WELCOME TO MY TRAVEL BLOG

I have always enjoyed traveling, even if it meant sleeping in a tent when I was younger. I prefer hotels and cruise cabins now, but the motivation is the same...an adventure waiting to happen. Sometimes you will find me traveling with my husband and/or family. Sometimes I will travel alone, and sometimes I will travel with friends. I hope you find it entertaining to keep up to date with me as I explore the world around me. Warning...I like to take pictures of food so don't read if you're hungry. More adventures await...see ya soon...Amy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Paris: Montmartre and Tour Eiffel

We were happy to wake up to sunny skies today because we know the rain is coming! We met for breakfast at 9 here at the hotel. After breakfast we took the Metro to Montmartre to wander. We saw Sacre Couer high up on the hill and climbed the many steps to take a peek inside the large white church. At the base of those steps were the typical gypsies attempting to tie strings on our wrist. They seem more aggressive these days and mock you when you tell them no. There were gypsies peddling their wares on rounds of cloths and we laughed when the police walked through and they jumped up and ran. We went around Sacre Couer to Place du Tertre, the square where the artists are. With such a pretty day today, the square was ringed with artists with varying styles and talents. I'm not sure how many times Debbie and I made our way around admiring, comparing and considering. Maddie had decided that she wanted an artist to draw her portrait and after careful consideration she selected one. Well after sitting for almost an hour it seemed, the picture, although pretty, didn't look too much like her. Lesson learned, don't have yourself drawn at Montmartre! We ate lunch in the square at Chez Eugene where we have eaten before. Apparently I didn't eat the quiche at that time because it was pretty tasteless. It was a great bathroom stop however and an opportunity to rest our feet before we wandered the streets of Montmartre. We walked up and down and around and around and saw so many interesting things. We made note of many of the street artists such as Space Invader (http://space-invaders.com/home/), Gregos (http://www.gourmantic.com/2011/05/03/faces-of-gregos-paris/), Intra Larue (http://undergroundparis.org/intra-larue-installs-her-painted-breast-art-streets-paris#more-5901), Vuille Thoma (http://parisdansmonoeilen.weebly.com/m-chat.html), and Cyklops (http://www.ufunk.net/en/artistes/le-cyklop/).  I truly enjoy hunting for graffiti and interesting street art so the little discoveries while we were wandering were exciting! We saw Moulin Rouge and the two other windmills that have been subjects of french painters for many years. We stopped to get some ice cream from Amorino before making our descent down to Denise Acabo's chocolate shop, A l'Etoile d'Or. It was closed last year after a devastating explosion and noone knew if she would be able to reopen it. Well it reopened late last year and is exactly the same, as far as I can tell, as what it was before! She is an interesting lady in her braids and school girl skirt and she doesn't speak a lick of English. She is still such a personable soul and I was tickled to death to be in her shop while she was there. She even let us take a picture with her after our purchase. I feel like I have a photo with a French celebrity! http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2014/07/update-on-a-letoile-dor-chocolate-shop-denise-acabo/ . We left Montmartre for a visit with the Eiffel Tower which turned out to be quite a memorable one. I had tried to buy tickets online to go up to the top a couple of weeks ago and they weren't available. We decided to brave the lines anyway and buy tickets to go to the tippy top of the Eiffel Tower. This was something that Maddie really wanted to do so up we went. I haven't done this since 1994 and the views are still just as amazing. We left the Eiffel Tower and after some confusion as to where our next metro station was, we decided to stay in the area, eat locally and go back to Trocadero to watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle. It sparkles at the top of the hour for 5 minutes beginning right after sunset until 1 a.m. It is magical and was a wonderful way to end this gorgeous day. Tomorrow there is a 100% chance of rain but that won't keep us inside. So until tomorrow....

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