Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sentimental Sunday

Last week I wrote about the first part of our trip to France. Today I'd like to share some cool "architectural" type photos from our second stop in France - Paris!!! But first, some background information. In 7th grade I began taking French in school and I continued right through my first year of college. (And I can barely speak it!). Anyway, in all those years of learning about the French language and culture I developed a real desire to see all of the wonderful places, monuments, cathedrals and chateaux that I had heard and read so much about. It was a dream come true for me to finally get to see Paris. And I was not disappointed. One day we ventured to the Place de la Concorde and looked down the Champs Elysees and there was the Arc de Triomphe at the other end of this beautiful, wide, tree-lined street. I just HAD to walk that street. Everyone was tired, but I couldn't be dissuaded. During the entire walk (and it was much farther than it looked), I didn't even really notice the shops and cafes I was passing, because I kept saying over and over in my head, "Somebody pinch me! I am walking down the Champs Elysees!". I was smiling from ear to ear the whole way. (Meanwhile my kids were complaining and my husband was kindly indulging this fantasy of mine). When we finally reached the Arc de Triomphe, I realized that it is possible to go inside and climb to the top! And I do mean CLIMB! No elevator. Of course, we HAD to do it. All 298 steps (I counted). Many of them spiral. It was worth the effort. It's a memory I will never forget. (Neither will my kids). Here is a picture from the very top of the spiral staircase.



No trip to Paris would be complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower. Once again, I was awestruck and dumbfounded that I was actually at the Eiffel Tower! And, of course, I HAD to go to the top. There was an elevator this time (much to my kids relief). My daughter, Katie, who has a great eye for photography took these next few pictures of the Eiffel Tower from unusual angles. I really love them.








When we got to the top, we enjoyed the view looking out over Paris. Imagine our surprise when we saw this in the grass of a park that is adjacent to the Eiffel Tower:





I would like to think that some romantic "Romeo", wore this heart into the grass so that he would take his "Juliet" to the top of the Eiffel Tower and propose to her. I really hope that's what happened. How could any girl say anything but YES after a gesture like that? We were all a little "squealy" when we saw that. (Well, the girls and I were. But, I think deep down Geoff was touched too. He's a big romantic at heart).


And here we are at the top of the Tower with Paris laid out behind us. Ah, Paris! The city of LOVE! I hope I get to go back some day!


18 comments:

FranticMommy said...

GORGEOUS! I am green with envy. Thanks for sharing Pam!

Renee said...

Isn't Paris just grand? I have that same picture from the Arc de Triomphe stairwell. I told the kids they needed to unwind me when we finished climbing them! I love it there. It's so nice to read about it from your perspective too. Brings me right back there!

Anita said...

Moi! I love this journey into your trip to Paris! What a wonderful story. Great photography, and I would have been touched by seeing the heart in the grass too.....so sweet.
Thank you for sharing Pam, I've never been to Paris........someday.......

nan said...

I absolutely love the photo of the spiral staircase. Great pictures! Thanks.

Jenna said...

*sigh*
My Mom loves Paris too.

Actually, there IS an elevator in the Arch... :)
How do I know? Simple. The first time I was in Paris, I had broken a few toes and was limping around like crazy, so the nice people working there let me go up in what seemed to be a rarely used service elevator!

Pam said...

Jenna - Oh no! Don't tell my kids about the service elevator. They will KILL me!

Pam said...

Mommy - It truly is a gorgeous city. I hope you have an opportunity to visit it one day.

Tammy Howard said...

What gorgeous pics! Thanks for sharing such a special memory!

Mighty M said...

Thanks for coming by for a visit! Those are great pic's! I can't wait until we get to go to Europe!!

Vickie said...

Thanks for visiting my blog:) I also took french in high school and two years of college. I used to be able to read it, speak it and even sing christmas songs. Now...I can't do any of it:( You lucky duck...going to France. Lovely pictures and the heart one is nice.

I see that you work in a library. The past couple of years I wished I had majored in library science instead of social science. Oh well.

The Last Queen is on my list to read.

Have a happy June:)

Sandy said...

Pam, I haven't been to Paris yet, someday I hope, but I know well that feeling of walking down a street saying "I can't believe I'm in....." My most vivid memory was being in Pompei (with you!) and looking at the cart tracks carved into the stones in the street thinking that they had been made 2000 years ago! Amazing!

Pam said...

Sandy - Pompeii was AMAZING! I've never had that "pinch me" feeling before or since Paris. I think it's because I spent so much of my time as a student learning about the language, the culture, the people, and all the "places to see and things to do". It felt surreal to finally be there. Of course, seeing the casts of the bodies in Pompeii was something I was really looking forward to. Anything macabre is always a big hit with me! LOL!

Alex the Girl said...

Italy. My teen two is saving up her money in order to take her senior trip there. She wants me to go along. Imagine that? I don't know if I would have been brave enough to ...er...brave the tower of power. I'm petrified of heights and would have been reduced to a puddle of spineless mass. You are more than a mere librarian!

Pam said...

How awesome that your daughter is planning and saving for such a BIG trip. Not to mention that she wants you to go with her. Sweet! I hope you both get to go. And surprisingly both Katie and Geoff are afraid of heights, but both of them didn't have too much trouble at the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe.

Celine said...

Those are awesome pictures Pam! :)
I love them! ^^
I'm so glad you had such a good time in France!

Pam said...

Celine - Phew! Glad you liked my Paris pictures. I was thinking of you when I wrote this post. I didn't want to disappoint my French bloggy friend. And, yes, I loved France. Gorgeous country and wonderfully friendly people. Would go back in a heartbeat!

Terra said...

I have to admit, I could not have done those stairs. OR taken the picture of them! Your trip was amazing! Do any / all of you speak french?

Bethany said...

I loved Paris! I had an awesome picture of the Eiffel Tower but the resolution isn't good enough for me to blow it up to a poster size. Ahh, I miss Europe!

 

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