I am off to see the Pope…Day 2.5

Steve and I fell into a deep sleep and didn’t wake up until 5:00, now Friday evening. We really wanted to keep sleeping, but I have wanted to see Paris all of my life. The airlines had given us a room at the airport Hyatt, so we were a bit out of town. We jumped into a cab and headed for downtown.

All along the road graffiti was everywhere. There wasn’t an inch without it. The artwork was a lot more cleaver than in the United States, but was still pretty destructive. This all goes back to the 15 Guiding StarShine Principles of empowerment. We all want significance…we all want to leave a mark on life. If kids are not taught how to leave a positive mark, they will leave negative ones. Graffiti is in every country and to me, represents a younger generation screaming out in the only way they know how. I hope we listen.

Graffiti Paris

The cab driver did not speak English but understood our excitement to see the Eiffel Tower. As we got closer, he pointed it out in the distance and it was more magnificent than was in my imagination. It is huge and you can see it from a long distance. As we arrived, I was marveling at the fact that it was built in the 1800’s. It is hard to believe such a beautiful, massively, intricate structure could have been built at such a time.

It was Friday night and a holiday marking the end of World War II, so there were lines everywhere, except at the entry of the restaurant, Jules Vernes. So I grabbed Steve and said, “We are going to go to the restaurant.” There are a lot of comments on travel sites that say that this restaurant is the best in all of France and impossible to get into several months out. But I knew we would. And we did. The maitre’d seemed to like us. We asked him if it might be possible to get in and he went away for a little while and came back in to say yes. He ushered us into the elevator that travels sideways up along the rim of the Tower to open into the glorious restaurant. They seated us overlooking the city and the sunset. It really was one of the best meals I have ever eaten in my life. Along with the setting and the service, it was extraordinary! What a way to see Paris for the first time! Thank you, God!

maitre D

The scene under the Eiffel Tower as it gets dark and begins a light show each hour is like a huge community picnic. There are kids playing music and Frisbee. Old people, young people sitting on blankets watching the Tower. What a wonderful, unexpected day.

We made it to the Eiffel Tower in Paris!
We made it to the Eiffel Tower in Paris!

We got back to the hotel and I began to call the number from the little piece of paper. The agent was frustrated trying to help me and hundreds of other travelers. Finally around 3 a.m. she told me I had to call back as there were no flights available anywhere. So I guess we are spending another night in Paris.