Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Do they sell Princes here? Paris Days 3 & 4


I am so sorry that it has taken me this long to update again.  If you want to read about my first two days in Paris look here.

The start of day 3 Cheri, Amy, and I made our way to Versailles.  There are no words to describe how beautiful Versailles is.  Every room had so many details with such ornate decoration.  I couldn't imagine living in that palace or having everyday life there.  So many famous Kings and Queens lived in Versailles (Hello Marie Antoinette) it was really cool to see where they lived and the views of the gardens that they had.  The whole place was overwhelming really. We were quite disappointed that they didn't sell princes in the gift shop.






I really love this wallpaper!


After Versailles we made our way back into Paris and headed straight to the Louvre.  We stumbled upon the side entrance by accident so we didn't have to wait in a long line to get in thanks to the museum passes that we bought.  Of course as soon as we got there we headed straight for the Mona Lisa.  To be honest? It was kinda disappointing.  The painting is quite small, by itself, on this huge wall.  Across from the Mona Lisa is Veronese's Wedding of Cana, the Louvre's largest painting. So in comparison, the Mona Lisa is tiny.  Either way, we each took our selfie with the painting (because that's what you're supposed to do) and moved on.  We explored a little bit but none of us are huge art people and there are only so many pictures of half naked men and woman you can look at.  Thankfully with our passes we didn't feel guilty for only staying at the Louvre for about 45 minutes. 



Selfie with the selfie statue

Next we made our way to Musée de l'Orangerie to see Monet's Water Lilies pantings. This was probably my favorite "art" time in Paris.  Sitting in a white room just staring at these paintings is very calming. We couldn't take pictures inside but here is a picture of what part of it looks like if you aren't sure.

via

Later we stumbled upon Ladurée: Maison de Macarons.  This was the first place to make Macarons.  Of course we had to go in and buy some for ourselves! They were absolutely delicious.





Amy, myself, and Cheri with our "Marie Antoinette" macarons

After shopping & dinner the sun had set so we made our way to the Eiffel Tower to see it shimmer!  We ended up taking a rickshaw because we knew we wouldn't be able to walk there fast enough. (Those five minutes in the rickshaw were probably the funniest experience that I've had while in France) 

Us in the rickshaw.

Seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkle for those 5 minutes was amazing.  If you ever go to Paris, you need to see this in person.  It made me feel like there is still some sort of magic in this world.  




We raced over to Arc de Triomphe so that we could see the tower sparkle again, but from up high and far away this time.  

Our last day in Paris we headed to Sacre Cœur first and then we walked around Montmart for a little bit. Of course the most important part of the day was going to Chipotle for lunch.  I have never looked forward to a meal so much in my life (except maybe when I am flying home and thinking about the Chick-fil-a I will have first thing in NC) Mexican food does not really exist here so having Chipotle was a great taste of home.  


Oh Chipotle, I love you so.

After lunch we went to Galeries Lafayette for some more shopping.  Really this was just to look around because none of us can afford Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Longchamp, Guicci... you get the idea. It is a beautiful mall and it was nice to pretend and imagine what it would be like to actually be able to afford those things.  Cheri had done some research and reserved us seats for a fashion show while we were there! It was a lot of fun, and some of the stuff was really cute, but one of the models had THE WORST walk ever. I mean, Mrs. J would not be pleased. I watched enough episodes of "America's Next Top Model" to know a good walk when I see one and hers was not it. Plus she was cheesy smiling the whole time which, in my opinion, ruined everything she wore. After it was over we headed back to our apartment so we could pack and catch the train back to Marseille.


Before the fashion show!





It was a jam packed 4 days in Paris but I wouldn't trade them for anything.  I cannot wait to go back because there is still a lot that I didn't get to do!  Anyone want to go with me? 

À la prochaine!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Limit Does Not Exist: Paris Day 1 & 2

"Sitting there, alone in a foreign country, far from my job and everyone I know, a feeling came over me. It was like remembering something I'd never known before or had always been waiting for, but I didn't know what. Maybe it was something I'd forgotten or something I've been missing all my life. All I can say is that I felt, at the same time, joy and sadness. But not too much sadness, because I felt alive. Yes, alive. That was the moment I fell in love with Paris. And I felt Paris fall in love with me."


That quote from the movie "Paris, je t'aime"describes my thoughts on Paris perfectly.  Paris surpassed any expectations I had for it and then some. We were blessed with beautiful weather and spring had definitely sprung.





Of course the first thing we wanted to do once arriving in the city was find our way to the Eiffel Tower. I'm sure you are wondering how many pictures is too many pictures of the Eiffel Tower. The limit does not exist. When in Paris, one is allowed to take as many pictures as one desires.






After the Eiffel Tower we made our way to Arc de Triomphe. Little did we know we took the longest route possible because we weren't paying attention, but it's okay because we got to walk down Champs-Élysées and take in everything it had to offer. By the time we climbed all those stairs (all 284 of them)  we got to see the most beautiful view of Paris as the sun set.


View from the top. Stunning.

Cheri and her sister, Amy, walking down the steps at Arc de Triomphe


How did we end our first day in Paris? By having dinner at Häagen-Dazs of course. #cantstopwontstop

Bradley joined us for dinner.

Day 2 of our day in Paris we started by eating at a boulangerie for breakfast then we made our way to Luxembourg gardens. After that we grabbed some gelato and went shopping for a little bit.  After lunch we walked through the Pantheon.  Unfortunately I nor Amy or Cheri are well versed in French history or the history of architecture so I cannot take this time to tell you all about the history of the pantheon but it was beautiful & very intricate. There are also a lot of people buried there. Of course as soon as I saw Victor Hugo's grave I started singing Les Mis because, Les Mis.




I'm that happy because that mango gelato was that good. 

inside the Pantheon


I love the detailing in this ceiling. Beautiful.



After some more shopping at the Latin Quarter we walked to Notre Dame.  Did you know that there are 387 steps between the ground and the top of Notre Dame?  We climbed each one (spiral staircases, btw) and were rewarded with another breathtaking view of Paris.






Of course we rewarded ourselves for successfully climbing Notre Dame with more gelato (when in Paris, right? for those of you playing at home, yes, that is gelato twice in one day plus ice cream for dinner the night before) and then stopped by Shakespeare & Company to browse.  As a lover of books I was in heaven.  I could have sat upstairs curled up on a window seat surrounded by books and read for hours, especially if someone provided me with some hot tea. Unfortunately I did not buy any books because they are heavy and flying home with them wouldn't work. Maybe next time I'm in Paris.

Just call me Belle

That wraps up my first two days in Paris.  I could have made this post 10000x longer with every detail and thought I had but I will spare you from reading all of that.  I can't wait to tell you about our last two days!