Saturday, May 4, 2013


Our hearts began to beat a little faster as our bus rolled across the French countryside and we neared Paris. The fairytale city has captured our imaginations since we were young and we could not wait to dig into the rich culture. Just passing subway stations on our way to our accommodations with names like Champs-Élysées, Musée du Louvre, and Palais Royal gave us the shivers. As we strolled down the banks of the Seine River the station names became reality. How is one city allowed so much beauty?

We started at the Musée d'Orsay which houses works of famous Impressionists like Van Gogh, Monet, and Cézanne. The architecture of the century old converted train station is a work of art in itself. The natural light pouring through the large windows hits the sculptures so perfectly they seem destined to be displayed there.

We spent the following day trying to navigate around The Louvre, the largest indoor museum in the world. Walking the halls is like seeing your high school art history book ripped apart and scattered across the walls. It was the most enjoyable time being lost we have ever experienced.

As impressive as the museums were our favorite part of our trip in Paris was aimlessly walking through the neighborhoods. We made our way up the steep winding streets of Montemarte and watched artists paint portraits in the square, window shopped the new summer fashions by the top designers in Triangle D'or, and casually strolled through Marais periodically peeking into the unique artsy boutiques.

We rented a quaint one bedroom apartment in the 11th district, a lively neighborhood with a large Vietnamese population. After our long days wandering the city we came back to our neighborhood and delved into the delicous french infused Viatnamese restaurants lining the sidewalks. A bustling market could be found just outside of our apartment door during the day and at night the wide sidewalks were packed with small tables spilling out of local bars that tried to accommodate the large number of Parisians who wanted to enjoy a beer in the setting sun. Staying outside of the touristy area of Paris gave us a chance to see a slice of local life, and we loved it!

The symbol for Paris is of course the Eiffel Tower and on our first visit there by day we were honestly not overly impressed. We figured we should give it another shot at night and that made all the difference. The romantic amber lighting on the Tower was stunning and seemingly dangerous. Everyone anywhere in the vicinity was just walking around lackadaisically staring straight up. Sensing we would probably be hit by a car if we joined these walking blissful zombies we decided to sit down in the park for our gawking.

Our last full day in Paris we went our separate ways to pack in our own must sees. Danielle went to the Montemarte neighborhood to explore more of the side streets and the famous graveyard while I took the train out to Versailles on the day the castle was closed to tourists so I could hike through the extensive gardens in peace. We spent our last night telling stories about our day over a delicous bottle of local wine and promised ourselves we would return someday.


  1. Hehe-- I am giddy just thinking about Paris! Although I have to disagree about the Louve; it definitely would NOT resemble my high school art book...

  2. What a lovely description and artsy pictures! You have captured our hearts with your adventures!
    Lynn and Bob