Monday, May 5, 2014

Love, Love, and the Court of Miracles

Whew! Sorry about the delay, but things have gotten CA-RAZY around here. I'll blog about it as soon as I can, but just know that I have not been ignoring the blog on purpose, but I have literally not been home except to sleep for the last 3 weeks. So I'll try to get posts out about the rest of our trip pronto so I can tell you all about it.

Our second and final day in Paris was my favorite, mostly because it was our two year anniversary! Anniversary in Paris? No complaints here...

The day started early, and we drove into town to find breakfast. We found an amazing little bakery near our first stop so we could eat while we waited in line.

Dear people who have never been to France, GO TO FRANCE and eat a croissant, chocolate or otherwise. Seriously, I couldn't decide which one I liked better and I wish I had bought three more of each. And now I'm salivating just thinking about it.

So after picking up breakfast we got in line for the Catacombs. We were there right when they opened. And we still had to wait in line for almost two hours. And it was cold. And there was nowhere to sit. Fortunately, however, we are a bunch of fairly entertaining people (if we may say so ourselves) and we were able to keep ourselves from getting too bored.

And then it was our turn. First you go down a whole bunch of stairs. Then you go down more stairs. Then there is a landing with informational posters. Then you walk down a descending pathway for a while. And the pathway just keeps going. They are cool, kind of creepy pathways, but no bones. And you wonder, "Is this the catacombs?" And you start to think that maybe this is not what you were expecting it to be. And then, all of the sudden, you come to a doorway.

Let me roughly translate: "STOP! Here lies the kingdom of the dead". So now you have shivers. And you're kind of creeped out. But you are also intrigued, so you walk through that ominous door.

AAAAAAAAAAAHHH! Bones. Bones everywhere. A sign that informs you that you are surrounded by the remains of approximately SEVEN MILLION PEOPLE. And all of your good sense tells you that you should probably just turn around and high-tail it out the way you came. But there is a small part of you, that dark streak that you usually try to pretend isn't there, that urges you forward.

Guys, I have never been so totally creeped out and so awed and inspired all at the same time. I was constantly shuddering in disgust and then immediately following it with a "This is so cool!".

We finally found the end, and after a long climb up a whole lot of tightly winding stairs we at last emerged into the light of day. I had to take a few long breaths of fresh air to get out the heebie-jeebies before I felt normal again. We took a quick tour of the nearby gift shop (EVERYTHING was in the shape of a skull) while singing "The Court of Miracles" song from The Hunchback of Notre Dame ("where it's a miracle if you get out aliiiiiiiiiive!") and then headed off to destination #2.

We next found ourselves at the Arc de Triomphe. Luckily this line wasn't nearly as long, so we decided to climb to the top. Dear Paris, why do all of your attractions have so many dang stairs?!

The views were beautiful though. And it was windy. It was so cool to see the whole city though, and to get an idea of where some attractions were in respect to other landmarks.

D'aw :)

Aren't they so cute!?

And then we had to go back down all those stairs. Whimper.

Back at the bottom we gawked and horsed around like the silly American tourists that we were. And I apologize for none of it.

We headed back over to Notre Dame (I wanted to go again to see it during the day) but by the time we got there the sun had already gone down anyways and it was starting to rain, so instead we wandered around and found a cute little cafe for dinner. Dinner was DELICIOUS, and Spencer's parents even treated us to creme brulee for our anniversary dessert.

After dinner we still had a couple of hours to kill, so as a last minute decision Brigette, Austin, Spencer and I decided to go to the Louvre. By the time we got there it was an hour and half until closing time, and happily admission was free! We split up, and Spencer and I decided that we were going to go through AS MUCH of that giant museum as we could in such a short period of time.

First, we half ran to the Mona Lisa. I just felt like it was the one thing I had to see to have a real Louvre experience. Then we rushed through the Latin artists section, over to the Egyptian exhibit on the other side where I'm pretty sure we were able to get through all of it, plus some of the Islamic section, before we were herded back out to the front doors.

By the time we got out of the museum we were slightly panting and more than just a little warm, but it was so much fun!

Such a great day to celebrate an anniversary! I just loved walking around hand-in-hand with my sweetheart, stealing kisses in the City of Love.

Happy Anniversary Spencer! In two years we've been to 6 countries and almost half the US states, moved 5 times, and had more amazing adventures than I ever thought possible. I love you handsome man!

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