Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Back from Paris!

Mom and I on my favorite bridge Pont Neuf.
 Hello Lovely Readers,

I am happy to report my mom and I are back from Paris.* It was a wonderful trip and before I begin this post I have to give a special shout out to a few people: my mom who took me to Paris, my step-dad who financially sponsored this trip (I know you wanted to come but thank you for this once in a life time opportunity with my mom), also thank you to my aunt and grandparents who gave so generously for me to buy supplies for my trip and souvenirs on my trip. Thank you!!!

The trip was wonderful... I hardly knew what to expect... minus a few movies set in Paris and pics on Pinterest I don't think I truly comprehended the beauty of Paris. Fortunately for me my mom had been to Paris a few times so she knew the basic lay out of the city, plus she had done a lot of research before the trip and was taken some french lessons, which really helped! We stayed at a Best Western (a simple hotel) but in a great neighborhood in between the Hotel Invalid and the Eiffel Tower. Needless to say we got lots of shots of the Eiffel Tower...

Also I created a Pinterest board for my mom and I to share ideas on things to do in Paris (I highly recommend this as it helped us know what we wanted to do) Link to Pinterest Board. The board has 500 pics so my mom asked me to narrow it down to the top ten things. My #1 thing I wanted to do was see Versailles and my #2 was eat lots of pastries. Happy to say I got to do both.
After our first dinner we split this huge eclair
The stamp inside my book
On the first day full day in Paris we walked on Rue St.de  Germain heading to the Shakespeare and Company bookstore the walk was wonderful. We saw St. Michel's square, it may not be famous but it really awoke me to the beautiful ornateness of Paris (I took so many photos of just the architecture). Also on this walk I got my first glimpse of Notre Dame. At Shakespeare I bought 2 books and got the stamp of purchase (felt so geekily cool... even if my mom made fun of me for buying the hefty book of Mary Queen of Scots). Then after Shakepeare and Company we went to the Morsee D'orsay and had lunch.

Travel tip: Pack cute scarfs because they will end up in all your pics. 
Collage of highlights of day 1.
Mom and I- selfie in Morsee D'orsay with famous clock in background
The next day we went to the Louvre. I am sorry I cannot boast much about the Louvre... I got so overwhelmed about the amount of people and just how big it was, it shook me up a bit. My mom really wanted to see the Napoleon Apartments so we went to see those but then I had to leave. I am not really good at spaces. Travel tips (for Louvre):Plan out what you are going to see then just go see those. Also check days of holidays and try not to go on those days. Travel tips (for museums): Museum Pass (we bought ours at the Hotel Invalid) this way you can avoid long lines and invest in getting the audio guides because all the signs are in French.

The third full day we went to Versailles... my mom had booked us a small tour group to go there for the day. I had wanted to go to Versailles since I saw the Marie Antoinette movie and read her biography of her (I kind of fan-girled over Marie Antoinette). I loved seeing it up close and personal, also our tour guide was very informative.

Highlights from inside Versailles
Me in Marie Antoinette's bed room...probably favorite moment. 
Versailles is too big for one collage and it was all so awesome I took lots of pics. 
Highlights from Versailles grounds
Travel Tip: Take time to rest, you will want to see everything but you will enjoy it more if you are rested. I think we took a nap everyday. 

Then on Saturday and Sunday mom and I were both so exhausted we decided to take a "hop on and hop off" bus tour of Paris. The bus was great, they had English (and various other language guides) and we got to sit and enjoy the sights of Paris. 

 After the relaxing days on the bus and taking it slow mom and I enjoyed a late night and seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkle. Since 2000 the Eiffel tower lights up or sparkles on the hour (after sunset) for 5 minutes.

In May the first hour it sparkles is 10PM... because sun didn't even set till 9:30.

After a relaxing weekend around Paris, mom and I did some shopping to enjoy the "warmest" day we had in Paris. I use air quotes because while the weather said it was suppose to be 70 it didn't feel like 70... I think I broke out my new summer dress a little too soon. (Shout out to friend (you know who you are) who bought me this dress... thank you I look forward to wearing it when its warm enough). Even though it was a little too cold to enjoy window shopping I did enjoy the beautiful room to eat lunch.
Great job to Paris for making your department stores so beautiful

Then on Tuesday (my birthday) mom and I went to see the Palace of Justice, it was originally a palace for the Kings until the Louvre was built and then during the French Revolution it served as a prison... because it is usually every girls dream to spend her birthday at a prison. Well I wanted to see it because it was where Marie Antoinette was imprisoned (like I said.. I kind of Fan-girl over her).
This is from Marie Antoinette's cell, that was turned into a chapel by Louis Phillipe (when the monarchy was briefly restored). I took one French Revolution class in undergrad but it ended at Napoleon so I need to brush up on my French history.

Then on at night my mom surprised me to a dinner river cruise. It was wonderful and a great way to enjoy the city.
In dock awaiting departure
The next day was our last day in Paris ;( we took another bus tour and then we had lunch on the first level of the Eiffel Tower. Though we stayed close to the Eiffel Tower it was awesome to go up. I know some people would have gone all the way up but I felt the first level was good enough... I could see all of Paris and that was Awesome.
Picture of my feet looking down.
Before I wrap up this post I just want to say one thing I was nervous about was that French people would be rude (as I often heard) this was completely untrue. I found when we attempted French by saying "Bonjour" (good day) or "Bonsoir" (good evening) that people were really friendly and understood we didn't speak French and tried to speak to us in English. (Though sometimes my Spanish slipped out when I tried to speak French). So if you go there just try some French and you will notice you get a lot further with people. Also sit back and relax when you are at a cafe, a meal could last an hour to an hour and half (they are not slow it is their culture to enjoy meals)... my mom and I carried books with us to pass the time.

I took so many photos that I didn't even post on Facebook but I felt this post would not be complete without another collage of just special highlights of the trip.
I had a great partner in crime (my mom) on this trip who took lots of pics of me and with me enjoyed the beauty that is Paris. There are so many places I want to see in the world, that I wish I could be a travel blogger. (Mom just a reminder the horse in the background in the picture of me is Henri IV).

*- the pictures are from both my mom and myself.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Wonderful! Tres Bon!