Sunday, December 9, 2012

What we {loved} about Paris... Part One

Apparently my internet works now -- it's an (early) Christmas miracle! ;)  And I know I have belly bump updates to get caught up on, too, but I just couldn't wait to share the first of what will likely end up being three or four Paris posts with you guys.

Bottom line, it was an incredible trip.  So much beauty and history everywhere we turned, it was hard to take it all in.

I figured that rather than bore you guys by marching you through our day-by-day itinerary, I'd just tell you all the things we loved, as well as all the things we didn't love.  Because, as always, I'm just trying to keep it real for you guys, and I'd be lying if I tried to tell you that eight days in a big city with a country boy for a companion was all sunshine and roses. :)

So without further ado, I give you PARIS... Loved and Lovely style.

{We loved} our cozy little apartment.


It had gorgeous light during the day and plenty of space for us, with a living room, bedroom, full kitchen, and a large (for Paris) bathroom.  It overlooked Saint-Germain-des-Pres, a pretty major road in Paris, so it was smack dab in the middle of the city and near tons of shops and cafes.  We could have never left our street, and we still would have had a different place to eat every night.

{We didn't love} the noise from the street at night.

This will likely be a major theme of these Paris posts, but Micah and I are used to living in a small town.  It's quiet, never EVER crowded, and there is wide open, green space everywhere.  I actually love the buzz and energy of a big city, at least in small doses, but Micah had a hard time adjusting to the crowds and the noise.  And because our apartment was about 50 yards away from a pretty happening bar, our first night (Saturday) around 2 a.m. was pretty rough.  But we survived, and it gave us a perfect excuse to take a nap the next day. :)

{We loved} the convenience of the Metro.


Paris's subway system, called the Metro, was incredibly convenient.  There was a stop literally right outside our apartment, and by the second day we had the system pretty much figured out.  It was a fast and easy way to get wherever we needed to go, and oh so cheap!

{We didn't love} actually riding the Metro.


It was fine when it wasn't busy, but there were a few days when we ended up on a train during rush hour, and I've never felt more claustrophobic in my life.  Nor have I ever smelled so many... interesting... odors.  But it was worth it to me not to have to take a taxi, so we toughened up.  And washed our hands a lot.

{We loved} the cookies and croissants.


We stumbled upon a cute little cookie shop our first night, and I couldn't resist.  It was all downhill from there.  I probably ate about twenty (no exaggeration) French macarons while we were there.  And can you believe that I didn't get a SINGLE picture of them?  (I was likely too busy shoving them into my mouth...)  We also enjoyed the croissants and had them for breakfast most days.

{We loved} the food in general.


Two words:  onion soup.  Well, and bread.  And cheese.  And pretty much everything else we ate.  We stuck to cafes, mostly, and were almost never disappointed.  We ate things like croque monsieurs (ham and cheese sandwiches), pizza (always fresh from a wood-burning oven), mozzarella and tomato salad, French bread sandwiches, quiches, pasta (there were several Italian restaurants that I couldn't resist, and they were always phenomenal), risotto, and Thai food.  (I had great intentions of venturing out to a more fancy French restaurant, but I kept forgetting to call and make reservations.  Whoopsies...) Again... it was all delicious.  Food in Paris, even non-French food, is yummy.

{We didn't love} how expensive the food (and everything else) was.

First of all, the exchange rate between dollars and Euros is depressing.  For every Euro you spend, you're actually spending roughly $1.30.  And then on top of that, things are just more expensive there.  So we spent, on average, around 40 euros for lunch for the two of us.  Dinner was closer to 55 or 60, and that was at the smaller cafes, one or two courses max.  With no alcohol (we don't really drink, even when I'm not pregnant) and me ordering water.  Micah usually ordered Coke, and a 16 oz. glass bottle usually ran about 5 Euros.  Almost $7 for a Coke!  (He could have gotten a bottle of beer for less than that at most places...)   But we were obviously there on vacation, so, although we were conscious of what we ordered, we splurged when we wanted to.  I mean, we were in Paris!

{We loved} the beautiful architecture and history.

I'll save the pictures of the major sites for later posts (they deserve their own posts, I promise), but you just have to see some of these buildings/structures right. this. minute.

{Grand Palais - one of many museums we didn't get the chance to see}

{Les Invalides}

{Arc de Triomphe}

{Place de la Concorde - the Luxor Obelisk on the left is over 3300 years old... so amazing}

{Just another lovely door along another lovely street}

I took about 300 more pictures, although I promise I won't bore you with all of them. :)  But I will share all about our venture up the Eiffel Tower, our stroll through the Notre Dame, and our day trip to Versailles.  Until next time, loves...


Kaitlyn said...

Love it already! So was getting an apartment better than a hotel cost wise? Or about the same?

ThistleAshD said...

So pretty. I love the 'we loved', 'we didn't love' idea. Looks fantastic!

Emily said...

First of all, welcome back! Second, can't wait to see more pictures! So glad you guys had a great time!

The Morrows said...

Jealous!! This looks fabulous.
Love all the pictures.

Miss MP said...

Awesome photos, looks like a great trip! Can't wait to see more. What made you guys rent an apartment versus a hotel?

Sugarr2518 said...

Wow! It looks like quite the trip! I've always wanted to go to Europe. Love all of the pictures. It looks like the trip was so much fun:)

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