August 30th: The Eiffel Tower

Contrary to popular belief, you can not see the Eiffel Tower from everywhere in Paris. It’s not that tall. So from our side of town, we needed to go south towards the center via the metro, and emerge from the darkness to see it. We knew we weren’t going to take the elevator up, so we chose the more reasonable* and actually better for fitness, method of getting up which was taking the stairs. There are two levels you can reach by climbing a total of 700 some steps, and it was a super workout. :)

*€5.00 for an adult versus €11.00 for the lift to the second level. But lucky Maria was only €3.50! The price was higher for ages 24+ so she’s good for another two years! Natasha was even cheaper: free. The lift tickets to the very tip top were €14. Just in case you do want to take the lift even to the second level, be sure to reserve them ahead of time. We had thought about taking the lift, but upon checking the availability, all the openings were completely full except for a few hours like 11 p.m. and midnight or something. So, the steps were really our only option anyway, if we wanted to do it during the daytime.

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I did a few push ups on the second level… (like climbing all the way out wasn’t enough of a workout!)

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…and Daniel even did some pull-ups.

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As we lingered on the second level, we realized something interesting was about to take place. Some official looking workers came along and made preparations for going outside of the tower. This brave fellow attached himself to the bar running along the outside, and slid along, walking on a narrow shelf to retrieve a dropped cell phone.

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I had heard of the carousel(s) below and near the Eiffel tower, and knew it would be such fun for Natasha’s first carousel ride to be in Paris. She was such a trooper way up in the tower; enduring the moments spent gazing at them from the sky, and now it was finally time for her to get her ride.

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Here’s where I had my first, “I can’t believe we’re doing this!” moment. I have been filled with awe and astonishment at all we’re seeing, and my heart truly skipped a beat when I realized I was waving to my little girl, riding a carousel, in Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the background. Pretty sure I had to wipe my eyes very nonchalantly because water got in them somehow…

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After one ride (€2.50), we walked a little ways to a small park and simply sat. Natasha played with some French children and we simply took it all in.

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And this was just the first half of our day!

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