We made our first travel error when we got to the airport and realized we hadn't even checked to see if our flight was on time. It wasn't. It was late. Oh well.
Travel error No. 2: I should have taken some Tylenol PM because sleeping on the plane was not an option for me. Mom was able to get a little shut-eye. Breakfast was a croissant and yogurt.
When we arrived in Paris we got our Metro and Museum passes at the airport. We also got 200 Euros at the ATM which ended up being about $300. We took the Metro into the city. We got our first taste of how much walking we would be doing in and out of the Metro stations when we arrived at the Charles de Gaulle Etoile stop where our hotel was. Lugging our suitcases up the zillion steps was exhausting. We stayed at the Hotel Sofitel Arc de Triomphe - a beautiful hotel a few blocks from the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysees. I got my first-ever feel of real jet lag when we arrived at the front desk. When I leaned over to sign my name I started getting woozy from the lack of sleep, caffeine, protein, etc. All I wanted to do was sleep, but knowing we had such a short period of time to see so much, I pushed through the exhaustion and nausea.
We decided taking the Metro out to Versailles would be a good first day adventure because we could rest on the half-hour trip out of town. After having to backtrack from taking the wrong train, we arrived in the little town of Versailles. It was about a 15-minute walk to the Palace. Walking up to the front was a little disappointing because the construction blocked a large part of the facade. (At this point I would insert a photo, but I'm realizing this could make for the longest post in blogging history, so I'll just link you to all the photos here. Leave a comment if you want the password and I'll send it to you.)
Although the Palace was fabulous, I was starving, exhausted, already had sore feet, and the thousands of tourists were shoving us through the rooms. So ... I would like to see the gardens in the spring or summer and see Marie Antoinette's palace. Maybe next time!
We left the Palace in search of a place to eat. We passed the most adorable little patisserie with the most amazing looking pastries in the window but it was super crowded so mom didn't want to go in. I still wish I could taste those beautiful little macarons dusted with sparkling jewel-toned deliciousness. We walked through an outdoor market and a couple little shops and finally found a cafe that was open: La Brasserie des Tribunaux. We had salad with chevre and something else I can't remember. It was OK.
We walked back to the Metro station and got a little concerned that we didn't have a train to get back for a while. Thankfully, a nice young woman offered her assistance and found us a route back. We ended up getting off near the Eiffel Tower due to a closed Metro station. We decided to go ahead and walk to the Eiffel Tower. I talked mom into going up in the tower since we were already there. We had to wait about an hour in the cold line to go up. Unfortunately our ticket seller didn't know what was on each floor so we only went up to the first floor, I really wish we had seen the second. My fear of heights probably would never allow me to go to the third floor, or top. It was too late to send a postcard postmarked "Eiffel Tower" so we got a yummy hot chocolate and bought a few trinkets and headed back to the hotel.
OK, that took way longer than I thought so we'll just call it Day 1. Stay tuned for Paris: Sunday.