I know it’s been over a month since we’ve been back, and I’ve looked at our pictures a billion times (let’s not talk about that big dumb smile I had on my face as I imported all the pictures for this post), and I’ve thought about it a billion and one times, but I still cannot put Paris into words. I had heard it was the most beautiful place in the world, I knew it was “The City of Love,” and I’d seen some amazing pictures of it, but I was not at all prepared for just how magical, enchanting and stunning it was. All those pictures, they don’t even do it justice.
This French band was the first thing we heard when we got off the train. It was all so… French! Best reception ever. After a brief walk in a big circle and the show I put on when I walked over a giant grate blowing air in a dress, we made it to our hotel. We stayed at the Hotel Bonapart in the St. Germain neighborhood and loved it! Not only was the hotel newly renovated, spacious and beautiful, but the location made it easy to walk everywhere we went. And walk we did. Sight-seeing vacations are more active than my real life!
I could not get over all the buildings. The architecture is so breathtaking. It makes a simple apartment building look like a work of art. We spent the first day… lost. Like really lost. Like could not find Notre Dame to save our lives. And then it poured and we didn’t have umbrellas and we had been walking for what felt like days, but you know what? I don’t think either one of us complained. Being in Paris is too surreal to get upset over things like rain or being lost. That stuff is totally part of the fun. Plus we did eventually find Notre Dame. The sun was just setting and the cathedral was stunning. So much bigger, grander and intricately-detailed than I had imagined.
At this point Joey was getting ready to kill me if he heard me sing “See the innocent blood you have spilt, on the steps of Notre Dame” one more time. He loves me 🙂
On Day 2,
we Joey made sure to make sure we had a good map and a good idea of where we were going before we headed out for breakfast and some museum-hopping. Behold, the standard French breakfast: baguette, butter, jam and a croissant on the side. Look, I love you, America, but it’s kind of refreshing to be somewhere that doesn’t do that gluten-free thing. Viva la bread!
So there are about a million museums in Paris but Joey and I have kind of figured out that we’re not “museum people.” So we picked the two we wanted to visit most and that’s all we did. No museum guilt for us. We started at the “Musée Dorsey” as Joey kept calling it and wow, is that place gorgeous or what? The building itself is a work of art if you ask me and I could not get over those giant clocks. It felt very Hugo in there. The museum used to be a train station and it still has that look so it was very cool. As for the art, it was actually pretty enjoyable to look at. I think the Toulouse-Lautrec stuff was my favorite 🙂
Lunch break and beer! Okay, the French beer scene is not like the Denver beer scene but God love him, Joey would not stop trying to find a good one. I stuck to wine 🙂 After lunch, we headed over to the Louvre. We expected a really long line (especially for the glass pyramid entrance), but it really wasn’t that bad. I’ve waited longer for the Dumbo ride at Disneyland… Plus there’s plenty of picture taking opportunities and people-watching to be done while you wait. God help me if I saw one more person do that thing where they pretend to hold the pyramid up with their fingers.
Bonus points if you can spot Joey in that last picture. Look, I know the Mona Lisa is uber famous and it’s a big deal to see her in person, but this swarm of tourists taking pictures of a picture was kind of off-putting and basically spoiled the whole experience, in my opinion. And really, the whole Louvre experience was pretty underwhelming. The thing is, everyone there is rushing around, taking pictures, crowding the Mona Lisa, ignoring most of the other works of art and talking… loudly. The complete opposite of the Musée D’Orsay. Joey and I walked around and felt like we were in our own little world while we actually looked at the art. In other words, D’Orsay > Louvre. But I will say that the outside of the museum is lovely. After being cloudy and rainy all morning, we left the Louvre and were greeted by bright blue skies that made everything that much more beautiful.
And then we saw this in a shop window on our walk home and all was right in the world.
P.S. Sorry for the delay in posting today. Sometimes you have the best of intentions to post something first thing in the morning (read: 8 AM) and then you’re distracted by coffee (am I the only one who becomes less productive when caffeinated?) and decide to get all long winded and can’t stop writing and it just takes longer than you’d expected. It happens.