I'm not ashamed to tell you... I was like a kid on Christmas morning. I was SO excited. I literally made this face for like 6 hours straight:
Rather than try our hand at the public transportation, and risk ending up in Italy, we decided to walk the mile from our hotel to the tower. We got to watch the tower grow as we got closer, and got to spend some gorgeous evening time walking along the river.
You guys, the Eiffel Tower is huge. Its magnificent and very much largish. So. Cool.
Eventually, the smartest reminded me that if we were going to forgo sleeping (I think at that point we were going on 35 hours awake, 3 cups of coffee, 4 cans of coke and 1 round of energy drinks) we should probably eat, so we set out to pick our first non-chain Parisian restaurant. Couldn't tell you what it was called to save my life- but they were having a special that included dessert so I was 100% sold. I ordered my first ever salmon (yeah, yeah, gasp all you want) and the smartest ordered what turned out to be a steak. Both were very tasty- by my chocolate mousse kicked his awkward apple fritter's butt up and down the street.
After dinner we wandered back toward the tower as twilight was approaching. We had accidentally timed things just right and got photos of the tower in daylight, twilight and at night. We even got an unsuspecting tourist to take a photo of us with our vows (much to the smartest's chagrin, I'm sure). Hey look- there's my excited face again.
To keep us entertained while we waited for our 10:00 reservation, we wandered around the park area behind the tower, and happened upon some street performers. Just as I walked up to make a donation- a couple exceedingly annoying teenagers came up and started trying to get them to break character (character being statues, I suppose). After I put my coins in their bucket, they repaid me by suddenly moving toward the teenager and scaring the TAR out of him. He screamed like a Disney character, I kid you not. I, of course, thought it was the funniest thing ever. Slap happy? Perhaps.
Eventually our time slot rolled around, and we hopped in line to the elevator. We were most relieved, because the peddlers were getting vicious, and we needed a break from being asked if we wanted to buy a keychain/rose/beer/water/tower figuring/glow in the dark spinner. The elevator system is pretty cool... provided you don't think about it too hard. I'm not overly afraid of heights... but if I can see the gears moving, I'm probably panicking on the inside a little bit.
We opted to do both levels- just to say that we did. They didn't offer the stairs option- so we waited for the second elevator and hopped out on top. And by waited I do mean for probably an hour. It was really cool to see the city at night- though my camera apparently was too excited to take decent photos.
Eventually, around 1:00 or so we managed to make it back to our hotel to collapse after being awake for far longer than is really good for you. Worth EVERY minute.
Coming tomorrow... why it isn't realistic to stay awake for 38 hours, sleep for 4, then expect to start your day.