8.08.2013

day 2 ::: paris

Our second day in Paris was packed - both with sites and with food.  Here's what we did...

After a good night's sleep, our first stop was The Lourve.  See all those people waiting in line?  Yeah, we skipped right on by all of them thanks to buying our tickets ahead of time.  We got our tickets from this site and the mailed us hard copy tickets.  We bypassed about an hour and a half wait thanks to these babies. 

Looking up once inside.  Pretty awesome.

This was by far our most crowded stop on our trip.  People everywhere!  I'm usually about twice as fast in a museum than what the guide books recommend (what does that say about me?), but in this case, I wanted to get in, see the big stuff, and get the heck out.  I thought I was used to crowds coming from New York, but this place made me nutty.  Would you scoff if I told you we were in and out in 35 minutes?  I guess crowds trumped culture in this case.  I mean, just look at the madness around The Mona Lisa.

I managed to squish my way up to the front.  Those red signs on the side say to be weary of pick pocketers. It's a good reminder since that would be an ideal time for someone to reach in when you're not paying attention.  Al and I tried to come up with what she is thinking with that smirk on her face.  My suggestion: "I told you Taco Bell should have introduced the Cool Ranch Doritos Taco before the Nacho Cheese."
 
^^ The Winged Victory of Samothrace and The Venus de Milo^^

Thank's Louvre, it's been real! My eyes are open, I think. It was SO bright out that day and I left my sunglasses in the hotel like an idiot.

After our early morning start, we were starving.  We stopped for pastries as we strolled the Tulieres Gardens.  This was much more my style.  Big open spaces with gorgeous views.

As I was sitting on a stoop, eating my pain au chocolat, I asked Al to snap a pic of me eating (a totally normal ask in our relationship).  Right as he snapped the photo, this bird flew up and took some of my pastry right out of my hand.  The expression on my face, mid-chew, still makes us crack up.

After our carb fueling and bird attacking, we walked across the the Pont Royal to the Musee d'Orsay.  This museum was the one I'd been waiting for.  I took an art history class in college (I think it was Women expressed in Art or something?) and from that studied the Impressionists (mostly Degas) and fell in love with them.  We didn't buy tickets for this museum ahead of time and that was fine.  We waited in a short line - maybe 5 minutes.  The building was the old train station and it's quite spectacular in of itself. 
^^A giant clock hanging inside.

^^Peering through another clock looking out onto the city.

My favorite of all time.  (A little blurry b/c we weren't supposed to take pics so I had to do it stealthily...shhh don't tell.)

By now we were pretty starved for lunch.  I knew I wanted to check out one of the Laduree bakeries on our way home so we found the perfect lunch cafe, Le Pre Aux Clercs right across the street.  We had a cute table in the window and lingered there for awhile, just eating, sipping our wine, and people watching.  You can see what we ate at the end of our post in our What We Ate collage.

Then it was on to Laduree for macaroons for dessert.  I didn't take a shot inside because I was too mesmerized by all the options.  Just imagine rows upon rows of those colorful little cookies. 

We headed back to the hotel for showers.  We had to be at the Eiffel Tower by 5:30pm for our cut the line tickets to work and we were going to dinner directly from the Eiffel Tower.  A quick shower and metro ride later and we were there.  (Speaking of the metro, it was very easy to use and very clean.  On occasion it gets crowded so watch your pockets and purses.  It compared closely to New York, although their train cars are smaller.)  Anywho, back to THIS.

I loved all the people gathering and lounging and laughing.  It reminded me a lot of Central Park.
^^I promise that isn't a tan line and just a shadow - so strange.

Then it was time to go up!  As we got closer and I saw people coming down via the stairs I started freaking out that the only way up and down was walking.  Thankfully, I saw the elevator tram things right before I completely spazzed out.  There was a line here, as well.  But, we had tickets ahead of time!  We bought our skip the line tickets from here (we just got the skip the line ones, but there is an option for a tour as well).  You can actually go up to the second level and then the very tippy top.  Some views...



And a view from below.

We had about an hour to kill before our dinner, so I had myself a little appetizer while we people watched.  I think I ate ice cream every single day on our trip.

For dinner we had one of my favorite meals of our trip, and defintely my favorite meal in Paris.  We ate at Le   Violon d'Ingres, a restaurant that was referred to us by several people.  This was not your standard bistro food.  It was fancy, yet tasty and every single bite was perfect.  Our service was top notch - they spoke great English, were friendly and the sommelier recommend us an awesome bottle of wine.  If you're going to have just one meal in Paris, eat here.  You can see what we ate below - it was all so pretty too!
Breakfast:  Pain au Chcoolate.  Lunch (at Le Pre au Clercs):  Hambruger with goat cheese, country ham and goat cheese over frisee.  Dinner (at Le Violon d'Ingres):  rock crab jelly, duck foi gras, sea bass, steak, Napoleon with caramel sauce.

And a final photo of the gorgeous tower in the night sky (open your eyes Al!)

Another great day in Paris.  I already wish we were back. 

xoxo,
K

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{photos by me}
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