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Up the Lift There to the Third

To get directly to the point, no I did not finish the scene last night.  Last night was the Transgender Day of Remembrance and I attended that, going out to stand in the windy cold–it was both–to stand at the vigil and to be one of the official readers.  I also was interviewed for television, but I haven’t seen the video yet.  I’ll let you know if that happens.

After that I went and got something to eat and then headed home, arriving back at the apartment about 8 PM.

The night is dark and full of spoilers--or something like that.

The night is dark and full of spoilers–or something like that.

I did manage to get in about four hundred words but that was it: I simply didn’t have it in me to write everything out.  But I will get it done tonight, and I will start on the next scene.  You can trust me on that because I’m telling the truth. Mostly.

In the meantime our intrepid students are nearing their final destination.  So why do we catch up with them and see what’s happening.  I will start with an acute observation from Annie’s and Kerry’s friends:

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Everyone once inside the left and waited patiently as the doors closed. Seconds later they were heading towards the third floor and the partial openness allowed them to see the city beyond.

Penny leaned toward Kerry sniffed the air. “Hey, have you been drinking?”

Kerry put on a sheepish grin. “Just a little.”

“Whoa.” Anna sniffed the air near Annie. “You’ve been drinking, too.”

“Just a couple of glasses of champagne.” She wrapped herself around Kerry’s arm. “It was our anniversary, after all.”

They traveled the rest of the way in silence. Moments later the lift came to a halt and the doors open, allowing everyone to file out. Annie went to the window and saw the Champ de Mars below which instantly told her they were on the southeast side of the tower. She nodded toward the flight of stairs leading to the observation platform above: Kerry and she followed everyone else to the next floor.

 

Yeah, kids: your friends notice it when you been drinking champagne because it makes smell of a bit.  But neither of the kids have any shame about it because it was their anniversary.  Anyway, why should you be ashamed?  You can bet all the other kids would be drinking if they had chance.

Now the interesting point about the Eiffel Tower.  There are actually two parts to the third floor: is the part where the lift arrives and then there’s the viewing platform directly above this floor.  One of the great things it was done a few years ago was Google took the Google Trolley into the top floors of the Eiffel Tower and did a walk around, which essentially was the same thing as doing a street view on the platform.  If you put the little street view guy on the Eiffel Tower and you managed to snag either the second or third floor, you’ll actually be able to go between the floors with an elevation marker on the lower right-hand side of the Google screen.

Which means when the lift arrives this is what the kids see:

Looks more like sub.

Looks more like sub.

the descent leads back to the lifts; the stairs on the right lead to the viewing platform above.  If you look at the window on the left you’ll see the view that Annie was describing of the Champ de Mars, which means are sort of looking to the southeast–and you know that because you can see the EST marker above the Descent sign.

So we headed up the stairs and we see this:

Sorta see this.

Sorta see this.

That’s the same view as the one in the picture above, and you can tell it’s so because the stairs are there to the right.  At one time this used to be all open: there was the railing and then there was nothing but a lot of open sky around you.  Of course it all got caged in once people realize that a nine hundred foot fall was great way to kill yourself, and no one wanted to turn the Eiffel Tower into Suicide Central of Paris.

"Come for the View; Leave by Jumping" isn't a good slogan for a place like this.

“Come for the View; Leave by Jumping” isn’t a good slogan for a place like this.

And with that we have everyone at the top and conversations begin–

 

The view was spectacular. Here, two hundred and seventy-six meters above the park below, the temperature was pleasant and the wind nonexistent. Annie encouraged everyone to spread out and take the time sightseeing, as the third floor was open to Foundation personnel until two. With that said, she took Kerry’s hand and gently guided him towards the north side of the tower.

Once out of earshot of their fellow students Kerry glanced over at Annie. “Why didn’t you tell me you came here after our A Levels were over?”

“I was afraid if I told you I’d come here you would’ve been upset.” She looked out over the city for a few seconds. “I told you, I don’t want to feel as if I’m bragging because my life so much—”

“Better?”

“I was going say different.””I know it’s different and I accept that.” Kerry stopped and told Annie close to him. “And by now you should know I don’t care. I know your family has money; I know you have money. Just like you know that matters to me.” He gently pressed his finger against the tip of her nose. “This is what’s important to me—”

“My nose?”

Kerry laughed aloud before turning and walking with Annie toward the north side of the tower. “Touché. You got me with that one.” They stopped just past the Bar A Champagne and gaze down upon the magnificently illuminated Palais de Chaillot. They both gaze upon it in silence for nearly twenty seconds before Kerry turned and kissed Annie on the cheek. “I’m sorry.”

Taking hold of his hands Annie turned to face Kerry. “Why are you sorry?”

“Because I been acting so weird of late.” He wrapped his arms around Annie and held her close. “Letting all this personal stuff it between us and—”

“And nothing.” Annie locked eyes with her soul mate. “We’ve already discussed this and it’s behind us. There’s nothing for which you need to apologize.”

She rested her head against this chest. “We have plenty of other things with which to keep us busy.” Annie released a long, slow side. “This is not going to be an easy year.”

 

First, here’s where Annie and Kerry are having most of their conversation:

Yep, right there where the platform turns.

Yep, right there where the platform turns.

It’s great view, no one can argue that.  It can also be windy up there, but just like there was almost no wind when kids were up there was almost no wind when I was up there in 2006.  I didn’t have a conversation with my significant other, however, about how they were able to get up to the top of the Eiffel Tower after we met: I was first time for all of us, those in my family.  Kerry didn’t care if Annie visited here without him; as he says, he knows Annie’s life is different from his.  She’s done so many things already, most of them things he’s only dreamed about doing.  But give him time.  The kid will eventually get around the world with his Bulgarian Buttercup.  I mean, there’s only so many cities you can visit in each novel.

Now something just a little special.  I’ve been going on for several excerpts now about how I visited Paris in 2006, and how I went to the top of the Eiffel Tower.  So I’m going to do is show you something I’ve rarely ever shown, and those are pictures taken from that location.  Now, I did not want to include pictures of myself, nor did I want to include pictures of my significant other, so what you going to get our pictures that include my then seven-year-old hammy daughter, who at that age really took to the camera and loved being photographed.  Every so often in these pictures, however, and you’ll get a glimpse of a blue tee shirt; that’s me, hiding just off frame.  No, you don’t want to see that person.  Even I don’t want see that person.

Here we are fresh out of the tube station and heading toward the Eiffel Tower by way of the Palais de Chaillot:

The same place where that German paperhanger snap his photos.

The same place where that German paperhanger snapped his photos.

And here we are on the second floor:

See how relaxed she is with nothing but 400 feet of air behind her?

See how relaxed she is with nothing but 400 feet of air and another platform behind her?

We got one looking up from the second floor to our final destination:

0000001-r1-004-0a_1

Yes, we’re heading up there.

Finally we get to the top and wouldn’t you know it, we snap a picture with the Champ de Mars in the background:

That place certainly gets around.

That place certainly gets around.

And just to prove that we also visited other Parisian landmarks, here’s a picture of my daughter posing in front of the Moulin Rouge:

Being totally French.

Any moment she’s about to burst into song.

And getting her picture taken with a few the famous gargoyles at Notre Dame:

These guys didn't talk, which means Disney lied to me again.

These guys didn’t talk, which means Disney lied to me again.

There you have it: photographic evidence that I have been to Paris.

Now all I have to do is end this scene and get my kids out of Paris–

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