Sunday, December 1, 2013

Girls trip to Paris & London

 Leavin' on a jet plane!
On somewhat of a whim we left on a girls trip to Paris.
It was something we hadn't planned for very long, but flights
were open and we planned our getaway.
  We originally planned on leaving on Sunday and coming home on
Thursday (Thanksgiving), but then we decided to add an extra day
and leave on Saturday.  The direct from SLC to Paris is the only way to go,
 but since there was no  direct on Saturday we connected  through Cincinnati.
 We landed in Charles De Gaulle Airport
then took the RER (Metro train from the Airport to our hotel.)
We stayed at the First Hotel.  
It was right off the metro stop.
Metro stop Cambronne to be exact.  I mean directly across the street.
It was so convenient.
 Our room.
It was really nice.  All the rooms in Paris are pretty small.
But it was comfortable, clean and modern.
 First Hotel front desk.
 Breakfast room. 
Day 1.
 We literally dropped our stuff off in the room and hit the road.
We landed in Paris around 8 am. 
the trick is to just go that day, don't go to the room and sleep.
It gets you on Paris time quicker.
This is in the Latin Quarter, one of my favorite areas.
 I absolutely LOVE the metro signs in the city.
So Parisien.  Obsessed with them.
 St. Michael fountain
(obviously not on)  
 My favorite little panini shop.
It is right by the St. Michael Fountain on the corner.
They press the sandwiches then put lettuce,
tomato and an olive oil drizzle.
So yummy!
 I love the street vendor food in Paris.
I swear it is better than the restaurants.
 My sandwich.
The bread is crunchy from being pressed,
chewy, warm cheese, yummy meat and the drizzle
tastes like basil, olive oil and garlic.  
 Also my favorite little sweet shop.
Also right in the Latin Quarter.
It was the yummiest macaroons ever!
Plus they are tons cheaper than La' Duree.
(we thought better too)
 A Paris macaroon!
The best little treat. 
 Cutest littler Creperie.
 Nutella Crepe.
Perfect for walking around in the cold. 
 Notre Dame Cathedral.
I feel like the Notre Dame is worth the trip to Paris
just by itself.  So awe inspiring.
We were there on Sunday and there was service going on.
Angelic singing as we walked around.
 Hard to take it all in.
There is so much to see, everything is so ornate.
 We did not see this view last time,
Notre Dame from the back side.  Just as beautiful.
 The bridge right behind Notre Dame is Lovers Bridge.
Made famous by all the locks left by lovers.
 Both sides are just full of locks.
Every inch.  Locks on top of locks, on top of locks.
 You write your names on the lock and seal your love on the bridge.
 It would be fun to try and find our lock one day.
 The tradition is to throw the key in the river.
Sealing your fate with your true love.
 Mom throwing in her key.
 Saint Chapelle.
I also did not see the inside of this last time.
This trip we bought the Museum Pass, which gives you entrances into
over 60 Museums, etc.  So we used it to the max.
 The gates leaving Saint Chapelle.
Seine River. 
Notre Dame, Saint Chappele and The Concierge 
are  all on Ile De Cite.
You are actually on a small island, although you would never know it.
 Day 2.
Leaving our hotel.
The "Moms" slept through their alarm, so Katelyn and I
explored our cute little neighborhood while they quickly
got ready.  We stayed in the cutest area.
 Fresh flower shop.
 Paris doors and architecture are just everywhere.
I could walk down every street in Paris and just gawk. 
 Okay we had THE BEST bakery right next to our hotel.
I cannot tell you how fresh, buttery, flakey their croissants are.
Vicki and Katelyn at breakfast.
 I took a picture so I would remember it.
Maison Privat.
There usually was a line out the door.  Literally. 
 Arc de Triomphe
This is a must see in your lifetime.
I loved showing the girls around.
It was so fun touring with Kat.
Can I say girls trips are soooo much fun!
It is so big!
You cannot even imagine how big it is.
 Also one of my favorite things to see in Paris. 
 You really get an idea how big it is seeing us next to it. 
 Remember how tall it was??
Yup we walked up the WHOLE thing to the top.
We were burnin baby, burnin!
 The view is worth EVERY SINGLE STEP!

 Top of Arc de Triomphe with view of the Eiffel Tower.

 We needed treats after that climb,
This tartine was the best I have ever had!
It looks like fresh mozzerela but it wasn't,
I'm not sure what cheese it was.  But it was tangy and sharp and delicious. 
 I have a secret...
This is the BEST tiramisu I have ever had,
in fact we had more than one on the trip.
....and it's from McDonalds!
I know!  
A sin while in Paris, but the McCafe there is 
amazing.  It was so delicious.
 We walked down Champs Elysees
for a bit then caught the Metro to the Louvre.
{ This is the easiest way to the Louvre,
 it takes you to the underneath mall and right into it.  Because there
are two stops I just wanted to remember which one it was}
 Hash tag is she smiling?
The Mona Lisa.  Still so small.  But a must see.
 We went into a different section that Jeremy and I did not see
last year.  It is Napolean's apartments.
This must have been his courtyard.

 Napolean's quarters.  Amazing.
 Louvre November 2013
 Musee du Louvre
 I could stand and stare at the Louvre forever.
So much to take in.
{take my advice, come out here and take pictures, then go right
back in through the pyramid.  DO NOT try to walk from here.
to find a metro.  Lesson learned from last time Jer and I made the
mistake of doing that.}
 Sissies at the Louvre.
 Vicki and Mom.
"The Moms"
This was probably the best meal we had.
It was right next to Jeremy and my hotel we stayed at last time so I knew it was good.
I didn't get a pic of Mom's Gnocchi Carbonara and Vicki's Penne Ragu.
The Gnocchi Mom and Kat got were amazing!

 We saw the Eiffel Tower twinking from afar and ran to catch it.
We did not make it.  But we took lots of pics then got in line to go up top.

 Eiffel Tower November 2013
 Not goona lie, it is scary going up.
It is freaking tall!
But so worth it. And once up top it's not scary.
 Views from the top.
 I cannot say enough about how much fun I had with these girls!
It will be a trip I will never forget.
Memories for a lifetime.
Getting a closer view.
 Eiffel Tower twinkling.
Perfect way to end the evening. 
 Day 3.
On day 3, Tuesday, we took the Eurostar to LONDON!!
At Gare du Nord Station in Paris.
 Taking the Eurostar under the English Channel to London.
 You arrive in London at St. Pancras Station.
This was just outside waiting for our connector bus to start
our Hop-On-Hop-Off bus tour. 
 I was blown away by London!
I had NO idea it would be this amazing.
This spectacular.
Your brain hurt there was so much to take in. 
 Every little street had more and more to look at.
The bus was a good way to see the city.
 Big Ben.
 Big Ben from afar.

 Literally the only shot we got or even saw of Buckingham Palace.
We had all intentions to see the changing of the guard.
We did not even see it at all.
We knew we missed the changing of the guard, so thought we would
do the loop and come back.  We just ran out of time.  
I could cry!
Just not enough time.
Guess that means we need to go back :)
Tower Bridge.
Yes I lost the argument, this is not London Bridge. 
 Tower Bridge from our open air bus top. 
 Can't go to London and not get a phone booth pic.
I am not even sure if they work, but they are everywhere.
I just believe for all our touristy pics.
 Finding a Fish-n-Chips shop.
We had not eaten all day.
 I would recommend this Fish & Chipper place to anyone. 
 Gotta get the finger measurement in there.
 So delicious!
Huge thick cod in the yummiest batter.
 We did London up right.
 Love this pic.
 We hit up a little shop in the train station called Simply Food.
We had a little smogasbord of the yummiest food ever!
Can you get over this little milk,
and only .49 pence!  Everything was so delicious.

 Day 4.
On day 4 we went to Versailles!
This again was a first for me.
 I would love to see this in the Fall.
Cute tree-lines street leading right into Versailles.
 V E R S A I L L E S
Welcome to my home!
Ha, I wish!
Chateau de Versailles
 The history of this place is amazing.
I'm glad I researched some history before we went.
 Walking the Palace. 
 Hall of Mirrors.
Simply breathtaking.
 I had read how amazing this would be, 
but it is mind blowing.
 The Queen's chambers.
 Dinner is served.
 Views from the backside.
 Oh Love my Mama and Sissy so much!
 I could only think of Alice in Wonderland
with the perfectly trimmed hedges.
 Panoramic views in the back of Versailles.
 Beautiful Mama's in the beautiful gardens.
 Versailles you did not disappoint.
Oh ya!!
We timed our trip to Musee D'Orsay just right!

Actually Kat and I walked trough this exhibit as
quick as we could, while the Moms commented and
laughed and continued to talk about it.
So embarrassing! haha
Musee D'Orsay 2013
We took the RER directly from Versailles to Musee D'Orsay.
There is a metro stop right directly at the Museum.
You are not allowed to take any pictures inside.
So different than the Louvre.
 This was our very last night.
I have no idea what this place is, but was just so cool.
We left Musee D'Orsay, went to the Latin Quarter,
ate and shopped...more, and saw Notre Dame for one last time.
 Didn't Katelyn look so cute today!
 Au Revoir Paris! 

 To top of the most perfect trip we got first class coming home.
We had hoped to get it going out, but it was full.
You will never be more comfortable.
The yummiest food, seats that lay ALL THE WAY FLAT.
Can you say warm cookie service? 
 Nighty Night Kat!
Heading home to Grandma's turkey dinner.

Ahhhh!  I cannot even begin to describe what an incredible time we had.
We laughed so hard my stomach hurt.  We ate the yummiest food...for the most part.
{which included one of the funniest dinners I have ever had, ever}
I will treasure these memories forever.
I love Paris!
But even more can I say London blew my mind. 
I just had no idea it would be vibrant, colorful and amazing.
We clearly did not have enough time in London, so I can't wait to go back.
And I feel like we had those extra days in Paris and saw so much.
Thanks to the best travel partners ever!
I love each and every one of you,
let's travel the world together!

Some memories I don't want to forget from the trip:
-What?'s called a smokey eye.
-"She's had her fair share"
-Learning to be the furthest back in the pic 
-"He almost had me"
-Vicki saying she would have been sad if she stayed at the Chinese
Fish and Chip shop my Mom first found.
-and telling the girls to leave the restaurant by a simple head shake, nose wrinkle.


Judy B. said...

this was such a great blog, Ash! I felt like I was with you guys (not quite the same though, hint hint, girls' trip to Italy?) I can introduce you to ask my cugini at Villa Bonicelli! I also have relatives in Verona, Venice, Tyrolia, Reggio Emiglia, and the Italian Riviera!

Judy B. said...

this was such a great blog, Ash! I felt like I was with you guys (not quite the same though, hint hint, girls' trip to Italy?) I can introduce you to ask my cugini at Villa Bonicelli! I also have relatives in Verona, Venice, Tyrolia, Reggio Emiglia, and the Italian Riviera!