When I was thinking about the stuff Zef and I could do around Paris, I had my heart set on museums and walking along the Seine, flipping through the goods at the green bookinistes lining its banks, popping into the Notre Dame to hear his baby lungs scream into the magnificent gothic chambers, and maybe see how long we could hang out at a café like Café de Flore before the waiters kicked us out for being a public nuisance. It wasn’t until I started this blog that I realized we’d probably have to climb the Eiffel Tower.
On principle, I have a thing against going up monuments like the Eiffel Tower. I grew up in Seattle and even as a kid, I always had this profound sense of disappointment every time I went up in the Space Needle. I don’t know if maybe it’s because in my child’s head (admittedly crammed mostly with asinine sci-fi trivia) I thought the inside of the UFO-looking top of the Space Needle should have looked more like the USS Enterprise or have something Death Starish about it. Heck. I would have settled for a resemblance to the spaceship from Flight of the Navigator. Instead, it was just a view over the city that was lacking something: the most iconic building in the city.
I feel much the same about going up in the Eiffel Tower as about scaling the Space Needle. Essentially, you’re paying money and waiting in long lines to get a view of the city without the one building that is truly iconic.
Still, these are the sorts of things that people want to do when they visit. They are something best left for when Grandma visits.
Luckily for us, we had a grandma here. Zef’s grandma, my mother-in-law, spent the middle of August with us. She went up in the Eiffel Tower in 1977 but wanted to do it again. She didn’t have a good reason and I thought, why not?
We made a plan for Wednesday. What we did do was plan our travel time around his morning nap schedule so we would arrive to the Eiffel Tower before the morning nap began and he could sleep in the line and we could make it up before the heat of the mid-afternoon (it was August after all) and the lines got out of control.
Of course, the best laid plans of mice and men and all that… Just try traveling and doing anything with a six-month old. And if you have, then you know what I’m about to say – it’s not impossible, but plans must be very, very flexible.
This is one of the reasons I opted to not make a reservation to take one of the elevators to the top. What if Zef had a sudden puking fit or decided to smear his poop all over his face, thus requiring a bath and setting us behind 30 or so minutes and making us miss our time to go up? There are no refunds for that sort of thing.
Of course, what really happened was nothing like what we planned. Zef fell asleep before his morning nap time and only a crazy person bent on their own self-destruction would even think of waking a sleeping 6 month-old. Still, we carried on.
… to be continued.