Big Trip 2010: Paris

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Greetings Readers!! This post has been raring to go for a few days now, but Wi-Fi has been few and far between across the ocean over here (you know…because we’re in Italy. Have I forgotten to tell you? Yeah. We’re in Italy. Just hit me when I start to get obnoxious…) , so I haven’t been able to upload my posts. But we’re in a GORGEOUS hotel in Florence now with a great internet connection and an even better view of the Ponte Vecchio.

So, we've been to Paris, Venice, Verona, and the Cinque Terre. It's been amazing, with wonderful views of the Italian countryside, fields of sunflowers, quiet dinners on the Grand Canal, and wandering through piazzas and open air markets. (I'll leave out the parts about pigeons relieving themselves on my head in the middle of Piazza San Marco or us running like maniacs a la “The Amazing Race” through the Milan train station trying to catch our connecting train only to have the doors slammed right in our face (I think we would’ve gotten eliminated.))

But enough of Italy… Welcome to the first installment of our trip: The City of Lights.

I LOVE PARIS. Love it. After 3 airports, 2 airplanes, 1 long metro ride, and 0 hours of sleep, we ascended an escalator and emerged standing on the streets of Paris under the shadow of the Notre Dome. I was grumpy, extremely tired but all of my fatigue suddenly washed away. We were finally here. Our trip had started.

We stayed in an adorable boutique hotel in the Saint Germain area on the Left Bank and walked everywhere. We rode to the top of the Eiffel Tower, strolled to the Arch de Triomphe (where I ate an entire cheese sampler of the best fromage I've ever had), saw the Notre Dame, walked along the Seine, and sat at many a sidewalk cafe sipping wine or cafe (yes, cafe-- not cafe americaine. I grimaced the whole time and put a LOTof sucre in it, but I did it because it’s the way francais.).

By the way, I LOVE the concept of these cafes. Why does America not do this??

Anyway, we toured churches and an old prison from the French Revolution (The Concierge, where
Marie-Antoinette was held), and did a lot of walking, just taking in the city. I loved every second. The weather was a bit overcast for most of our time, but the temperature was perfect. Seventy-five or maybe 80 degrees with a slight breeze.

Communication wasn't too bad. I took a few years of French in high school so I knew enough to recognize words and get basic sentences across. Tyler, however, took Spanish in college which translates to Italian much better than it does to French. He kept saying "por favore" instead of "si vous plait," and "meer-say" instead of "merci." "Tyler. It's mehr-see." "Whatever." The French loved us.

I could tell a thousand more stories but I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.

083I was absolutely mesmerized by the Louvre. There was no one there that day and it was eerily quiet, with only a street performer playing Ave Maria on the flute. I could’ve just walked around the courtyard all day…

096 100

124Where we had dinner that night… 152 The view of the Arch de Triomphe from the Eiffel Tower.182

029 215Snapshot of the neighborhood where our hotel was, Saint Germain.231

Windows of the Saint Chapelle.

245Palais de Justice. 275286Taken on our anniversary…

295 Just a shot of Paris…317

We initially thought this was the Arch de Triomphe, just outside the Louvre, and were very disappointed…304 331Our favorite cafe. Close to our hotel, across the way from Notre Dome, friendly to tourists, but inexpensive and delicious. We people watched and ate quiche for hours… 335The Ile Saint Louis, one of the two islands between the Right and Left Bank. This was our favorite neighborhood…

So that’s it! These are only a few of what we took, not in order or doctored up, but who has time for that? We’re in Italy! I hope this Sunday morning finds you well. It’s 1:15 pm in Florence and there’s a pizza somewhere in the Piazza della Signoria with my name on it… Ciao!

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