2013 · architecture · beauty · france · friends · just do it already · love love love · paris · sporty · travel

La Tour Eiffel

The Eiffel Tower is an iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris.  It was named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Erected in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair,  it has become both a global and cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world; 7.1 million people ascended it in 2011. The tower received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010.

The tower stands 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-story building. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to assume the title of the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. Because of the addition of the antenna atop the Eiffel Tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 17 feet (5.2 m).


The tower has three levels for visitors. The third level observatory’s upper platform is at 279.11 m (915.7 ft) the highest accessible to the public in the EU. Tickets can be purchased to ascend, by stairs or lift (that means elevator to all you non British speaking folks), to the first and second levels. The walk from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level. Although there are stairs to the third and highest level, these are usually closed to the public and it is usually accessible only by lift.

The line for the elevators was too long for our liking so we bought a ticket to walk the stairs. I can’t remember how much it was but no more than 10 euros. And the climb began! Up and round and up and round we went. Finally we made it to the first level! It was much higher than I thought it would be. Like everyone else, we snapped some pics.


You can see Sacré-Coeur in the background



And a lovely picture of us! I have this new habit of sticking my tongue under my teeth for some reason. But aren’t we adorable!?

We decided to keep going. Up to the second level. Yeah, we’re cool like that. That was about another 300 steps and we were getting high! As in elevation, my friends. I am usually fine with heights but I was getting a little dizzy and trying not to look down. Possibly it was being more claustrophobic with the people climbing the stairs up and down alongside me but the stomach was starting to do some flip-flops here and there. We arrived at the second level and took a quick walk around. Snapped some more pics …



.I took this one leaning back as far as I could. After that, vertigo kicked in and we had to GO! On the walk back down 600+ steps, Jeannette joked that we should start telling everyone, “Sorry, it’s closed.” I laughed the entire way down. Miss my Jeannie!

So there you have it. Maybe next time we will go to the top but maybe I will chicken out. Or maybe we will just hang out at the restaurant for hours and have several beers – will that make vertigo better or worse? Whatever the fact, time for you to climb the TOWER.



2013 · animals · cats · love love love

Cat Heaven

The heavens have gained a star. My sweet cat, Growler died yesterday. I don’t really want to discuss what happened the last few days only to say that we found major problems after an MRI on Monday and the vet advised us there wasn’t much to help him. I held him as he was put to sleep and that was the hardest moment in my entire life. Yesterday was an extremely sad day.

But let’s focus on how fantastic of a cat he was. I have never met a cooler cat in my life. He had such an outstanding personality it was almost as if he was a person (if you can understand that).  He was almost always happy and even through his times of sickness he was so strong and so brave. Growler was FIV+, most likely from a cat bite from four years ago. He was FIV Cat of the month in October 2012!! I so wish a cure for FIV could be found.

Here is the most adorable picture ever of him as a baby. Look at those paws! Those ears! Those eyes!

baby growler

I miss him so much already. So many things but here are some of what I will miss the most: him sleeping on his back totally sprawled out, milk kicks after my dinner (Growler I am so full! Please ….  😉 but of course I  let him anyway, waiting patiently for shrimp when I had to devein them for our dinner, his purring, going back and forth at dinner time from the wet food place to the dry food – back and forth at least three times!, kissing his furry orange head and him hanging out on the “hammock” I would create with my baby blanket wrapped around my legs. Sigh. Tears. Love that guy.

One more of Growler. Mr. Photogenic. RIP Growler Man. I LOVE YOU.


2013 · usa

The 57th first dance

Thanks guys for hanging in there with me. On Monday I had had enough! After being feveristic, achy, coughy (pretty much the entire Nyquil commercial) I decided it was time to go see the doc. Well, Jeannette yelled at me too and told me I had to go. Only to find out I have sinusitis AND bronchitis. Yay for me! Today is day three of taking antibiotics and I feel like a brand new person! Hurrah for antibiotics! And being the strange person that I sometimes am, I always wonder what did they do in the days before antibiotics!? Yuck.

But during my sickness haze President Obama had a fantastic weekend. Earlier this week our president Mr. Obama was inaugurated for his second time. And he stated “We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still.”  But really the star of the show was Ms. Obama, the lovely Michelle. New bangs! A gorgeous Jason Wu gown!

I find them perfectly, completely adorable.