Our Family

Our Family

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Piece de Resistance

**The Eiffel Tower**
Here it is, the post you've all been waiting for (well, at least the one I've been waiting for).  These are some of the best pictures we took the entire trip.  There's not much to say about this incredible structure, I think the pictures will say it all. 

Some quick history.  Sitting on the Champ de Mars, it was built in 1889, Gustave Eiffel won a contest to build the world's fair entrance.  Eiffel beat out some structures including a giant guillotine.  At just over 1,000 feet tall, the structure follows you around Paris.  As you walk up to it's base, it really is quite the site to see.  With three levels for visitors, it is the most-visited paid monument, as well as the most recognizable monument in the world.   

The Champ de Mars is a large, public park just in front of the Eiffel tower.  With our hotel only a 10 minute walk from the base, we spent many hours sitting on the Champ de Mars.  As we sat there with our bottle of wine enjoying the great people watching we would get caught up in what was going on around us that we would often turn to face the tower forgetting we were actually sitting in front of it  

These are some of our favorite pictures.  We seriously probably took over 100 just of the Eiffel Tower, so there were many to choose from.  I hope you enjoy them. 

 From the Tracedero

 At night.
 Enjoying our wine in front of the Eiffel.

 Twinkling in the night sky.
 Up close.

 I got it!
 These next two don't even look real.

 One of my favorite shots.  We tried so hard to use the tripod and time our jump right.  This was the best we got.  A nice British man asked if we wanted help and I declined because I was stubborn and wanted to get it by ourselves.  Needless to say, it didn't really work, but this one does make me laugh.

 Our last day we got a couple from Seattle to help us out.  This was a success!

Whelp, that's the end of our trip.  I hope you enjoyed reliving it as much as we did.  Until next time, au revoir.   

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Princess Versailles

That's what you all can call me from now on.  :o)

On our first full day in Paris, we took the train out to Versailles, one of my most favorite places around Paris.  We hopped the 8:00am train to get west of Paris and headed for Versailles as it opened right at 9:00.  With our museum pass, we bypassed the long lines to buy tickets and got right past security into the chateau before it got busy.  It can be a zoo at times as the most popular Chateau in France, so by arriving early, we alleviated some of the crowd stress.  
Ready to head in.
 As you enter the grounds, the chateau sits luminously in front of you, a building of gold beauty--it's really quite impressive.  The one way walk through the chateau takes you through all the important and recognizable rooms.
Versailles includes the chateau, the gardens, the Trianon Palaces and the Domaine de Marie-Antoinette.  The king and France's government ruled from Versailles for one hundred years.  Louis XIV, who ruled from 1643 to 1715, moved out of the Louvre and built this elaborate chateau because of his love for the outdoors.  In the early 1700s, Versailles was the heartbeat of Europe.  Everyone wanted to act, eat, dress and speak French.   
 A sneak peak of the gardens.
 Beautiful art on ceiling.
 Love the room colors!
 Hall of mirrors
Ready for dinner?
 Out in the gardens.
 So beautiful
 Me and my honey.
 I love the precision and perfectly trimmed trees.
 We'll just call him Prince Versailles.
 Because the gardens are so large, we decided to rent a golf cart to get around.  Dad and I did this the last time and it was so much fun.  We wanted to make sure we saw everything so we needed a fast form of transportation--walking wasn't going to cut it.
 More lines of trees...love it!
Posing for the camera.

 I think this is one of the trianon palaces--maybe the Petite Trianon
 We stopped for lunch and I got hot chocolate.  It was a little chilly that day and I loved how it was served.
 How pretty is this--LOVE the colors.
 All of us.
 Dad in his happy place.
 In front of the Grand Trianon Palace.
 Taking a break from walking.
 Temple of Love
 Me with my love in front of the Temple of Love.
 In the Domaine de marie-Antoinette.
 Crazy fish in the water.
 So pretty--Domaine de Marie-Anoinette
 One of Dad's favorite pictures from our last trip was of me hugging a tree at Versailles.  So, we had to recreate it--I don't think it is the same as last time.
 On the train ride back to Paris--we got rained on just a bit, that's why we were sad.
We had a really great day at Versailles, so we were really actually very happy. :o)
That's it for Versailles.  I know I've said this in almost every post from France, but these pictures really don't do it justice.  Versailles truly is breathtaking and if you're in Paris, you NEED to go.  I could have put way more pictures up, but I believe you've probably had enough of the picture overload.  If you would like to see my 2,900 pictures, I'd be more than happy to give you a personal showing.  But for now, just take these in as if you traveled with us.  

I have saved the best for last.  Last, but definitely not least, is the Eiffel Tower.  The pictures are incredible, I promise. 

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