Thursday, August 24, 2023

Paris at Warp Speed

Our travel companions, the Jarnac, family had not been to Paris where this was our family's second visit and Andy and my third visit.  So we opted to spend the day hitting the highlights and making sure they got a taste to return.

They started their morning with a tour of the Eiffel.  They booked early which was smart and ubered down to the site and we slept in a bit.  We would metro down to the Place de Concord and then get on our major source of transportation for the day, The Big Bus Tour, a hop on hop off bus, and we took it around to the Eiffel Tower to meet them when they came down.

One of my bucket list items was seeing the city from the Seine, so this time we added that with Beataux Parisiens to our ticket and after grabbing expensive snacks we made our way to the terminal and were one of the first in line for seats for the 12:30.  Most opted to be outside on the upper deck.  Ally and I opted for inside.  This boat uses a app which recognizes your location and plays audio accordningly.  It was a beautiful vantage point plus we got to see all the wonderful boat homes as well as folks lounging and just enjoying the river.  The most shocking moment for us was seeing Notre Dame.  We had watched it burn on TV while visiting my Dad in Ohio in 2019.  We were all so sad.  It was incredible to see the scaffolding and the work going into reconstructing it.

After our tour, time to snack again.  All the eating in Greece had definitely caused our stomachs to grow and require more food.  So we sat and the kids ordered all kinds of stuff - pizza, crepes, slushies...and the adults... a bottle of wine.  We were hanging out and awaiting a neat moment for Ally.  One of her sorority sisters from OSU was in the city and close by and she and her family were going to stop and say hello.  It was a fun moment.

Then we hit the bus and decided to stop at some of the larger stops...Notre Dame, Louvre, and finally we thought the Champs.  However, the city has taken to closing it off on Sundays to pedestrian traffic which is cool, but it meant the bus dropped you off pretty far away..actually back where we started our morning.  So the Jollys opted to head back to the hotel to rest and the Jarnacs would stay out.

Then we would all meet up at 8:30 for dinner at the same place we had taken our kids 8 years earlier.  Cafe De Trocadero. We remembered it as a bit of a tourist trap, but we were there for the location and they took reservations.  We could see the sparkle without the crush of the crowds.  Dinner was actually very good and our waiter was amazing.  We totally remember having a very rude waiter last time, but we were younger with kids definitely on a budget and probably picky.  Timing was perfect.  The lights went off at 10PM and I would hold down the table while everyone else ran to the grass round in the middle of the street and had an unobstructed view without the crowds (See the other side of the street?  There are probably a couple thousand people there.) and during the 5 minutes dinner arrived.  It was such a nice evening.

After dinner we parted way...the Jarnacs off to find one of the best hot choloate places in Paris and we were off to sleep as we had one more day and they would be flying back to Cali in the morning.

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