Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Paris in a day... and a half.

 I'll go ahead and start my trip recap with Paris. We had a brief stay in the Richmond, VA area before we flew to Paris, but that may or may not have included a disastrous BYU game/day from hell and shall not be mentioned again on this blog. Suffice it to say that we were glad to get to Paris!

We started off the trip a little shakily. We used Airbnb to book all of our accommodations on this European adventure, and although it saved us a ton of money and also allowed us to stay in much nicer places it did make things a little trickier. In Paris we stayed on a houseboat on the Seine across from the Musee d'Orsay. It was a great location! Unfortunately, we had a terrible time trying to find it. We didn't have the entire address and it was impossible to get ahold of/understand the English of the man we were renting it from. FINALLY, we found the boat and I jubilantly ran aboard, just to stumble on the ladder and drop my iPhone and our Paris guide book into the Seine river. Ohhhh boy... Kind of a rough start.

I have to say, I think I recovered pretty nicely. I decided to "buck up" and enjoy my time in Paris! So, off to the Eiffel Tower!

We had to. You have an obligation to kiss in front of the Eiffel Tower.
  We munched on some delicious Nutella crepes and then we skedaddled on over to the Arc de Triomphe.

We made a quick stop here in the afternoon, but decided to revisit it later and climb it for a view of the Eiffel Tower sparkling at night. We'll get to those pics in a sec. Hold your horses!

We sat down for a relaxing Parisian lunch at a sidewalk cafe with views of Notre Dame, but before we toured the enormous cathedral we strolled over to the lovers' bridge.

At lover's bridge you take a lock and lock it to the bridge and then throw the keys in the river. Apparently this ensures that your love will last forever. The jury's still out for us.. I'll let you know how it goes...

Then we walked over to Notre Dame. WOW! Words don't even do it justice. It is so incredibly huge and old. It is so weird to walk around Paris and realize that pretty much everything is older than our entire country. This was one of Grant's very favorite things.

Quick stop to see the OUTSIDE of the Moulin Rouge.. Pretty sure it's still a strip club.

Macarons on macarons on macarons

We made the long trek up to Sacre Coeur basilica to watch the sun go down over Paris. It was a beautiful view. This is also where some guys tried to stop us to sell us bracelets. They tried to stop me and I just kept walking, but they actually GRABBED Grant's arm and wouldn't let him pass. I lost it and karate chopped the man's arm. HIIIIYA! I saw red for just a second. 

A rare moment of rest. This was one of  the longest days of my life. For real. We probably walked 15 miles on maybe 4 hours of sleep.

Champs E'lysees from the Arc de Triomphe

We headed back to the Arc de Triomphe to catch the Eiffel Tower at its finest. We hiked up to the very top of the Arc and got there right in time to watch the sun go down and the Eiffel Tower sparkle! Ohhh la la! So romantic. Paris, you are gorgeous. We walked back to our boat down the Champs Elysees, crepes in hand (of course).

Day 2 started with an early train ride out to Versailles and the best eclair of my life. French food is good, ya'll!

I could just imagine Marie Antoinette strolling through the grand house and leaning out on a balcony. It was like a time warp. I could not stop thinking about how sad that the French people were literally being taxed to death by King Louis the IX to build this over the top palace. Don't get me wrong, it's gorgeous. It just made me so sad. No wonder there was a revolution!

The gardens of Versailles cost a little extra money, so just me and Sam went out into them. The grounds were incredible. I'll let the photos do the talking.

It is an incredible place. That's all I can say. It was also really nice to be there with just Sam and take AS MANY PICTURES AS WE WANTED. It was a judgement free zone. :)

We took the train back to Paris and busted it to the Musee d'Orsay. This museum doesn't have pieces that are as old as the Louvre, but some of my favorite artists have collections here. We saw things by Van Gogh, Renoir, Degas, Cezanne and Rodin. It was amazing to see these pieces that I studied in school. Very surreal.

We picked up sandwiches and ate them in Luxembourg Park. It was a gorgeous park. Unfortunately, I didn't snap any photos. Too busy enjoying it, I guess! It seemed like there were a lot of locals hanging out there. Parisians are so stylish and cool! We loved Paris. Maybe one day we will be able to spend a whole week here! Au revoir!


Mark Christensen said...

Sweet pics, Maren. Thanks for writing this up. It will be fun to look at this over the years and remember how awesome that day and a half was.
My favorite picture is of you with your hands on your head.... exhausted, I assume

christensen mission adventures said...

Okay, I traveled backwards over your trip posts, but it seemed to get better and better. How could we have passed up Paris when we went to Europe 22 years ago? Your words and pictures made it live for me. Thankfully Grant told me about your blog last night, so I got to relish it for a whole hour this morning. You and Leif are in Utah and Grant and Mark came for Pest Control meetings and staying here with us. Love and miss you and the Leif! Mom