Posted from Rome, Lazio, Italy.
After our adventure to the pharmacy in the early morning hours, we found ourself walking back go find wifi to post, on unsecured networks. Unfortunately we failed miserably at our attempt to wake up early. Around 05:30 I began having labor pains, or what I would equate to labor pains, which lasted a few hours. I napped a bit longer while the parents and Daniel entertained each other. They enjoyed conversation while I slept, learning about Marsha’s job, discussing holidays, and laughing a bit.
The parents and Daniel enjoyed Mimosas next door, from champagne and orange juice we picked up the night before, strolling back home. The three mimosas that Marsha and Daniel did them both in, though Marsha slept until 19:00. I awoke at 14:30 and our day to visit the Eiffel Tower began.
The Opera station, conveniently located next to the InterContinental Le Grande allowed for easy access to virtually all of the mass transit of Paris. The information person (Aqua Man) was very friendly, assisting me through when my ticket failed to work (yet again), and when Daniel looked completely lost. The Train 8 to the Metro C brought us to the Eiffel Tower in 20 minutes. Papa, Daniel and I arrived at the Eiffel, with sprinkles in the air, and a young couple in the park enjoying each others company in a very intimate manner.
The Eiffel Tower was a buzz, with street vendors, tourists, and others out for a stroll through the Champs de Mars. The line for the Eiffel Tower was an hour, with the summit opening back up as we approached to purchase our tickets from the ticket booth. While waiting, 2 police offers arrived on motorcycles, immediately the street vendors scurried like roaches in sunlight. Amazing to see how quickly they can pack up their belongings in a towel and depart quickly out of the area, only to return moments later.
The line from the 2nd Floor was 35 minutes, to arrive at the Summit. The queue was very narrow, I would be surprised how any person of significant wait would be able to pass through the queue. One would think that the views at the Summit would surpass those on the prior two levels, but the lower levels had an unobstructed view of the city, without the fence. Even with the light sprinkles, the trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower was memorable. When I went to the Eiffel Tower in 2008, my camera LCD broke in Prague, and Scott-E’s battery died. I am looking forward to the photos that Papa took as the official photographer of our vacation overseas. Upon exiting the lift, on the ground floor, we were warmly greeted by 15+ street vendors hounding us to purchase a variety of souvenirs. Daniel eventually gave in and picked up a few souvenirs key chains, with the normal price change upon selection.
A trip to the Eiffel Tower would not be the same without children screaming (like those sitting behind my row on the flight to Rome as I type this). The streets around the Champs de Mars are of urine, with many persons utilizing the trees as urinals within 10 feet from where we sat.
Our return back was greeted by a text from Marsha, that she was awake, dressed and ready to eat. A quick freshening up, and off to grab dinner at the Cafe across the street from the InterContinental. Our waiter was similar to the character in Ratatouilie, including the blowing of air to keep his hair out of his eyes. His English was understandable, and made it very clear to Daniel, Ladies FIRST when ordering, even if he was asking a question for her in french. The steak was not available, but then was available.
A final evening in Paris would not be complete without a visit to the Carnival for another crepe. Yearning for variety, we visited a different vendor, who seemed amazed at our request for chocolate and peanut better (Skippy!). She insisted that we did not want chocolate and peanut butter. The vendors in the carnival offered up Michael Jackson dolls as prizes, they were a bit scary.
Returning to the room at 23:50 revealed a pleasant surprise, we could see 1/3 of the Eiffel Tower from our view, and it remained lit until 01:00, when the beacon, and lights went dark after one final sparkle on the hour. It was a fond way to say Au Revoirs to the city of lights.