The night before we left for France I was literally bouncing off the walls.
It seemed as though my brain packed up and boarded the plane approximately 7 days before my body did, so I could not believe the time to go was nearly here.
Even watching as the plane left the runway, it still seemed like this trip was merely a dream, like in 8.5 hours, I’d wake up at home in my bed.
Fast forward 1 margarita, 2 movies, 3.5 hours of sleep and a box breakfast later – I could see it. There it was, France.
I told so many people I’d probably lose it and burst into tears the second we landed, but I didn’t. I think all my hopes & dreams of coming here, had been bottled up for so long, I still couldn’t quite let myself react.
So we quietly made our way through the airport, (Getting our first passport stamps!), took a crazy taxi ride and climbed 4 flights of stairs to our home for the week. We looked out the windows, freshened up, and discussed our plans for the day.
Adam expressed the need for a short nap. Three hours later, we woke up.
So our first day in Paris might have been spent asleep, but our first night in Paris was spent atop the Eiffel Tower.
I don’t think words (or even my facial expressions at the time) could describe the moment we turned the corner and saw the Eiffel Tower for the first time.
It truly takes your breath away.
Over the years I have collected and received many items that feature this icon of France, but seeing it, touching it, climbing my way to the very top, is something I will cherish forever.
(Side note »» I’m realizing this is going to be the longest blog post ever. #sorrynotsorry)
Planting our feet back on the ground just as the Eiffel Tower began to twinkle, we decided to call it a night. This may be in part to the fact that my sweater, jacket, and two scarves were no longer enough to keep me warm.
Queue sleeping until noon. Which became a trend. I don’t think I’ve slept past 10 since I was in high school.
Day 2 was a bit of whirl wind. Stop at a bakery for croissants, metro to Notre Dame, explore the outside & inside, wait in line to climb to the top but then hear it’s a 2 hour wait and decide to skip it.
Metro to the Louvre. Which is gigantic, in case you didn’t know. The metro comes out below the pyramid and surprisingly (to us) is also a shopping center. Getting outside was not as easy as one would think, but we managed ha!
Did I mention the Louvre is gigantic? We climbed so many flights of stairs! It was totally worth it though, to see such amazing works of art in person. We didn’t stay terribly long due to the insanely warm temperature. But we wiggled our way through the crowd to get a front row view of the Mona Lisa.
We ate at our first cafe, a couple blocks away from the Louvre we found ourselves a cute little spot with delicious Croque Madam’s. Yum.
Day 3. Adams declared favorite of days. After deux pain au chocolat, we traveled to Versailles. And oh my did it live up to expectations.
I don’t think any text book, picture, or verbal explanation can prepare you for how truly breath taking, beautiful, and huge Versailles is.
Every inch is covered in immaculate detail. Every room a different color, texture, theme. Gold or paintings or statues everywhere you turn. And the gardens. Oh my the gardens.
It was like we fell down the rabbit hole to wonderland.
We had èclairs and espresso in the middle of the gardens, took a tram down to the end and walked our way back. It was phenomenal.
We had just a little blip in our travels when we went to purchase our tickets back to Paris and our cards decided not to work. After 3 phone calls to the bank and reminding them for the second time since arriving that we were in France with our cards, we got things sorted out. #byebank.
We ended the night at a little restaurant around the corner from our place. We overheard someone say if you wanted to truly have a French dining experience this was the place to do it, bonus! We had wine and baguettes and steak au poivre and the most delicious au gratin potatoes.
Day 4. Shopping day! But first, the Arc de Triomphe. Which is seriously amazing. Everything was seriously amazing really ha!
From turning and seeing the Arc after stepping out of the metro, to climbing our way to the very top I gasped (and huffed and puffed) at the truly magnificent views.
Down the Arc was a bit easier, phew. Then we walked up and down the Champs Elysses, peering through the windows of shops and restaurants and hotels that lined the street.
Declaring everything was too over priced we made our way to Pierre Herme. Home of the most amazing (and also probably over priced) macaroon. We’ll take 7 please and a box of chocolates while we’re at it.
I had my eye on street crêpes since seeing them at the Notre Dame. Having no luck in finding them on the Champs Elysses, we headed towards the cathedral where we ate at the steps and listens to the bells chime. Can’t complain about that!
Day 5. We ventured to the Centre Pompidou. A museum neither of us had really heard of but when I saw it on the Paris Pass website I just knew I really wanted to explore it. It was pretty cool. We saw Picasso and even a few of the chairs we learned about in a class at BSU.
We also stumbled upon an adorable coffee shop. Yay flat whites + cappuccino. And thanks to the adorable French girl who told us try the carrot cake.
After exploring the museum and neighborhood we ventured our way back to the Eiffel Tower for a river boat cruise.
Did I mention I could look at the Eiffel Tower forever?
The cruise was splendid. We saw tons of different land marks and it was truly eye opening to the immense amounts of detail put into every structure within the city.
Despite my serious want to be done peopling, Adam convinced me into one more dinner on the town. Thank goodness for that, hello giant bowl of French onion soup.
I could eat French onion soup everyday, I swear.
Day 6. London here we come.
We woke up before the sun to get on a train that would take us to explore London. A hop skip and a Chunnel later we arrived.
First things first, platform 9 ¾. It was clearly necessary for me to have my photo taken on the platform and peruse the shop near by. #potterhead
We took London in a whirlwind atop a double decker bus. We saw as much as we possibly could in the little time we had.
And it’s already been decided, we’ll be going back.
The train ride back to Paris was jam packed but we made it back just in time to catch the metro to our apartment, pack up, and hunker down with some Elementary. (Which in our hours of sleeplessness has become an obsession of ours.)
And there you have it, our trip in a blog. Farewell Europe. We’ll be back.