Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Honeymoon Vacation - Day One

Jet Lagged on the Eiffel Tower

Just over two weeks ago, Scott and I headed out on our honeymoon to Europe. Along the way we visited Paris, Brugges and Amsterdam while having a damn good time.

We flew out of SeaTac early in the morning and had a short layover in Chicago. Our red-eye flight out of Chicago was practically empty which gave Scott and I hope for sleep. Hope which was denied. We ended up getting a bit of sleep but not enough.

After arriving in Paris, we took the Air France shuttle to our hotel, Le Meridien Montparnasse. My parents were very generous and shared their Starwood points with us. We had fantastic accommodations in Paris for five nights.

The Eiffel Tower Street

We tried to check-in to our hotel early but unfortunately there weren't any rooms available. So we left our bags with the bellhops and headed out for lunch. We had a fantastic meal at Le Petit Sommelier de Paris before taking a stroll to the Eiffel Tower.

Palace de Invalides

As we headed toward the Eiffel Tower, we ran into Hôtel des Invalides where Napoleon is buried. Invalides has the most beautiful garden.

Napolean's Tomb

We then kept walking toward the Eiffel Tower, stopping for a cafe along the way. We arrived at the Eiffel Tower a few hours before our reservation to go to the top. I hoped that they'd let us go early but they are strict about their reservation times.

Le Eiffel Tower

We filled the time by walking along the Seine, taking photos and attempting to fend off the wandering salesmen with their rings of metal miniature Eiffel Tower figurines. The salesmen were especially annoying since we were exceptionally tired.

Itinerant salesmen

Even though we were early for our reserved time, I would still recommend buying your tickets in advance. The lines for people who did not pre-purchase were a few hours long.

The Seine

Our reservation time slowly came around and we queued up to head to the top of the tower. I had purchased the option to head all the way to the top but once we were on the main level, I got a bit nervous about the height and Scott was so tired that he just wanted to head back to the hotel. Maybe some other time.

Paris View 5

The view from the top of the Eiffel Tower was amazing and I wish I had taken more time to enjoy it.

Paris View 2

After checking out the Paris skyline, we headed back to the hotel. Unfortunately I was too tired to figure out the Metro or the bus so we walked the 2.5 kilometers back to our hotel with aching feet. There was a small grocery by our hotel so we grabbed some bread, cheese and salami from there for our dinner before heading up to our room. We barely it made it to 8:00 p.m. that night before crashing BUT we did not suffer from jet lag for the rest of our trip. The first day is always the hardest but once you make it through, you're home-free.

Lessons Learned:
  • Pack Lighter - I had way too much going on before our trip and packed at the last minute which meant that I over packed.
  • Beg for early check-in - If I could have showered and had a few moments to freshen up after our long flight, I would have enjoyed our first day in Paris a lot more.
  • Figure out the Metro BEFORE you are too tired and have to walk home
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