A lengthy post about our trip to Paris with my parents and sister, starting with a trip to Versailles:

Versailles was packed. We went on the only day we could go which happened to be the day that the Louvre and a lot of other popular museums are closed, so we were there with every other tourist in Paris. It was kind of hectic and crazy, but still very cool. I had never been in the gardens before and that was by far my favorite part.

For some reason, when we were heading out to the Chateau, I was convinced that there wasn't a city by the chateau. I thought it was just out there on its own, but it definitely is not. Versailles is its own city with its own people. Because of that, I was under the impression that we'd be able to see the France temple grounds just right by the place, but we definitely couldn't. We never ended up seeing it, but we didn't really seek it out all that much. I can't wait to go back to France, though, when the temple is completed to finally see France's first temple!!!

After Versailles, we went back into town where Ian and I took a nice lay down in the park beneath the Eiffel Tower. It's such an icon, it's bound to kind of make you a little star-struck, even if you've seen it before. And it's just so romantic. Paris seems like the city for lovers. (Or newlyweds!)

Later, we ate a pretty mediocre dinner at a restaurant by the tower which just taught us a lesson to just walk a little further and don't get sucked into the tourist areas.

We opted out of our own love lock to support this. JUST KIDDING, we just didn't go by it, although not doing the whole lock thing is kind of a good idea...

The next day, Ian and I pretty much just wandered around town and saw whatever we wanted along the way. We went to Saint Chappelle (which was tres, tres cool), the crypts of Notre Dame, Parc Luxembourg, the Pantheon where we saw the tombs of Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas among many other famous French dead people, a quick stop at the Louvre and a nice walk through Parc Tuileries. Museum passes for the win!

The incredible windows of Saint Chappelle.
Our lady, Notre Dame. H'nyuck h'nyuck h'nyuck.
Art students at the Pantheon.
Mayhem at the Mona Lisa.

One of the best parts of our Paris trip was when we had dinner at this groovy place called L'Ardoise. We had some euros that we didn't think we were going to use up in the next day, so we totally splurged with this place. When we walked in, we knew right away that every person there was rollin' in the dough and I couldn't stop smirking about it--we were there because of some extra money...from our housing grant provided by the government. Ha! Thanks for the meal, France!

We ended up having the most amazing meal, probably of our whole stay in France, which is saying a lot. Truly, my favorite thing about France was the food--it brought out the foodie in me and made me have a whole new perspective on eating and how it is such blessing to eat and to eat well. And for Ian, who was already the most excited about food that a person could be, it was Ian's favorite thing, too. So this meal was the perfect send-off for us. (And sorry for the phone photos of food...bad form.)

We eventually got with my family that night and we said our goodbyes as they were leaving for the rest of their European adventure the next day. It was weird though, saying goodbye for another four months! They were still in Europe by the time we left for the east coast, so we won't see them again until the fall. Kinda weird, but I think it's probably how our lives are going to be for a while from now on...

Ian and I still had one more day in Paris before we left to go back to the states. We started off the day at the Orangerie, which was truly amazing because of these and these. It was so beautiful and peaceful. Not to mention that there were works from Picasso, Cezanne, Matisse, and Renoir most notably among plenty of other awesome stuff. I really think if you're in Paris for just a second, skip the Louvre and go to the Orangerie. It's just better. 

 Afterwards, we headed to the most magical place in Europe--Disneyland! We had talked off and on about going to Disneyland while we were in Paris, but it felt like it wasn't going to happen. After some real badgering though, we finally bought tickets and we were ready to end our stay in Paris with a bang. (And oddly enough, it's most visited tourist attraction in Europe. Take that, museums and historical sights and alllll that crap!) We had a blast. I haven't been to Disneyland in the longest time, so it was like a brand new experience for me, again. Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Buzz Lightyear, Star Tours, The Haunted Mansion...EVERYTHING. The best being an overpriced-and-kind-of-disgusting-but-totally-worth-it lunch at Pizza Planet. Woop woop!

We ended the night with some Indian schwarmas at this total dump with crappy service, but the food was good, so what do ya do? We followed that with some hazelnut gelato and salted caramel crepes.

Then, the next morning, we were off. Homeward bound for 24 hours to turn around for an adventurous drive across the country to our current residence in Newark, Delaware. More on that to come.

But one thing that must be said:

France, I love you. I truly do. Thanks for everything.

Au revoir et à bientôt, dear France!


Allison said...

Gorgeous photos. Makes me want to take a trip!

Ashley Benjamin said...

Oh hi. Your pictures are amazing and your life abroad sounds like it was so dreamy. I agree with Allison, it makes me want to take a trip!