{2012}: Day 67

Hanging out with Tracy and getting our $0.40 cup of coffee.

This was our last full day in Paris and we were so sad to see it end!  We started out the day by heading to one of the universities where Tracy spends her time and were able to meet the rest of her team, as well as one of the girls she disciples.  It was so nice to put names with faces and to be able to pray with them for their ministry and the people they come into contact with.  Please keep them in your prayers!  They are really seeing God move among the Parisian students!

Phil, ___, Lucille, and Tracy

Me in front of the Victor Hugo museum. He lived in the second floor apartment in this building.

After we got our 40 cent cup of coffee on campus, we headed out to Victor Hugo‘s house.  He apparently lived several place in Paris, but the apartment that the city has turned into his museum was where he lived the longest.  He lived on the second floor of this building with his wife and four children before being self imposed exile for a time for political reasons.  It was very interesting to learn more about this literary icon; I am a big fan of Les Miserables, but I haven’t really read any of his other works (something that I need to remedy soon).

The stained glass in the stairwell

He was apparently a big fan of Charles Dickens and had an extensive library of his works as well as letters from the English author.  He had a bit of a tumultuous life, with three of his four children dying young, and a mistress who outlived his wife.  It almost seems like having a very difficult and controversial life is a prerequisite to being a successful artist/author.

Ick. This is a replica of Hugo's mistress's parlor. It was ugly.

Light fixtures in the Opera Garnier

Our next stop was at the Palais Garnier, the operahouse where Phantom of the Opera is set.  I’ve only ever seen the movie (which I loved) and I was really excited to see this beautiful building.  And it is absolutely beautiful.  It is a really large building with a surprisingly small auditorium, which we weren’t able to see because ballet rehearsals were going on that day, but we were able to look around the famous staircase and several other rooms and galleries.  Just as most of the other buildings that were built in the same time period, this place is ornate and over the top, but absolutely beautiful.  And around every corner, you almost expect to meet the Phantom.

The Phantom of the Opera is there (inside my mind)!

This hall almost looked like it belonged in Versailles.

Andrew speaking to his people from the balcony of the operahouse.

In the library where all of the scripts are stored.

There are the busts of the great musicians on the exterior of the operahouse.

When we left the Operahouse it was pouring, so we ducked into a nearby Starbucks to wait out the rain and it was decked out like the Opera!  I’ve never seen a Starbucks so pretty!  It’s a shame that I didn’t get any pictures of it.  It was probably also the busiest Starbucks I’ve seen in a while.

The first hint of springtime in Paris.

Once we had our fill of coffee, we headed over to the Eiffel Tower.  Our goal was to get there just before dusk so that we could watch the sun set over the city, but since the day was so gray and dreary, it really wouldn’t have mattered what time we got there.  We did find some beautiful blossoms on some trees nearby that whispered of spring which were really pretty.  It started to rain a little harder and the wind picked up, so we didn’t spend too much time wandering around but headed to the line to ride the elevator up to the summit.  The line was pretty short so it went quickly; everyone was so anxious to get into the elevator where it was warm!

An American in Paris

Just singing in the rain 😉

Lalala!

On the top of the tower. I was almost blown over!

Doesn't he look excited?!

It was really cold and windy at the summit, I honestly thought that I was going to be knocked over, so we just made a quick trip outside to take our pictures, and then ducked back into the enclosed viewing deck to admire the views.  Honestly, the views from the Arc de Triomphe are better, just because you can actually see the Eiffell Tower too, but going up the tower is exciting, just because it’s so iconic.

And once we had taken in the Paris skyline, we headed back down to earth to shop for souvenirs and watch the tower light up.  Watching the tower sparkle is probably one of my favorite memories from the trip; it was so excited because we were in a hurry to get back to the tower after shopping and I was afraid that we were going to miss it.  But we turned the corner and saw the tower again, and just then, it started to sparkle!  It absolutely took my breath away and was the perfect end to this wonderful trip.

This is one of my favorite pictures of our trip. Just amazing.

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