Day OneWe arrived in Paris early Friday afternoon. After settling in at our B&B (more on where we stayed later), we ditched our (my carefully crafted, down to the minute) original plan to head straight for the Louvre (taking advantage of their late open hours on Fridays). The weather was just too gorgeous! There's no way we were wasting it in a museum, especially with impending rain on its way later in the weekend.
|The Louvre - look at that sky!|
We ate them all in less than five minutes. Matt is lucky I let him have half. In retrospect, I have no idea why I shared... He should have bought his own.
After Laduree, we did a little shopping and bought Matt two pairs of euro-tight pants. Maybe now we won't scream 'American' quite so loudly. After acclimating to Swiss prices, I couldn't believe how cheap everything is in Paris, even on the Champs. We stopped in Banana Republic (oh, how I've missed you!) and, for the first time, their regular prices seemed downright reasonable. Go figure...
At the top of the Champs Elysees is the Arc de Triomphe. Forgive me for not taking a picture of the Arc, but it is under renovation and half is under scaffolding. Not a pretty picture (although there will be one on Day Three's post anyway, so stay tuned!).
|View from the top of the Arc de Triomphe towards the new city center and another arc.|
|View from our table|
Again, my carefully made plans for the day were thrown out the window thanks to the weather. On our way to Musee D'Orsay, a sudden downpour (and lack of the usual long line) forced us into Notre Dame.
I love visiting churches, but struggle when a place of prayer and worship is filled with gawkers and noisy tourists. We were lucky. Notre Dame had only just opened and we were able to enjoy an abnormally quiet, reflective experience... at least at first, which was enough.
|A candle in Notre Dame for Matt's dad.|
|The front gates. Even with the clouds, the golden gates are... well, very, very gold.|
|The loft and ceiling of the king's private chapel|
|Painting in process of being restored.|
|The murals and artwork were just unreal... most told stories about the greatness, |
wisdom, wealth, strength, fairness, skill etc. of the king.
|Hall of Mirrors|
|Hall of Mirrors selfies.|
|The king's ceremonial bedroom. Not his real bedroom cause, you know... why not have several?|
|Another selfie... listening to the FREE (with ticket purchase) audio tour. It was excellent. I wish more sites included them. Usually I'm too cheap and just wander around making up stories. Ha!|
|After throwing out the monarchy, the French turned Versailles into an art museum for awhile. How amazing are those chevron wood floors. Yum. Oh, and the art. The art was impressive as well.|
|The Gardens of Versailles. They stretch beyond the canal.|
|Things can get crazy at Versailles. Gotta keep those tourists in line!|
Our second day was capped off by our second fancy dinner reservation at Le Bar A Huitres, a recommendation from friend, and fellow expat living in Germany, Courtney. Le Bar A Huitres specializes in incredible seafood platters. My nine oyster platter doesn't do them justice. They had towers with giant crabs draped over piles of mussels, oysters, lobster and more crab. It was insane.
|Even my oysters were rolling in dry ice.|
|Matt's bone-in fish which he masterfully tackled.|
|Matt's creme brûlée - flambeed!|
|My incredibly crepes, which were flambéed, but I was too slow with the iPhone pic.|
If you've made it this far, I'm impressed. And we're only halfway through our trip! Stay tuned for days three and four and a rundown of how we traveled and where we stayed in Paris.