Saturday, August 27, 2016

Paris 2016 Part 2

If you wanna catch up on the first two parts of our trip, go here and here.

Our week in paris continued, and heated up, quite literally. It got really hot and it made it really hard to want to get out and about too much, luckily, we had lots of time so it wasn't too hard to fit in everything we wanted to do and still stay out of the heat.

Day 8

We were literally dead tired after Disney. We allowed ourselves a sleep in/lazy day. We slept/rested til around 1pm! I can't remember the last time that happened. We headed out and picked up some lunch and ate in the park and then just walked around. Since it was Saturday, the park was so full of activity and Alex caught some Pokemon. I started to feel sick/nauseaous so we ended up just going back up to the room. We watched a movie/slept some more, and really just gave ourselves a break. It was nice since we were in such a nice hotel. The bed was comfy, and the wifi was fast. What else do ya need? :) We headed out again for dinner and to see the Opera House. I finally got myself some French onion soup and Alex tried Foie Gras.

Some may consider today a "wasted day", but it was nice to just relax and unwind after all the craziness.

Day 9

We woke up feeling refreshed and ready to have another busy day. We had to check out of our hotel, and then we grabbed breakfast and went to Notre Dame for 11:30 mass. It was such an interesting experience, and we loved hearing the beautiful choir they had invited from Canada. It was gorgeous.

We headed back to the Latin quarter and got another rose gelato! So so so good. We wandered the streets and slowly made our way to the Louvre.

We had downloaded a Rick Steves Audio guide of the Louvre, and I'm so glad we had that otherwise I would have felt very lost.

We enjoyed the sculptures the best and I always feel so in awe of the talent possessed to make something so amazing.

We checked into our new hotel and then headed out for dinner. We found some steak and frites and more French onion soup.

We did a little window shopping and then headed back to our hotel for a cold shower since it had been so so so hot.

Day 10

Today we made the hike up to Sacre Cœur. So. Many. Stairs. But it's a beautiful area and it makes for a gorgeous view.

We grabbed some delicious pizza on the way back to the hotel, and then hid from the hot hot sun for a few hours. I needed a break from the heat and all the walking.

A little while later we wandered all the way up the Champs-Élysees, to the Arc de Triomphe. Then continued to the Eiffel Tower. It was about a 3 mile walk!

We waited in line for our tower tickets for about 45 minutes, but it was perfect timing. We got to the top just as the sun was setting. It was gorgeous. And we got to see the city in the sun light, and all lit up at night.

Day 11

Last full day in Paris. We had to switch hotels again just for one night, but our next hotel was just down the street, so it was a really easy change. We got all of our stuff situated then headed out for lunch. We found a cool pasta place and got it to go. We enjoyed it back in the hotel because, shocker, it was beastly hot. After lunch we did some shopping again, and got some souvenirs, and some delicious pastries, and headed back to the park to people watch, enjoy a soda and let Alex catch some more pokemon.

The last few days in Paris were super low key, but honestly, it was just what we needed to recharge. Sometimes it's fun to go go go and have your days jam packed full of activities, but when you are both typically busy with work and being a mom, it's nice to just have a few days to relax and unwind together. I feel like Alex and I were able to get exactly the break we were looking for, and while some people may look at our simple days and think how much time we wasted, we wouldn't have changed it for anything.

Day 12

Travel day. Not much to report except that in First Class on American Airlines, they give you pajamas.... haha We ate super tasty food, and SO much of it. They literally never stop feeding you on those flights, and it's wonderful and terrible at the same time.

These flights were so fun, and it was great to eat and watch tons of movies, but it was killer to have to wait so long to see Iz. I was so ready to see her, and the time changes and the layovers about did me in.

She had so much fun with her grandparents and I don't know what we would have done without them. I would have been a nervous wreck otherwise, and I survived off of their letters and texts and facetiming!

All in all, this trip was amazing. The hotels were incredible, the food delicious, and the company was the best I could have hoped for. I'm very grateful for a wonderful and hard working husband who made this whole trip possible. <3

Friday, August 26, 2016

Paris 2016 Part 1

To continue on from where we left off in Day 4, we jumped off the Chunnel and were able to get right onto the Metro, but man, let me tell you, it was way harder to figure out where we were suppose to go with everything being in french. But we finally figured it out, and we got off right in front of our hotel. We were staying at the Westin right by Tullieres park. It's gorgeous. The lobby was full of Lillies and it smelled incredible. We got cleaned up and went out for a quick dinner, and hurried home to rest up for our full week in Paris!

Day 5 

The best part about having so much time in Paris was that we didn't feel like we had to cram everything into just a few days. So all of our days were pretty laid back, and easy going, but we still felt like we got everything in that we wanted to, and then some!

We started our first full day in Paris by strolling though the alley ways to find a bakery for breakfast. We found one quickly and got some croissants and pan au chocolats, and a few baguette sandwiches for later on. We enjoyed these on the steps of a small church and a crowd of pigeons quickly became our friends.

We then headed across La Seine to get on a river cruise to show us some main sights, and to help us get a general overview of the city. The cruise was fine, a little chilly and surprisingly not too informative. But we still got some lovely pictures and a chance to rest our feet which is always enjoyable when you are logging over 9 miles every day.

It was noon, so we were on the hunt for lunch. We walked through Tuileries gardens and found some crepes! We got ham and cheese and also Nutella with bananas. So delicious.

We kept meandering up to the Champs-Élysées, poking into some shops and gazing at the Arc de Triomphe. It was stormy and about to rain, so we did a quick Google search and found a theater not too far away showing movies in English with French subtitles. We hopped on the metro and we're headed to see Tarzan. If you haven't seen it, you should go! We liked it a lot.

We grabbed some dinner at an Istanbul restaurant which was so good, and then walked all the way home.

We grabbed some ice cream and chocolate on the way and enjoyed those in our hotel room and settled in for the night.

Day 6
Bastille day! We were anxious to get up and get out to the parade. We had grand plans to beat the crowds and have the best spot of all. Great plan, until we accidentally slept in until 15 minutes before the parade was to begin. We jumped up and hurried out the door and actually made it to a decent spot just a few minutes before everything got started. We didn't have the best view of the marching, but we could see the horses and tanks and planes and hear the band just fine.

We didn't have time for breakfast so we were ravenous for lunch. We found a bakery and grabbed two of the most delicious sandwiches I've ever eaten, and a few pastries, and a Coke Zero and enjoyed a little rest while we ate our lunch.

After our recharge, we headed out on a long nice walk to Notre Dame to do an audio tour we had downloaded on our phones. It was so fun. I really enjoyed learning about the sculptures on the face of Notre Dame and some history behind it. We wandered the surrounding city and stumbled upon the coolest gelato shop where they scoop your gelato into the shape of a rose. It was so fresh and delicious and we will probably make our way there again before we come home. It was so good. Another fun surprise that we happened to find was a French board game shop. Floor to ceiling was full of amazing games. Alex was in heaven checking at all out.

It was time to head to our firework watching spot. Alex had read a few blogs about good spots to watch the July 14th fireworks, and it was seriously perfect. We grabbed a picnic of bread, cheese and ham, crackers and some fruit and some apple cider! We munched and people watched and enjoyed the view of the sparkling Eiffel Tower. The fireworks were some of the best I've ever seen, and I'm so glad we were able to experience that.

Getting home on the metro was comical. The trains we jammed packed. Like one car drove by and these girls faces were literally smashed up against the window. It took 4 trains to come and go before we could finally squeeze into one. Luckily we only have to go 2 stops before transferring so it wasn't too bad.

It was a really fun experience to be in paris during a local holiday!

Day 7

MY FAVORITE DAY! We went to Disneyland Paris!! We woke up early and headed for the train station. We rode an awesome double decker metro all the way to the gates of Disney. The lines to get in were quite short and we grabbed our maps and set out!

We admired the castle and Alex caught a few Pokemon, and we got our picture taken right away so I wasn't worried about getting it done all day. The wait for Indiana Jones was only 5 minutes so we did that first. It's totally different than the ride in California. It's just a crazy intense roller coaster. It rattled our brains a little too much so we headed to Pirates of the Caribbean next. There are two drops on this Pirates and it is so fun. Funny to hear them singing all in French, but just as enjoyable.

We went to fantasyland and rode Small World which was so cute. Alex had never been on that, so it was a fun one to do together. All the wait times for the other fantasyland rides were a bit too long so we went to Tomorrowland. Super short wait for Space mountain, so we did that. It was so much fun, so we did it a second time right away. My hair was crazy so I invested in my first ever pair of Minnie Ears. They even perfectly matched my outfit, which I promise I didn't do on purpose.

We wandered through the shops, went on a few more rides and ate lunch. We'd hit up pretty much everything so we left Disneyland and walked over to Walt Disney Studios.

We ran right to a Ratatouille ride. The wait was so long, but since there isn't anything like this back home we decided it was worth the wait. And it totally was. It's a fun 4D type roller coaster. Combine the little mermaid ride, soaring over California and Star Tours! It was really cute and we were glad we waited to do it.

Next we practically walked right into Tower of Terror. Just as good as back home! It seriously is the best ride ever.

On to more new rides. Crush's Coaster! I didn't know what to expect, but it ended up being my favorite ride of the day. You sit in a turtle shell back to back with the other riders so you are all facing out. And you go on a crazy roller coaster and you spin in all directions. I was afraid I'd get too dizzy, but it was so smooth and so fun. I wish we had had time to do it again.

We also did a Toy Story ride that is like the boat ride at Lagoon where you swing back and forth really high. But you are in the RC car riding up and down a race track. It was really fun.

We ran to ToT again and were able to do that right before they kicked us out.

Our feet were dead so we hobbled back to the train and made our way back home.

It was seriously so fun and I'm glad Alex loves me enough to agree to a Disney day while we are on our Europe adventure!