I’m not going to lie. The flight from Kansas City (via Chicago) to Paris is rough. Not just a little uncomfortable but no big deal rough, but like I’m about to curl up into the fetal position and cry kind of rough. Long, cramped, hot and ALMOST unending. But the good news? It did.
Before we got to Paris though, we had a very long layover in Chicago so we had time to grab lunch and walk around a bit downtown.
After arriving in Paris we pushed through our fatigue and had lunch at Le Souffle. (Pro tip - do not eat souffles after a miserably long international flight with no sleep. We were too exhausted to enjoy them). After some general exploring along the Champs-Elysees to familiarize ourselves with the area, we were ready call it a night at the Hotel Warwick which would be home base during the trip.
Day 2 | December 28, 2016
As this was our first full day of exploring we wanted to hit it hard and get our money’s worth from the previously purchased “Paris Pass” (a book of tickets to many of the common museums/sights, and a must have for first time travelers to the city such as ourselves).
Place de la Concorde
Musée de l’Orangerie
Claude Monet - "Water Lilies"
Stained Glass at Sainte Chapelle
Arc de Triomphe
Interior of Palais de Justice
Day 3 | December 29, 2016
This day was dedicated to the Montmartre area which has become an artist hangout in the city. We spent all day visiting museums (Musée Gustave Moreau for example) and wandering through the streets. The grand finale was watching a show at the famous Moulin Rouge that evening. It was, shall we say, an eye opener!
Day 4 | December 30 2016
We continued to focus on museums (and walking around) and spent a large part of the day at the famous Musée d’Orsay and a bit at Le Centre-Pompidou. It quickly became evident multiple days could of been dedicated solely to these museums given how large they are (Louvre foreshadowing…), but as we said multiple times on this trip “I’m museumed out!”
Today was the day - the Louvre. A must see of course. I’m convinced all my photos don’t come close to capturing the magnificence of the place. You can only experience that first hand, and trying to here just doesn’t make sense to me.
After spending many hours absorbed in the art, we went to a wine tasting at Les Caves du Louvre. We ended the day by exploring the streets in the nearby area, enjoying the lovely seasonal lights, and having a delicious cup of hot chocolate from Angelina.
Day 6 | January 1, 2017
Happy New Year! Today was the first day we didn’t have a set schedule dictated by the Paris Pass. We simply let the day unfold and enjoyed a more leisurely pace. Even though it was cloudy and overcast, it felt great not to be be concerned with lines or a timetable. No better way to start the day than to be surprised by a New Year’s Day parade along the Champs-Elysees.
After grabbing a bite to eat at L’Entrecote (Our American took over - burger, fries, and beer), we roamed the streets.
Eiffel Tower from Pont de L'Alma
After a full day of walking, we needed some caffeine so we stopped at a quaint cafe, Le Dome, for a cappuccino and ended the day in the Rue Cler district.
Day 7 | January 2, 2017
Continuing our more relaxed pace from the previous day, we toured the Eiffel Tower which included a trip to the top. Afterwards, we forged ahead with what now had become our favorite pastime (next to drinking wine) - exploring. This included the area around the Les Invalides and Grand Palais.
Avenue du Marechal Gallieni
Day 8 | January 3, 2017
We dedicated this day to touring the Palace of Versailles, home of the Sun King, Louis XIV. After touring this magnificent structure of opulence, you can certainly gain an understanding of some of the motivation behind the revolutions.
We ended the day with enjoying a delicious meal at the highly regarded L’Avenue.
Day 9 | January 4, 2017
As our trip was nearing the end, we decided to spice up our exploration of the city by using the walking guides provided in the book “Forever Paris” by Christina Henry de Tessan. It was a wonderful way to see the sights through the eyes of a famous resident, and imagine what life may have been like. This day we walked the path of Victor Hugo.
After our more purposeful walk, we casually explored the city once again.
Having previously read favorable reviews about dinner cruises, we booked the Bateaux Parisiens on the Seine this evening. It was an interesting way to view the city, however I don’t recommend it. The food was merely ok, and the boat quite frankly traveled to quickly to enjoy a leisurely meal.
Day 10 | January 5, 2017
Our last day of exploring Paris; bittersweet to be sure. We chose the Julia Child's walking tour as we wandered around and found ourselves drawn back to the Eiffel tower.
First stop, a cafe frequented by Julia where we had to order the French Onion Soup!
Au Pied de Cochon
And finally our last meal was at Frenchie. It was the culinary highlight of our trip and in some ways the highlight in general. At this point we were exhausted and ready to come home. We found warmth, ambience and the most incredible food at Frenchie.