|Getting out while the getting is good
||[Aug. 6th, 2014|01:52 pm]
The line to go up the Eiffel Tower was super long but we got in the shorter, cheaper version which is billed as walk up two stories and then take the elevator to the top. Turns out they have a really warped sense of what two stories is because calculating the height we actually climbed it's more like 23 stories in any other building. We were pretty out of breath by the time we got to the top and grateful that there was water for sale. There were also some people that kept pushing through the line like it didn't apply to them which was super annoying. Though we did get to see two guys who were doing it get near the front only to be pulled out by security guards. The rest of the line applauded when that happened.|
The view from the top was worth the wait. It's really magnificent looking out over the whole city and seeing all the other landmarks and then on to the edges of the city as they become countryside. There's also a champagne bar at the top where you can get a flute for $15. Since we could get a whole bottle for that across the street from our hotel we opted not to do that but plenty of other couples did.
We turned out to be lucky to get to the tower when we did because it started threatening rain so by the time we got down they had closed it to further visitors. But the rain held off and we walked through a little street fair and enjoyed some Belgian beer then went back to the hotel and took a nice nap.
Then we got together with my family for one last big dinner at an excellent Japanese place. My dad had me just order for the table, which I always love, and everyone was happy with what I picked. I even added in some ramen after seeing an entire table eating it and it was a super good call. After dinner we hung out with my family in our hotel room and shared that $15 bottle of champagne, then my mom and sister went off to watch Seven while my dad and brother went for a walk and Kevin and I read. The next morning we said our goodbyes, picked up a few souvenirs and got some crepes for breakfast, which again weren't as good as I wanted out of a signature French dish in Paris – like the American kind but more expensive. Then we caught a cab to the airport, boarded the plane and were asleep before takeoff.
When we were picking up our luggage at O'Hare, the TVs were showing that Hamas had started bombarding Tel Aviv with rockets. It was just surreal since we'd just been there. In fact the original travel itinerary had the entire trip in Israel but Kevin and I were going to leave early because we have less vacation time and wanted to check out Paris. Then my parents decided that was a good idea and joined us there too, heading from Paris to London for a few more days. If that hadn't changed, they would have been in Israel when the fighting started. It was a great trip and it turned out we did it at the exact right time.