Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Well I'm FINALLY getting around to blogging about our trip, then I'll be able to update on all the other things we've done since then! I won't bother with a day by day replay because we were gone for almost a month, so that would be A LOT of posts about one, albeit huge, trip! In the weeks leading up to our trip we were busy packing...not just for the trip, we had to pack our ENTIRE apartment and make sure everything was pretty much white-glove cleaned and ready to move out the day we got back. So Carleton took the bar July 26th and 27th, my last day of work was that Friday, the 30th, and we left our place in Durham at 11am the following Tuesday. I have a habit of losing my sunglasses on trips. Last time was at Disney World, I had them on our plane rides, and then when we were on the bus, I left them in my seat:( Well this time I had my other favorite pair (I'd had two, and this was the last of the two I got in NY) I left them at the RDU airport, I was so mad at myself. Anyway, this is about our fun trip, not my pathetic attempts at holding onto my we arrived in Paris Wednesday at 7:25am. Guess who couldn't sleep until oh the last 15 minutes of the flight, yes that would be me. I felt like a zombie all day because the second we dropped our bags off at our hotel we let the sightseeing begin.

Let me just say, I have never seen so much smoking, groping, and passionate making out before in my life, and by people of all ages...I mean people don't even spare a glance at these kids who MIGHT be 12, but probably younger who are doing all of the above. I think we met two people on our entire trip who didn't smoke, they were from Australia, smoking is like breathing there, even if you don't smoke, you can't help but to inhale as much smoke as the ones who are.

DISCLAIMER: The days kind of turned into a blur for me since we were there for so long, and I'm so late at recording it, but at least we remember most of what we did (thank you pictures!) while there:)

Our first stop in Paris was Isle de la cite...


...where we saw the Notre Dame Cathedral, which is beautiful. I should probably go ahead and say most buildings/places/art/etc. in Europe are beautiful, it will save a lot of repetitive writing:) The picture to the right was supposed to be funny, but the guy who took our picture cut off the saints/gargoyles above us doing the same thing, typical.
notre dame


Also on the island was St. Chapel, which has the most amazing stained glass windows I've ever seen!

Monument of the Invalides

We bought museum passes which got us into several museums, including Napoleon's Tomb:


The Louvre...probably the most famous Museum because of things like the Mona Lisa:


here is the crowd of people trying to get pictures of it:

I was where the blonde boy with the black shirt on is standing when I took my picture. I'm pretty sure half of one of my toenails got ripped off trying to get there, ouch!

Left: Law code of Hammurabi, Right: Venus

I loved visiting the Rodin Garden, home of "The Thinker", it didn't have a ton, but it was a beautiful day, half the stuff was outside, and it was just nice to sit back and enjoy being together.

Carleton's version of the thinker:

We took a day trip to Versailles and let me tell you, they didn't do ANYTHING small. I'm pretty sure this is where the term "go big or go home" came from! They have enormous hallways leading everywhere, one is the hallway of mirrors:


another consists of paintings of the castle's surroundings... paintings of the gardens and town so they don't actually have to step outside to see it, crazy!
I got new sunglasses in Versailles, thank goodness the first couple days were HARD on my eyes!


on the left side is the queens chamber:



We went to the Eiffel Tower a few days into our trip around twilight so we could get some pictures in front of the tower while it was still light (and scope out a good spot) then get some good night pictures. Carleton was such a trooper for my not one, but two trips to the tower for mini photo shoots:) We lugged around a backpack with my camera in it and my intense tripod, that thing is heavy, and could probably kill someone with one blow! When we got to the place I decided would be best for pictures, I set up my tripod as big and awkward as possible so people would think twice, or maybe three times before stealing it. It worked! We saw a guy get his iphone jacked as soon as he got off the our stop, awesome. Thank goodness for the handy remote I purchased just for this occasion:) Here's how a few of these pictures turned out:


One thing that kind of stunk about Europe is the lack of elevators and the PLETHORA of steps. We probably walked up and down several hundred if not thousands of steps every day. This little gem, the Arc de Triomphe had 234 winding stairs, I think the picture below portrays pretty well how dizzy I was feeling after only going halfway. Also, I'm not usually one for taking these kinds of pictures (on the right) BUT I wanted to show how tall it is/how much walking we had to do, you can see tiny tiny people standing near it on the other side of the street to get an idea of the height, we're actually a good ways away from it in this picture. We had to walk in an underground tunnel to get to the arc on the other side and climbed the spiral staircase all the way to the top ugh.
arc de triomphe

view from the top:


I hated walking up the steps to get to the Sacred Heart too, but once we were at the top it ended up being one of my favorite places (if not my absolute favorite) in Paris.

We're ALMOST there



...I don't remember what this was called, but it was pretty neat, Carleton sure enjoyed it! We went inside, up all the towers, etc.

The last day we were there we went to the catacombs, that place is crazy, it looks like people got bored when they were laying the bones so they decided to have some fun making shapes/symbols out of the bones (including but not limited to hearts, bodies, crosses, etc.) When you have roughly 6-7 million Parisians' bones down there, you start to get creative I guess! They check your backpack when you leave to make sure you didn't steal any bones, apparently people really do that!







After the catacombs we headed down to the Latin Quarter, home of the Pantheon:

Jardin du Luxembourg (where Carleton performed a concert when he was on a high school band trip). We sat at the beautiful garden to take a rest from all the walking we'd done so far:


Next stop, Geneva.