We recently had an amazing vacation with our awesome friends from the U.S. Three couples and a 3.5 month-old baby came over across the pond for nearly two weeks. Each and every day was so much fun! We were so so happy to have them over here 🙂
The focus of the trip was Paris, France and Turin, Italy. This particular post will focus on the Paris portion only. We were there for about 3 days. The post will be a keepsake to remember the fun we had and won’t necessarily have too many facts like the other blog posts do. If you do want to know more about some of the places we’ve visited in Paris, please visit our first trip to Paris, France, which was last December. One other note: the pictures here in this post are a compilation of ones that everyone took – thanks to everyone for letting me use them, especially the ones with crazy copyrights on them! :-p
26 June – 29 June 2017
Here’s our group!
Visiting the outside of the Eiffel Tower
Of course, had to see the Eiffel Tower while we were here. Our first day and night, we just hung around the outside, appreciating its unique beauty.
The Cathedral of Notre Dame
The next day, we walked around the Cathedral of Notre Dame. As you may know, Quasimodo wasn’t around, but the gargoyles sure were! Looking closely at the picture, I’m sure you can that the crowd was a bit crazy, so we opted to go hang out in the gardens nearby rather than wait in line to enter.
Le Jardin du Luxembourg (the Luxembourg Garden)
There really is something about gardens that is so peaceful and soothes you. These grounds were well kept, and though there were quite a few people, the area was large enough that it seemed we had enough space for ourselves.
Here is the beautiful young family. 🙂
After spending some time in these beautiful gardens, we decided to head out. There was a potential impending storm coming and we didn’t really want to be caught in the pouring rain without much cover, lol.
Arc de Triomphe
During this on and off rainy day, we also visited the Arc de Triomphe.
We walked around a bit here, using the underground tunnels. For sure, you don’t want to cross the ridiculous roundabout that surrounds the Arc! It was so insane that even though we were right near a piece of history (the Arc), we just sat and watched the traffic for a while, amazed how more accidents don’t happen here.
Visiting the Eiffel Tower
Our next stop was to visit the inside of the Eiffel Tower. Waiting for the elevator to the top was pretty packed. Then, getting to the top, it was almost a claustrophobic feeling with the amount of people and limited space, lol. The views were nice and there is something cool in just being so high up.
We didn’t spend too long inside, and headed back down shortly after. Hmm…are we at the tower in the following picture…?
Oh wait…different angle – yes, we were!
Such a cool angle – thanks, Rachel!
And just for kicks, here is a picture where I have a funky bunny face or something. Thanks, Matt, you always seem to catch me doing something weird 😛 This will most likely be the only “embarrassing” picture of me on this post. Believe me, there are others! Hahaha!
On our final full day of Paris, we all went to Versailles, which is a fairly simple train ride over. Last time Nick and I visited Paris, we didn’t go in the Palace of Versailles and only visited the enormous and beautiful gardens. This time, however, we took advantage of being here again with our friends and explored this expansive palace.
This picture was taken inside the golden gate:
We found the inside to be okay…I’m not sure if it was the fact that we have seen some palaces before or perhaps there were just so many people in this one, but it definitely wasn’t a place that you could spend a ton of time in without getting a bit tired.
For instance, this was the Hall of Mirrors, the most famous room of this palace:
Even when pointing the camera up, you can still see the amount of people in this one room. With all the people there it was tough to enjoy and appreciate the room as much as I would have liked. That was all okay though – we were in good company!
One item of note: the Treaty of Versailles was signed in the Hall of Mirrors in 1919. In fact, it was signed on June 28th, the same day we were there!
All of the materials used for construction and all the decoration used to create the Palace of Versailles, including all the mirrors in the Hall of Mirrors, were made in France.
Even more interesting: although the majority of glass in the 17th century came from Venice (a.k.a. Venetian glass), French politician Jean-Baptiste Colbert was able to persuade several Venetian artisans to create the mirrors for Versailles in France.
Here’s where it gets a bit messy: Because the Venetians had a monopoly on making mirrors at the time and didn’t want the secrets of the trade getting out, the Venetian government ordered for the artisans that created the mirrors in France to be assassinated to protect the trade. Pretty crazy…
Okay, back to our trip. 🙂
What we really loved were the gardens here at Versailles. They are beautifully kept and large enough that they don’t feel crowded at all. The area is so large and nearly impossible to cover in just one trip that I can see locals coming by all the time. The entrance to the gardens is free, there are places to eat, so much to explore, and it’s so lovely. What could be better? 🙂
Today was a funky weather day – it became cool, rained, then became so hot. This pattern repeated a number of times while we were exploring the gardens. We were so lucky that it didn’t rain too much, so we were fairly dry by the end of our trip.
Another cool thing we got to see were people trimming the hedges. They actually use a 3-D stencil of sorts to accurately cut the various shapes of the bushes here. It was nice to see that the hedges aren’t necessarily cut to perfection free-hand!
For those of you who like videos, here’s one of the desserts that some of the group got on our first night in Paris. We call it “Flaming Crème Brûlée”.
And no, the menu that fell a bit at the end of the video did not catch on fire, thank goodness!
Here are some other yummy Paris treats!
But, the highlight of the foods? Escargot! Oh my gosh, the ones we had at one of the restaurants were sooo delicious! When I had them last time, I thought ‘Eh, I tried them. I’m good.’ But, these? They were so good that we ordered another round. We went to Le Colimacon in the Marais. This wonderful restaurant came as a recommendation from another ex-pat here. Not only was the escargot amazing, the rest of the food was wonderful as well. Each and every plate was empty when we were done with them (including all the appetizers, entrees, and desserts)!
And…here’s our group finishing a macaron, chips, and cheez-its lunch. 😛
And, of course, here are maps of where we visited:
This first part of our trip was so much fun! Our next stop? Italy!
Thanks everyone for reading!