Thursday, October 3, 2013

Italy/Paris Trip: Days 9-11

Click below to see the first part of our Europe Trip:
Days 1-3 (New York, Orta San Giulio, Metaltecnica)
Days 4-6 (Leaving Orta, Train, Venice for the weekend)
Days 7-8 (Visiting Jurop in Pordenone)

(I am still adding details & pictures)

Day 9: Woke up at the Courtyard Marriott Airport Hotel in Venice at 4:00am, got ready & took shuttle at 5:00am to the Venice airport.

Quick 7:00am flight to CDG Paris

8:20am We arrived in Paris, France! 
Got a taxi, traffic was horrible, but happy to be in the City of Love!  Admirred the French architecture!!
It was over a one hour drive to our hotel - La Villa St. Germain.  Such a cool, swanky little boutique hotel!  We dropped off our luggage with the front desk, since it was too early to check in.

We started exploring the streets in St. Germain, looking for food!  We found a cute street  - Rue de Buci with a bunch of cafes and decided on Cafe de Paris.  We got a little table facing the street.   We had an amazing huge croissant, baguette with butter already on it, coffee with creme, fresh squeezed orange juice, and a ham & cheese omelette. 
sweet little flower shop across the street on Rue de Buci

Next, we walked to Luxemborg Castle/Garden


Walked down the Seine River
Saw the beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral.

Stumbled upon Pont des Arts, just two blocks from our hotel!  The shiny locks caught our eyes from pretty far back!  We left our the locks in our room, so we had to go back and get them! 
Checked into hotel - La Villa St. Germain around 1:00PM.

Laduree was across the street!  We grabbed some amazing mini macaroons, then had cokes (in glass bottles) at bar across the other side of the street.

Went to Pont des Arts (lover's bridge), so Chris & I could lock our padlock to the bridge and throw the key in the Seine River to memorialize our love!  We bought locks before we left & Hollyn wrote her name on one of them!  We did one for us, and one for the girls. We locked theirs around ours!  

 Jeff was being silly and was acting like he was throwing his house key in!! lol

Eternal love! 
Louve (saw the outside, but didn't tour until the next day)

mini Arc de Triomphe

We continued to walk west, and the Eiffel tower got bigger & bigger! 

See it in the background?
Naked statues EVERYWHERE!
There was a Ferrari and a Lamborgini parked in the "roundabout" area that you could drive for $89/20 minutes!  We tried to talk Jeff into taking one for a spin, but he wouldn't.

I checked the map and remembered that Chanel was close on Rue Cambon.  We had to back track a little and it sprinkled on us on our walk there, but I was a happy girl!  I found another bag that I HAD to have :)

Our legs were getting pretty tired at this point, and we wanted to see the Eiffel Tower, so we had a guy take us in an auto rickshaw (tuk tuk thing).
It was around 5:00PM when we got to the Eiffel Tower.  A lady said it wasn't busy, and that it was a good time to go up.  We waited in the longest lines to buy tickets to take elevator up to the 2nd level.  Then another line to get to the top!  Then two more lines going down!  It was miserably crowded, but the views were incredible! 





It was after 7:00PM when we were finished.  
Took pictures in the garden.  (Thanks Pho'todd'apher!) We were tired & hungry; we started walking down street looking for a taxi or restaurant.  Came across a bar with food that looked good. Shared a half a bottle of wine with Jeff.  Not the dinner I had imagined for our first night in Paris, but my chicken burger was probably the best I had ever had.  French fries, in france! ;)
We then took a taxi back to our hotel!

Thursday, September 26th/Day 10: 
Ate at Cafe de Paris again for breakfast, just a couple streets away from our hotel.

Musee de Orsay

One of my favorite parts of our trip - walking down the Jardin de Tuileries:

Went back to tour the Louve:
view from inside the pyramid

Waited in a pretty long line to buy our tickets, and had to wade through all the people once we were in!  
Mona Lisa: 

We were pretty exhausted after the Louve, so we took a hop on hop off Batoboat cruise down the Seine River


Got off at Champs Élysées
Searched for new shoes for my sore, blistering feet! 

on Champs Élysées - you can seee the big arc de triomphe 
Ate at Pizza Pino on Champs Élysées 
Taxi back to our room.  Jeff stayed and napped.

Changed shoes & freshened up - then went walking in St. Germain in search of  crepes!  We found this place down the street (Rue de Buci) from where we ate breakfast - called Amorino.  My latte Macchiato was good... but didn't love my crepe.  

Next, we were looking for gifts for Hollyn, Bryn and Chris's mom - as a thank you for watching the girls.  We went in the Louis Vuitton in St. Germain.  It was a very neat, modern two story shop.  The girl was so helping us was so nice!  We found these mini Pochette accessories for the girls - one in the damier canvas, and one in the classic monogram canvas. With little brass chains - the perfect size for them.  What better gift for them - their first LV's from Paris!!  Also, something they can keep & use forever!  I also found the regular Pochette accessories for myself, in the damier canvas!  Since us girls were getting something, I talked Chris into going upstairs and looking at the wallets for himself!  
Mommy, Hollyn, Bryn & Daddy :)

We then went outside and were talking to Chris's mom on the phone.  She began to tell us how sick Bryn was and about their doctor's visit that day.  I felt horrible that she was there by herself, up all night with Bryn.  We walked back in the store, and bought a Pochette accessories for her too, in the monogram canvas!!

We went back to our hotel and asked the front desk for a recommendation for an authentic French restaurant.  He recommended Le Bristrot de Paris and made us a reservation for 8:00.  It was a short walk from our hotel.  It was a very fancy, snooty place, and we could not read a thing on the menu!  It was funny, but our waiter helped!  We shared a couple bottles of wine, and had a wonderful meal!  I tried escargot, had a 20 euro plate of mushrooms as my appetizer, some delicious fish and "macaroni!" 

Day 11: woke up at 4:00am. 5:00 taxi to CDG 
Waited in line to get our VAT taxi refund papers stamped, filled them out and mailed in.  Went to go through security, and Jeff, Todd & I got stopped and had to weigh our carry-ons.  They were more than 26 lbs, so we had to go back and check one of our bags! :(  Thanks AirFrance.

Flight at 8:20am - 8 hours back to NYC.
Bye-bye Paris! 
To JFK, landed at 10:00am 
Turned our phones on to see that Chris's grandfather had passed away that morning.
Taxi to LaGuardia, then a long layover. 
Flight home
Found out Bryn was in the hospital - see post: Worst Day Ever, then Urosepsis.

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