Monday, December 8, 2014

The Late Honeymoon/One Year Anniversary Recap Part 4: Paris

It's now time for the final installment of my 4 part late honeymoon/one year anniversary trip recap, which is all about our experiences in Paris.


Before we left for our trip, I tried to keep my expectations low when it came to Paris.  This was a place I'd always wanted to visit, and I was really worried that I'd be completely disappointed when I actually got there.

I'm happy to say that I had absolutely no reason to worry.  The city was just as beautiful and interesting as I'd hoped it would be, and I had the best meal of the entire trip there.  The only thing I felt disappointed about was the fact that we weren't staying there longer!  (And, if I'm being honest here, I was also a little disappointed about the fact that I'm not rich and couldn't afford a shopping spree in stores like Hermès and Chanel.  But, since I already knew that before we left, it didn't completely crush my spirit or anything.)

Here are some examples of the gorgeous scenery:

The Arc de Triomphe was pretty close to our hotel, so this was one of the first major landmarks we visited.
And here are some pictures of the Arc de Triomphe that we actually make an appearance in.
I honestly had a really hard time narrowing down pictures for this collage because there were so many beautiful images to choose from.

And, of course, no trip to Paris is complete without a ton of pictures of the Eiffel Tower:

We took a ridiculous amount of pictures of the Eiffel Tower from different locations and angles.  These were a couple of my favorite daytime images.
This was my favorite nighttime picture.  You can kind of see just how crowded and crazy it is in that area.
On the left you can see the obligatory "kissing in front of the Eiffel Tower" picture.  On the right you can see just how excited I was about visiting the Eiffel Tower.  (Okay, I wasn't just excited ... I was really drunk.  Like a bottle and a half of wine drunk.)

Earlier I mentioned that I had the best meal of the entire trip while in Paris.  That meal was at A La Petite Chaise, which is the oldest restaurant in the city.  The three course dinner included unlimited wine (which probably explains the picture on the right above).  I may have been drunk by the end of the meal, but I could still appreciate it ... And it's definitely one of my favorite memories from the trip!

Because the meal was so special, I'm sharing individual photos of the food (as opposed to a collage):

We started off with an apéritif called "Kir" which is a mixture of blackcurrant liqueur and white wine.  This alone was delicious!
I went with the very classic French onion soup for my starter.  It was perfect!
Eric's appetizer consisted of asparagus and puff pastry with a delicious saffron sauce.
My main course was duck a l'orange.  The sauce was rich and flavorful, and the duck was perfectly tender.  So amazing!
Eric had the salmon in a beurre blanc sauce, which was some of the best I've ever tasted.  It literally melted in your mouth!
I had a dark chocolate cake for dessert.  I think the creamy custard sauce made it even better!
Eric had a panna cotta topped with caramel cream sauce.  It was thick and creamy ... Really good!
They served coffee with the desserts.  If you know me in real life, you'll understand just how crazy this next statement is: This is the only coffee I drank the entire time we were in Europe.  I honestly still can't believe that!

In addition to taking a bunch of pictures of the food, we also got a few of ourselves:

We took this in our hotel room before leaving for dinner.
That picture on the bottom right shows the beginning of the end.  That bottle was gone in no time (as was a good portion of another)!

Eric also got a few really good shots of the exterior of the restaurant while he was waiting for me to get out of the bathroom.  Here's the thing about really old restaurants (or this one, at least): the bathrooms are tiny and only made for one person.  And if you're part of a tour group that just finished a large meal which included unlimited wine, chances are you'll be waiting in line for a very long time.

At least Eric was able to make good use of his time waiting for me by taking these pictures!

After dinner and some sightseeing, I really wanted some champagne.  Eric and I were initially just going to go to the top floor bar in our hotel for drinks, but after looking at the prices on the menu, we decided we should go elsewhere.  (I'm not exaggerating when I say it would have been at least 85 US dollars for two drinks ... And that was if we ordered two of the cheapest options!)

We wound up across the street at a random restaurant/bar, which actually turned out well since we managed to get a few decent pictures of the exterior of our hotel:

The original pictures of us in front of the hotel show the full name: Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile.  It got cut off when I made a collage, though.

And, of course, we got pictures of our drinks (plus an oh-so-classy shot of me drinking my champagne):

I love how awkwardly I'm sitting.  It's almost as though I'm afraid I'll fall over if I let go of the table.

The next morning we woke up (hangover free, I might add!) and continued exploring the city.  We took a bunch of touristy photos, but, since I figured I shouldn't add 300 pictures to this post, only some of my favorites are shown:

This is another postcard worthy image, if I do say so myself.
This is the final resting place of Napoleon Bonaparte.
This fountain was in the city center.  I thought it was gorgeous, so we had to get pictures in front of it!

This was my absolute favorite touristy picture of us:

I love that it actually looks like we're jumping pretty high.  We've still got it, even in our old age!

We spent several hours in the Louvre that day as well.  I knew it would be huge, but holy shit!  (This made me think about the part in The Dreamers when the three main characters race through the Louvre, and I kept thinking, "They were nuts!  This place is way too big to run through!")  It was like a giant maze filled with the most beautiful, amazing things in the world.  Every time we'd enter a new room, I found myself saying, "Oh my God!  Look at this!  Wow!"

We both felt like we could have spent a week going to the Louvre every day and we'd probably still miss something.  I wish there had been more time to explore, but we still managed to see a lot of really awesome things.

This picture cracks me up because it looks like it was Photoshopped.  It's not.  I did edit it a bit, but I promise I'm really standing in front of the entrance.  There was a pedestal there that I was standing on (you can kind of see it under my feet) which explains why I'm so high off the ground.
The picture on the right is from Napoleon III's apartments.  Can you imagine living in a place like that, having a dinner party at that table?  I can't!

And, of course, the top priority for us once inside the Louvre was to locate the Mona Lisa (and, of course, take a silly selfie in front of it):

I still think it's really awesome that we saw such a famous and important work of art in person!

We took a ridiculous amount of pictures inside the Louvre, but I didn't want to post all (or even most) of them since I've already shared so many from our time in Paris.  I'm still going to share one of the pictures we took on our way out, though:

I was clearly really excited about the time we spent in the museum.  Eric clearly thought I was crazy and was probably sick of selfies by that point.

After our time in the Louvre, we spent the rest of the evening shopping and making our way back to the hotel.  Since it was a decent walk, we decided to just have dinner at a random restaurant we passed on the way back.  While it definitely wasn't as good as our meal the night before, it was still pretty good.  And that view!

I hate how chubby my face looks in this picture.  Please overlook that in favor of the Arc de Triomphe in the background (and the food to the right).

Eric had a leg of duck, which was served on a bed of potatoes (bottom right).  I had a small steak in gorgonzola sauce (which was delicious!) and a side of fries (middle right).  And, of course, no French meal is complete without some bread and wine!

After dinner, we picked up a few snacks and went back to our hotel.  And, since I haven't posted the pictures of our Paris hotel room yet, I'll throw those in here as well.  (And yes, that is a bidet in the bathroom.  I wasn't brave enough to try it, but Eric said he tried it once.  When I asked him how it was he said, "I think it requires some practice to do it right.  I'd do it again."  Maybe I shouldn't have asked.)

The biggest image is the view from our room.  I wish we'd been on the other side of the hotel because those rooms had views of the Eiffel Tower, but oh well.
Our delicious after dinner snacks: a pistachio and white chocolate chip cookie, macarons, and hot chocolate.  Everything was so good!

Before I end my recap, I just have to share one last picture.  I took this from our hotel room window to remember why I will never attempt to drive in Paris:


In case you can't see it that well, there are no designated lanes on the road in that clusterfuck of a circle.  (There are also no designated lanes in the circular area surrounding the Arc de Triomphe.)  I find that terrifying!

Everyone has asked me what my favorite part of the trip was, and I honestly never know what to tell them.  I enjoyed every city we visited, and would love to spend more time in each of them.  After writing these recaps and looking through my pictures again, though, I think I'd have to say that Paris was probably my favorite city.  (It was Eric's favorite too, in case anyone was wondering.)

I'm so glad that Eric and I were able to take this trip.  It was so much fun, and I know we'd both go back in a heartbeat!  I'm really hoping we'll be able to take some sort of anniversary trip next year as well (though I know that realistically it won't be another extended vacation like this one).  A girl can dream, though!

1 comment:

  1. […] 1.  Favorite Trip: Obviously this award goes to my late honeymoon/one year anniversary trip to New York, The Netherlands, Belgium, and France.  If you’re new to this blog and want to check out some pictures and information, posts about our trip can be found here, here, here, and here. […]