Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Waking Up on the Wrong Side of the World

Have you ever had one of those days where you wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Well, a few mornings ago, not only did I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, I was on the wrong side of the world. Our morning was supposed to begin at 7 am. I woke up all bright eyed and bushy tailed (no jet lag!), to sun streaming in through the window and realized out alarm had not gone off. I quickly roused Porter and angrily told him the alarm we had set had not gone off, it was 9:30! Apparently, our phone thought it was Sunday morning, not Monday morning when the alarm was set for. We quickley got dressed and headed out for the day. We tried to go to the catacombs, only to realize they were closed on Monday. Having wasted our entire morning we grabbed a crepe and headed back for the hotel. Porter had a business meeting that afternoon, and I had business in the Paris shopping district to attend to. While shopping, I found the most delicious pattissori that made amazing macaroons!

When Porter returned from his business with Goretex, we hit the town. After stopping for dinner we found ourselves at L'Arc de Triumphe, and it was so pretty I snapped a picture of it while crossing in the middle of the road. That was the best angle to get of it.

That night we headed out to the Seine for a river boat tour of the city. Some people had told us it was best at night, so we bundled up and sat in the open air to see the lights of the most romantic city on earth. It really was beautiful, and quite romantic. When we passed the Eiffel Tower is began glittering! ( It does that on the hour, every hour, however it doesn't photograph well.) Trust me, when you come to Paris you need to see the Tower all lit up and glittery, it's dazzling!

So, even though we woke up on the wrong side of the world and had a rough morning, the day turned out pretty darn nice. When we arrived at our hotel we started making battle plans for the next day: Versailles.

I've been doing alot of research on the best way to do Versailles. There were some key components to having a pleasent visit. 1. Get up early, you need to be there when it opens at 9. 2. Catch the correct train and that is basically it.

We set our clocks to 7 am, jumped out of bed ran down and ate breakfast speedy fast. Porter got directions on what train to take and how to get there from our group who was also headed out there. However, we didn't want to wait for the group. So, we were all cool and stuff, and left with out them. We got to the train station and told the nice lady that we wanted to buy a ticket to Versailles on a specific route, she said that we actually wanted to take a different route. So we did what the nice lady said. (Never ever trust nice ladies, they lie! Always follow your mapped out plans) So we go down into the bowls of the metro, only to find ourselves on the wrong platform with waves and waves of people coming and going, and we couldn't get on the train and we couldn't leave the platform! We were very freaked out and finally ended up crawling under the turn styles to get out. (And yes, we got a lot of funny looks) Finally we made it to platform 9 3/4, haha just kidding...........platform 1 and jumped on our train.

When we got out, we realized that the palace of Versailles was no where to be found. Yep, the nice lady had sent us to the town of Versailles. Apparently she figured that the two Americans asking about the Palace didn't really want to see that palace, or perhaps she was trying to save us from the thousands upon thousands of tourists that hang out around there. Either way we were so angry. Like, want to scream, cry, and thrown rocks at pigeons angry. We were losing our lead on the mobs!!! We had two choices, get back on the train and go back to Paris to take the right train, or hoof it through the city up to the palace.

Well, I did just buy new walking shoes, so we started walking only to realize half a mile down the road that we had been walking in the wrong direction. We were holding the map the wrong way (we're so cool, right?), so we turned around and walked up through the town. Actually walking through the town was awesome, and we loved it! We passed though a street market, and passed so many bakeries full of the most delicious sweets you can imagine. My eyes were as big as saucers. We did finally make it to the palace around 10:00 am. We bought tickets, and as we were getting into the crazy long line to get in, our group, who had just recently arrived, waved us over to stand with them near the very front! We were saved!! All of a sudden our crazy, I'm gonna kill the Metro ticket lady morning had turned out alright. We loved the palace. It's unreal the amount of art and riches that are there. It was definatley worth the effort to go see it.

Marie Antoinette's bed! (I'm definately putting one of those on my list for Santa next year)

Some of our group, Allons-y!

Hanging out at the Palace gates in style

The Gardens

When we were finished we went back into town and bought a sandwich and some yummy sweets. We ate lunch on the steps of the Church of Notre Dame.

The Paris Opera House, some of you may recall the strange affair of the Phantom of the Opera, a mystery never fully explained. We are told, Ladies and Gentlemen that this is the very house that figures into the famous story.

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