New Year’s Eve ended shortly after the end of my post. Kind of. We stayed with the crowd at the Tower for a little while, listening to the music and watching the crowd. Fireworks are legal in Paris, so there were many impromptu amateur shows going on. It was an interesting group of people from around the world. Any time a small bunch that seemed slightly out of control, hackles went up in the crowd around us. I felt like groups of perfect strangers were protective of us (and vice versa) when there was any discomfort. Honestly, there wasn’t much discomfort, just a big mess of cultures and languages confusing each other. 🙂
We wanted to take the Metro (underground subway, one of the best I’ve seen in the world, to date) home, but as we approached we realized there was no way. It was SO crowded. So we walked home via Champs Elysees. There were thousands and thousands of people out. It was fun. We took part in quite a bit of yelling “Bonne Année” or Happy New Year at all the other people on the street. It was really fun. We left the tower shortly after midnight and I don’t think we arrived at our apartment until just before 3am. It took forever to get home – there were just so many people out on the streets, you just had to walk with the crowd. Once we got home, we uploaded some pictures, talked about the night, checked football scores (yeah, can’t leave it alone. ever), and decided we should finally go to bed.
The next day, just about the only thing open was Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Gardens). New Year’s Day was bitterly cold with an uncomfortable wind, once again. We still enjoyed our walk through the park and talked about it’s history (I did not know very much, Scott had all the wisdom).
The garden houses the French Senate, which is housed in the building below – Luxembourg Palace.
In the summer, this fountain can be seen with many children sailing model sail boats (apparently :)). There is also a great puppet theater here.
After we left Luxembourg Garden, we did a little French geocaching (ohmygoodnessidonotlikegeocachinginsubfreezingtemperatuers) and happened upon a little market that was open. We picked up a few ingredients to make dinner that night in our apartment, as all of the really good restaurants are not open on New Year’s Day. We also stopped by The Louvre for some night pictures outside.
I like that this picture below that shows the building through the pyramid. These pictures were very difficult in the dark since we didn’t bring the tripod. I’m not a photo genius, but I did ok.
I picked up this guy in front of the pyramids and dragged him to my apartment to keep me company while I cooked up some lovely dinner.
For dinner, I made a “quick” (read: didn’t take 2 days) coq au vin (chicken with wine). I smashed up some potatoes, sliced some bread, and Scott figured out how to get the Rose Bowl on our computer. AWESOME! That is my kind of new year! The coq au vin was lovely, it’s now time to make the real deal at home, the wine was tasty…we have a bottle of champagne on table accompanied by the red wine I used for cooking the chicken – we didn’t drink both bottles :)…and the company was grand. We stayed up really late watching football, figuring we’d wear ourselves out for the 10 + 4 hour flights home the next day.
Our flights were relatively easy. Getting out of Paris was frustrating, but fine. Security was like a throwback to 2001, which was less than fun, but in the name of safety… We’ve had a week to recover and get back into the swing of life and are happy to be home.
What a great way to end 2009, we both hope yours was as fun and full of promise!