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Sunday, December 27, 2009

But Ah! Paree!

Paris – day one…we’re back in our hotel room for a bit of a sieste and thought I’d blog a bit while Michael naps.

(on the balcony of our hotel room)
Before the trip, we went to REI to pick up some long-johns to keep us warm in the freezing temps that both Paris and London were experiencing. We wanted lightweight natural fibers so we could wash and reuse them on multiple days so we both ended up getting these silk black long-johns that the guy at the store recommended to us. Mike looks awesome in his. It might be the funniest thing he’s ever worn and I begged him to let me take a picture of him in them just for me to look at on those days when I’m feeling down (I know it would be an instant pick-me-up) and I swore up and down that if he let me take a photo of him looking awesome in his long-johns I wouldn’t show anyone in the universe. He still denied me. So at least I can blog about it. Trust me. You’re sad you can’t witness the total radness of Michael in his long-johns. I don’t look half as cool as he does.

We arrived last night without any real trouble. Missed the entire hullabaloo surrounding the attempted plane bombing the other day so when we connected to our flight to transfer from LHR to CDG, they made me repackage my liquids and toss my sewing scissors but I didn’t realize why there was a higher security screening until we got to the hotel. No biggie. It was the first time I had my bags searched… so that was exciting.

Also, apparently France doesn’t care one way or another about customs declarations… we got our bags and followed the signs and suddenly we were at the exit of the terminal. It felt like we missed something… no fruit sniffing dogs or forms to fill out, they just let you in. If they did things this way in the States, I’d dump my clothes and fill my suitcase with French butters and fresh soft cheeses.

We were picked up at the airport by a driver service which was a nice way to see the city on our way in. The man drove like a maniac and we got to the Latin Quarter in a much shorter time than I had anticipated.

Today we attempted to cram as much of your standard required tourism stuff as humanly possible… because on day one of any trip, you’ve still got the energy to keep moving even after your toes are covered in blisters.

We got up early – literally before the sunrise – enjoyed a ridiculously delicious complimentary French breakfast at our hotel (which is adorable, btw – Hotel Acte V in the Quartier Latin) and walked down to the Notre Dame cathedral to catch the 8:30 AM Mass which was a really neat experience. Since the Cathedral doesn’t open until 8 we were among the first people inside and most of the other people in there were locals also going to Mass. By the time we walked out the place was starting to fill up with tourists. We ended up going up all the towers to the top of the cathedral which had a lovely view of the city. Downside – no elevators. Lots and lots of spiraling staircases = sore legs.

(um. Cap, pea coat, scarf, leather gloves and bag - total sartorial sexiness? yes.)

From there we caught the Batobus and basically just floated along the Seine checking out all the tourist spots on the way. We popped into the Citroen store front in the Champs-Elysees which was really cool (particularly since my dad is a Citroen mechanic and my parents currently have a Citroen 2CV incorporated into their Christmas light display at home) and kept on walking down to the Arc de Triomphe and onward to the Eifel Tower.

I was totally digging everything I had seen in Paris… except for the Eifel Tower.


That place is ghetto. And crowded. I took my picture and that was good enough. I could not get out of there quick enough.

We were hungry at this point and to add to the discomfort, my sock had wiggled its way down to the center of my foot and was driving me crazy. I was not a happy camper. Mike had looked up this cool restaurant down by the Eifel Tower and unfortunately it was closed, so we hopped back on the boat to head back to home base.

(just pretend you don't notice the construction trailer and the port-a-potty behind Mike. I was doing my best to avoid walking near a large group of some seriously sketchy souvenir hawkers who were lounging around in the park in about a group of 40. )

Starving, we ended up eating at this place called “Breakfast in America” which was the only thing open in the area (it’s Sunday) and it was packed. I felt kind of guilty not eating French food on our first day in France but I was hungry and I didn’t want to eat at McDonalds just yet.

B.I.A. (as it's listed on it's frequent diner's card) is supposed to have that good ol’ American diner food and you can order breakfast all day. There was a line out the door waiting for a table and after eating there, I can kind of see why. Let me just say, if classic American diner food was as fresh and tasty as this stuff was, I’d eat at diners every week. Poor French people are going to be sorely disappointed when they try the greasy spoons we’ve got back home. I had steak and eggs – fantastic. Mike said the steak was better than the steak he had at some fancy steakhouse in San Antonio, TX. Mike had the eggs with tomato and feta. Fresh, delicious, smooth, creamy cubes of feta definitely not out of a plastic container. Drool. Plus Coke in a bottle. Good times.

Tonight we’re kind of playing everything by ear… maybe hanging out in the lounge at the base of our hotel. We’ll see.

Tomorrow – Disneyland Paris!


  1. nothing is more disappointing than ghetto-fied world famous locations. boo that sucks :( but on the plus side, you guys are lookin' good in Paris!

  2. you are sooooo cute in your hat & scarf!!!! and funny to boot! can';t wait to hear more on how your trip goes :)

  3. i am so happy you guys are having a great time! so jealous too :)

  4. wait, the Louvre isn't that far away! Did you not go?!!??!!? That was one of the most fascinating things on my trip BOTH times I went to Paris, even though I didn't enjoy the city so much either time, the sights (the Louvre included) were fantastic, and worth every second I spent there.


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