Thursday, October 20, 2016

Perfect Paris

Happy Thursday, everyone! 

It you're like me, this is how your feel at this point of the week.

Don't worry though, Friday is right around the corner.

Thanks for joining me again for the second half of our amazing European vacation! As Ryan and I hopped back on the Eurostar to Paris, we talked about the best parts about trip thus far. We also thought that there was no way that we would like Paris as much as London. 

Oh how I was so wrong.

Our first stop was to drop off our luggage at our apartment so that we could walk around the city and explore.

It was in a great location and had a park next door where you could see the Eiffel Tower! The city is sectioned into arrondissements, and we stayed in the nineteenth.  We were very pleased. We had a couple attractions planned for our first day, but ended up setting those aside to see the beautiful Eiffel Tower. Who doesn't want to see that first?!

This was our very first view of the tower. I was BESIDE MYSELF!

Paris is so much more spread out than London, so we relied heavily on the Metro while there. This is the subway system in their city. It is very affordable compared to the expensive Underground in London. Even using the Metro, we averaged around 30,000 steps per day. Talk about a ton of walking.

From the Eiffel Tower, we headed to the Champs-Élysées. This is an amazing road in Paris that's known for it's shopping and it leading you right to the Arc du Triomphe. Here we shopped around a little bit, and made a visit to the iconic Laduree!

Holy macaroons! One of every flavor please!

Once you get to the end of the Champs-Élysées, you see this magnificent structure. Please don't try to cross the road to get there. It's extremely dangerous and a very busy roundabout. There is an underground tunnel to take you to the Arc du Triomphe. 

At this point of the day, it was getting late, so we wanted to grab some dinner. If you want to spend an arm and a leg to eat on the  Champs-Élysées, you have MANY options to do so. If you are more like me and want to find something that won't break the bank, just walk down one of the smaller roads and there are a ton of options as well. We ended up at a really cool Italian pasta/pizza restaurant called Vapiano. I cannot give enough praise to the pasta made at this restaurant. I found myself craving it the rest of the trip.

There's a very well known bridge in Paris called the Pont Alexandre III. I wanted to see it lit up at night, so we walked off our pasta dinner and made our way there. At no point in time did we feel unsafe walking around the city at night. As long as you stick to the touristy areas, you should be fine. 

This bridge is amazing during the day too, but seeing the lights at night was too cool. It sits right on top of the Seine River and you can even see the Eiffel Tower from it. We sat here for a while and just took in the cool Paris air, and watched boats pass under the bridge. Such a romantic moment.

We called it a night and headed back to the apartment. We had an early day the next day, and wanted to beat the lines for walking up the Eiffel Tower.

Day two started off at the Eiffel Tower and deciding how to get to the top. There are two options: The first is that you can take the stairs, which of course has no wait! The other option is to take an elevator and wait in a very long line to do so. We were IDIOTS and decided to take the stairs. Do not attempt to do this if you have children, or aren't a marathon runner. We were dying just to get to the first level! The view from the top is unbelievable though.

This is the view from the first level out of the three. Can you believe how high this is? By the time we got to the top, it began to rain pretty heavily and we needed to head back down, but trust me. Amazing view!

The weather is so unpredictable in both Paris and London. It can rain one second and then be sunny the next. Just make sure to bring an umbrella everywhere with you.

This day, I planned a secret picnic for Ryan and I! You make a reservation with a company called  Picnic Paris and they deliver the picnic to you, in one of three locations. I chose Luxembourg Gardens for our picnic and I'm super happy with that choice. 

Our view of the Gardens

Drinking wine in public is allowed in Paris, which is a HUGE plus in my book. Paris Picnic includes a wine of your choice, several meats, cheeses, cookies, chips, fruit salad, a baguette, water AND a blanket that you get to keep. So much food and such a good deal. Definitely check that out if you're headed to Paris! Great company!

Ryan loved the surprise and the food was SO GOOD! 

After our picnic, we walked around the gardens again and then headed to Notre Dame!

Some other pictures of the Gardens

I love this man.

The wait to get into Notre Dame wasn't bad at all. The line moves pretty quickly. It was 100% worth visiting.

Gargoyles are so cool and the views are amazing. Paris has so many attractions with great views. It's hard to pick the best ones.

Day three started off with our trip to the Sacre Coeur, which is very much an active Roman Catholic Church in the city. They allow you to walk around as long as you aren't interfering with the services and respect the worshipers there. No photography is allowed inside. This was definitely one of my favorites in Paris. I just couldn't stop looking at this church. 

Put the Sacre Coeur one your to-do list. It's a must visit.

After leaving, we made a spontaneous decision to go to the Catacombs of Paris. The wait for this was VERY long but this was one of Ryan's favorites. The catacombs house the remains of over six million people in a series of underground tunnels.This is probably not for everyone, and definitely not for young children.

Day four was a day spent in Versailles! This was #1 on my list of Paris favorites. You can take the Metro to Versailles for a MUCH cheaper price than the tours that many companies offer. We chose not to go on a group tour of Versailles, because we wanted to save some money and also explore on our own. I highly recommend doing it on your own, as you aren't limited on time and can explore gardens without a ton of other people around.  

Incredible history and a beautiful place to visit. We spent HOURS here. There's just so much to see. They have musical shows that go along with the fountains and it's worth the extra cost to see those. They turn them off pretty early in the evening, so make sure to go early.

We ate at a little cafe right outside of Versailles, and stuffed our faces with pasta once again.

Day five was our last day in Paris before our long trip back home. We woke up early and went to the Louvre. A few things: you can't get through the entire thing in one day, you'll definitely get lost inside, so many and different pieces of art to see, and you can find there rest of spectators looking at the Mona Lisa. The rest of the museum is fairly empty, and very peaceful to walk around and take your time.

Everyone says that the Mona Lisa is much smaller than you expect, and I thought the opposite! I guess you hear so often how small it is, that you go in thinking that it's tiny. It was actually significantly bigger than I imagined it to be.

We spent the rest of the day leisurely walking around and taking in our last moments in Paris.

Some must see attractions if you're headed to Paris:

Eiffel Tower, of course
Arc du Triomphe
Pont Alexandre III
Sacre Coeur
Notre Dame
Luxembourg Gardens
Catacombs of Paris

Our ten days in Europe were amazing in every way. It was a perfect amount of time as well. We had plenty of time to see everything on our list, and even time left over in each city. By the time the Paris portion was over, we were ready to head home to our normal routines.

If you have any questions about anything Paris or London, don't hesitate to ask. 

Thank you all for visiting! :)


1 comment:

  1. I was supposed to go to Paris on my last work trip, but it got cancelled. So jealous of all your amazing ventures. I love Laduree so much and always get their macaroons in London.