Twinkling Tower MAG

By Unknown, Unknown, Unknown

   Sitting at the table, I scanned the menu for somethingthat sounded slightly familiar. The restaurant was overflowing with rapid Frenchchatter and waiters moving quickly through the crowd. The restaurant, with itslofty ceilings and scents of delicious food, was an ideal place to spend our lastnight in Paris.

Mary Beth, Emily, Tory and I sat in a back corner andreminisced about the past three weeks. As we finished taking a few last-minutepictures, the waiter came to take our order. "Et, pour vous,mademoiselle?"

"Oui, je voudrais une salade verte, le pouletpoivre, mousse au chocolate, et pour boire, un Coca. Merci," I replied usingmy particularly American-sounding French. He took everyone's order, and wecontinued talking.

Tori asked if we remembered when the bus driver yelledat her, or the spiral staircase down to the catacombs. As each memory was broughtto life, we filled the restaurant with laughter.

When the meal came, theconversation shifted; the exquisite food was our only topic. I was thoroughlyenjoying my poulet poivre as I thought about the past three weeks. We finisheddinner and snapped a few more pictures. It was just about ten o'clock, and we hadone final destination before we left Paris.

Everyone grabbed herbelongings, and we rushed out of the restaurant. Our chaperones swiftly led us toour next destination. With only half an hour before closing, we sped through thecity.

Suddenly, as we passed under a large cluster of trees, it cameinto view: the Eiffel Tower. I stopped dead in my tracks. I had seen it all week,but this time I was there. I was awestruck standing next to one of the mostpopular landmarks in the world.

When I finally snapped out of my daze, Inoticed the group was far ahead and sprinted to catch up. We had made it.

We got in line with our sparkly, iridescent tickets in hand. I wasshaking. I had dreamt about this moment since before I can remember. The EiffelTower and me: it was something that had been set in the stars. And now I wasactually here.

We took the first elevator halfway up. Mary Beth and Ileaned over the railing to gaze at the city as it lit up the black sky. Then,suddenly, the tower began to twinkle. Thousands of little lights began to blinkand made the tower appear to be made of gold glitter. It was breathtaking.

Mary Beth and I stepped off the second elevator and ran to the edge.

I could barely keep from screaming at the top of my lungs, "Finally,I am here!"

Emily and I walked around the top and decided it would befun to go down the stairs; 1782 steps later, we met the rest of the group at thebottom.

It was almost 1:00 a.m., which presented a problem. Our hotelwas about a 30-minute Metro ride away, and the trains only ran until one o'clock.Knowing we would never get back on foot, we bolted for the nearest Metrostation.

Street by street, we ran. Finally arriving at the station, wesprinted straight onto our train. Gasping for breath, we quickly determined ourroute. "We will change at St. Paul," our chaperone called from the backof the train. When it came to a halt, we crashed through the door - wedesperately needed to make that last train.

Andy and I led the packthrough the winding corridors. As we hit the stairs, the train pulled up. Thedoors slammed shut just as Liz jumped in. It was bittersweet. Our trip ended withthe closing of those doors. Soon we would be home, back to our daily routine andnot thinking twice about this amaing opportunity. I sat drowsily on the train andthought about how lucky I was to have been able to see and do all that I hadduring the past three weeks.

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