Our Europe Trip: Paris

Oct 23, 2015

After having such an amazing couple of days in Amsterdam, I was so excited to experience Paris. The most romantic city in the world, and I was going for the first time and with my husband!  It’s one of those cities that I’ve heard stories about my entire life, whether through the movies or word of mouth. Paris was THE city to visit.

We arrived Thursday afternoon to our airbnb in Le Marais. Our host Chris gave us a warm greeting and answered any immediate questions about our flat. His friendly pup ran back and forth through the halls which made us really miss our own. We set out for something to eat and came across a small restaurant right before the bridge to Notre Dame. This was the moment that the language barrier really set in. Our waiter wasn’t rude, but he wasn’t necessarily nice either. The entire menu handed to us was in French and we couldn’t pretend to know what it read. “Parlevu Anglais?” …. “No.” Just no. After starring blankly at the menu for a couple of minutes, I probably would have walked out if it weren’t for being so hungry at the time. Ten minutes went by and our waiter finally brought over English menus.  Was that so hard? After our lunch, we went inside to pay and an older gentlemen behind the bar set out two shots for us. Almost like he knew we were vulnerable. We obliged with a cheers regardless of it only being 1pm and restored our faith in the Parisian society.

After lunch we walked to Notre Dame, picked up a couple items along the way, locked our love on a gate (naturally) and headed back to our flat to get ready for dinner. Verjus was a restaurant recommended to us from a friend at home who commented on a Facebook post. I immediately booked us a reservation as it is only open Monday-Friday from 7-11, and had great reviews. A seasonal tasting menu is offered with an option for wine pairing and additional cheese course. This reminded us a lot of our experience at De Kas in Amsterdam and we loved every second of it. We found, as many would, that the experiences at restaurants were some of our favorite memories of the trip. Do not feel hesitant to visit this small restaurant, the owner and staff speak perfect English. In fact, our hostess was from Detroit! After many glasses of wine, we left for bed.

The one thing we took advantage of as tourists in Europe, was Uber. We probably used it too much and spent a little too much money getting around. Yet to me, it felt very safe.  We took the train a handful of times in London, walked most places in Amsterdam, but Paris… we ubered. In Europe, all the cars are luxury vehicles, with well-dressed and mannered drivers. I loved it and bottom line, felt really safe. My dad (Mr. Safety) would be proud!

The rest of the weekend showed high chances of rain except Friday, so we made the decision to spend the day picnicking at the Eiffel Tower. That morning we set out for the necessities. You know… wine, cheese, bread, salami. The usual. We borrowed a blanket and cheese board from the flat and ubered (that’s right) to the Eiffel Tower. I didn’t know how I would react when I first saw it nor did I ever have this long fascination with it growing up; but it was mesmerizing. It was a symbol of so much more than just a statue in Paris. To me, we made it to Europe together. So a picnic is what we did and it was fabulous.

Saturday night, we did a little something for JJ and caught the PSG game. Although Arsenal (his favorite) was not playing while we were in London, it gave him a little taste of what a soccer game and crowd felt like. I loved watching him in his element. The following day, I woke up at 5am to have my hair and makeup done by Camille Delattre for our professional shoot by the Eiffel Tower. I was beyond exhausted this morning and nodded off a couple of times while she was doing my makeup. How embarrassing! As many of you already know… I have a thing for photos. I thought, what better way to document this trip than to get dressed up and schedule a professional photographer. I know one day my children will really treasure these photos as much as we do.

A few months ago, I researched Paris photographers and came across IheartParis Photography. Their style was exactly what I was looking for. Artistic, stunning, and affordable! I say their because this is a fantastic married duo, Anastasia (European Wedding/Lifestyle photographer from Russia) and Federico (Fashion photographer from Costa Rica) that make the perfect team! I received a response from Anastasia stating that she has been following me on her personal Instagram account her a while now. How cool is that?

We arrived at the Trocadero in hopes that the rain would hold off for a couple of hours. Luck was on our side pretty much this entire trip, including during this shoot. It started to down pour right when we ended. We absolutely loved working with Fede and Anastasia and especially loved how the photos came out. See photo post here.

The rest of the day it rained and poured, leaving us no choice but to get delicious pasta and pizza at Ober Mamma for lunch. It was amazing! The trip kind of hit me at this point, or perhaps it was the rainy weather or the early morning, but I was perfectly content with lounging in bed for a few extra hours.

Once JJ got back from watching soccer, we got ready, the rain miraculously stopped and we set out to our scheduled dinner cruise. Yachts de Paris was recommended to us and I was particularly excited for it during our trip. The cruise and dinner was $500 that I purchased months prior, so I had pretty high expectations of the evening. Once we arrived, we were offered a small plate of appetizers and asked if we wanted a beverage. We cheers with wine and took in the beautiful sunset before the boat took off. We were asked to head to our table for dinner and were handed a wine list. After already spending $500, the cheapest bottle (not that we needed to be cheap) was $50 for half a bottle. The wine connoisseur came around and only recommended expensive bottles to purchase, naturally. We opted for a $100 bottle and called it a night. The gourmet food was just okay, nothing outstanding and they charged us for ordering tea at the end of the night. $500 quickly turned into $700 which is pricey for a two hour dinner cruise. The best part of the cruise was watching the Eiffel Tower light up at night from the top deck. That was beautiful.

Sunday and Monday we spent the day being complete tourists. We walked around the Louvre, ate at an amazing lunch spot Le Compas and took in the beautiful city. I truthfully loved Paris. They take their wine, coffee, and downtime very serious. Kind of like myself. A café at every corner, I could get used to that! Our last day was Monday before training to South of France. We walked around the Spanish quarter, got macaroons to bring back home, at had lunch at the oldest café in Paris: Café de Flore. It was a fairly pricey spot for the quality of food, but then again you go for the history and scene.

Tuesday, we woke up early and trained to Nice. The last portion of this trip which we intended to make an actual vacation and relax on the beach. Which was exactly what we did. Bonjour!

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Be Kind,