Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Our Paris Vacation - Day 5

Our Paris Vacation - Day 5

We started our last day in Paris with a visit to Notre Dame.  It's so beautiful!! 

We waited in line for a while to get inside.
 It was a Sunday and so we were able to see part of a mass in the cathedral!

There were even bleachers in front of the cathedral for all the people who wanted to 
hang out there outside!

There's a memorial to the Holocaust victims near by.

Then we walked across the bridge to Ile Saint-Louis.  This is what it looks like from above.  (I took a picture of a postcard.)

We heard there was a fantastic ice cream parlor called Berthillon on Ile Saint-Louis....so you know I was all about finding that place!  We looked around for it for a while and ended up at this ice cream parlor.  It was yummy, but we discovered that this ice cream parlor just served the Berthillon ice cream. There actually was a Berthillon ice cream parlor....we just needed to keep walking.  Bummer.

But this really was a yummy treat!

 I don't even know what this is.  Apparently Michael really liked his ice cream.

The streets of Ile Saint-Louis.  It was a cute little area!

Yeah.  Sometimes there just aren't words.

We found this adorable and delicious French cookie shop!  Look how carefully they display their cookies.  We loved this place!


We found a boulangerie (bread shop) and a fromagerie (cheese shop).  

Michael really likes macaroons.

Our last day in Paris was a lot more relaxing and lots of fun!  Coming up.....Normandy Beaches!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Our Paris Vacation - Day 4

Our Paris Vacation - Day 4

Day 4 started with a short train ride to the beautiful Versailles!

This is just part of the line to get inside.  Versailles is a busy place.

Waiting in line

What's a trip to anywhere in Paris without touring a palace?

The king and queen's bed chambers
The Hall of Mirrors

This was a self-guided tour.  We're all listening to our headsets and not actually on cell phones.


After we toured the palace, we went to tour the gardens.  There are no words to express how amazingly beautiful this place is.  Every time we turned a corner there was a different garden or fountain or both!  You could spend days walking around the gardens of Versailles and not see everything.  Ah-mazing.

We got smart and ended up renting a golf cart to drive around so we can see more of the gardens.

Seriously?!  We're just relaxing on the lawn while lovers take a boat ride.

After several hours at Versailles, it was time to head back to our hotel.  We took the train (which is different than the subway, though you use the subway station to get to the train) to get to Versailles.  We were able to use a subway ticket to get to Versailles, but learned the hard way that we couldn't use it to get back to Paris.  Here's a BIG travel tip:  If you go to Versailles, buy your return train ticket before you go!  The lines were astronomical to get a train ticket to head back to Paris.  (And that's after we figured out why we couldn't get through the gates with our metro ticket.  This is one time the language barrier really was a barrier.)

We eventually made it back to Paris.  Michael and I had reservations at a local cafe for dinner.  This cafe is so good that we couldn't get a reservation until 9:15 at night.  So we had plenty of time to relax before heading to dinner.  We ended up getting off on the wrong metro stop and had to walk a long way to get there.  But it was oh-so worth it!

The inside of this teeny cafe was packed, so we sat outside in front.  Looking at the awards this cafe has received, I knew we were in for a treat!

I was in a corner of the patio which was perfect for me because it blocked all the cool ai

Our menu board.  Yeah.  I can't read that.
Our first bottle of French wine!  DELISH!
Our waiter (who seemed to also be the manager or owner or something besides just a waiter) was so wonderful!  He was funny and so accomodating to our lack of French speaking abilities.  With his help, we ordered our 3 course meal.  And, oh my word.  It was SO GOOD!!!!  It doesn't get dark in Paris until 10:30, so it didn't feel like we were eating dinner as late as we were.  We loved our food!  And I had this little beef stew that came out in the cutest miniature Le Creuset dutch oven!


And then for dessert.
OH, DESSERT!  Be still my heart!!!
We both ordered these beautiful and delicious vanilla creme puff pastries!  
Otherwise known as heaven on a plate.


This is the outside of the cafe and right in front of where we sat.  I was a stupid American tourist and made Michael take a picture with us and our waiter.  If you are ever in Paris, do not go home until you have eaten here!!!

We were still on cloud nine walking back (a closer) subway station.  We had such an amazing time.  And Michael about lost it when he saw this teeny weeny car.  He looks like a giant.

It was actually dark when we got back to the Eiffel Tower metro station.  In fact, it was almost midnight.  And we were just in time to see the Eiffel Tower light show!  They light up the Eiffel Tower and it sparkles for the first five minutes of each hour.  It was beautiful!

We LOVE Paris!