Wednesday, August 12, 2009

An Afternoon at the Eiffel Tower

One of the main Attractions of Paris, France is the Eiffel Tower. Built from 1887-1889 for the Exposition Universelle (Worlds Fair), marking the centennial celebration of the French Revolution.

Couples from all over the world chose to spend romantic time together on the public lawns in front of the Eiffel Tower.

Sitting next to me on the lawn was a intoxicated homeless man with one shoe on and a cup in hand begging for any wine or euro coins he was able to get.

A women puts her hand up in a pose that makes her look as if she holds the Eiffel Tower in the palm of her hand. While her companion captures the moment from below.

A young boy enjoys a freshly whipped cone of pink cotton candy from a vendor at the Eiffel Tower.

Two Asian couples take their post wedding photos in front of the Eiffel Tower as swarms of tourists look on.

The flower girl and friends hold the train to one of the brides dresses as she exits the limo.

Many tourists choose not to admire the tower from the lawn but by cruising the city in a topless double decker, which stops for just enough time to snap a picture.

Myself and other tourists had crooked necks after taking pictures directly up the center of the Eiffel Tower.

The iron structure from below was first considered an eye sore when built. Clearly that is not the case today.

Although I did not attempt to make it to the top, many daring tourists walk the stairs in quest of conquering the tower.

Seventy-two names of French engineers, scientists, and other notable people are engraved on the tower.

The Eiffel Tower from the opposite at the Place of Trocadero.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

TWICE-Where no one should go twice!

Upon arriving to Florence on Monday June 30th, tired, hot, and hungry, myself as well as my fellow students and soon to be friends had one idea on our mind, to explore the nightlife of Florence, Italy. Not allowing jetlag to get the best of us, we showered, ate and headed out for the night. After stopping at Santo Spirito only to meet drunks, homeless men, and gypsies we moved along to the Old Stove located next to the Duomo. Due to all of us being in total awe of the large structure we had seen in pictures and heard so much about we stayed there for quite some time. It was not until one of the boys convinced us to go to a popular bar called Twice that we got up and began the journey to what would turn out to be the funniest memory of my time spent in Florence.
As we walked into Twice we noticed that we were the only people inside the bar/night club. This seemed quite odd to us considering it was 12:45 am and we figured people would be out. Within five minutes it was as if they had lit a neon sign outside the door that read, “Americans just entered here” because the place was packed with slicked back greasy haired Italians eager to find any American willing to dance with them. While this was going on Cammie, Ally, Allison, Liz, and I found a VIP lounge called the Grey Goose Lounge. It was a type of VIP lounge we had never seen before, raised off the floor with white couches to sit on. In front of couches were blue ottomans that had empty grey goose bottles on them with tall white candles lit sticking out of them. Not even thinking about the dangers of fire in a nightclub we got in the VIP Lounge and sat down.
Before we were able to get comfortable an Italian man came in and told us it was reserved for VIP only. With all of us wondering who was going to show up that was VIP we decided to take a picture before we got kicked out. As I took the picture of Ally, Allison, and Liz, Cammie realized she was missing out. She quickly ran across the entire VIP lounge, which had marble flooring. In her slick no traction Jack Roger sandals mid run Cammie did an entire split across the floor hit the blue ottoman with the candle on it and her hair was on fire. With both the candle and Cammie on the floor none of us knew what to do but start hysterically laughing as the Italian man from Twice stood wide eyed realizing what Cammie had just done. With her bleached blonde hair singed black from the candle, the man giving us death stares, and Cammie in a complete laughing fit over what had just happened we quickly ran from the VIP lounge with only one good picture, Cammie with a burnt out candle and black singed hair. This incident has to be by the far the funniest and unluckiest memory of the trip. Although there were so many memories and funny events it stands out the most because it was the first night and it set the bar for the entire trip.