I have seen 3 Eiffel Towers in my lifetime. Only one was the original structure. The other two were the Eiffel Tower, France, EPCOT and the poor reproduction in Las Vegas. The original tower remains one of my most favorite visuals in all of Paris. The single day my family of Muppet’s spent in Paris was exhausting but amazing. We shared a Hop / Hop Off Boat pass with the other half of the Muppet Cast. This saved my life. Paris, for those of you not in the loop, is one huge sprawling city! We limited our adventures to a small section of the city but it still was quite the walk!
We floated down the Seine and the sight of the Eiffel Tower came into a larger frame of view. I took about 40 more pictures. I have no idea what came over me! I would stand in the same spot and take picture after picture of the same thing. Thoughts running through my mind were things like….Picasso, Degas, Matisse, Cezanne saw this too, this survived two world wars, why is it an ugly colour, and there are no skyscrapers in Paris! So I continued to snap away, luckily it is the age of digital and I didn’t go through a dozen rolls of film.
As we approached the boat launch for the Eiffel Tower, I could see Lady Liberty down stream in the distance. That vision coming into view took me back to when I was a child and my brother spotted her for the first time. I then thought to myself, I have seen the Statue of Liberty twice and have not been to Ellis Island once. I MUST get there, it is becoming a like a magnet for me now. But I digress….
Earlier that week we received email from the Canadian Government. No I am not on Stephen Harper’s Christmas Card List, but we did register with the Government before leaving the country. It was one of those, “just in Case” moments because you never know what may happen. Well apparently there was a terrorist threat for Paris. I know, I know, there is ALWAYS a threat somewhere. If you let fear and common sense hold you back then you never get to see a THING! The grounds of the Eiffel Tower were crawling with armed military guards and crazy hawkers trying to sell trinkets before the police arrest them. We climbed half of the steps to ground level when I stopped to admire the work of an artist on the steps. He approached me asking if I was American – Nope – Ahhhh Canadian…French? Nope, just a prairie girl with cereal box and hockey french. I laughed at my private joke and he looked at me quizzically. I explained to my son that this man was an artist and you would think I gave him the crown jewels. I purchased an acrylic on canvas of a french cafe and my son purchased an oil on canvas of the Eiffel tower. One of the greatest purchases I have ever made. I love to buy art of the different countries I visit. This was one country where I had planned to purchase art. I love it as much as I loved any of the Master’s work that I saw in The Louvre just hours previous. I am not sure why, but owning art from France is more meaningful to me then the other pieces I have collected. The Artist wrapped up my canvas and off we trudged up the rest of the stairs.
The amount of people who filled that area was once again, beyond any scope that I could previously envision. I know I must sound like a broken record, but THE AMOUNT OF PEOPLE IN ONE SPACE IS MIND ALTERING! My Muppets were dawn towards the tower like a magnet. I was so important for Genetic offspring to stand beneath the tower in the center. So we did. I thought going to the top was important to me. The line up to reach the top had to exceed a two-hour wait. Apparently it wasn’t that important to me. Funny how just the day before it was a bucket list moment. Even now, I do not regret keeping my feet firmly planted on the ground.
On advice from my Mom and my Sister, we crossed the bridge towards the Trocadero for “THE BEST VIEW IN PARIS” of the Eiffel tower. They were not wrong. It was a great view. It led us to New York Street and a carousel, and more hawkers selling crazy cheap trinkets. We sat for a moment beside the carousel just looking at the Eiffel Tower. It seamed surreal that I should be sitting there looking at this monument.
Now THAT was a bucket list moment.