Posts Tagged With: View

Pictures from my Train Ride from Vancouver to Seattle

Here are my pictures from my Amtrak trip from Vancouver to Seattle. It was beautiful to look at the water, sand, and clouds while the sun was setting.

 

Categories: Canada, Family Vacation, Photos, Seattle, Travel, USA, Vancouver | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Philadelphia City Hall

My parents and I usually stay near City Hall so I have been staring at this exquisite building for as long as I can remember. The architecture of the building is incredible. I could look at it all day. I always take a million pictures of it because I just can’t get enough of it. About 2 years ago I was reading one of the Philadelphia guide books that was in the hotel room and I read that the building had a limited number of tours. The tours even included a trip to the top of City Hall which is an observation tower. The tower is right under Ben Franklin’s feet. The problem was that the tour is only given at 12:30pm on weekdays. We are usually in Philly during the weekend or on holidays. Last year when our Dallas trip got pushed back at the last minute due to weather my mom and I had 4 days off with no plans. So we went to Philly and City Hall was on my list.

I booked the tour over the phone the day before. We paid $12 each and picked up our tickets in the gift shop. The gift shop was expensive, but I bought some postcards. We looked around for a bit and were called for our tour. The tour starts in the gift shop. Then it explores the bottom floor and explains all the details of the architecture. Then we are taken upstairs. The staircase is a giant spiral staircase. The rooms inside are incredible. We got to see the City Council Chamber, the Mayor’s Reception Room, Conversation Hall, and the Supreme Court Room. The tower portion only allows 4 people in a small elevator up at a time. The elevator ride was very cool because you got to see the inside of the top of the building. The tower was fantastic! The view was beautiful. We went on a clear day so we could see everything. The tower is definitely not for people that are claustrophobic or afraid of heights. It was strange to look up and see the huge statue of Ben Franklin. My mom and I had a great time! The tour was worth every penny. Glad I got to finally see the inside of this beautifully ornate building.

View from the tower

View from the tower

View from the tower-Masonic Lodge/Temple

Ben Franklin

View from the tower

 

Categories: Family Vacation, History, Philadelphia, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Strolling down the Champs-Élysées

July 28 2012

We started walking down Rue di Ravoli. Everyone told us this was the street with great food and shops. Originally we had planned on taking this block all the way back to our hotel. However, that would have been an hour walk. We were tired and still had a lot to see. So we decided to take it until we got super tired.

We passed a lot of bakeries and picked up some water and sweets at Paul. Everything looked so good! I just wish things were cheaper. We went into some clothing stores and eventually decided it was time to take the metro. We hopped on the metro at Saint Paul and got out at the Arc de Triomphe. We took some pictures and observed the crazy traffic circle it was on. I knew from reading posts online that you can’t cross the traffic circle and instead you need to use the underground tunnel. Once inside the tunnel there was a long line. I was so glad we didn’t have to wait on it because we had the museum pass. The tunnel was hot and smelled. Once out of the tunnel we were rushed into the staircase to climb to the top.

There were several levels within the Arc. They contained a gift shop and a bathroom. We visited both. The bathroom was very small. The stairs weren’t as bad as Notre Dame. We got to the top and were greeted with the wonderful view. There were a lot of people so you had to be patient for a perfect picture. It had a great view of the Eiffel Tower.

We climbed back down and took some pictures at the base of the Arc. Then we intended to take the Ave des Champs-Élysées all the way back to the neighborhood of our hotel. We window shopped until we got to Swarovski. My mom had me take pictures of her on the very cool crystal stairs. We people watched and I was starting to get really hungry. We passed some teen clothing store that had two hunky guys outside to draw the girls in. There was a big group of girls standing outside flirting with them. We stopped to see the Grand Palais and Petit Palais, which we were supposed to see after Les Invalides, but were too tired to. At this point my feet were killing me so we decided to hop on the metro and take it to where we were going to eat dinner.

I read about a place called Pastapapa. It sounded and looked delicious plus it was reasonably priced. There was a deal for a drink, pasta, and dessert. I ordered a big bottle of water and got penne alfredo. The penne alfredo was huge!!!!!!!! My mom helped me out with it and we still had some leftovers. It was the best pasta I have ever had! My mom agreed. There was a couple next to us eating penne with salmon which looked incredible. They ordered a chocolate caramel ice cream cake. It looked good so we ordered it as well. It was so yummy! GREAT DINNER! We went back to the hotel and soaked our feet. Then went straight to bed.

Categories: Europe, Family Vacation, Food, France, History, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hanging with Quasimodo and Storming the Bastille

July 28 2012

About a block away from Sainte Chapelle was Place St. Michel. My mom and I went and took a picture. Then we headed to Notre Dame. I was really excited about finally seeing it. We walked along the Seine and people watched as we walked. When we finally turned the corner and saw it I was struck by how beautiful Notre Dame really was. We waited on a line to get in. The line to get in moved quickly and I spent the time on line just staring at the building.

Once inside we walked all around. It was very dark so the pictures I took didn’t really come out well. It was peaceful and if we weren’t in a rush to see all of Paris in two days then I would have sat and took it all in. While walking around I kept looking for the line to go into the tower. Since we couldn’t find it we finally stopped and asked someone. They told us the line was outside by the side of the building.

We went outside and saw that the line was huge! It was an entire block long. I didn’t know what to do. I really wanted to go up into the tower, but I hadn’t planned on spending a lot of time on line. I hoped the line would only be 30 minutes so I waited. My mom left me to walk around a bit. She came back 30 minutes later and I was still on line. She took everything but my camera and museum pass from me. I’m so glad she did! After another 30 minutes I was let in. You stop at a gift shop first to buy tickets. The guard saw my museum pass in my hand and let me go straight up! I got a 10 minute jump on the rest of the group. I’m glad I did because climbing those stairs were not easy. I was out of breath. When I finally got to the top I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The view was incredible! I could have looked at it all day. I loved the gargoyles. They had so much personality. One of them was in Hunchback of Notre Dame (the Disney movie). I visited the bell tower and wasn’t too fond of the small wooden staircase. After that I thought we were headed back down, but I was wrong. Time to climb even higher! The view from the very top was fantastic. The space was tight and I was looking forward to being on solid ground again. The climb down seemed to take forever since it was now 3 levels at once. It made a lot of us dizzy. However, I am so glad I did it. The wait was worth it. It was probably my favorite part of the trip.

I met up with my mom and we started our walk to the Pantheon. Along the way we passed a lot of great stores and bakeries. We stopped in one because they had souvenirs at a decent price. I had over 20 people to buy for so I stocked up. Traffic was crazy and it was fun to watch the activities of the city as we walked. We passed a Hippy thrift store, but unfortunately they were closed. We turned a corner and looked left and there was the Pantheon. It looked like it belonged in Washington DC. We stopped at the top of the steps and sat at the base of the columns. We pulled out the remaining food from breakfast and ate. We had a lovely view of the Eiffel Tower from our position.

Time for the museum pass again. We walked around inside. The inside was filled with tributes to the French Revolution and the enlightenment thinkers. The pendulum was cool to watch. We went downstairs into the crypt and saw the tombs of the enlightenment thinkers. I have spent so much time learning about these figures and teaching them. It was strange to see them before me. We used the ladies room and then it was time to head to another site related to the French Revolution.

As we walked to the metro we passed a wedding party. The area near the metro seemed quaint, almost as if it didn’t belong in a city. The metro went outdoors and my inner 5 yr old was excited. I loved seeing the different neighborhoods as we passed by. We got off at the stop for the Bastille. I had read that a piece of the old Bastille still exists in the metro station and there is a line in the station showing where the Bastille was. We easily found it and I was so excited by it. None of the other tourists realized what it was. We exited the train and immediately saw the Place de la Bastille. There isn’t much to see. I liked the subway portion better. It is worth going to if you are a history person and just want to say you were at the site. Otherwise, you can skip it. On a different note, I had spent the last day and half looking for the famous Paris metro art nouveau signs. I finally found them around the Bastille! They were great. My mom loved them as well.

Categories: Europe, Family Vacation, France, History, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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