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Autumn vacation has officially begun, and I'm off to Paris! We left yesterday on a 7 AM flight that required us to be at the airport by about 5:30. Justin found some guys to drive us and we left ESDES in the dark. We had booked tickets through Ryanair since they are notoriously cheap. Inside the plane looks like a big ad for IKEA. Everything is bright blue and yellow. We were pretty exhausted so all five of us napped during the two-hour flight.

We landed outside of Paris and had to take a bus into the city which took almost an hour. Our host, Thomas, met us at the bus station to help us get our bearings. We are staying with some of Rachel's friends, Thomas and Christina, who have kindly opened their home and helped us find our way around. 

After dropping off our luggage at some storage lockers, Thomas took us to a good area for food that was near the Lourve and let us free. I was a little nervous about navigating the confusing subway system but it turned out to be quite doable. The subways here are much nicer than the ones in NYC and we found our way easily to the Eiffel Tower after a nice lunch at Pizza Hut (which was actually super classy). 

Before our trip we had pre-determined that we all wanted to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, so after looking at it from a distance, taking photos, and feeling awesome, we approached the bottom and waited in a line to get a stairs ticket to climb to floor two. The climb wasn't too bad, and the view was pretty amazing. Still, we wanted to go higher and decided to purchase lift tickets to the top. Here's where the waiting began. Apparently the top was too crowded and they weren't allowing more people up until more left the top. So we ended up waiting in line for about 45 minutes to get the tickets, and then even longer to get on the elevator. This wouldn't have been so bad, but the temp outside was very very chilly and the wind on level two was picking up. We huddled together and had a good time, talking and shivering. 

Once we got to the top, the view was fantastic. Paris is so, so huge. We walked around and took some pictures as the sun was setting. It took awhile to get down to the bottom, but right as we exited the elevator, they turned the lights on and the tower lit up. It was so pretty! As we walked away, they began flashing other lights that made the whole thing look like it was sparkling. I loved it!

We made our way back to the train station, got our luggage, and met Thomas and Christina who showed us the way to their home. We warmed up with hot tea and cupcakes from Christina's work (she works at a cupcake shop here in Paris!) and went to bed exhausted. Today, lots of cathedrals and mass!

Sheri Seibold
10/28/2012 08:16:07 am

Oh, Wow! You've actually done it. You've now been to the Eiffel Tower. You are in Paris! And cupcakes too? Will the fun never end? I suppose the pony and a lifetime supply of cotton candy will be described in your next posting. :) Have a wonderful trip of a lifetime. xoxo

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10/28/2012 10:40:17 am

Oh my goodness Shelby!! AMAZINGLY JEALOUS and excited for you right now!! And all of your pictures are fantastico!

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Meg
10/28/2012 08:43:30 pm

AHHH!!! I hardly even know what to say this is just all soooooo amazing!!!! You are IN Paris and you climbed THE Eiffel Tower!!!! Are you pinching yourself?? I would be!!!! That sparkley picture of the tower is absolutely beautiful!!! and those cupcakes look cute and yummy!

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Grand Pa Clyde
10/29/2012 10:21:56 am

WOW!!!! I am so jealous!!!!! So happy you two are there!!!
Love you two goooooood!

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arielle
10/29/2012 11:42:25 pm

Oh Shelby your travels are so amazing! The Eiffel tower looks so beautiful! And the cupcakes are so cute :) I just love reading about your adventures :)

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