Sunday, June 22, 2014

Europe trip part 2: Paris

day 6 continued: we arrived in Paris, checked into our hotel and strolled around Montmartre, which was where our hotel was located. We had a gorgeous view of the city from our room. Next we headed over to Champ Élysées and window shopped, and of course picked up a crepe from a street vendor to hold us over til we made it to LaDuree for the best macarons ever! I had pretty high expectations and they did not disappoint! It was really hard to choose with all the lovely colors/flavors available, but I managed to narrow it down to: Marie Antionette (a lovely aqua blue), pistachio, orange blossom and rose. At dusk, we made our way to the Eiffel Tower and hung out there for awhile and got to see the light show, sooo pretty! 

day 7: We got up and went straight to a French bakery to pick out our breakfast. We ended up buying a rhubarb tart, creme brûlée, and chocolate croissant to share. We took our breakfast to the top of Montmartre and sat on the steps beneath the Sacre Coeur to take in the awesome city view as we ate, such a perfect morning! Next, we took the Metro over to Ile St. Louis for some shopping and lunch at Cafe St. Regis. We walked along the Seine river for a while before making our way back to Montmartre for dinner at Cafe Deux Moulins, the cafe where one of my favorite movies, Amelie was filmed. I had a cheese board appetizer and French onion soup, it was incredible! We checked out Moulin Rouge before getting back to the hotel for some much needed rest! 

day 8: We took the Metro over to Saint Germain des Pres, did some window shopping and got a macaron and chocolate from Pierre Herme. Next we went back to Ile Saint Louis because one of the vintage shops I had wanted to see, Au Petit Bonheur La Chance, was closed the day before. It was an adorable shop filled with antique treasures. We got ice cream at Berthillon and walked along the Seine some more. Then, we went back to the hotel to change and get ready for swing dancing at Caveau de la Huchette. We had savory crepes and French apple cider for dinner, then reached our underground jazz club for a fun night of dancing and enjoying the music. 

day 9: we checked out Luxembourg gardens (it rained some but we didn't let that stop us!) which was gorgeous with lots of flowers blooming :) Then we went back to see the Eiffel Tower during the day, and checked out a street market nearby. Lastly, we took a cruise on the Seine with a narrator guiding the way and learned some interesting facts about the city.

day 10: we started our last day in Paris at Angelina's tea house, I had read about their famous hot chocolate and had to try was the BEST hot chocolate of my life and I definitely recommend getting some if you're in Paris! Next we headed to Jardin des Tuileries, which also had beautiful blooms of spring. Jardin des Plantes was next, and again, amazing gardens there. They also had a gorgeous old glass greenhouse. We went to the menagerie (or zoo) there because I thought it would be neat to check out a foreign zoo. It is the second oldest zoo in the world, and first opened in the 1700s. The cages and exhibits were intricate and beautiful. We saw lots of owls, monkeys, red pandas, flamingos, wild cats and more. Next we headed to the Opera Garnier for a tour, and it was awesome to see the chandelier and the Phantom of the Opera's box. Finally, we made our way to the Centre Pompidou, rode to the top floor and got to watch the sun set over the city. What a great trip it was!

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