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Hands down, the firework display that we saw on the 14th is the most impressive show of firepower (haha, get it?!?)  that I have ever seen.  The show went on for a solid 45 minutes, no breaks, and the whole thing felt like the finale from a 4th of July show in the states.

The best part, hands down, had to be the music choices for the show.  There was some pretty fantastic techno that went down (occasionally the bass would drop out from the dubstep parts and there would just be people whispering “liberté, égalité, fraternité”.  Pretty classy stuff) followed by some classic American rock.  We about lost it when Born in the USA came over the speakers.  

All in all, it was definitely a night to remember, and even worth the 1.5 hour walk home at 12:30 in the morning because the metros were so crowded.  If you ever get the chance to be in Paris for the 14th, definitely camp out on the Champ de Mars to check out the fireworks!  It was definitely one of the highlights of our life here so far!

 

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Feel free to check out my flickr page if you feel like wading through even more Eiffel Tower/firework photos — it was nearly impossible for me to narrow it down to even this many to post!

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As the sun started to set, the crowds came to the Champ de Mars en masse.  Those crowds included two of my favorite memories from the experience: a group of Americans directly in front of us, and four teenage French boys to the right of us.

First, the Americans.  We heard them speaking English as they came to sit down, and I was insanely excited about it.  I LOVE FINDING AMERICANS IN PARIS!  I make a point to always introduce myself on the metro and ask for someones story if I hear them speaking English.  Anyways, this group of about 15 sat down and started pulling out the ultimate American feast.  Ribs, chicken wings, bratwurst, potato salad, macaroni salad, cheesecake, oreos, and lays with dip!  Now, if you’ve ever spent any time in France, you’ll know that none of these except for oreos are exactly easy to find.  To be honest, we were probably creeping them out with how hard core we were drooling over their food.  Oh well, I guess that’s what happens when you’ve been away from your homeland for a year…  Fast forward a few hours (which we spent speculating where exactly they had gotten all this American goodness from, since it was clearly in grocery store packaging) and the group started cracking jokes about flight attendants and pilots.  Cue us noticing that they were all sitting on Delta blankets.  The light bulb turned on.  They were pilots and flight attendants who had set up their day off so they could spend it in France for the 14th under the Eiffel Tower!  Not only were they that cool, but they had gone to Publix grocery store before leaving the states, bought all their picnic food, stuffed it in the fridge on the plane, and then made it through customs!  How brilliant is that?  I now aspire to be these people.  I also tried to convince The Husband to take a photo with a publix chicken wing in front of the Eiffel Tower (a. I’m sure the group would have let him borrow one for a photo. b. his family loves chicken wings.  Possibly more than they love him….).  He didn’t go for it…

The French teens were another story…  They showed up, lay down, and immediately began doing suspicious rolling in their backpacks…  Then pulled out (seriously) the biggest joint ever and started smoking it like it was no biggie.  This continued for the whole 9 hours of them sitting next to us.  Needless to say, we were all exceptionally hungry by the end of the night from the large amounts of second hand smoke we had consumed (they were definitely not the only ones taking advantage of the night so to speak…).  The funniest part, though, is that they kept on asking the Americans in front of us if they could try their food, and the Americans kept on sharing!  Psh, if we had gotten food all the way from the states there’s no way we would have shared with a group of stoned teens!

Now imagine both these stories set to the backdrop of a classical music concert and there you have our evening.  Fun, huh?

 
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The 14th of July was probably the longest day of my entire life up to this point.  And it was absolutely AMAZING!

The Husband and I headed to the Champ de Mars around 3 in the afternoon in order to stake out some seats for the fireworks.  For those of you who don’t know, the 14th of July is like the 4th of July in America — big parades, fireworks, the whole 9 yards.  Since we don’t know where we’ll be next year around this time, we knew that it was essential to see the fireworks this year!

Even more essential was getting an awesome seat for the fireworks and the classical concert that was happening beforehand — lucky for us we decided to get there insanely early and camp with some friends so we could get amazing photos for the fireworks (which will be coming shortly).

Suffice it to say that I took over 500 photos from this afternoon and night, but I’ll only be sharing a smattering on this blog.  I’ll share a link later on where you can see {most} of the rest.

We were lucky enough to have packed a delicious picnic and one umbrella to hold us through the blazing hot afternoon — the problem with only one umbrella, however, is that someone has to be partially out of it when there are two of you…  I am now unevenly tanned, after spending two days with a left arm that looked like a lobster.  Oh well, still totally worth it!

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Believe it or not, it was even more crowded by the time the fireworks started.  I’ve never been so close to people in my entire life — there were four of us piled into a 4 square foot area!  Good thing it was still in the 80’s this day and not yet into the 90’s like it has been since then!

I gotta say though, if I’m going to spend 12+ hours squished with a million of my closest friends, theres no better place to do it than looking up at the Eiffel Tower as the sun sets.  We truly do live a privileged life.