Friday, May 27, 2011

Our LIfe in France ~ The Travels {Paris Baby!}

A little perk of living in France, or Europe in general, is that there is so much right there at your fingertips!  I am so blessed not only be living in France, such a beautiful country, but also to have a husband who understands my need to see and conquer the world.  Even though he will never understand it, he tries to oblige.  What more can you ask for?

I posted this post over at Suitcase and Stilettos a couple weeks ago and I wanted to make sure I shared it with you all as well.  I have had a few people ask for pointers on traveling to Paris and I think this might be helpful!  I love this fabulous city and would love to show some of it to you! 

Let me take you on a tour of the City of Light

We are going to hop on the subway and head to the Eiffel Tower to start. Subway stop Bir-Hakeim. Little walk past a few street vendors and you are at probably the most popular attraction in Paris! And there is a reason. It is beautiful. And the view from the top is incredible. If you only have one chance to visit this wonderful city, pay to go to the top. It is worth it! Since you are touring with me, enjoy the view!

Let's take a little walk, shall we?  I have only done this once, but I was so glad I did.  You can easily take the subway but if you walk, you will end up on George V, one of the richest areas of Paris.   While we are walking down George V definitely take time to marvel at the beautiful houses and apartments that probably cost more than I am worth. (I know mom, I am priceless)   This will bring us to the Arc de Triomphe. It is at the end of Champs Elysées and is in the middle of the biggest roundabout in Paris.  Maybe in France.  It's huge.  And if you are driving in Paris, which I wouldn't suggest, do not get stuck in the middle.  Just a little word of advice!
From the Arc de Triomphe we are going to turn around and walk down the Champs Elysées.  The Champs Elysées is the richest district in Paris. Home to chains like Louis Vuitton and Cartier.  Even the McDonald's on the Champs Elysées is high end.  This picture is views looking each direction.
A little more walking down this grand rue and we will come to The Louvre.  Obviously, the Mona Lisa is housed here (La Joconde in French) but you should see it for many other reasons.  Actually, when I saw the Mona Lisa I thought 'it just looks like every other picture you have ever seen of the Mona Lisa.'  But the museum itself is amazing.  Beautiful outside and in and if you are a museum buff, you could literally spend your whole vacation here.  And, duh, the DaVinci Code!
Just down the street from The Louvre, walking distance again, across Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris, on a little island in the Seine, is the Notre Dame Cathedral.  Always surrounded by tons of tourists, watch your wallets!  Inside the Cathedral it has a small replica of how the cathedral was built.  It is incredible to see what they did with what they had. 
Now we are going to cross another bridge over to the Left Bank to one of my favorite places in the city, Shakespeare and Company.  I have a little story here.  When my mom was traveling through Europe just after high school, she stopped at this little English book store in Paris.  The gentlemen who owned the store allowed her and her friend to stay overnight if they would write in his travelers log.  Well, 25 years or so later, I was traveling through Paris with a friend.  My mom had told me to find this store, but didn't tell me the story.  I called her that night to tell her I had found it and to tell her that there was this little bed in the midst of all these books, floor to ceiling!  She then told me, she slept there!  That very bed!  How bizarre that so many years later I would be seeing it.  I, however, did not sleep there.  Awesome little book store, definitely a must see.  Oh and it is in the movie Julie and Julia!
Well, I am going to let you take a breather because we have been walking a lot! After we have gotten some rest, I suggest a night's rest, we can start on a different section of Paris, Versailles.  Actually, Versailles is about a 30 minute train ride outside of Paris, but if you have at least two days, go.  It is where French royalty lived and where Marie Antoinette had her house and garden.  If you are a history buff like me, it is so fun to see.  And before you go, watch the movie, Marie Antoinette with Kirsten Dunst.  Not really a great movie at all, but it was filmed on location at Versailles and it makes it so neat that you will be able to see the places that were in the movie. 

Did you have a nice trip?  Have you enjoyed the tourist attractions we got to see today?  I hope so!  Below is a subway map of Paris.  The subway is super easy to use, and that is coming from someone from Southern California (there are no subways, really) and when I first used it, I didn't speak French. So anyone can use it!  But it should give you an idea of how far we walked :) and where everything is. 

And if you are wondering where to say, here is a little guide to help you.  Paris is divided into arrondissements, 1 being mostly center and moving out in a spiral.  As you probably guessed, it is cheaper to stay on the outside of the city.  If money is not an issue here, then shoot, stay smack dab in the middle.  And make sure to let me know how it goes!  But for the rest of us, check into the outer areas, there is always a subway or a train to take into the center.  There are always good prices too.  One time I stayed in the business center, not even on the map, and it was fine. 

The last time I was in Paris, I stayed in something called a Peniche, which is a houseboat right on the Seine River!  If you have been a reader for a while, you might have seen the post.  It was really great and an awesome experience, but I would suggest for a first time Paris trip to get a hotel and see all the attractions up close and personal.  I hope you enjoyed our journey!  And if you make it out there, I would love to see your pictures!!

Thank you so much for reading along with me!  I hope you all have a wonderful long weekend!


Don't forget the {French} giveaway is still open!  I would love to have you enter!  And remember, you leave a comment for every entry.  I will choose from the comments!

I also still have some sponsor spots available, click here for more details and please contact me if you are interested!

10 comments:

Sarah said...

Look's amazing! Whenever I've been in France my man's been studying so we don't get much time to travel. So I've never been to Paris! Hopefully next time. I've gotten to know Lyon quite well though . . . beautiful beautiful city.

Grammy Goodwill said...

I've been fortunate to see all of those beautiful places except the bookstore. I guess that means I have to go back!

Megan said...

I totally loved this post when you posted for me, but it made me sad that I'm stuck in cubicle land here in Ohio. But i know soon enough things will change... :-) And stop promoting your giveaway because it lessens my chances to win AHHA JUST KIDDING :-)

have a greatttt weekend sweetie :-)

Jessica said...

NOSTALGIA evoked for every photo!

Lindsay said...

when i went to europe a couple years ago, the days we were in paris I have never walked so much in my life. it was gorgeous. i love that everyone walks...so opposite of here huh :)

random question....how do you write on your photos you post?

MiMi said...

So beautiful. What a blessing you got to live among all of that gorgeous-ness.

Rebecca @ My Girlish Whims said...

Wahoo Paris!! I didn't pay to go to the top of the tower while i was there, so I told fiancé we have to go back someday and go to the top so he can kiss me there!! :D

Jennifer said...

Now I want to go more than ever! What's the weather like in December?

BellaVida said...

This post is a fantastic read and I am jumping out of my skin with desire to visit this city.

Bella Vida by Letty
Have a nice weekend.

Amber said...

I just found your blog through WIWW and I'm just sitting here dreamy eyed by this post. I love everything about France. I wasn't able to take the trip to France with my high school French class, but I promised myself I would travel there someday. My favorite thing: Shakespeare & Company - I would love to just sit in there with all those books. And what a great story you have to go with it. Glad you take the time to explore!

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