Ahh....day five in Paris. Is it just me, or was this trip going way too fast? If you missed the first four days, you can read about them here, here, here, and here.
I had been looking forward to visiting the Champs Elysees for 36 years, and this was the day. And what better way to begin than with a trip to the Arc de Triomphe! We made our way to the Metro and soon found ourselves in front of this beautiful monument.
After purchasing tickets, we climbed the stairs (more stairs!) to the top to take in the panoramic views. And there she is again!
Looking down the Champs Elysees, we could see the Louvre and the Big Wheel at Place de la Concorde.
They were in the process of taking down the Big Wheel for the season, and when we came back to visit the Louvre a few days later, it was completely gone.
My husband could have stayed on top of the Arc all day and watched the crazy traffic going on in the roundabout below. This poor little car had no idea what to do, and caused a huge back up. People were honking and yelling out their windows, but he just sat there forever, until finally finding an opening and darting through.
The plan was to briefly meet up with our friends from home, who wanted to see the Arc before heading out for their flight to London. As we were watching the traffic, we got a text from Anthony that read "how do you get across this thing?" Looking down, we saw him at the edge of the street, trying to figure out how to cross. My panicked hubby texted back as fast as he could (which honestly, isn't very fast), "don't cross. go underneath. stairs behind you". Luckily he got the message before he stepped into the craziest roundabout in Europe.
After visiting with Anthony and Ciara, we said goodbye and headed back down to have lunch and start shopping. The Champs Elysees did not disappoint. The beautiful walkway was lined with even more beautiful stores: Chanel, Hermes, Gaultier. And then...
The flagship Louis Vuitton store. Each display was more lovely than the last. I spent an hour wandering around, admiring everything.
And....bought nothing. My husband offered, but I just couldn't pull the trigger. I usually have no trouble making shopping decisions, but this one felt so big, and I could not choose. Total fail. But even now, I don't really regret it. Just being there was wonderful.
We wandered on, and eventually came across one of the busiest McDonald's in the world. I stopped to take a picture for the boys. See the man inside with the tie? He came storming out, yelling that no photos were allowed. I still have no idea why not. Apparently those yellow chairs are top secret.
Eventually we passed the Grand Palais and La Madeleine, and continued on to the huge department stores Printemps and Galeries Lafayette.
After browsing a bit, and finally buying something (to be revealed later), we headed to the roof cafe for a snack. Once again, the views were amazing.
An evening cruise along the Seine and a late dinner finished the day. Too exhausted to take pictures, this is all I've got.
We drug ourselves home to sleep and get ready for the next day's adventure. We were headed out of the city (hopefully more successfully this time) to see the Palace of Versailles!