I had a rough time on the flight over from California, and spent most of the night coughing and generally feeling terrible. Kris and I had gone to bed around 8:30 local time, so we were up and at 'em at around... 4 a.m. We did open the blinds to watch Paris come awake, which was a pretty amazing thing to see. Our hotel room has a RIDICULOUSLY great view of the Eiffel Tower. We eventually ordered breakfast, and were delighted to discover that this was included in our stay; had it not been, it's 140 Euros for the two of us. That's $159.26, according to the internet! Now, to the hotel's credit, they brought us a TON of food. We determined that we could have easily finished off just one breakfast between us.
...Then we took a nap.
Okay, look: I'm in full-blown flu mode, and that sucks, so sleeping after eating a big breakfast was really the right idea. PLUS, it didn't actually violate our itinerary; our first excursion into Paris wasn't scheduled until noon.
At noon, we got dressed and sashayed right over to the Eiffel Tower. People have warned us about pickpockets, and we're so paranoid about it that it's slightly annoying, but I figure this just makes it that much harder for us to be victimized. We were specifically told about a scam that is pulled by American girls on the bridge (or at least, girls with American accents) where they ask if you speak English. If you affirm that you do, they engage you in conversation and present you with a clipboard, and then their friends take all of your credit cards and passports. Walking to the Tower, this ACTUALLY HAPPENED, but we were prepared, and stoically ignored them. And we lost nothing! It was so great not being pickpocketed.
We queued up for lunch, because we're in Europe, where you queue for things rather than getting in line. We had reserved a table at Jules Verne, which is on the second deck of the Eiffel Tower, at about 153m above the ground. It's a VERY nice place to eat, with astonishingly glorious views of Paris. I had a duck foie gras appetizer, which was a bit like trying to enjoy an entire stick of butter. It was GOOD... but there was a LOT of it. For the main course, I had a deboned saddle of lamb, with a rich roasted lamb jus with chickpeas. Dessert was a pear in chocolate sauce with whipped cream and slivered almonds. They also brought us homemade truffles, macarons, and marshmallows with a "mystery flavor" (I guessed kiwi, the woman at the table next to us guessed mango; it turned out to be passionfruit).
What I'm saying is, we're eating VERY well.
Then we popped down to the cab stand and caught a taxi to the Musee D'Orsay. The museum was GREAT, but I did take issue with the Art Nouveau exhibit, which had exactly zero pieces of Alphonse Mucha, who is my favorite artist, and the father of Art Nouveau!! Outrageous! The bits they did have were amazing, though, and I got to see paintings by Monet, Manet (interestingly, he's closer to Sargent than Monet), Van Gogh, Seurat, Renoir; paintings and sculpture by Degas; and sculpture by Rodin. Rodin's "Gates of Hell" is clearly a guy having a LOT of fun with horrifying imagery. "LET'S PUT ANOTHER CREEPY BABY DEMON WALKING OUT OF THE WALL".
We walked the length and breadth of the entire museum, which is in an old train station, and it was just great from beginning to end.
Tomorrow, ADVENTURE!! :)