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Thanks so much for stopping by! I believe that everyone can have a beautiful home without spending a fortune! One of my favorite things to do is find creative ways to re-purpose things I already have on hand, or have picked up at yard sales and thrift stores. Join me as I share with you some of my favorite ideas for crafting and decorating, as well as travel adventures, and fun things that I pick up on my treasure hunts! Much of my work is influenced by my love all things French, nature, and of course shabby chic! I have gotten so many creative ideas from you very talented bloggers out there, and I hope that I can be an inspiration to you as well!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Climbing the Eiffel Tower

Bonjour Mes Amis!
Hubby and I just returned yesterday from 5 wonderful nights in Paris!  For months, I had said that for my "big" birthday, I wanted to climb the Eiffel Tower, so that is exactly what we did!  But first, I'll back up a bit and tell you a little about our adventures getting there!  
Last Wednesday evening, we were sitting on the the plane in Detroit, next in line for take off.  We were super excited of course, and could hardly wait to become airborne. Well, the captain made an announcement that there was a mechanical problem, so we would be returning to the gate and have it hopefully fixed. We all had to get off, and were told to return in 2 1/2 hours. Not very happy, but at least we got to get off the plane!  So, 2 1/2 hours later and back in our seats, the problem supposedly fixed, and again next in line for take off. Wouldn't you know, but the captain made yet another announcement!  "Sorry folks, seems that the mechanical problem was not fixed after all, we will be returning to the gate.  This flight will be cancelled."  
Since hubby and I fly standby (he is an airline retiree), we always have a back up plan.  Well, wouldn't you know, but our back up flight had already left!  Darn!  Disappointed, we were about to head home, when we noticed a flight to London at the very last minute.  It was a very full flight, but thankfully we managed to get seats just before they were about to shut the door.  We knew that we most likely would be able to catch a flight to Paris if we made it that far!
(flying stand by means being very flexible, even if you don't always want to be!)
Well, things weren't looking so good in London, but long story short, we finally managed to get on a flight to Paris, and made it there!  12 hours later than planned, but we made it, yeah!
My "big" birthday was Monday our last full day in Paris. The day was beautiful, around 70 degrees and sunny, perfect for climbing the tower!  I was so happy that the weather had cooperated, as it had been unseasonably cool, and rainy while we were there.
It had been several years since we climbed the tower, and I was in much better shape then (not to mention younger!).  But, I was determined to climb it!  You have two choice when visiting the tower, you can either take an elevator all the way up, or climb to the 2nd level, then take the elevator.  It is 350 steps to the first level, then another 350 steps to the second.
The photo below is a view from the first level, looking way up!
 After about 6 flights of stairs, I thought I had overestimated myself, maybe I just wasn't up to this!  My thighs were on fire, and my lungs were burning!  So we stopped for a few moments every few flights to catch our breath.  Whew!  Once we made it to the first level, I was so happy!  I knew that I could make it to the 2nd!
 Here we are, so happy to have some of the climbing behind us (I think this is at the first level).
 What amazing views!
 And here is the view from inside of the glass elevator, headed up!
 And up!
 Oh, this is what it looks like inside of one of the towers, when you are climbing.
 I zoomed in for all of these shots, as in reality everything looks much, much smaller when you are up at 
899 ft!  We were so excited to finally be at the top of the tower, and I was happy that I reached my goal after all!
 In the above photo, you can see the Seine River, as well as the Grand Palais (the large glass roofed structure).  In the photo below is the incredible Arc de Triomphe.
 Below you can see Sacre-Couer, a cathedral which sits on the highest hill in the city.
 This is what it looks like when you look straight up to the top, which is at 1,050 feet!
 That's Champ-de-Mars below.
 Hotel des Invalides is the large building in the photo below.  It was built as a military hospital, and is where Napoleon was laid to rest.
 After spending alot of time just admiring the incredible views, we took the elevator back down to the 2nd level, then from there climbed down the 700 steps.  Going down sure was alot easier than up!
 Near the base of the tower are many pretty little ponds and gardens like this one.
 And this unique grotto.
I'll be sharing lots more photos of our trip later this week.
 Here is the best part of coming home, our Katie!
We could hardly wait to pick her up from the "pet resort" yesterday!
And we couldn't believe how much she had grown in a weeks time!
Looking forward to getting caught up with all of you!

Au Revoir!


Celestina Marie said...

Hi Donna, WOW I love your pics and Congrats on making the climb all the way up the tower for your birthday. You did it and I love your pics. You guys look so happy at the tower and I love your pic in that gorgeous scarf. The scenery all around is amazing. Lovely pics and those gardens are gorgeous.
The best pic of all is Katie and her homecoming. She has grown and so very cute. I know you missed her.
Looking forward to seeing the rest of your trip pics.
Glad you enjoyed a wonderful Birthday!! Blessings for a great year.
Hugs, Celestina Marie

Musings from Kim K. said...

Looking forward to more Paris trip pictures. I can't wait to share these with Emma. I'm so proud of you for climbing all the stairs. I felt the same way about parts of the Great Wall of China. Gorgeous shots.

Happy belated birthday! Sweet puppy hugs to Katie!!

Joyce Mayer said...

Ah, you saved the best for the last. Look at that baby face.

Hugs, and a belated "Happy Birthday to you". ♫

Bente said...

Wow, you are so brave, Donna. Beautiful photos from the tower. I can tell you that when I was there, I didn`t dare to go up. It was too high for me. I`m so scared of highs, and would probebly pass out up there. (smile)
Congratulations with the day you had, my friend.
I bet little Katie was happy when she saw you again.

Hugs from me

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

You know I was anxious to see your pictures! I don't think I ever climbed because when I have gone with my girlfriends are feet were killing us from shopping!
Brings back wonderful memories..thanks!
Glad your home safe and sound and you had a VERY special birthday dear friend!

Tete said...

It seems like you've been gone forever! The plane probably had glitter in the fuel tank...but glad you made it there at last! Did you get to see any of London?
Your photos are amazing and happy you made the climb. Can't wait to see more. Katie is probably so happy to have you back! I wonder what she thought? It was probably like summer camp for her with others to play with.

Trisha said...

Wow! What amazing pictures...probably as close as I will ever get to seeing the Eiffel Tower and Paris :( I am so happy that you made it up those 700!!! stairs and that you had an awesome birthday!


sissie said...

What a wonderful way to spend your birthday! Thanks for taking us along on the climb!

Susan EvelynAndRose said...

How thrilling Donna!! Welcome home and happy birthday to you! Wow, what a view from the Eiffel tower. Good for you for climbing all those stairs, too. When hubby and I visited Paris for our honeymoon, we just admired the tower from afar due to my fear of heights. We're returning this fall for our 10 yr anniversary and now you make me want to see these views! Maybe I'll just try the 2nd level, hee hee. Can't wait to see more of your photos. What a great trip you must have had! Savannah, Paris...you're on a roll.

Susie said...

Welcome home Donna. Congrats on your goal of climbing to the top. What a beautiful view. I am so happy for you. I , myself would have been nuts with those delays. This was a wonderful birthday gift from your husband. He's a keeper. xoxo,Susie
p.s. Happy birthday !!

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

I'm dizzy. LOL Welcome back. Great pics.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I can hardly wait to see those views in person! So glad you made it to Paris and was able to make the climb! I'm thinking elevator all the way! lol!


Blondie's Journal said...

This is an amazing post! I'm so uninformed...I didn't know you could climb the Eiffel Tower! And I do know for a fact that I would never make it to the top! lol! Beautiful views though...thanks for sharing your photos!


Blondie's Journal said...

Oh, I forgot!!! Happy Birthday!


Gail said...

bonjour ! so glad you finally made it and wow ...your photos are great ! sounds like a great holiday but I bet you missed "your baby " ...she's just so cute ! Gail x

Japolina said...

Sounds like an amazing birthday!

NanaDiana said...

I am so glad you had such a wonderful time, Donna- despite all the flight problems. Congratulations on your BIG birthday- 25 now are you?;>) The pictures are beautiful and I am proud of you for taking all those stairs. Not sure I could do that with this ankle that gets crazy...to say nothing of not being in shape!

We'll catch up more soon-xo Diana

NanaDiana said...

ps-LOOK how cute that Katie is!!!!!

Little Miss Maggie said...

I am sooooo jealous. What a fabulous trip. I'm glad you did not miss out on your goal. Happy Birthday, Donna.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

What an amazing birthday, Donna! That is a LOT of steps! Good for you! Lovely photos!

Karen Mary Butterfly said...

What a wonderful birthday! Good for you with the climbing. Even in my 20's in took the elevator. :) Beautiful photos! Can I pin one or two, if I link back to you with your link??