4 Days in Paris

by - October 10, 2018


The time has finally come for me to share the details of our trip to Paris, you can find our pre-written itinerary here.  I'll start with a little bit about where we stayed and then give you the play by play on what we did and where we ate everyday.

We stayed at the Hilton for two big reasons, one we wanted to be submerged in Parisian culture instead of being in the touristy area and two we had a difficult time finding a hotel which would guarantee us king sizes beds, which my parents prefer.  K and I loved the area so much that on our first night there we went out after dinner, after dropping the rest of our group off at the hotel, to roam, take photos, grab a couple cocktails and buy local wine for our room.  Our hotel was also located near a bunch of really great shopping, including a little shop that I bought a couple cardigans from.  The Hilton was extremely accommodating and I would suggest both the hotel and the area to anyone.  I'm sorry I didn't take any photos of the hotel, Paris is so picturesque I got distracted.  One big plus about our hotel is that it contained a Le Pain Quotidien which served K a couple delicious buttery croissants which we were able to charge to our room.

Day One - Wednesday 9/19
Our first day was basically a half day and it went very according to itinerary.  We checked into our hotel around 6pm after arriving in Paris via the Eurostar train.  The train was a lovely ride, I'm not the type who gets motion sick so I don't have any reference for you about that but I can tell you we were traveling very, very fast, up 200 miles per hour I think.  After checking in and washing up we headed to our 7pm dinner reservation at Chez Delphine.  I cannot say enough good things about Chez Delphine!  Our dinner was perfect!  It is a small restaurant, at most it seats 30 people.  They have a small menu written on two chalkboards, one in French and one in English.  I ordered escargot ravioli for my appetizer and duck for my entree.  Both were outstanding!  Our servers were too sweet and the kitchen staff stuck their head out to say hi to us and receive our praise.  It was perfect! (sorry to repeat myself)  After dinner we decided to head to the Eiffel.  We wanted to take the metro which via the map seemed easy but we got lost.  It took us about 30 minutes to find the right metro stop, but we eeventually prevailed and made it to the Eiffel and took a billion photos.  The Eiffel at night is just magical!  And well worth our little detour.  We spent about an hour taking photos at the Eiffel and then grabbed an Uber back to our hotel.  K and I dropped everyone off at the hotel and then decided to grab a night cap and find a wine store to have some French wine back in our room for the rest of our stay.  Surprising the streets of Paris were quiet that evening, I think it was between 11pm and 12am.  We had a cocktail at a small romantic cafe and then bought some wine and beer at a local grocery-type store.  It was such a fun night! 


In front of Chez Delphine


My mom and I drinking Aperol Spritzes at Chez Delphine


Escargot ravioli at Chez Delphine


Family selfie at the Eiffel


My sweet parent who have been married for 38 years in front of the Eiffel


K and I in front of the Eiffel

Day Two - Thursday 9/20
We started our day bright and early because my mom had bought us tickets for The Louvre at 9am so that we could avoid the crowds and lines.  The Louvre is unreal and so gigantic.  The rooms change with the art and sculptures to blend with what is being showcased.  Some areas look modern, some look like they are part of a palace built in the 1600's and some are made to look like the pyramids.  We managed to find the Mona Lisa pretty easily and I was both impressed and underwhelmed at the same time.  It looks exactly like all the photos you've ever seen of it, so that's the boring part but then again you are standing in front of THE Mona Lisa!  After the Mona Lisa we felt accomplished and ready to move on but instead of heading to more museums like our itinerary suggested, we decided to do more outdoor activities because of the weather.   The forecast called for colder temps and rain later in the week while this day it was warm and sunny.  We left The Louvre and walked alongside The Seine, on the Right Bank, to Île de la Cité and Notre-Dame.  It was a gorgeous walk, straight out of a movie and one that made everyone hungry.  Once we reached Île de la Cité we immediately sat down for lunch at Esperantie Kitchen & Bar.  My family ordered a bunch of tapas to share but I wasn't hungry so I ordered a glass of champagne.  But I was tricked by my husband, he ordered the cheese plate (I live for cheese) which was huge!  I was so jealous and instantly hungry when it hit the table.  Lucky for me he did this on purpose to share with me.  After lunch we walked over to Notre-Dame.  The history behind Notre-Dame is incredible, it began as several small cathedrals in 1160 and underwent construction for several centuries until sometime in the 14th century.  I fell in love with the stained glass windows and Gothic architecture, it was all so beautiful.  When we were finished with Notre-Dame we stopped by Shakespeare and Company, a cute bookstore on the Left bank of Paris.  My mom bought some cookbooks and I took a bunch of photos.  Everyone was extremely tired at this point, we had walked about 8 miles and everyone wanted to rest before our dinner at Alain Ducasse.  K and I weren't as tired as the others so we wandered around Paris and stopped for a couple Aperol Sprites on the way back to the hotel.  At 7pm we headed off to the fanciest dinner I have ever been to.  We ate a million courses of amazing quality food, such as caviar and quail.  The service was impeccable, I've never felt so attended to at a restaurant.  I absolutely loved the decor of the restaurant too, it's blinged out and has the largest, shiny chandelier I've ever seen.  Having dinner at Alain Ducasse was truly a one of a kind experience.


Outside The Louvre


K and my mom inside The Louvre


Outside The Louvre


Outside The Louvre


The Mona Lisa


Bridge shot with Île de la Cité in the background


The cheese plate at Esperantie Kitchen & Bar


In front of Notre-Dame


Notre-Dame


At Shakespeare and Company


Street art in Paris


What I wore to dinner at Alain Ducasse

Day Three - Friday 9/21
At this point in our trip everyone was tired and ready to sleep in a little.  Plus it was rainy and cold all morning so a perfect time to get some rest.  K and I live by the policy; 'I'll sleep when I'm dead' so we started our day bright and early walking the streets of Paris stopping in a couple cafe's for coffee.  We watched small shops being opened and fresh bakery goods being delivered to restaurants, it was a lovely way to start the day.  We found our way to the Jardin des Tuileries and decided to visit the Musée de l'Orangerie to see the collection of Monet housed there.  We were lucky because it was early, around 930am and we beat the crowds.  The collection of Monet is breathtaking.  There are three oval rooms on the first floor, housing 4 pieces of artwork in each room.  The pieces basically wrap all the way around the oval rooms.  I was amazed how close you can get to the paintings and really see all the colors and brush strokes.  The second floor is actually the basement and it houses art work by Paul CézannePablo PicassoHenri MatissePierre-Auguste Renoir and others artists who spent time creating in Paris in the 1800's and early 1900's.  Afterwards K and I took the metro to meet up with my family at the Arc de Triomphe.  We took a bunch of photos and then decided to take the metro to the Eiffel and climb it to the top.  It was a random last minute decision but an extremely fun one.  It was crazy windy and we did find ourselves waiting in lines to get up to the top but the views were unbelievable!  You could see all the rolling hills all the way past Paris and Paris is a huge city.  When we reached the top my dad got us all a glass of champagne from the Eiffel's little champagne bar.  We took a bunch of group selfies, none which came out good, it was just to windy.  In one of the photos my dad looks like he is a stranger photo bombing us, too funny!  When we finally made it back down to earth, it was late afternoon so we decided to wander the Left Bank of Paris instead of heading back to the hotel before dinner at Tomy & Co at 730pm.  This was also a great impromptu idea!  We shopped and stopped at cafe's for coffee's, pastries, cocktails and wine.  L (my brother's fiancé) bought a gorgeous leather jacket and K bought me red rose, because why not walk around Paris carrying a red rose.  The last cafe we stopped at before dinner had an amazing view of the Eiffel and we were lucky enough to catch a gorgeous pink sunset behind the Eiffel.  It was prefect and followed by a lovely dinner at Tomy & Co.  I was not very hungry but and ordered a little vegetable terrain which blew my mind, it was so delicious.  K ordered the duck, which of course I had to try a bite, because it was so beautiful.  Another delicious dinner in Paris!


Jardin des Tuileries


Jardin des Tuileries


Jardin des Tuileries


Musée de l'Orangerie


Musée de l'Orangerie


Musée de l'Orangerie


Musée de l'Orangerie


Musée de l'Orangerie


Musée de l'Orangerie


Arc de Triomphe


The Eiffel


The Eiffel


On top of the Eiffel


My brother took this one!


Eating pastries in the streets


That epic Eiffel sunset


That epic Eiffel sunset

Day Four - Saturday 9/22
We started our day buy taking an Uber to the Palace of Versailles, it took about 45 minutes to drive out to Versailles.  The palace was packed.  Maybe because it was a Saturday, maybe because we didn't get there early (around 1030am), I don't know.  We managed to get ourselves into a short line.  My dad, K and my brother were the ones who figured it all out, honestly I have no idea what they did because other people were waiting in crazy long lines.  Anyway, we got inside and walked the first floor, it was exactly what you'd imagine.  Gold, gold, gold, huge rooms and very opulent.  Once we got to the second floor it got a little over crowded, we could barely walk freely.  I'm glad we went because I would have regretted not going but I really did not enjoy the crowds.  Once we got outside to the gardens it was a completely different story.  The gardens cover almost 2,000 acres and are immaculately maintained.  Everywhere you look it's like something out of a Disney movie.  We had a lovely time wandering and taking photos in the gardens.  When we were finished wandering, we managed to find a taxi that seated six (how about that!) and headed back to Paris for lunch.  We got dropped off in front of our hotel and found the cutest cafe, Certa, right around the corner.  We grabbed seats out front of the restaurant but eventually headed inside due to the rain.  K ordered a burger that was to die for, I ordered a cheese plate larger than two of my faces and L ordered a chicken Cesar salad, attempting to eat light but oh my goodness, her salad was overflowingly huge.  It was a perfect lunch.  Afterward we went shopping at Galeries Lafayette which was packed to the gills, probably because it was a rainy Saturday.  See Monday's post for more about the Galeries Lafayette.  On our way back to the hotel I found the cutest little shop, Motus and bought a couple cardigans and a jacket.  Because it was rainy we rested in the hotel for longer than planned before heading to Monmartre, dinner at Le Lamarck and to see the 9pm show at the Moulin Rouge.  Monmartre is the highest neighborhood in Paris.  It's gorgeous and hilly, with views of the city from every direction.  K and I did a little shopping for our family and friends before dinner.  Dinner at Le Lamarck was delicious.  I ordered prawn ravioli and K had a filet.  Dessert was the show stopper though, K and L ordered an avocado cheesecake that was on another level.  After dinner we walked to the Moulin Rouge.  That was a fun and entertaining walk, passing night clubs and strip clubs.  I loved it!  I didn't know what to expect from the Moulin Rouge I guess I thought it might be raunchy but it wasn't.  Sorry I don't have photos from the show, no photos were allowed.  The girls were thin and fit, the perfect 5 foot 9 inches and all so beautiful.  The show was INCREDIBLE!  They are all artists and athletes who put on a one of a kind show full of colorful costume changes and acrobatics.  There was an act on roller skates where a male basically swung a female around in all kind of scary but amazing ways, it was really unbelievable.  And they did it all atop a small, raised circle part of the stage.  There was another act in the show where a female got into a tank of water full of snakes and did a dancing, water routine with the snakes!  I'm telling you it was fun!  The perfect big bang ending to our lovely trip to Paris.


Palace of Versailles


Mom and Dad at the Palace of Versailles


Palace of Versailles


Palace of Versailles


The gardens at the Palace of Versailles


The gardens at the Palace of Versailles


K and I at the gardens at the Palace of Versailles


The gardens at the Palace of Versailles


R and L at the gardens at the Palace of Versailles


Monmartre


Monmartre


Monmartre

Thank you for stopping by!








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