Saturday, May 2, 2015

Europe Days 9 & 10: Celebrating Our 5th Anniversary--in Paris!

Though not necessarily planned, James and I got to spend our fifth anniversary in Paris. We split from my parents for the day and did some exploring on our own.  We started the day with the #1 item on my list….Lovers’ Bridge.  Cheesy, I know, but when I found out we’d be in Paris on our anniversary, I wasn’t going to skip it.  I even bought a padlock months before our trip!  Anyway, beware that there are now several of these bridges, but I believe the original is on the Pont de l'Archevêché….so it is especially full of locks.  It was fun watching James search for a spot our lock could actually connect (we wanted to attach it to the bridge itself instead of to another lock like most are having to resort to now).  It took a while, but we were pretty proud afterward. :)  We closed the lock, shared a kiss, and threw the key into the river together before taking a few horrible selfies (the bad part about splitting from my parents!).

And some at the Notre Dame, too.

I also wanted to visit the site where Jim Morrison is buried (and it wasn’t on my parents’ list) so we took some time to do that as well.  Several trains and a bunch of stops later, we ended up at the Père Lachaise Cemetery.  Even with a map and a little bit of help from other searchers, it took much longer than we thought to find the grave--but we did!

 It was a gorgeous cemetery.  I can definitely see why so many want it to be their final resting place.  Even in the middle of a huge city, it was incredibly peaceful.  I couldn’t help but take lots of photos, as every scene looked like a poem

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting”

After that, we headed to the Champs Elysses to see the Arc de Triomphe and do lots of walking. We grabbed a quick lunch before meeting back up with my parents. It was a lot of fun spending some time together just the two of us.

We felt like we had to do a little bit of shopping (we were in Paris, after all) but didn’t devote much of our time to it.  We strolled Rue Saint Honore past Gucci, Lanvin, Chanel...and picked up a couple of souvenirs at Longchamp and Hermes (a gorgeous silk scarf that is perfect but I’m too scared to wear! haha). We took in the views of Tuilleries Garden and the Place de la Concorde before splitting back up for dinner.

From our river cruise, James and I had seen this “#CuisineBox par Ikea” and were totally fascinated.  Being the Ikea freaks we are, decided that’s where we’d eat our anniversary dinner (hey!  it was on the banks of the Seine in Paris...even an Ikea shipping container is romantic!).  It took a while to find it (we just couldn’t remember what bridge we’d seen it under), but when we did….we realized it was an empty box.  Well, basically empty.  Everything was in French, but we determined it was a “kitchen” of sorts for people to bring their leftovers for heating up.  Or something.  Definitely not where we were going to eat our anniversary dinner.  So, hungry and tired as we were, we walked another few blocks and stopped at the first place on the river we saw that was selling food. :)  Not exactly super French, but we had burgers (his meat and mine veggie) like we had done for our first date. Yummy, quiet, beautiful view, etc.  We were happy.  

And since we were so close, we stopped by the Eiffel Tower again. :)

By day 10, we felt like regulars at the Artisan Boulanger Patisserie (where we ate there at least 3 or 4 times) on Rue Cler around the corner from out hotel.  

We got pretty comfortable using the subway system in Paris as well.  Some of the stations were beautiful!  

Our last day in Paris was a rainy one, but we made the best of it and went to see the Sacre Coeur.  

James took this panoramic photo from the top of our climb up the Montmartre.  The day was gray, but the view was still beautiful!

We loved browsing all of the artists' stalls.  James and I picked up a watercolor piece of a Paris street scene painted just around the corner from the Montmartre.  (We actually hunted the exact spot down and got a  picture in front of it. ;) ) 

Couldn't resist sharing some Rafiki art!

That evening, James and I headed to Bistrot Le P'tit Troquet for supper.  We wanted to have a nice meal at least once in Paris and we had read a lot of really good things about this place.  It didn't disappoint!

The decor was so, so cute.  They do reservations in groups, so we had an early slot and were the first to arrive.  There were lots of other English-speaking groups, too.

We had a seat right by the window. :)

And the food was fantastic.  Not fussy, but certainly not plain.  

After dinner, we sat with my parents to enjoy the view from our hotel room for the last time. They regretted not getting supper with us--so take their advice and don't skip out on at least one "nice" meal while you're in Paris!

While we had gotten to the “must see” items on our list, Mom and I just couldn’t stand to sit still when there was another hour of daylight left in Paris!  We decided that if we were quick, we could make it over the Seine one last time to the Flamme de la Liberté.  We were quick, and we did make it to the flame...a golden replica of Lady Liberty’s torch and the unofficial memorial for Princess Diana, located just above the tunnel where her limousine crashed.  

Since our first night in Paris when we saw a reflection of the Eiffel Tower’s lights “shimmering,” we had been trying to catch another glimpse of the action.  We weren’t sure what time it happened, but just around the corner from our hotel we had a great view of the Tower, so we headed down to wait it out...and it paid off!  At 10pm on our last night, we finally got to the see the show (which obviously doesn’t really translate in photos).  It was a magical way to end our trip.

Au revoir, Paris!

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