This is a really nice hotel; nicer than we usually get although we don't typically stay in roach motels by any means. Lee said he got it on basically a half-price deal; it's about a 10-minute walk from the Arc de Triomphe provided you go down the right street (um, look for the giant arch at the end? Somehow we missed that the first night and went a much longer way) and about 2 blocks from a Metro station. We went to the check-in desk and I was kinda nervous thinking oh great now I need to see how much French I remember but the very nice lady spoke very good English. Once I said I did want to practice though, she did speak to me in French; I understand more than I can spit out myself, but I did remember more than I thought I would.
There's my hubba-hubba hubby! Love him to teeny tiny pieces.
We were walking around kind of towards the Champs-Elysees (pronounced kinda like Shonz-Elleezay, unless you're Lee and then it's Champs de Eisleys, with the first word like #1 Champs, so then we both had to call it the Champs de Eisleys) and we found this statue which made me laugh because of The Music Man. The mayor's wife, Mrs. Shin, tells Professor Harold Hill that the librarian advocates "dirty books": "Chaucer! Rabelais! Baaalllllzac!" (Pick a little, talk a little, pick a little talk a little cheep cheep cheep talk a lot pick a little more!) It makes sense if you've seen the movie. The original one, not the Matthew Broderick one; he's too earnest to be a good Professor Hill. So I took this picture just so Dad would be singing song that when he saw it.
We finally found our way to the Arc de Triomphe...seriously, we like meandered all over the place and how do you miss a giant triumphal arch in the middle of everything?! We kicked ourselves for it later, but the first evening we elected to go out with just the little camera; fear not, better pictures are a-comin' of most of these places.
Hey look, I'M IN PARIS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! (dolphin squeal of happiness)
Aaaaand I found a McDonald's. Look closely, you can just see the sign behind the trees. And there's Johnny Depp on the left; they had ads all over the city for Dark Shadows. I wanna see it.
View down the Champs-Elysees (Champs de Eisleys) and why yes, we were standing in the middle of the street. Everyone else was doing it so why shouldn't we?
Eventually we found a street cafe and sat down to have dinner at the George V, which made me giggle because of the movie French Kiss. ("Do you speak English?" "Of course madame, zis is ze Zhorzhe Sank, not some backpacker's hovelle.") So here I am, totally excited to have my first meal in Paris, which was French onion soup (of course!). It was great fun to eat out at a sidewalk cafe, except for all the smokers. Dude, they have some seriously stinky cigarettes in France.
We walked aaallllllllll the way down the Champs-Elysees to the Place de la Concorde and hey look, we saw the Eiffel Tower! You know we took LOTS more pics of that.
Place de la Concorde is where the other Luxor obelisk is displayed; you might remember that we saw Cleopatra's Needle in London on our first visit there and now I want much better pictures of it. The obelisk in London is twin to one in New York's Central Park; the twin to the Paris obelisk stayed in Egypt because it was too difficult to transport. It's just a little wacky to me that there's a 3300-year-old Egyptian obelisk in the middle of Paris.
View down the Champs-Elysees, I kinda thought the lights were cool in this one.
And here's a more normal pic; you can just see the Arc de Triomphe in the center of all those trees. I was not standing in the street when I took this; I was actually on the sidewalk in the Place de la Concorde leaning against an Egyptian-style streetlamp (pics of those to come later).
We left the Place de la Concorde and walked a few blocks over to the Seine and were treated to this lovely sight!
Hey look, proof that I was there. Pinch me now, I got to see the Eiffel Tower in person.
After dark, every hour on the hour they do a light show on the Tower.
So we went back to the hotel, which was all fancy and decorated in an Art Nouveau style but the only thing I took a picture of was the headboard on our bed. Missy always takes pictures of the hotel rooms when she travels but I didn't do as well with that.
So, who wants to guess what we did on our first full day in Paris? : )