Europe Trip 2008 Day #4: Tour de Paris

Today was as big of a tour day as Jenn and I are going to have in Paris. In untypical Jenn and Joel fashion we hit the ground running early this morning in beautiful sunny weather with temperatures in the mid 70's through the day. We stated the day bright and early, and when I say bright and early I am talking 9am out and about and for Jenn and I that is a real challenge. We headed to the subway/tube station which is less then a minute from our hotel and jumped on a train to Versailles. Jenn has never been, and I remember seeing ESPN advertise it during last year's French Open coverage and was instantly sucked in. When we got to Versailles (only twenty minute subway ride) we immediately found a much cooler climate, at least 5 degrees cooler, a bit breazy, and the sun was no where to be found. Jenn and I dressed like it was a warm summer day, but had to grab Jenn a sweatshirt jacket at a local gift shop so she wouldn't freeze to death.

Walking up to Versailles was truly remarkable, out of the few palaces I have seen Versailles runs laps around them in pure stature and beauty. It is hard to deny how amazing Versailles really is, and we literally could have stayed there all day. To start with our purchase of The Paris Pass let us skip the lines (or queues as they call them out here) and we jumped right through security and into the palace. The initial museum was actually one of the more interesting ones, and we got through it at a nice pace. The rest of our time was spent in the expansive gardens of Versailles which is truly where Jenn and I fell in love with at first glance. There were so many beautiful fountains and an area to row boats at the very bottom.

Europe Trip 2008: Paris Day 4

Jenn at the Entrance of the Palace of Versailles

Europe Trip 2008: Paris Day 4

Giving the Thumbs Down to L'Hospital (Never Understood L'Hospital Rule in Calculus)

Jenn is always trying to think of the most romantic ideas, and that is one of the things I love about her, but I guess she hasn't realized that I can't row a boat. I don't know if it is because I am left handed, or if the idea of rowing backwards doesn't make sense to me, whatever the case I can't row if my life depended on it. It took Jenn and I a good 10 minutes just to row out of the dock. We had so many people that spoke French telling us we were doing it wrong. Let's just say I didn't do a great job getting us around the pond and we got out of there as quick as we could. We spent a good 5+ hours in Versailles and headed back to Paris starving.

Europe Trip 2008: Paris Day 4

View of the Gardens.

Europe Trip 2008: Paris Day 4

Jenn and I in the Versailles Gardens

Europe Trip 2008: Paris Day 4

Rowing is not my forte.

We went to lunch at a local cafe, right around the corner from both the Eiffel Tower and our hotel. I got Duck and Jenn got a Filet both were really good, one thing I noticed about my first two french meals was that they were awfully greasy, which isn't a bad thing but something to get used to. After lunch we headed back out on the road this time jumping on an Open Tour Bus similar to what you see in London with there big Red Tour Buses. We got to tour the majority of Paris today, we saw the Notre Dame, Arc de Triumph, and a lot of other amazing views. As I mentioned before, Paris is by far the most European country I have been to, and from what I can see has the most to do.

Europe Trip 2008: Paris Day 4

Picture of the Louvre from Tour Bus.

Europe Trip 2008: Paris Day 4

Beautiful Paris Skyline

Europe Trip 2008: Paris Day 4

The Arc de Triumph from Bus Tour

The evening was captivated by a Dinner Cruise down the Seine River passing by great shots of both The Eiffel Tower and The Statue of Liberty. Seeing both of these at night was truly amazing and the rest of Paris which is all lit up and was just beautiful this evening. What was even better was that we paid a little extra and got a window seat for just the two of us and had an amazing four course meal with Red Wine, Champagne, Coffee, and an after desert drink. The food was both amazing and awful, we started with a Lobster and Gazpacho appetizer, and Jenn's Gazpacho was far better then my extremely fishy and awful lobster mixed in with an assortment of vegetables.

The second course Jenn and I both had a steak dinner which was served with friend potatoes. This was the highlight, the sauce that the steak was put in was perfect, and the steak was cooked perfectly. Our third course was a cheese and salad platter which wasn't all that fantastic, and a nice desert as well. The best part was when they brought by the desert drinks and they had Whiskey, I have never had a drink of whiskey before but I told Jenn it was good and she tried a sip first. It reminded me of a cartoon, she looked ready to burst it burned so bad. I can't say I loved the warm feeling either, but it was an interesting way for us to finish dinner.

Europe Trip 2008: Paris Day 4

Jenn On board the Dinner Cruise

Europe Trip 2008: Paris Day 4

Toasting to the Occasion

Europe Trip 2008: Paris Day 4

Statue of Liberty with the Eiffel Tower Looming in the Background

Europe Trip 2008: Paris Day 4

Our Steak Dinner (It Was Great)

Europe Trip 2008: Paris Day 4

Jenn at the end of the cruise. Looking gorgeous!

It is now midnight here in Paris and we are ready for our last full day. Tomorrow we are going to stop at all of the stops we marked off while going on the bus today. Things like the Louvre, the Arc de Triumph, and the Notre Dame. What an amazing time this trip has already been, and I expect it can only continue to get better. Faites attention! Merci!