Thursday, August 31, 2017

Paris - the Sites

The children were up early and ready to go. First stop, the Eiffel tower of course.  There are hardly words to describe this.  It is truly amazing.  One of my friends told me that when travelling as an expat you will  have many moments where you think, "pinch me. Am I really here?" This was one of those moment - probably more for Hope than for any of us. Ever since Grace Thomas was released by American Girl, Hope has been dreaming of Paris. Jamison and Grayson took many pictures of the actual architecture of the building and we even took a trip to the top.

One happy little girl.

The Arc de Triomphe

at the top of the tower

On the second floor there was a play area and an area where you could ride bikes in "training" for the Olympics.  The kids enjoyed some time on these.

Throughout the attractions, you would see signs that said, "kissing spot." After all it is the city of love. We took a picture but Hope missed the tower that was supposed to be in the background.

Take two

We then made our way over to the Arc de Triomphe.  I just thought the roundabouts in England were bad.  This one was at least 4 lanes all the way around and we learned that this is the only roundabout in Paris where the cars entering the roundabout have the right of way. It made me nervous just watching the drivers. The Arc sits in the middle of the roundabout. Fortunately Assia had loaned me her Rick Steves book which instructed us how to take the underground tunnels to get over to the Arc. Otherwise, I am pretty sure we would have been flattened in a game of Frogger. While we were reading up, Grayson was admiring the cars.

The Arc!  We learned about that it was an ark of triumph for Napoleon. On one side of the Arc is Napoleon being crowned and on the other is Joan of Ark pointing the way to freedom for her tired and clothless soldiers. There were lots of questions on why they were fighting in the buff.

 Of course, we had to climb up to the top of it.
Climbing to the top.
 The family humored me and allowed me to stop at the Palais Garnier.  It is the setting of my all time favorite musical, that is known for it's chandelier and staircase. Both my parents guessed Beauty and the Beast, but the answer is Phantom of the Opera. It was stunningly beautiful on the inside.  I feel the need to take my children to London and introduce them to Phantom.

Aside from my wanting to see the setting of Phantom, the kids got to learn a little history of Opera and see some dresses that Opera singers wore.

Seeing the staircase made me want to break out singing, "Masquerade."

Testing out the seats. "the Phantom of the Opera is here...." 

On the staircase.
We ended the day taking a cruise down the Seine River.  It started to rain and we ducked into the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel. As we were scurrying in I noticed a newsreporter and several pictures of Dianne lying in tribute.  We had no idea that it was the 20th anniversary of her death, but they were doing a newscast of it from the tunnel where the crash happened.  I was wet, but I should have run back upstairs to snap a quick picture of the moment.

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