Monday, February 3, 2014

YOW-ZA, it has been a while!

A leeeetle behind!

I wish I had a good, logical excuse for not blogging these past 2 months but I don't.  I'm just going to blame it on the fact that we are in Europe and are soaking up and loving every second.  Instead of recapping from after Switzerland until now, I've decided to go from NOW back to after Swiss wonderland.  Maybe that'll give me enough time to dust off the rust on my brain.

I suppose the most recent trip was the impromptu decision to do a day-trip to Paris.  I type that and laugh to myself, "A day-trip to Paris", WHAT?  That just seems so odd yet surreal.  Even when I was standing under the Eiffel Tower, inside Notre Dame, and on top of the Arc de still doesn't seem that this is real life.  

The Army puts together these day, weekend, or week-long trips all throughout Europe.  It's kind of like a giant tour-group.  A lot of people prefer to travel this way because it's typically a package group deal and they feel overall more safe as a group than traveling as a family.  I, however, do not prefer to do trips this way (nor does Mike) but since Paris wasn't on our list..I figured I might as well jump on it.  Mike didn't go (he wasn't disappointed in the least) because France is considered a "high-risk" country to visit because of...just all the weird things that happen?  Anyways, it ended up being a few girls I know and some of their friends.  We boarded at 2 A.M., yes, I typed that correctly, arrived in Paris around 8 A.M., boarded to leave at 6 P.M., and arrived back in Germany at 12:45 A.M.  Today is the first day that I haven't felt like a semi-truck nailed me in the face.  Very worth it though!

We decided to kind of "wing-it" as far as planning.  This was our ride for the day...the infamous red "Hop-on, Hop-off" bus.  By far the cheapest and most convenient option for a day in the city.

Though the day started out pretty rotten weather-wise, it sure turned out to be B-E-A-UTIFUL.

This photo was taken pre-almost death.  You see, we all know of that famous roundabout around the Arc.  If not, it's almost like a circular fan of automobiles with angry, angry French drivers behind the wheel.  So as the 4 of us, one who has a 3 year old in a stroller, are staring at this massive circle..wondering how in God's green Earth do we get across?  Oh, I know.  Let's ask a guy photographing this very spot.  "Oh, youz cross zee street.  Don't worry, zeh don't heit youz."  We look at each other and logically, we run.  FOR OUR DEAR LIVES.  Why?  Why would we ask him and more importantly, why would we listen?  All you could hear was "HONK HONK" and arms flying up in the windshields.  Whoopsy!  In our defense, people were doing it from every end.  So, I screamed as I ran, which I am sure he caught on his super-zoom camera lens.  What we didn't recognize was the underground entrance.  Live and learn I suppose!  Just glad we lived...but I have to say, that is probably a moment I'll never forget.

Notre Dame!  Very beautiful from the inside, out.  

This is a picture taken from the top of the Arc.  It was an amazing 360 degree view.  Totally worth the 9.50 Euro!

Paris definitely had an interesting flair to it.  It's architecture is nothing like I've seen anywhere in Europe before (which was to be expected).  We didn't have a chance to go into the Louve, which I can't say I was too heartbroken about.  A tip if ever in Paris...BYOD.  A Sprite was about $7.50 and let's just say there is no free-refills!  It comes in this tiny bottle.  Thankfully, I wasn't the one who made the mistake and ordered it.  It is outrageously priced there but then again, people will always pay that price.  

Well, that about sums Paris up in a nutshell.  I have a bunch of more pictures but I figured you had, had enough.  Next blog post will be about our trip to Munich, skiing in the Bavarian Alps, and seeing "Cinderella's" castle (Neuschwanstein).  It was a fantastic trip!

Until then....

Love to all!

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