Sunday, May 8, 2011

Paris.... (a.k.a. Eat)!!!!

The first leg of my most excellent vacation was Paris (make sure you pronounce it properly as you read : pah wee making a hocking sound between the two syllables)!!!!
Getting there was half the fun! We were able to upgrade to the first class cabin. Which meant we got the sleeper pods. They were so cool and comfortable and did I say cool??!!!!
And the food was divine! One of the best steaks I've ever had!

Of course, little did I know that the food was gonna just keep getting better and better!!

Here are my traveling companions upon arrival in the City of Light walking in front of what will soon become our favorite sidewalk cafe for breakfast!

Featuring such delicious items as....

The best almond croissant in all of Paris and beyond!!
* (and we should know, we tried a few)*

The liquid almond center just came oozing out!!!

And don't forget about the best waffle I've ever eaten!
And the hot chocolate comes very rich, dark and unsweetened served with sugar cubes to you can sweeten to taste!

And now for something completely different.....

The salads were divine. The Chez salad comes with usually toast and goat cheese atop. Or in the case of this one below a crepe with goat cheese inside grilled to perfection making the cheese warm!!

The one below right wasn't actually in Paris but in the South of France on the second leg of our journey but I thought I'd group it in here with these other Chez salads.
And.... the French Onion Soup MUST be mentioned

Ahhhh yes.... Paris was grand!!!! How can I ever explain just how wonderful it was!!!!
Oh! I almost forgot....
The sights!!!!!

The Seine River
It winds through the middle of the city
We took a scenic boat ride that began right before sunset so we got the best of both worlds. We saw the beauty of the city and the river both day and night!

The Eiffel Tower
It was awe inspiring. We spent several hours sitting at the base of the beautiful structure on the lawn taking pictures and people watching!!
This was the view of the Eiffel from our boat ride!

The Louvre

Such beauty and history inside these walls!!

How lucky we were to have experienced springtime in Paris! I will never forget you!!

I want to end each section with travel tips. So... here are my recommendations for Paris:
  • Paris is an easy city to get around. When choosing a hotel all you need to remember is to just book something close to the river. You can walk almost anywhere in the city. But the public transportation system is easy. Between the bus and metro (subway) you can get anywhere.
  • We enjoyed walking because then you don't miss anything. Comfortable shoes - a must!
  • The best part was walking by all of the patisserie's and grabbing a pastry or sandwich on the run! You can usually eat for under $5 a meal that way or under $10 at most sidewalk cafe's. If you are tired of walking by all means sit down and relax while you eat and watch the people go by. Just know that you will be sitting there at least 2 hours. The service there is very slow. But not in a bad way. The French (unlike us Americans) know how to relax and enjoy a meal! So the waiter's over there assume you want to spend the afternoon (morning/evening) visiting at your table. So, to avoid that just grab a bite on the run! But don't always avoid that. Relax!!!!! After all, YOU'RE ON VACATION!!!!!!!!
  • Macaroon's - another must!
  • A baguette, some goat cheese and a grassy area make for a fun afternoon!
  • Make sure you take a boat ride on the river. You can see almost all the sights from there!
  • I was surprised at how inexpensive things were there. From the hotel to the food.
  • The French people: very, very nice! Despite the reputation that they are not! I got some very good advise from a friend before I left that if you start every conversation with "Hello" "How are you" and "If you please" (in French, of course) then you will find them to be very helpful. And that was so true. Everyone we asked was very, very willing to help us with directions or suggestions or anything else we needed. Some going way out of their way to show us where we should go. Some offering assistance without us even asking. I guess we just looked helpless! smiley face So...
  • Figure out how to say the above phrases and you should be fine. Maybe even invest in a pocket size English to French conversational handbook. We didn't but we were fine for the most part.
  • And, if you have the opportunity.......... Get out of the city! After seeing all the sights of beautiful Paris (if you are able to) don't forget to check out the beautiful countryside in the southern part of France. The Provence is breathtaking!!! (Which leads you in to my next post coming soon!!)
  • If I think of anything else I will continue to add to this list ......


Nellie said...

I decided that I needed to read this post when I am hungry. I just had a huge Mothers Day meal and I'm steal stuffed. Karen you are so gorgeous! You look just as great as you did in high school. I hope all those Par-eee men weren't chasing you. What a fun trip and keep posting because I am on the edge of my seat. Love ya!

karen said...

LeNell... you are too funny and too kind! Thanks for commenting. I don't think anyone else is reading but I wanted to write this all down for posterity sake. I had a blast. We'll have to get together soon!

See it Try it Love it said...

Perfect. I love all the travel tips! I still think u need a whole blog dedicated to it!

karen said...

It is in the works! I should grab a name before it's gone!