A year ago Daniel and I were in my favorite city, Paris! I had been there in June of 2006 for a few days while I traveled through France with my high school French teacher and a few students. It was a city I was in love with prior to and a place I still love today!
I convinced Daniel that 2013 was the year to visit France on our flight back to Southern California after attending his grandmother’s funeral. She was born in France and had always had a love for Paris. When Daniel and I became serious just after high school his grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I wish I would have heard her stories and her reason for loving Paris. I was blessed to receive a few of her Parisian items from her house years before, that I happily placed in my home.
I was able to use miles to get me a cheap flight to Paris and I was currently working at Marriott’s Newport Coast Villas in Newport Beach, CA so I was able to use my discount to stay at a nice hotel. Our biggest price was Daniel’s plane ticket and it was only $1,200 round trip! It was our first international trip together.
We flew with Delta Airlines. I highly recommend paying the extra hundred dollars to upgrade to economy comfort! On international flights it definitely makes a difference, when first class is very expensive! A taxi ride from the Charles de Gaulle airport to Paris can be pricey, so for the same cost I used a black car service. I recommend Blacklane , we were in a Mercedes. They were professional and on time! You sign up on their website where you also put your method of payment, so they will just charge you after your ride!
We stayed at the Renaissance Paris Vendome Hotel, a few blocks away from the Louvre! I don’t work for Marriott anymore, but I still highly recommend their hotels! Daniel’s aunt and uncle ending up staying there this past summer, without realizing that’s where we had stayed!
I did a lot of research prior to our trip, I didn’t want to arrive unprepared in a country that I don’t speak the language. Of course we didn’t follow the itinerary to a “T”, but I knew where places were and when they were open. Some nights we didn’t feel up to a meal that I had planned so I had back ups. While working at the villas, I was annoyed with customers’ lack of knowledge of where they were spending their vacation. I didn’t mind some questions prior to their arrival, it showed they were concerned. It was when they tried to blame me for their ignorance, when they didn’t plan prior!
The week we were in Paris we had one good day of weather, the rest of the days were very cold. Luckily we were prepared without looking like tourist! We had two different couples ask us for directions; thats when I truly felt Parisian! Of course I said I was just a visitor, although I probably could have gave them correct information, I didn’t want to be the one to get them lost! With it being off season we were able to enjoy a lot of museums without the crowds!
The day we went to the Louvre we went to see Mona Lisa first. There was maybe 10 other people looking at her at the same time we were! No lines or crowd made for perfect picture opportunities! We didn’t spend the entire day at the Louvre, as much as we loved it, it became exhausting! I did see the statues and paintings that I wanted to see. I found the statue that my two friends and I modeled for when we were there in 2006! Daniel was so impressed my the entire museum, it was his favorite place in Paris!
Paris is famous for their food and dessert! We tried Au Pied de Cochon, it was one of Julia Child’s favorite restaurants. Their menu is very limited with pig dishes. I started with the onion soup, since it was her favorite. It was very tasty, unfortunately our entrees were not. Daniel was trying to be adventurous by ordering the sausage, which was really pig stomach. Trust us, it looked and smelled like pig stomach too (Pictured Below)! For lunch the next day we ate a cheeseburger at Hard Rock Cafe to get our tummy back on track!
My favorite dinner was at Le Procope, the atmosphere and menu was perfect! The history drew me in; George Washington, Voltaire, Victor Hugo, and Oscar Wilde are a few that have ate there! I enjoyed a traditional dish of Coq Au Vin, it was incredible! I recommend this restaurant to everyone who visits Paris!
If you wish you wore born in the 1920s, then I recommend Julien. The decor transports you to the fun times of flapper dresses and jazz dancing, right out of the Great Gatsby! My husband and I put a bottle of wine to toast to a fabulous week together. I recommend the Roasted Scallops on Risotto, it completely hit the spot! We finished our meal with the dessert Louise Babe cake topped with rum. I promise they did not skimp on the rum; they brought the bottle of rum to the table and drowned the cake! To say the least Daniel and I were very tipsy on the ride back to our hotel, where we drank more with his uncle!
As cold as it was, I was completely in love with my trip. I got to show my husband of three years my favorite city. My love for my husband grew as we took our first international trip together! We even left a lock on the small bridge behind the Notre Dame (side closet to Shakespeare & Co), one key is in the Seine, the other is framed in our home. We have to decided to spend our 5th Wedding Anniversary (18 months away) in Paris and other parts of France!
See our pictures on my Facebook!
“Wanna know what Heaven is? Feeling the sun shine on you…….. In Paris” ~Rachel Zoe