte beaches though. I did not want to take my camera out in the rain, and i didnt have a poncho...o well.

Katie was bit by a bug on the van, and bled. i screamed when it flew around...we almost crashed the van. not really, but it was a bit crazy for a second. the guy behind me said, "it's not like it has guns and its shooting!" i just thought i would give you all a funny thought...maybe you can laugh as much as i did about it, but i doubt it. ;)

the tour ended at 7 it was an all day thing.

there is someone who needs the computer, and i told him ten mins. so i better do some pics now.

Monday, June 18, 2007

sorry we did not get a chance to post today. we are just too busy and tomorrow we have an early morning. we are doing a D-day tour in Normandy, our train leaves at 7, so we are getting up at five thirty. we will post pictures tomorrow if we can.

today we went to the Louvre, and then the the Palace of Invalides...which is an army museum, and a WWI and WWII museum, and the tomb of Nepolian. Then we went to the E. Tower and went to the top. it was very crouded .the time i went up before it was a kinda rainy day, so there were hardly any people was a beautiful day, so it was packed. i am not sure which is better, having the tour to yourself on a less than perfect day, or enjoying it with a hundred other people. i think the less the perfect day is better...but we still enjoyed it. the whole process, bottom to top to bottom took about 2 hours. we were SO ready for dinner after knee, and our feet and backs were killing us. we found a place to eat and sat down!

katie ordered a hamburger, which came with a fried egg on top, instead of a bun. i had chicken and fries. the fries were hot and the slices of chicken were cold...but it was all good.

we are calling it a day, finally, and starting tomorrow nice and early. hopefully i will have time, and the internet will be free, to post pictures.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Rose Loves Paris...and our great Sunday!

We had a good day today!

Before I talk about today, though, i have to say that my sister is obsessed with Paris. I mentioned Wednesday when she took off running toward the Eiffel Tower as soon as we were close, right after we arrived.

Well, Wednesday night, we climbed the Arc D'Triumph (for the second time) to see the tower at night. It was beautiful. We took pictures, enjoyed the view, and then decided to try to get to it in time to see it light up. Rose thought that it lit up at 8 minutes after the hour, and we had about 25 minutes to get there. WE took off, found the metro station, and made our way to the tower. When we got off the train and exited the station, we started walking toward the tower. In a minute, Rose spotted the reflection of the sparkles in the river, and yelled, "It's sparkling!" She then proceeded to run toward the bridge where we would have a good view. It was raining again, there was traffic, and there went my sister, blindly running for a view of the tower. I could barely see where I was going, with my poncho over my head. I followed her, though, and we were able to watch the tower sparkle for about 10 minutes. It really was beautiful. It just made me a little nervous to see Rose darting through traffic to get to it! I think the tower is a magnet, and Rose is the opposite pole. haha

The other thing about Paris that Rose is in love with is crepes. I think she has had three chocolate crepes so far. When she gets one, she just starts giggling. I now know what to do anytime she is mad about her a chocolate crepe!

Anyway, today was a great day. We went to Notre Dame this morning for the 10:00 mass. It was beautiful. They had the liturgy printed in various languages, including English, so we could follow pretty well. It was also a Gregorian mass, with the mass sung in latin. They had it printed in Latin and in French, so between the two, we could understand a lot of it. It was neat. After mass, we climbed to the top of the bell tower. We had a beautiful view of Paris, and could see a lot of detail in the cathedral itself. We were face to face with some pretty creepy gargoyles. In fact, creepy was the word of the day for me. I commented that the organ music before mass was creepy (it was), and then I commented that the gargoyles were creepy. Rose looked at me like I was crazy, and said "you think everything is creepy!" Oh well. I enjoyed it anyway. We'll post some gargoyle pictures and you can decide for yourself if they are creepy. One of them in particular was devouring a dead rabbit! The poor rabbit was hanging out of its mouth. That's creepy.

After Notre Dame, we went to San Chappelle, a chapel that is very close to Notre Dame. It is gorgeous! The main chapel is almost completely made of stained glass windows. There is about 1600 square feet of stained glass, depicting the stories of Christianity from Genesis through the Apocalypse. The sun was shining, so the windows were particularly beautiful. Hopefully those pictures turned out well also, and Rose can post them later.

After the two churches, we went to the Orsay Museum, which is art from the 1800's and early 1900's. It contains a lot of impressionistic art, which I love. We spent about 3 hours there, enjoying many painting by Monet, Van Gogh, Renoir, Cezanne, Manet, Cassatt, Pissaro, etc. We had a great time in the museum. They had some more modern stuff that we don't particularly care for, but that's okay. It was a nice change from the ancient art of Italy.

Tonight, we found a great restaurant for dinner!!!! We are really excited about it. It is called "Breakfast in America" and is a diner owned by Americans. It was so good. We both had omelets, fried potatoes, and toast. I had great coffee, and Rose had...a Dr. Pepper!!! It is the first Dr. Pepper we have seen here. She ordered water first, and then someone else mentioned Dr. Pepper. She quickly flagged down the waitress, and said "Did I hear you say you have Dr. Pepper?" "Yes, we sure do!" replied the waitress. Tears of joy welled up in Rose's eyes as she grinned and said, "Can I please have one?" It was classic. Our breakfasts for almost a month have consisted of breads. It is getting a little old. We have been buying fruit and yogurt, but it was so nice to have eggs. I am feeling protein deprived! By the way, it is a good thing that Rose enjoyed her Dr. Pepper, and that she didn't ask how much it cost before she ordered it. It ended up being over $4 for one can!!! Beverages are so expensive here.

Now I am blogging, and I lost Rose. She is probably headed in the direction of the Eiffel Tower. She just took off and said she was going to look for something, and I haven't seen her since. Oh well. She knows where the hotel is! I'm sure she'll show up before Thursday.

Everything is going well! We are having a great time, despite the rain. We are really hoping that we have at least one clear night to explore Paris at night. WE were going to out last night at night. We were in our room at 7:30 and decided to wait a couple hours, since it doesn't get dark until after 10. We both fell asleep, and when we woke up at 9:45, we decided we were too tired to go out. Instead, we took showers, got ready for bed, and went to sleep. We'll probably go to bed early tonight, too, since we have a big day at the Louvre tomorrow!

Have a great week!!!