Ok, so as of now I will have been up 29 hours straight. I’m not good at this, I’m a groggy traveler at best, and at worst I’m a grump when I’m tired, but I’m not a grump today because I am in Paris! Gorgeous, old, stunning Paris. The flight was one of those flights that lasted on, and on, and on. Nine hours and ten minutes. I thought, perfect! I’ll read for two hours, eat snacks and the in flight dinner for two hours and sleep for the remaining five. I didn’t sleep a second! the girls sleeping schedules were off, and of course sitting in a plane is the worst way to try to sleep. So my plan turned into five hours of sitting uncomfortably cramped and holding one or the other of the girls, or both!
We arrived in Paris before lunch this morning, and as soon as we stepped off the plane the air smelled French. I swear that even the baggage handlers at the airport were wearing perfume. Everyone smelled so good! And they were all speaking French! Which made everything so nice.
On our way to the hotel we saw the Sacre de Cure, Eiffel Tower, and Arc de Triumph, just as we were driving! This city is amazing. So many beautiful, famous landmarks all within a short taxi ride from each other. Along the Siene there was an open air market called a Manger Locale, and the whole thing smelled like eucalyptus. I want my house to smell like eucalyptus now.
We walked through sweet little neighborhoods to get to the Eiffel Tower, Leila squealed and danced around when she saw it. We’ve been hyping it up for her, and tonight when she was watching the light show on the tower she said,” I love the Eiffel Tower.” We didn’t get to the top but we will try to do that on Monday!
I’m about to pass out with wine and exhaustion, so I’ll wrap up here. I love Paris.
I don’t know what got into these girls this morning but they both woke up around 2 am and didn’t go back to sleep until 5am. Ugh, was I tired! Janet and I went down to the hotel’s restaurant and ate breakfast at their buffet. Omg…. Does anyone know what Europeans put in their scrambled eggs? Every time I have scrambled eggs in Europe they are so creamy and almost cheesy, and so, so, so good. I think it must be cottage cheese or something along those lines. It was so good. They also had fruits and cheeses and all sorts of nuts. I loaded up on cheese. Wow! I love the cheese over here. Just at breakfast I ate eight different types of cheese: goat’s cheese, hard cheese, stinky cheese, bleu cheese, a cheese with black spots on the outside, and one with white, and one with hard curds. Oh man, the cheese is good.
Right after breakfast we took a car to meet up with a tour group near the Eiffel Tower. The city hosted a run against breast cancer this morning so all the streets were closed in the area that we needed to get to, the driver was funny, because he was trying to get us as close as he could, but it was frustrating him. He was mostly nice, but gave me a dirty look when I started eating yogurt in his car. It was a very clean car, so I understand his admiration for it, and not wanting some goober to swipe yogurt across the seat. Everyone else on our tour was late too because Of the race , so it turned out ok. Paris is so stinking gorgeous. From the bus we saw a couple doing wedding photos in front of the Arc de Triumph, and I went crazy. I imagined that I was a very famous portrait photographer in Paris. That would be the dream job. That’s my long term goal now, author and photographer with a home in Paris that I can live in a couple months out of the year. Eeeeeee!
The tour guide was kind of dull. For the most part he pointed out restaurants in very famous French movies that I’be never heard of. I guess I need to watch more French movies, so I can place the restaurants, but I really wanted to learn more anecdotal/ historical details of the city. Oh well. Maybe I’ll pick some up while I’m watching French movies and looking for the very famous restaurants we saw today. 😉
After the bus tour, we took a tour of the Seine river, passing all the beautiful buildings along the way. Our ticket included a crepe and glass of wine! The best way to eat a crepe is with wine. Yum, yum! When we were standing in line for tickets to the boat tour we met two women from Australia who had just finished their European tour, their last stop was Paris and then Dubai, and they were in their late 80s! They said it was their last trip since they were getting so old, but I have a feeling they won’t stay down under too long. They were so happy talking about their trip. Annabelle, Amy, Jessica, Annie, Danae, Mom any takers for traveling with me when I’m in my 80s?
After the boat tour we walked to Monmarte. (Thanks for the tip Amy!) I took my turn standing on the vent and taking a picture in front of the Moulin Rouge. Whoa, it turned out super sexy, mostly because I was holding my shirt down to keep from flying off. We walked up to the Sacre Coure where they were having mass, and skulked around the sides of the kneeling congregants. We couldn’t take pictures, but I snuck in a few. Cathedrals are both amazingly gorgeous and amazingly creepy at the same time, especially when there’s a mass, and someone is playing the pipe organ in a minor key, and you’re looking at a full length stain glass window of a dying Jesus being lifted off the cross. There were thousands of lit candles, and that made it beautiful.
As we were leaving the Sacre Coer, a man grabbed Chris’s arm and began to weave a bracelet on it! saying that it was tradition to get a bracelet woven on your arm in front of the Sacre Coer. Sensing BS I stepped back and giggled at shocked and bewildered Chris. That’s when a second man grabbed my wrist and started weaving on it. I had to pry him off, and tell him no like fifteen times before he left. Three other guys came up with big smiles asking me if I was American. I had to pretend like I wasn’t, so told them I was British, but I guess they thought British and American were both suckers for BS traditions and tried to weave bracelets on my hand. Of course when the man was done he asked Chris for 20million Euro, so Chris gave him 1 euro. Anything sounds better than 20million. I can see these guys at conferences absorbing the latest training in how to pull a euro out of American suckers. “Now the next thing you need to do boys is quote them an outrageous price, so that they’ll laugh and pay you something in the middle. If you quote them 1 euro you’ll be lucky to get ,10 cents, but if you say something funny like 20 million they’ll laugh feeling like they made a local friend and you’ll get 5euros.” I can just see the hucksters at the Conning Tourists of the World Conference smiling and nodding and taking down notes. Last year it was roses, this year it was bracelets, and next year it could be key chains, we tourists love key chains. But the best part of this whole scenario was that the little huckster who made Chris a bracelet pulled out fingernail clippers at the end of the transaction and offered to clip his fingernails for an extra euro. Omg…. I almost died laughing. Needless to say I had a lot of fun at the Sacre Coer.
So the reason this post is called Little Denvers in Paris was because Chris, Janet and the girls all wore Broncos jerseys today, so we took lots of pictures in front of Parisian things of them in their jerseys. I will post some later. Several French people stopped Janet and told her they liked her shirt because 7 was their lucky number too. (She was wearing an Elway jersey) I wonder what they thought of the group of people wearing oversized orange shirts with big numbers on them! Steve and I didn’t get the memo and didn’t wear jerseys. 😉
Thanks for reading my post I’ll let you know about tomorrow!
Mornings in the alps are just as you would imagine. The sun crests over the mountains making deep shadows across the valley, church bells in the village ring every hour on the hour, performing an extra long musical number at 7:30, and cow bells start ringing as the cows are let out to pasture to graze. We couldn’t believe how gorgeous everything was around us. It was heaven on earth.
We walked down into the village. Engleberg is a ski resort town, but has summer activities too. We went in several really cute shops. They had some of the cutest clothes and household things, but everything is expensive. The sweaters I really liked started out at £200 and went up from there. So I got a hand towel instead.
We ate lunch at a pizza place and I got pumpkin soup! It’s crazy to think that when we get home it will be October and Chris can make us pumpkin soup out of his Jack-o-lantern innards. That’s something to look forward to!
After lunch we moseyed on over to the gondola that takes us to the top of Mt. Titlus. It was so exciting! We took three gondolas to get to the top and it took a total of 45 minutes. The last gondola had a revolving floor and could hold about 100 people. The revolving floor was pretty ingenius. That way, everyone had a chance to see every angle. It was freezing at the top. I remembered to bring mine and the girls coats, but I was wearing sandals and there was a lot of snow up there. We delicately walked across the snow and over to the highest suspension bridge in Europe. On the bridge we could walk out over a deep ravine, the walls of which were a glacier, I think. I always thought a glacier would be blue, perfect ice, but this glacier was brown and cracked and dry. I guess my idea of a glacier was kind of cartoony. On our way back to the gondola we walked through a glacial cave, and that ice was blue and smooth. It was an amazing experience. Oh, and from the gondola we saw a mother cow who had just given birth to a calf. It was brand new. We saw the after birth to prove it. Ewwwww…. 😉
On the way home we met up with a woman who drives a horse drawn carriage. We took a ride around Engleberg, and the girls were in their element. They even got to sit next to the driver and hold the reins. Oh what a day!
Day 6: Luzern
According to the woman who drove our horse drawn carriage, Engelberg was founded in the 10th century when monks saw the glow of angels all across the mountain tops. They settled there and named it Engelberg (Angel Mountain).
Luzern is only 8 miles away from angel mountain, and it too is very beautiful. There is a lake there and buildings from the 16th century. When I asked Jael what else was of note in Luzern she said, “they have a very beautiful bridge there.” And yes they did have a very, beautiful bridge. The shops and galleries there were also quite unique. I got a lot of ideas for clothes I want to sew when I get home: a sweater with a zipper down the back, a long sweater jacket with ties made out of men’s neck ties, and a formal looking t-shirt with a necklace in the collar. If I was a fashion designer I would just walk around Luzern for a couple of hours to get ideas.
Day 7: Bergwanderweg
Oh, this day was one of my favorite days ever! It’s nice to spend a day with Chris. Just the two of us! We left the girls with their G-Moo and G-Poo and followed a trail behind our vacation rental house up the mountain behind us. I had scoured a hiking map the night before because I really wanted to go on a hike and I realized that the trail next to our house went up to an activity park on the side of the mountain. There’s a gondola that goes up to the park too, but I prefer to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Parts of the trail went through cow fields and farm yards. We saw a mama cat and two kittens playing on the hay in a barn. The chiming of cowbells filled the air. I love it! I want to find a cowbell and a cow and put them in my front yard so that I can hear cow bells all day. The trail we followed was marked with signs saying, “Bergwanderweg” literally meaning mountain trail on foot, and oh it was so beautiful. It reminded me of some of the gorgeous hiking trails around Palmer Lake, only not as rocky and with more meadows.
A cute little activity area greeted us at the top of the trail. A gondola led up to a restaurant, toboggan run, and a kids park with a climbing wall and a trampoline. Chris and I jumped right into line at the toboggan run. The first time I went down I braked between curves, but I didn’t go as fast as I thought I could so the second time I decided not to break at all. Not a good choice! By the second loop I started to lose control of the sled and it went higher on the track. I was going super fast! My arm got scraped as it was dragged along the slide and my legs were up in the air. I looked ridiculous, I jerked myself upward with all the strength I could muster in my puffy abs, and was able to right myself, but not soon enough to avoid getting rug burn and looking super unladylike. But it was so fun, and I giggled all the way down. So I’d say it was worth it.
We jumped on the trampoline for a little bit and then sat outside for lunch. Oh, I had some of the best salmon up there on that mountain. It was all the contradictions that make salmon good: flaky and juicy, crunchy and soft, solid but melt in your mouth smooth. I love salmon.
The hike down was easier than the steep hike up, and We met up with the girls and Janet and Steve in the village. I found a pair of £10 pants from United Colors of Beneton, so that made me happy, and Chris got a wallet. He was so cute and excited about it, but when he brought it back to the house and switched it over with his old wallet he realized that it was way too fat with all his cards and ID cards and important papers. When he put it in his back pocket it made his right butt cheek look way bigger than the left one. (I think it is a woman’s wallet, and better off just thrown in a purse) Oh well, we’ll make it work.
Tomorrow we leave for Munich on a train!