Paris: Day 2 -- Eiffel Tower

On day 2 of our trip to Paris we woke up to the lovely view of our room and enjoyed the free coffee and hot chocolate our hotel offered.  I took pictures and hoped around the room with excitement while Brent transitioned into my enthusiastic reality!

Our one and only plan for the day was to visit the Eiffel Tower both during the day and evening.  We headed out on our walk, taking a different route than the day before, and stopping at a bakery for breakfast.  We tried to take different streets each day to see and experience as much as we could.

You can literally see the Eiffel Tower all over Paris.  It was fun to get different glimpses of it on our way there.

We arrived fairly early in the morning so there was not a huge wait to buy our tickets.  You can buy tickets online for a little bit cheaper, but I was afraid of committing to a certain day in case the weather was bad.

I took my friend Sarah's experience and decided we would not walk the steps up!  Instead we paid extra to ride the elevator the whole way to the top.  With all the walking we did, we took the easy way up!

We visited all three floors each complete of a slightly different view from above.  They have a gift shop, restaurant, and other fun things to see throughout the floors.  I recommend making the time to check it all out.  It is a lot to take in so we allotted plenty of time to wander around.

The view is spectacular.  Never have I seen such a city so full of beautiful architecture.  I thought San Francisco was packed - this was a whole new experience.  It was fun to see the tiny cars and people come and go from so high up.

The top floor is much smaller than the others so we grabbed a quick picture in the wind before allowing others to take our place for a photo op. 

I found my first glimpse of Hello Kitty.  She ended up being everywhere but I had to at least take a picture home of my favorite Parisian cat...I mean girl.

This is me in line for the bathroom.  But the wall behind me is a 360 degree view of the city.  Though we took a lot of pictures...a LOT...I wish we grabbed a few of the not so glamorous photos that included some of the small details.  I suppose it is hard to remember it all but I am grateful for this photo and remembering what the bathroom was like and how a nice woman helps you to your stall.  It is not the most important memory of the day but the cultural differences were so fascinating that I hope to remember some of them.

I have this weird interest...slight obsession...with seeing people in scenes.  I have always loved looking at maps that include people and landmarks.  It is the dreamer within me that likes to imagine what life is like for others.  So the views from the Eiffel Tower as well as looking back at these pictures were some of my favorite.  I love seeing the people come and go and let my mind wander through people watching.

Again, I love all the tiny people! 

These red stairs were some of the original stairs of the Eiffel Tower.  So narrow and windy.  I can't even imagine having to climb those to the top!

As you can see, later in the day, the line to buy tickets began to grow.  We were grateful to arrive so early and beat the rush.

One of our favorite features was the movie room where they played a video showing the history of the Eiffel Tower.  We are not huge history enthusiasts but the video was really interesting and intriguing.  We ended up sitting through the whole thing.  It brought some perspective to what we were currently experiencing but also gave our feet a rest!

After a few hours of seeing and re-seeing everything we headed out to find something to eat.

We headed over to Place de Trocadero to get more views of the Eiffel Tower while enjoying some lunch.

We picked up a hot dog inside of a baguette covered with cheese.  The combination felt odd but it was pretty fantastic!  We have a lot to learn from the French.  No more hot dog buns.  Just baguettes.  I can get on board with that.

This now goes down as the most amazing picnic view ever.

After we ate we continued to walk around getting more photos and enjoying the views.

We literally walked every corner we could, set up our tripod, and took pictures.  We were the only crazy people doing this but it was so worth it.  No one tried to steal our camera and run away with it.  You do not want to be careless and leave your wallet in your back pocket or leave a purse out of sight, but you can set up a tripod to take beautiful pictures. 

After I got my fill of daytime Eiffel Tower pictures we walked around some more before returning for the evening.

We ate some yummy fried sugar goodness.

And caught some views of the tower from the Seine.

We stopped for a few photos in front of Les Invalides.

For dinner we tried eating at a restaurant I found good reviews for but they were not serving dinner yet.  So we strolled the streets for a little while, picking out French anniversary cards for each other and hunting for some English children's books about Paris.  We decided to stop in at a market to pick up some picnic food for dinner instead. 

And then we found our way back to the Eiffel Tower for a night time view.

There are a few ways to get to the Eiffel Tower so we made sure to try each way to enjoy a different view (and find views I had seen before that I wanted to get a picture of).

Once the tower lights up for the night, every hour it puts on a lovely little light show.

In between light show photos we enjoyed a picnic in front of the glowing Eiffel Tower.  I packed a large scarf in my bag that we used for a picnic blanket.  This proved to be a very wise choice.

After we ate we headed back to the Place de Trocadero for more photos and views. 

Again, the only people with a tripod to take photos of ourselves (there were plenty of tripods just not being set up to take photos of people).  Though I say it is just as bad as the selfie sticks we saw everywhere and it provided much better photos!

If we had all the time in the world I would want to see everything during the day and night.  The way the city looks during both times of day has it's own character and charm.  But if you can only see a few things during the day and night, the Eifflel Tower is definitely one of them.

A million photos with the Eiffel Tower?  Check.  I may never get a moment like this again so we made the most of it.

To end the night we got ourselves a crepe for dessert.  It is so fun to watch them make it right before your eyes only to then indulge in the hot sweetness to cap off a chilly night.

An entire day at the Eiffel Tower, multiple baguettes, and a crepe to top it all off made for a wonderful first full day in Paris!