When I finally went to bed in the wee hours of the morning, I wasn't sure if I would write about how Ella Coquine, Kristen, Mariana and I spent our first presidential election in Paris or the illumination of the Christmas lights at Galeries Lafayette last night. It was only after reading New Zealander Gwan's straight talking tweet, "Yeah, yeah, America's the bestest country the universe has ever known, we get it" indicating that the rest of the world is tired of hearing about Mitt Romney and Barack Obama that I decided to forget about politics and focus on the holidays. If, however, you still want to know what it's like to be an expat on election night, journalist Yves Eudes kindly mentioned us in his article, "Une nuit américaine à Paris" in Le Monde.
Lest you think that the elephant in the above photo has something to do with the Republican party, let me assure you that the pachyderm's presence in Paris was strictly apolitical. Much to the delight of the crowd assembled in front of Galeries Lafayette, model Loulou Robert arrived astride an elephant draped in a massive Louis Vuitton blanket to flip the switch that illuminated the facade of the department store. In an unscripted show of strength, Dumba pulled the switch out of it's socket as the lights cast a festive glow on Boulevard Hausmann.
A break-dancing panda, pink flamingos and fashionable purse-toting penguins in the luxurious Louis Vuitton designed windows are sure to captivate the attention of children and adults. Based on the theme, "The Ball of the Century", to mark the centenary of the store's magnificent stained glass dome, the windows were unveiled by Galeries Lafayette chief executive officer Philippe Houzé and Roberto Eggs, president for North Europe at Louis Vuitton.
With more than 5,000 crystal stars adorning the 21 meter (69 ft) Swarovski Christmas tree, the inside of Galeries Lafayette is even more enchanting than the outside.
In keeping with the "Ball of the Century" theme, Cinderella's magical carriage will be on display on the ground floor of the department store until January 8, 2013.
Please click here to see an album with more photos of the windows, Swarovski Christmas tree and Cinderella's carriage on Facebook.