I think we’re falling in love with a city other than New York… Paris!
Paris was nothing as I expected it to be, and everything I could have dreamt it to be! This city reminded us so much of New York, but had a more chic and sophisticated feel to it. The people, despite what everyone says, are very friendly (even to us Americans). They greeted us with open arms and welcomed us into their city.
The streets and sidewalks are wide and lined with “old school” lamp posts and chateau-like apartments. As you stroll along, you can hop in and out of many restaurants, bars, and boutiques. Trendy men and women walked about their day, clicking heels on the pavement and chatting on their phones. We loved not seeing anyone who could be on the website “People of Walmart.”
Getting the Full Parisian Experience
The food was delicious! We had a ton of foie gras, and tried foods that we hadn’t ever tried before, like escargot and sea urchin.
We tried to speak the language as much as we could, but it kept coming out as a mix of English and Italian with one or two words in French. I think the effort was appreciated though! We were impressed by the cleanliness of the streets, the easy accessibility to everything by metro, and the overall beauty of the city. Paris has an aura of romance emanating from all directions; we were sad to leave it!
Our small boutique hotel was in a great location. Tucked away down a quiet side street, we were a two-minute walk from the Arc de Triomphe, a metro stop, and many restaurants, pastry shops, and bars. Each morning, we started our day off with a croissant, pain au chocolat, a cafe latte, and a hot chocolate.
Visiting Paris’ Cultural and Historical Sites
On the first day, we walked along the Champs Elysees, a very high-end street with many people toting their recent, very expensive purchases.
We made it down to the Louvre, which was about a 2.5 mile walk. Luckily, we had purchased museum passes, so we were able to skip the long line that we saw from afar. As we went inside ,we made sure to see the most famous art work first and then walk around at a leisurely pace.
After the Louvre, we strolled along the Seine River. There are 37 different bridges that cross the river in different places. Pont Neuf is probably the most well known, as it is the oldest standing bridge across the Seine in Paris. But the one that caught our eye was the Pont des Arts. Here, couples affix locks to the bridge in order to symbolize their everlasting love.
We then came to Notre Dame, a Gothic Catholic cathedral. Inside it was decorated with colorful stained glass and large natural sculptures.
After stopping in a little restaurant for some lunch we made our way up the Seine again towards the Musee d’Orsay, which holds pieces of work by Van Gogh and Gauguin, among others.
Finishing our Day with Fine Parisian Food
When we came back to the hotel, we mapped out our day and realized we had walked over 8 miles! Time to rest and eat! We had reservations at a small restaurant where they guarantee personal attention and amazing food. They gave us two glasses of champagne to start the evening and brought out a few knives for Jon to choose to cut his steak. Here is where we tried escargot (which were great) and stuffed ourselves silly. The day was a fantastic start to our vacation!