One Step At A Time

The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs…

one step at a time.

~ Joe Girard

My sister Margaret gets the credit for the photo of me climbing the 280 steps to the top inside the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. I thought this photograph was a good one to use in a thank you to all of the readers and friends who took time to leave a supportive message with regard to my writing and ever so slight disappointment over receiving a polite  ” not interested ” response from the newspaper I queried recently.

I have found such fine support for the writing I do here and I am never sure I let you know how much it is appreciated. Mary from A Breath of Fresh Air left me a very kind comment yesterday about writing a book, in which she said she that she would not hesitate to gift a collection of stories taken from my blog to her friends. It was just the lift I needed yesterday to pick up my pace mentally and refocus on the steps before me.

Thanks again to all who visit here at Gifts Of The Journey and thanks for your support.

Painting The Town Red In Paris … Almost

Painting the town red has had different meanings over the years. From spilling blood to drinking and rowdy behavior none of which we did during our travels yesterday, but we did stay out too late to ride the Metro home and had to take a taxi after seeing the sights below.

This shot could only be obtained by taking it from the middle of the cross walk when it turned green for about thirty seconds which did not seem to matter to drivers who kept going anyway.

Margaret and I went back and forth more times than we probably should have and finally when I felt I had enough to pull a good image from several, I stood off to the side and watched Margaret stand her ground in the ” green for go ” cross walk. She’s the blurry person in the center with her arms up to snap her photo. Note the traffic does not really stop unless they have to avoid hitting you. I found this a bit scary when I was out there as drivers kept coming regardless of right of way.

Table (steps) for two at the foot of the Eiffel Tower .. you can just make out Margaret finishing her crêpe in the bottom right of this photo (ham, cheese, and french fries with a hotdog thrown into the mix) while sitting in the light of the famous landmark. I enjoyed a dessert crêpe with chocolate, banana, and ice cream. I know most people wouldn’t call that dinner, but it did contain several food groups with some sugar mixed in for energy.

Every so often throughout the evening the Eiffel Tower lights up for ten minutes at a time with sparkly lights which make it look even more festive. A boat near the bottom of the image crept into my shot while I was trying to capture the tower with her extra glow.

We waited in long lines to go to the very top of the Eiffel Tower and did so with people who all seemed patient and well-behaved until the two women below broke into the line that we had been in for about forty minutes.

This was on an upper level after having stood for about an hour already in the first line at ground level. They pushed past two smaller and slightly older ladies and seemed intent on pushing past us when Stonewall-Margaret had enough and became an immovable rock. First Margaret made a small space for the two nice ladies to get in front of us and then she planted herself in front of the two pushy women and held her ground moving forward when necessary, but not allowing herself to be rushed.

The women as you can see thought it was quite funny and the older women kept pushing and touching Margaret so much so that at one point Margaret said to me, ” I wonder if she could scratch my left shoulder-blade for me … I don’t think she’s touched that spot yet! ” It was both exasperating and funny at the same time.

Here is Margaret looking pretty well over it just before we reached the elevators to go up to the last level and the pushy woman as you can see was trying to avoid my camera. Other people were watching her poke and push at Margaret and were making faces that showed their surprise at the woman’s bad behavior as well.

After a good look around I snapped a ton of photos some of which you see above and then we stood in more lines before touching down safely on the ground.

Earlier in the day we paid a visit to the Arc de Triomphe where once again we were not content to just gaze up from below, but had to make the climb to the top to take in the view.

I took this one of us myself so it is a bit off-center.

Once the heat drove us down, we saw that there were preparations underway for a remembrance ceremony.

There were members of the military and soldiers everywhere.

This female office was advising a women who was about to try to cross the dangerous looking roundabout to use the underground tunnel instead. After snapping a few more photos, we headed for the tunnel ourselves as we were not allowed to get too close to what going on under the arches.

Posing for glamour shots at a place for remembering the dead always surprises me.

Once we were through the tunnel we saw more activity related to the ceremony happening on the Champs-Élysées.

I don’t think this gentleman minded my taking his picture. Most were willing to pose for us.

The children were waiting so patiently for everything to begin.

Here is a little cafe scene that one always associates with Paris.

And a last one for today. If you click on this you can see the drivers are all talking on their cell phones on their way home after work.