Our Second Stop Across the Pond

Hey there! Hope all is well. Today we are going to hang out in the City of Love. To date, this has been one of my favorite places to visit. Before I get into all the deets, I want to tell you something funny. As my husband was creating the itinerary, we had a discussion one day at lunch about how I would get my hair styled for this trip. After many years of marriage, I didn’t think I had to explain this, but I did. I told him that typically if we are going to a beach or any destination with water that I could submerge myself into, I’m definitely going to have a low maintenance hairstyle like braids. I will discuss this in another post soon. I then reminded him that I had weave/extensions installed when we went to China. It was cold in December and there was no pool in the hotel, so there was no need for braids. From that, I used an example to say if we were going somewhere like “Paris” then I’d most likely have weave installed for that type of trip as well. My husband has a terrible poker face and his eyes lit up and his nose twitched. Seriously! I felt like I’d figured it out, but I never asked him to tell me if I was right because I enjoy being surprised. I will tell you though, I did joke about us going there whenever I’d talk to the kids, close family members, or friends about our upcoming trip. Then a friend had posted adventures from their trip to London and Paris on social media the week before we were scheduled to leave. When I made a joke about being able to see some of the same sites they’d shared, he became frustrated. YIKES! I’d been playing around about it since that day at lunch, but I never brought it up again! Well, not until he revealed the itinerary to me at the airport.

We took the Eurostar train at St. Pancras International to get to Paris. Like most of our vacations, hubby has crafted a non-stop, adventurous itinerary. We checked in, dropped our bags and dashed out of the hotel. It was near midnight, but as usual, he had something up his sleeve. Since he was the planner, he knew something I didn’t know. We started making our way to our first stop, Eiffel Tower. It’s late at night and I’m nervous. It’s cold and rainy, but I trusted that whatever we would encounter had to be worth the time, energy and discomfort that we had to endure to get to our destination.

Oh, but when I tell you it was! We got off the Metro train and after crossing a few streets, we hit a corner and I WENT CRAZY! I no longer cared about how cold or rainy it was. I had to pull out my phone and make a live video to share with my social media audience. I had only seen this massive object in movies and it seemed so surreal to be up close and personal. When I thought about my ancestors, grandparents and parents that never had the opportunity or had never taken the time to experience this, something came over me. I did not want to leave this place! When the tower is lit up it is so beautiful, but when it begins to sparkle (for the first five minutes of every hour), I was like a kid in a candy store. OMG! It doesn’t matter if I stood directly under or near it, or watched from afar in my hotel room, that twinkle just did something to me every time. Maybe you won’t react like me, but I think everyone should have that experience at least once in their lifetime.

Not only can I revisit Paris over and over just to admire the Eiffel, but they have some amazing food! Just around the way from the Eiffel Tower is a row of restaurants. I fell in love with the spaghetti á la carbonara at Castle Café. It is spaghetti noodles in a creamy, egg-based sauce with diced cured pork and it is topped off with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and an egg yolk. Don’t knock it ’til you try it! Another favorite for me was the crêpes. Although I did enjoy them a lot in London, I must say that Paris makes THE BEST in my opinion! There was a spot about a block from our hotel that we had to pass every time we would go to the train station. Let me tell you, I pretty much had one each time or at least desired to have one. No matter how full I was, I could always make room for that butter and sugar crêpe. Sheesh! I believe the name of that location is shown on the picture (sorry, I forgot to jot it down), but I could not find it in a google search to tell you for sure. However, if you find the Hotel Les Bulles De Paris, you can then walk to the crêpe spot. It is located on the opposite block over at Commissariat and I believe Rue Des Cannes.

We had multiple stops on this trip, so we were only in Paris for a couple of days. I know there was plenty more to take in, but I feel like we still saw a lot in a short amount of time. Both nights there we stayed at the Hotel Les Bulles De Paris. It was a very modern, well-designed space. The backdrop over the bed was dope and I loved the idea of the extra couch/bed. We had a nice view of the Pantheon from our window. The dining area was so elegantly attractive and irresistible that I wanted to experience it. Although we never brought any food back to eat, I just had to order a glass of wine so we could sit and relax in the space.

Arc de Triomphe
A view from the top of Arc de Triomphe
On top of Arc de Triomphe (If I were an entertainer, this would definitely be my album cover, lol).

One of the cool things about Paris are the sites and the history there. Now, I’m not big on history like my hubby and sons are, but I can appreciate a good view. One place to get an amazing view of the city is on top of the Arc de Triomphe. Getting up there is not for the faint of heart though. It seems like a never-ending, twisting stairwell that you have to take before you reach the top. I’m still young, but climbing stairs like that makes my knees feel 90. Oooowee! However, I can truly say that it is breathtaking when you finally make it to the top.

Mona Lisa

You cannot leave without stopping by Musée du Louvre, also known as the Louvre. One of the most famous paintings in the world is displayed there. Can you guess what it is? If you thought Mona Lisa, then you are correct. Surprisingly, it is nothing like what you would expect it to be. I don’t know if it’s because of the movies and TV, but my husband and I were totally speechless when we first laid eyes on it. However, it was still cool to see in person.

I will leave you with this…Take in all you can when you can, and enjoy every adventure. Try not to take any moment for granted. You never know when it may be your last opportunity to experience something. From human error to natural catastrophes, what once was could be dismantled right before your eyes. To our first memories at Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris…I’m glad we were able to experience it before it was damaged and devastated by fire.

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