Our very first priority was to visit the top of the Eiffel Tower. Since I've been to Paris before, I've walked around the Eiffel Tower, but I didn't go up it. This time I wanted to make sure to do that. We got up early in attempt to avoid a very long line. However, there was an issue with an elevator or something, so we had to wait anyway. This gave us time to run to get a crepe while waiting, then the line started moving again. It was a bit chilly that day, so, needless to say, being 1000 feet in the air made it freezing! We still took the time to look around at all 360 degrees of the view, and to take pictures and read some of the signage. The Eiffel Tower really is an amazing structure, not just from a "beauty" point of view, but also an engineering marvel... especially considering it was designed and built over 120 years ago! AND it's still standing today! Hard to believe it was once considered an eyesore and was hated by the Parisian community. It was well worth getting up early, standing in line, and braving the freezing, cold air at the top of the Tower to see this piece of architectural art!
After the Eiffel Tower, it was lunchtime so we stopped in at a little cafe for some real french onion soup (that Kelly had been craving) and some more cheese (which, for some reason, tastes better in Paris than anywhere else that I've ever had cheese). We had sandwiches, used their bathroom (and cheated the system by watching the door for one another rather than paying to have the door lock), then headed out for some shopping. We did plenty of flea market shopping the day before, but we wanted to hit up Paris' Avenue des Champs-Elysées, which is filled with department stores and luxury specialty shops. It turned out that most of the shops were closed that day, so we didn't have lots to choose from. We made the most of it though and found a book store to hang out in and bought some French books for the kids and other gifts. Our final destination on that walk was the Arc de Triomphe, which is at the end of the Champs Elysées.
For the rest of the night, we made one last stop at the local grocery store to pick up some food/drink souvenirs (including a bottle of the same type of wine that we LOVED at the fancy dinner in front of the Eiffel Tower a few nights earlier, but this time it was MUCH cheaper) and headed back to our apartment to eat our leftovers, figure out how the heck we were going to get all of our stuff into our bags to get it all home, and just unwind from nine days of non-stop going!
The next morning, we had to get to the airport nice and early. We made to the airport, got our bags checked in, and nearly got through security when Kelly realized that she'd forgotten to put her wine in her checked luggage so she had to throw it away anyway because she couldn't carry it on. :( We got our "tax back" money and boarded the plane for the long ride home at the end of an amazingly fun-filled vacation.
Traveling with my sister like this was a new experience for both of us, and I think I can speak for both of us when I say that it was one of the best traveling experiences ever! Kelly and I really got to know each other better as adults, shared stories that we didn't know about each other from our childhood, swapped motherhood stories, and made some amazing memories together exploring a part of the world that we've never seen together! I've always considered my sister to be one of my best friends, but this made that bond even stronger! Thank you for sharing this with me Kel!
Enjoy the pictures of Our Last Tango in Paris!