On our first full day in Paris, we woke up early to get a start on the busy day. We stopped at the boulangerie on Rue Cler for breakfast. We had pain au chocolats, Orangina and a baguette with Nutella. It was a lot of bread and chocolate :)
Then we boarded the Metro and went to the Louvre where we bought museum passes and toured the museum for a couple of hours. We visited all of the major pieces at the Louvre, but there are just so many others, we didn't have time to spend looking at much other stuff. So, then we walked through the gardens and went to L'Orangerie, a museum with a ton of Monet's Waterlily paintings, it was amazing! We continued our walk and went all the way down the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe. It was a really pretty walk and oh so Parisian! Then, we hiked up the stairs inside the Arc de Triomphe to the top for some amazing views. It was really awesome to be able to look down all of the avenues and see all of the big landmarks of Paris.
After leaving the Arc de Triomphe, we went to Ile de la Cite and Notre Dame. We enjoyed walking around the inside the church and outside. Then, it started to rain a little bit and we were exhausted from a busy day of sightseeing, so we went back to the apartment to relax.
After a short nap, we decided that we would cook in our apartment kitchen for dinner. So, we went to Franprix(small grocery store on our street), Top Halles(the vegetable market), la Fromagerie (cheese store), and the boulangerie (bakery) . We made a delicious chicken and pasta dish and ate it out on our balcony.
The next morning, we slept late and had a leisurely start to the day. Kevin went to the boulangerie by himself and ordered en francais! After breakfast, we had planned to visit Versailles but found out that a strike had forced the chateau to close for the day. So, we changed our plans and visited Musee d'Orsay instead. D'Orsay is my favorite museum, so I really enjoyed it. In the afternoon, we made a trip to the Champs Elysees area to do some shopping. We had dinner at a cafe on Rue Cler, Cafe du Marche. It was rainy, but we ate outside under the awning. After dinner, we walked toward the Eiffel Tower to see the sparkling light show from the Champ du Mars park.
On Friday, we woke up early to make the trip to Versailles. The lines were short and there weren't many people in the gardens, so it was a nice trip. After we were back in Paris, we visited the Army Museum and Les Invalides (where Napoleon's tomb is).
We made the short walk back from Les Invalides to our apartment and picked up sandwiches from the boulangerie for lunch. Then we visited la Conciergerie (the jail where people sentenced to the guillotine were held, including Marie Antoinette) and the church Saint Chapelle.For dinner, we ate at the famed Cafe Constant only a couple of blocks away from our apartment. We both had some really good wine and Kevin had lamb stew and I had grilled ribeye with mashed potatoes.
On Saturday, we had another relaxing morning and took the metro to Place de la Bastille. We did a walk recommended by Rick Steve's guidebook in the Marais neighborhood and walked all the way to the modern art museum. We even saw a French mime! He was really good and I enjoyed watching him.
Afterwards, we went to Ile Saint Louis for a romantic stroll across the seine and to explore the little island. We stopped at Berthillon for ice cream which has been called the best ice cream in the world. Then, we walked into the Latin Quarter and came back to the apartment for lunch.
We ate dinner at another local cafe, Cafe Rousillon. It was really good food and seemed to be targeted a little more towards tourists since a couple things on their menu were actually named in English, like "Chicken Burger," lol. But, I had a delicious Veal escallope with penne in a Normandy mushroom sauce. Afterwards we got dessert from a local pastry shop, an eclair and some macaroons, yum!
To be continued...