We first found out we were going to Paris the night of our rehearsal dinner, thanks to a surprise gift from Jill, Shanna, Julie, Carly and Michelle. After missing our train from Windsor to London Waterloo by mere seconds, we called a taxi to rush us into London. There we caught the high-speed Eurostar Train that took us under the English Channel and into Paris. Two hours later we arrived in Paris and attempted to walk to the hotel, but we quickly learned that the trek was far greater than we (Tim) had estimated. We finally caught a taxi after striking out several times at the supposed taxi pick-up points, and arrived at the Hotel Le A. The very chic hotel had a large and modern library and a cozy lobby, equipped with a lovely fireplace and all white furniture...not to mention an elevator that changed colors on every floor. The hotel staff was very helpful in finding us romantic places to eat and the location was perfect, just one block from the Champs Elysees.
Our first adventure was the Arch de Triumph (center of Paris) where we hiked to the top and saw breathtaking views of the city, thanks to a break in the clouds. Views included the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Seine River, the Champs Elysees, and all the roads leading up to the Arch. Since the sun was out we decided to hop onto the double-decker tour bus to get a feel for the city from above. We scoped out places we wanted to see and got some random tid-bits of information from the “not so helpful” electronic tour guide. Later that night we had an amazing dinner thanks to a recommendation from the hotel.
The next morning we headed to the Louvre by way of taxi since we were afraid to try out the local subway. After a quick bite to eat and much needed coffee we signed up for a “highlights” tour (in English of course) and then spent 2 hours on our own exploring mostly the Egyptian section of the museum and some of the Greek sculpture. The amount of art at the Louvre was unbelievable and the building itself was very impressive. The highlights tour proved to be a great decision since our tour guide was very knowledgeable and offered great insight as we admired the many works. The tour included the Venus de Milo, Mona Lisa, Winked Victory of Samothrace and many more. After our time at the museum we took a stroll along the Seine River making our way towards Notre Dame. The scene along the river reminded us of being in a Hollywood romance movie. We crossed at Pont Neuf to the Isle de la Cite and were soon at Notre Dame. Notre Dame stood majestically on the Isle of Cite and was glowing orange with light from the setting sun. We took several pictures and then headed in for a view from the inside. After, we walked across the street for our first taste of authentic crepes at a café conveniently called the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Yum, butter and sugar crepes.
Later that night, we went to the Eiffel Tower which glows at night and sparkles every 10 minutes to the hour. Our trip to the top was well worth it thanks to the amazing views and city lights. The sky was clear and the city was glowing beneath us. After our romantic night at the Eiffel Tower, we decided to take the untraditional route and had a late night sushi dinner on the Champs Elysees. After dinner, we had a lovely stroll back to our hotel, window shopping along Champs Elysees. Kaitlin took particular interest in the Louis Vutton lights display.
The next morning we had omelets, cappuccinos and crepes at a nearby café and rushed back to the hotel to catch a taxi to the train station. We made the train with only minutes to spare…another close call. It was sad to say “au revoir” to Paris.
There is nothing like an email titled: URGENT I’M COMING from one of your best friends – 48 hours before they fly across the Atlantic. I was more then thrilled to get the news from Julie that she was going to forgo her San Diego trip to come visit! I basically went to bed, woke up, and there she was at Heathro Airport. We had a great time during her visit! Full of energy and life as always we spend the whole time laughing and catching up on our new life changes. Doing surprisingly well at resisting jet lag we met for lunch by the bookstore where I work. When I got home that night the jet lag (and Tim feeding her a few beers) got the better of her and she was sleeping. The next day Tim and I headed off for Paris and had Julie babysitting the house with her really nice English friends. Once we got back into London we went to meet her and company along the Thames in Southwark neighborhood in London. After a few beers and many laughs we went out for Turkish dinner and Julie kept the restaurant staff fully entertained. Later that night we took a hilarious train ride home (one of many to follow). Tim was then off on a week a week long work trip to Plymouth, England and Julie too-in typical flight scare fashion - took a trip to Amsterdam to explore the city. She ended up knowing someone from San Francisco on her flight there and of course she made friends once she arrived. Another highlight was going to see Willy Russel’s musical Blood Brothers on Charing Cross Road in London. The story is of two twins who are separated at birth and grow up on opposite sides of towns with very different up brings. There paths continue to cross later in life until a final clash leas to tragic circumstances. Although Julie got a cavity mid-show and I felt sick after finishing up her Amsterdam chocolates, the show was great and we were singing along and both jumped in our seats during the last scene. Once Tim was back we went out for a really yummy Thai food in the city and they didn’t even care when we decorated their paper table cloth with lovely drawings. After dessert we headed home the next day she was off back to LA. So sad to have her leave, but it makes us excited to get back to sunny so cal to see her in her new home!