Saturday, 11 December 2010

More Paris

The second floor or observation tower is great, we love the view. The city is beautiful in its own way, nothing like Calgary or Dubai for that matter.

Um, love, Love, LOVE that face. Too cool, I hope she thinks this picture is as special as I do in 28 years or so :)

Some of the scenery from the observation deck.

Its getting chilly, time to go inside and have some lunch in the cafe, dad is buying. The girls have been so wonderful this trip, they have their moments still but things are generally more good than bad. Except for dinners in Germany, Emi was a force of nature those first few nights. Anyways, its been fun to have them with us, they see things we would never see and marvel in the most marvelous aspects of the world around them. We love you girls.

Lunch was delicious, who know cheese sandwiches and french fries could taste so good, must have been the hot chocolate. We are warm and full, Emi has fallen fast asleep in my arms and we have made it to the front of the line to the upper elevator behind a large group of obnoxious teenagers from Ireland, cool accents, annoying behavior. Anyways, we step off the elevator and what do we see ... home.

It was very cool and fun and a great way to start our experience. Mom loves her new camera too, full family shots, long arms are also a bonus.

If we thought it was windy and chilly on the second floor than it is freezing up here. The views are amazing, thinking of you Grammy Kinnon and our adventure up the tower in Las Vegas, sorry it still makes me laugh. Wind whipping around us and you huddled next to elevator doors, if I had known you were not good with heights - I'll never forget now :)

We were planning to arrive at the top for the sun set and the turning on the lights of Paris as it were but we may have made it up there a little early. Passing the time in a small space with small children is no small task. I know, potty breaks should take at least 20 minutes, each :) So yes, Anna went pee at the top of the Eiffel Tower, it was the smallest stall I have ever seen. The plumbing was normal if you are interested. So now with that and a trip to the gift shop we should be getting close to sundown?

Nope, not close enough. Back down we go, the views were amazing from there too and we were certainly NOT the only ones with that idea, you can hardly move around the observation deck. No stress, its the best idea.

First a little of Emilee, she has such a great personality as long as she is fed and not sleepy she is a dream, not enough of those two things and that dream quickly becomes a bit of a nightmare, kind of like her mom, so I have been told, love you big girl.

Okay, lights please.

So now, looking up at the majority of the tower is even better than during the day, too cool.

One last peek at the "City of Lights" from up in the Eiffel tower, its been a long day and now my feet hurt. We make our way down the inclined elevator, opting not to have a look at the first floor - might have to do that if ever back again. We managed to make it safely back to the ground and decided to venture into the park and take a few pictures from there. It was a lovely night and not nearly as chilly down on the ground.

We started walking and taking some pictures as we went, there was a great horse drawn carriage stopped at the street light, more souvenir vendors and the like. We had just crossed the street, headed into the park when all of a sudden the tower began to sparkle, it was very cool and very unexpected - Anna loved it. But we were a little close still so we walked a little quicker and managed to time it perfectly.

We found a great spot with the tower in the frame and took some pictures before the sparkle stopped, Anna was not impressed when that happened..

We had a great day, and now its time to go back to the hotel. So we started walking to find a taxi and yep, both girls fell asleep. Not a bad thing it just meant Andy and I had to walk together on a quiet street at night in Paris, it was the stuff of fairy tales. Except for and right up to the part where we ended up getting turned around and not being able to find a cab for almost 45 mins after the girls woke up, oh well. It was still a lot of fun. I wouldn't trade the company for anything.

So day one complete, day two holds plans for the Louvre Museum and one miss Mona Lisa along with a bout a billion cool, old museum things. The Champs Elysees walk and the Arc de Triomphe. Big hugs, lots of love. ~the Andersons.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010


So after a great 6 days in Germany we are headed back to France, here's hoping CDG airport is kinder to us the second time around. We land and retrieve all our luggage, good sign, we get a cab at the door and are off and most of all out of the airport, things are good. After a 70 euro trip, (~$93.85 CND) ouch, didn't know it was that much until I did the conversion to write it here, dang. We it was really only 60, then he wanted 5 more for unloading our luggage and at 1am who wants to wait around for change, maybe we should have, 93 dollars -Anyways.

We arrived at our hotel. Andy has a rewards card and so now I feel doomed to all ways stay at Holiday Inn's, maybe we can stay for free one day? It wasn't that bad, its Paris after all. We got the suitcases and girls into the lobby and started to check in. I was reading the slide show on their tv and noticed there were Eiffel Tower rooms, how cool. I said to Andy, we should stay there, half joking of course and the employee checking us in said that the rooms were very small and that we needed a large room, looking at the girls. Now, I know I am a new to Europe traveler and that no matter how much you read about a place you are never really prepared until you are actually there but if our room was large then I would not fit in one that was small. It was crazy, wall to wall beds, no joking. The pull out sofa was too narrow for both girls to sleep side, by side, which meant at least one in bed with us and that meant no sleep for mommy, good times. One last
complaint, sorry - what is with the window in the bathroom? I will have the picture of both girls jumping on the bed yelling mommy is going potty burnt into my mind forever :) It was great though, truly. We watched the Disney channel in french and stayed up way past everyone's bed time a few nights. Then we were up and going again the next morning, well maybe more like noon, but on back to back days it made for some very sleepy Andersons in Paris.

The first thing we did Sunday morning was to open the blinds to an authentic view of Paris, crazy roof lines and more chimneys than seems real, it was cool. It made me sing the Chim, chimney song from Mary Poppins all day, your welcome if you are now singing it ;)

Our first day was spent with a little exploring of the neighborhood, a short walk to Notre Dame Cathedral but really it was to see the Eiffel Tower. I couldn't help taking pictures and Anna was so much fun, she was willing to be in every one so here is little miss in the streets of Paris.

Miss Emilee was not so willing.

The next few hours were great fun, we ventured down some wonderful streets and took in the sights, sounds and smells of the Latin District. We made our way to Notre Dame, took some pictures...


The line to go in was long and although it was warmer than Germany it was still a little chilly, so we had a good look from the outside and got in a cab for short ride to the Eiffel Tower. The cab dropped us off literally right in front, it the middle of the intersection during a red light so no time for intro pics but here's what it looked like from the bottom.

I wanted to take the girls pictures in front, individually. Anna is in a blow raspberries at everything kind of a phase and Emilee wanted nothing to do with the camera, that said here are their pics.


Dad was so patient and helpful as he packed everything and everyone around, letting me take pictures - thank you. It was a lot of fun being there, we took a little minutes to get our bearings and then joined the line to buy tickets for the elevators, one to the 2nd floor and another to the top, not bad 13.10 Euros ($17.57 CND) for us parents and 8.10 ($10.86) for Anna, Emilee was free :)

The center and surrounding grounds are thick with vendors selling everything Eiffel, not annoying at all!! They pester, do not take no for an answer and come back every 3 mins or so, it was funny to watch as the police on bicycles came through, a signaling whistle followed by everyone grabbing their blankets by these handles from each corner, in one motion they can pickup everything, then running in all directions, it was entertaining.
 Look closely and hopefully you can see the energetic people climbing the 300 or so stairs to the 2nd floor observation platform. It would be a good way to keep warm, we chose the heated elevators.

The elevators run along the back of each tower, they move vertically and horizontally as well. I was not ready for the horizontal motion and nearly dropped Emilee and fell over myself the first and yes second time the elevator moved, nice one Mom. It was fun though.

Still doesn't want her picture taken.
Going up.

Here we are in the Eiffel Tower, the views were amazing and we were only on the 2nd floor, can't wait to see the city from the top. Must sleep now, sorry. More tomorrow. Big hugs and lots of love ~the Andersons.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Peine, Germany in the Cold

When we booked out tickets the day time temperature in Peine was around 15 C and now that we have arrived it is around -5 C, big difference. So after a day out and a day in the hotel we are off to find some winter coats, crazy given our new city of residence. The weather is great and we are truly accustomed to the cold versus the Dubai heat, its the irony of buying winter clothing for such a short few days versus an entire winter in the Middle East, c'est la vie.

Backing up a few days, these pictures were taken on Tuesday here in Germany, Monday was a right off as we didn't actually leave to hotel except for a nightmarish dinner with Andy's boss and a co-worker from Calgary, good thing we know them well and they have their own kids - it was bad. Anyways, we ventured out to the parking lot to play in the snow Anna was quite enthusiastic about the whole thing and sweet Emilee truly loves to do what ever her sister is doing. Such fun.

The 'snow' was melted from the grass but had stayed on the parking surface so in true mother of the year fashion, yes I let them play in the parking lot, its a small town. We had a great time, the novelty was very appealing to the girls and I love taking their pictures, here are some.

Our hotel and the automatic rental car, first time ever with a navigation system -cool toy. We tried for a snowball but the snow isn't wet enough, they still had fun rubbing their hands in it.

 Well we have come how many thousands of miles and after 8 mins it is starting to go down hill, kids are so much fun. Mommy had a good nights sleep though, so sure no problem we can go in, Anna has to go potty anyways. But then, we see a clear patch of undisturbed snow, you guessed it, snow angels.
So cute.

Now its time to go inside and warm up. Wait for me ladies. So what's better than making snow angels in the parking lot, drinking hot chocolate after making snow angels in the parking lot - like I said mother of the year...

Radiant heating has some serious advantages, we had warm bellies and mittens in less than 20 minutes, so fun. Time for a little snooze for us girls, should be easy after all that fresh air.

A wonderful nap later and we are on the road in search of the historical market and shopping district, plus there is an old church with a beautiful clock and bells to signal the hour etc. Wish me luck, "if I can drive in Dubai, I should be able to drive just about anywhere"

We made it, took a few wrong turns, ended up on the Autobahn somehow, thank goodness for that nav system. Lost my cool with Anna during said Autobahn experience, they say the most wonderful things. I was apologizing and asked her to help me when driving on new roads to be quiet so we can be safe and get to where we want to go, all she said was "we sure drive on a lot of new roads" Sorry sweetie, you are right.

Back on track , found a parking spot (way harder to do than it should have been) and we even found a FABRIC store, mom is happy. Some great blue and red German made cottons for a lap quilt, I can see it now. Found a dollar store equivalent, a book store and the old church.

The market square had a lot of vendors and cafes set up for Christmas shopping, even a few rides for the girls, hence the big smiles . We decided with our parking expired we would come back with dad one night this week. We hope to go tomorrow (Thursday) it should be fun. We will post more pictures then and let you know what treasures we find. For now its researching children outer wear stores close by if possible and then sleep. Gute Nacht, big hugs and lots of love ~the Andersons