Paris is such a beautiful city to visit during the summer. There's so much life and no shortage of things to do. Well...during the day anyway. The nightlife in Paris wasn't as hoppin' as it was in London, but there were still so many things to do and so many new experiences to have.
Before we went into the Eiffel Tower the first day, we took a cruise on the Seine River. It sprinkled a bit, but it was an amazing way to experience Paris.
Our bus tour wasn't as exciting as London, mainly because our tour guide was a bit difficult to understand. Her accent was super thick. I loved the parts where we got to walk around and explore. Paris is seriously such a beautiful city.
And it's super important to see the Eiffel Tower as many times as possible. During the day. At night. Sunrise. Sunset. Just see it as much as you can, because it's so so beautiful.
Harder than it looks...
One of the optional excursions from the suggestions that our tour director, Adam, put together was a bistro meal in the Parisian Latin Quarter. It's impossible for me to describe just how amazing everything about this night was.
It started with a detour to Luxembourg Gardens. It was straight out of Passport to Paris (you know that part where the girls change the itinerary so they can get their grandpa's assistant to meet the model they met at lunch. Just a typical day). It was so beautiful.
We also saw this statue and had to stop to take some classy pictures.
The dinner was at Au Bistrot de la Montagne. I wish I could describe the full experience, but it's impossible to understand the true amazingness of the night without having actually experienced it yourself. But I'll still try.
We and another EF group had the restaurant to ourselves. It was great because we were all around the same age and there was unlimited wine at our tables. I can't say that the wine was amazing, but after the first glass, it started to taste pretty good. When we got there, there was actually a blush French wine on the table, and that was so delicious. Unfortunately, it wasn't an option for the unlimited wine.
After we all took our orders, there were two men who started playing music, one played the accordion and the other, guitar. This was the first time I really felt like I was a having a genuine French meal. The music sounded like the guy singing to the dogs in Lady and the Tramp (thinking about it now, does anyone else not think it's super weird for a guy to be singing to two dogs??). At first, the songs were unrecognizable, but then they started doing covers of songs that were popular in the states. We're talking "I Got a Feelin'" by the Black-Eyed Peas and "Wonderwall" by Oasis. For some reason, we were really pumped when they started playing "Feliz Navidad." There really is no explanation. Probably all of the wine.
The overall feel and vibe of the room was electric. I wanted to stay there forever. Not only that, but the food was so good! I had escargot. Yeah, snails. I had had it before, but for some reason, I assumed they would be better in Paris, and they were! Oh my goodness. So delicious. For dinner, I had salmon and rice, and for dessert, an apple tart. All very good. My sister had French onion soup for her appetizer, and that was indescribably good. I could eat that soup every day of my life, and every sip of it would always be good. I wish I could relive that night for real. It was just unforgettable.
We also visited the Louvre. That's after we walked through Champ Elysees and took a tour of a perfume factory. We got lost finding the Mona Lisa, and rested our feet on a bench in this little tranquil area with gorgeous artwork.
After the Louvre, we went to the Love Lock Bridge, and sister and I put our locks on the bridge and threw in the key! It was all very romantic. Sister and I made a sister lock. #sistersforever I also made a lock for Jon and me.
After guaranteeing Jon and my eternal love, we got caught in the rain. It felt like Midnight in Paris (how many movie references can I make in one post?).
"Can you picture how drop dead gorgeous this city is in the rain?"
I didn't have to picture it. I lived it. It was actually quite exciting to be stuck under a bridge in the middle of Paris, aside from the fact that it smelled like pee, and I wore shorts that day.
While we didn't get to go into the Notre Dame (sorry, Quasimodo. Movie reference count: 4), we did get to see the outside, so that counts. Dripping with rain, a small group of us did some shopping in the outdoor markets and grabbed a late lunch/early dinner at Cafe le Petit Pont.
During our last day in Paris, almost our entire group went to visit the Catacombs. While it wasn't worth the three hours we stood in line for it, it was still a really cool experience. The way that all of the bones were artfully laid out was incredible. It was also pretty creepy down there. No escape.
After seeing all of the carefully laid human bones, we ate some lunch at Paul's. I had a sandwich with unknown meat on it, and some sort of fruit-filled pastry for dessert. So good.