Thursday, October 20, 2011

Paris! Part I

I think I'm in love with a city other than New York... Paris! Paris was nothing as I expected it to be and everything I could have dreamt it to be! This city reminded us so much of New York, but had a more chic and sophisticated feel to it. The people, despite what everyone says, are very friendly (even to us Americans) and greeted us with open arms into their city. The streets and sidewalks are wide and lined with "old school" lamp posts and chateau like apartments, with many restaurants, bars, and boutiques to hop in and out of. Trendy men and women walked about their day, their heels clicking on the pavement while chatting on their phones. We loved not seeing anyone who could be on the website "People of Walmart". The food was delicious and we tried foods that we hadn't ever tried before like escargot and sea urchin. We also had a ton of fois gras. We really tried to speak the language as much as we could, but it kept coming out as a mix of English and Italian with one or two words in French. I think the effort was appreciated though! We were impressed by the cleanliness of the streets, the easy accessibility to everything by metro, and the overall beauty of the city. Paris has an aura of romance emanating from all directions; we were sad to leave it!

On the Pont Neuf.

 Our small boutique hotel was in a great location. Tucked away down a quiet side street, we were a two minute walk from the Arc de Triomphe, a metro stop, and many restaurants, pastry shops, and bars. Each morning we started our day off with a croissant, pain au chocolat, a cafe latte, and a hot chocolate. On the first day we walked along the Champs Elysees, a very high-end street with many people toting their recent, very expensive purchases.

We made it down to the Louvre, which was about a 2.5 mile walk. Luckily, we had purchased museum passes so we were able to skip the long line that we saw from afar. As we went down inside we made sure to see the most famous of art work first and then walk around as much as we could at a leisurely pace.
Outside the Louvre
Mona Lisa - much smaller than expected!

Venus Di Milo

Other favorites:
Winged Victory - Jon's favorite.

David and Goliath.

David and Goliath depiction.

After the Louvre, we strolled along the Seine River. Spanning the river in Paris there are 37 different bridges. Pont Neuf is probably the most well known, being the oldest standing bridge across the Seine in Paris, but one that caught our eye was the Pont des Arts. Here, locks are affixed to the bridge by couples in order to symbolize their everlasting love.

Seine River.
Locks of love
We then came to Notre Dame, a Gothic Catholic cathedral. Inside it was decorated with colorful stained glass and large natural sculptures. The hunchback was on vacation. 

After stopping in a little restaurant for some lunch we made our way up the Seine again towards the Musee d'Orsay, which holds pieces of work by Van Gogh and Gauguin, among others.

When we made it back to the hotel we mapped out our day and realized that we had walked over 8 miles... time to rest and eat! We had reservations at a small restaurant where personal attention and amazing food is guaranteed. They gave us two glasses of champagne to start the evening and brought out a few knives for Jon to choose to cut his steak. Here is where we tried escargot (which were great) and stuffed ourselves silly. The day was a fantastic start to our vacation!

Jon and his knife.

The knife that made the cut.


  1. I'm jealous! I want to go to Paris! I want to see and do everything that you and Jon did!! But I do have two questions for you. What does a sea urchin taste like, and what is fois gras??

  2. It sounds like you had a wonderful time! I, too, found Paris to be a friendly city which was contrary to many things I had heard. The locks are really neat!

  3. Gaye, fois gras is kind of like chopped liver but not. It is usually goose liver pate. Does that help?

  4. "The day was a fantastic start to our vacation!"


  5. Look at you two, living the jet setting life! So happy for you that you are making the most of your time in Europe!

  6. Dan,

    Perhaps I should have said the day was a fantastic start to our vacation in Paris.