Saturday, February 26, 2011

Paris - Day 3

Ok, so obviously, I did not do such a good job keeping up with the blog while we were in Paris. I am going to try my hardest to complete these postings this weekend!

Day 3 - Valentine's Day! We had a 4 day museum pass so we decided to go to the Cluny Museum, which has a ton of stained glass and religious artifacts. It was pretty interesting! After that, we walked to the Marais district (kind of on accident) and ending up eating at this fantastic little crepe place, Creperie Beaubourg. I had never had a crepe before and surprisingly I went for a savory one first! It had cheese, onions, potatoes, tomatoes and mushrooms in it and it was fantastic! This meal was also the first one where I had to order completely in French (and order for Justin) and I managed to pull it off! After lunch, we went to the Pompidou Center (or the Museum of Modern Art). There was so much to see and we only got to 2 floors before we gave up. I just don't get some modern the whole floor on feminism. Naked women hoola hooping in barbed wire....yeah, I don't get it. We did see the Picaso exhibits and there were some cool works of art on that floor. But overall, modern art = not my thing.

We wrapped site seeing up early to go on a Valentine's Day dinner cruise on the Seine! The boat took off from right underneath the Eiffel Tower which was really close to our hotel. When we got on the boat, I was a little disappointed to find that the seating was much like a typical Parisian bistro - very crammed with little personal space. I kind of expected more from such a nice cruise line - we paid in advance for a 5 course meal, 2 bottles of wine and a glass of champagne with dessert. We were seated in the middle of 2 couples - both French - and immediately served a Kir (champagne with cherry juice). But, once the waiter realized we didn't speak fluent French, he definitely started treating us differently then the other couples. For example, he let the French couples taste their wines before he poured it (like you would see at an upscale restaurant). The waiter actually made us share the bottle with one of the couples when there was a perfectly good bottle all for us chilling tableside and didn't let us taste anything. He left our appetizer (foie gras; which we hated btw) in front of us while everyone else on the boat was being served their next course, didn't refill our wine glasses or open up the red wine for us when it came time for that course. Finally, his boss came by and noticed we had no wine and still had our appetizers and things took a turn for the better....hmmm wonder what happened? :) The food (minus the foie gras) was great and the view was awesome! But if you're in the market for a Parisian dinner cruise, I would not recommend Bateaux Parisiens because I think for the price you pay for this type of thing, the service was not up to par. There are definitely other dinner cruises in Paris and I am sure at least one of them is much better!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Paris - Day 2

On day 2 of our trip, we decided to activate our museum passes! We accidentally slept in until 10am so we had room service for breakfast and then we were off. We chose the Louvre as our first museum destination. We saw a majority of the museum exhibits but we definitely didn't see it all (everything closes around 6pm if it's open at all on Sundays here). My favorite part was the exhibits of Napoleon's apartments. Justin hated it but I thought it was really cool to see all the ridiculous furniture and decor that they used. I also thought the old Louvre ruins and moat were cool. We ate lunch at the Carousel du Louvre (a mall underneath the Louvre) and I had a really good eggplant dish from the Italian place. After the Louvre closed, we walked around a bit and ended up walking back to the Arrondisement (neighborhood) that our hotel is in. We stopped in at O'Brien's pub and stayed there for a while. The people that worked there didn't speak French so it was mostly an English-speaking crowd. After an hour or so we left and walked back to our hotel. On the way, we stopped in at the local Chinese place and ordered dinner to go. It was really good but very different from American chinese food! And it was probably the cheapest meal we've had on the trip yet! We are now in the midst of day 3 of our trip so I'll blog about that later (or in the morning).

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Paris Trip 2011 - Day 1

Most of you probably know by now that Justin and I are beginning a 8 day vacation in Paris this weekend. I figure since I am here and tons of people have asked me to make recommendations to them when I get back, that I would just blog about my whole trip so I can remember the places we liked and the places we might have not liked so much. is my recap of Day 1 in Paris.

We actually left yesterday (Friday). Flew to Atlanta and took a connecting flight to Paris. We flew Delta which I would recommend - they feed you really well! We didn't think we would be fed much at all so we got McDonald's before we boarded our flight. About 30 min into the flight we found out we were going to be eating quite a bit for the 7 hour flight! They started with drinks and peanuts like a normal flight. Then they came around with dinner (we had pasta) which came with complimentary wine! The wine was actually really good too. Then they came around with more drinks and topped the flight off with breakfast of a croissant w/egg and cheese and a banana. The movie choices were really good but when it came time to try to sleep, that was a struggle. Justin didn't sleep at all and every time I got comfortable sleeping, my legs would fall asleep because my feet didn't touch the ground. One thing I would definitely recommend is booking a first class seat for a flight to Paris. It looks much cushier! And thinking back on it, I don't know why I didn't book this is in the first place.

Ok, on to our arrival, we actually arrived early and our hotel had helped arrange a car to pick us up and the driver was waiting for us when we came out of the airport. We had a nice drive through the city and arrived at our hotel, Hotel du Cadran, with no problem. We were early for check-in though so we had to stow our baggage and went out to eat. Our hotel is right on Rue Cler (a cobble-stone road with a ton of open air markets) so we stayed to this area and ended up eating at Cafe de Rousillion. I expected to have to order in French and translate the menu to Justin but they somehow knew we weren't French when we walked in the door (probably b/c we looked lost) and gave us an English menu. The waiter was really nice and I had a fantastic warm goat cheese salad.

We walked around some more, went in some shops and then went back to the hotel to try to check in. Our hotel is really cute! I picked it for the location and the great recommendations it gets on Trip Advisor but it turned out to be really modern and clean which is a huge plus for me. The downside is that the room is SUPER tiny - and I booked the larger room they offer - and the bathroom is even tinier and there really isn't any room for our suitcases. But it's still really nice and the staff has been really really nice and helpful so far. I will post pictures of the room tomorrow. There is a chocolate bar in the hotel. My only wish would be that they had a restaurant/bar as well but there are so many bistros near by it doesn't matter too much.

After a nap, we ventured out again for dinner and settled on a quaint little coffee bar - Le Seven's Coffee - on Rue St Dominique. We picked it because their menu looked good and fairly priced and they were playing the soccer game. I had the grilled salmon with rice and green beans and Justin had the steak frites. Both were really good. I also had a glass of their house white wine which was really good. We had cheese cake and chocolate cake for dessert and finished it off with espresso which was fantastic! As we were walking down the road to find a place for dinner, we noticed the Eiffel Tower was right in front of us! So after dinner, we walked the few blocks to the Eiffel Tower and took some pictures. Then we walked back to the hotel and are turning in for the night and planning our day tomorrow!

Bon soir mes amis!