December 01, 2010

24 Hours In Paris, France

"The best of America drifts to Paris. The American in Paris is the best American. It is more fun for an intelligent person to live in an intelligent country. France has the only two things toward which we drift as we grow older—intelligence and good manners."

-F. Scott Fitzgerald

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To set a better atmosphere for my blog post, press play on the video below and continue reading the post with the music in the background :)

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We arrived into France in the early afternoon and took train after train in attempt to reach Paris. On the way, we made friends with a French business man who was also just in Athens recruiting soccer players for national teams.

E.W. had some great conversation with him for an hour or so while I fiddled around on my phone.

At the last train stop we decided since we were already in Paris that we would take a taxi the rest of the way.

As we stepped out of the train station, the cold, crisp air hit my face and as my eyes slowly adjusted to the brightness of day...I saw.....

PARIS!!!!

This was the very first view that I had of Paris as we exited the station.

I cannot even describe the intense feeling I had when I first laid my eyes on Paris. I had dreamed of visiting this city my whole life and now I was there! Paris stole my breathe away..and to make it even better, I was there with my soul mate.

I felt like I was in a dream and no one better dare wake me up. I looked over at E.W., smiled, and gave him a great big kiss. Our first kiss in Paris.

We stopped by a cafe for some cappuccinos which was 10 euros ($14 US) for two! Thankfully we were prepared for the expensive city. After finishing our cappuccinos, we asked for l'addition (the check) and got a taxi to the hotel.

We checked into the Westin where we were staying for the night and got upgraded to a huge room. Europe is very well known for it's closet sized hotel rooms and this upgrade was truly amazing. We got put into a 1,200 euro ($1,680) a night room because of E.W.'s Starwood Platinum status with the hotel. We even had a walk-in closet...that we never used.

When I first stepped out onto our balcony, the first thing that caught my eye was a fairly large ferris wheel. And as my eye traveled slightly to the left, I caught my first sight of the Eiffel Tower!!!

"We are really in Paris now", I thought as my eyes teared up. I turned back to E.W. while wiping my eyes so he wouldn't see and kissed him again and again.

Paris has meant so much to me in my ballet career and in school when I learned to speak French.

As I looked to my left and another famous building caught my eye. The Louvre!! Could this view be anymore amazing? The Eiffel Tower on my right and the Louvre on my left, this must have been the best view in Paris! At least I'd like to think so. :)

As you can see, the traffic in Paris is INSANE. California, you will have nothing to complain about once you experience the traffic in Paris. Too many cars and tiny little roads does not make for a good equation.

After getting dressed warmly (We had to buy sweaters, gloves and ear muffs at H&M in Athens coz weren't prepared for cold), we headed out into the streets of Paris.

It was about 35 degrees but quickly dipped into the 20s as the night went on. The unbearable cold kept us moving quickly and in a way helped us to see more of the city.

I read online that a must try snack in Paris is crepes with Nutella. And because I have been a Nutella lover since I was a little girl, I had to try this yumminess. We got 2 crepes filled with Nutella and banana slices and let me tell you, it might have been the most delicious thing I have ever tried in my life. No, I am not exaggerating. I would kill for one right now.

We kept walking in the bitter cold and a few minutes later I found myself staring at the building that I have seen in so many textbooks throughout my life...The Musée du Louvre...or simple The Louvre.

The lit-up pyramid was strikingly beautiful and it boggles me how the French see it as "a pimple on the face of Paris".

I so wished we could have gone in for a minute but we were stretched for time.

This photo is an awesome display of the contrast between the old and the new in Paris.

Next we headed over the bridge. I think that building in the background is Parliament but I could be wrong.

A closer view.

On our way to our next location, we walked through a small alleyway that had all kinds of ethnic foods. Some looked so yummy. Look at those humongous prawns, salmon and snails! MMmmm.

Some stuff didn't look too appetizing. This poor piglet still had its eyeballs in its eye sockets and the eyes were wide open! How fucking sick...and to make it worse, its poor little throat was slit. You have to be a heartless fucker to put that on display.

Ummm..no comment on this...it speaks for itself...Bleh

The Notre Dame! I have been imagining what it would be like to see the Notre Dame since I was 12 years old when I got assigned the dance of Esmeralda to dance at a ballet competition.

My ballet teacher told me all about the life of Esmeralda. How she was a beautiful Gypsy begging for money by dancing with her tambourine outside of the Notre Dame.

Seeing the building in person was so cool.

The inside was massive. There was some kind of prayer going on so we had to tiptoe around and be super quiet.

E.W. paid 2 euros to light a candle and say a prayer and took a minute to pray to Jesus. I love the fact that he is religious, I just wish I shared in his beliefs.

We got hungry very quickly while walking around in the freezing cold so asked our concierge where the best place was to go for dinner. He pointed us in the direction of Flottes.

It was a charming French restaurant and everything you would expect a French restaurant to be. Very warm, loud, fragrant and cozy.

People in Europe spend a heck of a lot longer eating dinner than we do. Our US waiters try to flip the tables as quick as they can. In Europe, dinner is a 2-4 hour affair. Courses are brought out at a glacial pace and checks are not brought out unless asked for. And that's the way they like it because to Europeans, dinner is first and foremost about the socializing...then the food.

We ordered snails to eat much to my objection. I wanted duck pate but E.W. and the waiter insisted we have snails. I had them for the first time in Chicago and wasn't overwhelmed by the aftertaste but these were delicious. Buttery and citrus-y with a mushroom like texture. YUM.

I thought it was interesting that they called them snails and not escargot in France.

And of course, how can you go to Paris and not have oysters with champagne? We got two types of oysters, both of which were delicious. I had never had oysters that were still attached to the shell so was surprised when it didn't slide into my mouth like I'm accustomed to.

We sat next an old French lady who owned a boutique hotel across the street from the restaurant and invited us to stay there. She had with her a tiny weenie dog that reminded me of the one I used to have as a child. We could barely understand her English but she was very kind.

Shopping in Paris is pretty much impossible. You buy one thing and there goes your month's paycheck. All we saw was Jimmy Choo, Roberto Cavalli, Dior, Versace, Yves Saint Laurent and fifty thousand other European designers I have never heard of. I wouldn't be surprised if each of these Roberto Cavalli dressed cost 20 grand a pop.

We didn't have much time after our two hour dinner so we asked a taxi driver to quickly drive past The Arc de Triumph just so I could see it then head to the Eiffel Tower.

And there it was...the grandest beauty of them all. I kept complaining to E.W. earlier on in the day about how small it looked from the distance. He kept telling me to wait till we got to it. And he was right. This thing was massive...and beautifully lit in all its glory.

Standing directly beneath it gave me the best sense of how massive it really was.

We had to do the cliche kissing picture. How can you not?? I caption this picture "This is love". Every time I look at this photo, I know that I am in the right place in my life.

At midnight, the Eiffel Tower started to sparkle!!

After a crazy 8 hours of running around the city we decided to call it a night and head back to the Westin. This pic was taken in our hotel lobby.

I will never forget the dream trip we went on and will cherish the moments forever.

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6 comments:

Alida said...

your photos from Paris are beautiful! France is definitely on our list of places to visit!

http://blackpurlsknitpickings.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I wish you had time to see Monmarte. It's quite a hike to go up there but so worth it. The view is breathtaking. We had 2 days in Paris which is funny because there's actually a movie called Two Days in Paris (you should totally see it btw with EW) anyways, two days there. Two days of shopping which back then, like 8 years ago the pricing wasn't too bad but yea now def has changed. I love your pictures!! Paris is one of my favorite cities in Europe!!
Love you!
Jenny Poo

Liesl @ FabulousFashions4SensibleStyle said...

I haven't been to Paris in a few years, but it looks like you had a lovely time and what wonderful pictures! That pink scarf is fabulous on you!

Liesl :)

Kristina @ Peaches Reviews said...

It looks like you had a fabulous time! I can't wait for the day I get to go to Paris :)

Following you from the Super 7 Blog Hop!

http://peachesreviews.com

eof777 said...

I love Paris in the fall... just got back recently too.
Stopping by and following your blog from the F.M.B.T blog hop...
Have a happy holiday season!
Best,
Elizabeth

Catalina said...

Hi, I like your blog, and hope to see you on mine. I'm your newest followers now. :)
http://the-w-s.blogspot.com/

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