Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Paris, Je t'aime....A LOT!

Oh my my....Where to begin....well, Paris was AMAZING!!! It was more beautiful, more romantic, more majestic than I could have EVER imagined (and believe me folks...I've been imagining Paris for decades now!)

I studied French for 4 years in high school...then, studied it another 4 in college. I LOVE the language and history...it's always fascinated me!

So, when he asked me to join him on a weekend trip to Paris...it took me all of 3 hours of deliberating to finally tell him YES! (I actually decided about 3 seconds after he asked me, but I couldn't let him think it was that easy to get me to go to another country with him)

Our plane left on Thursday at 5 p.m. I sat by the window, he sat on the aisle. I giggled and smiled and fidgeted almost the entire 8 1/2 hour plane ride. You would have thought it was my very first time on a plane! I just couldn't believe that I was headed to Paris. This feeling of utter elation and joy would rush over me in an instant and I would just shiver with anticipation...acting much like a 5 year old on Christmas morning running up to the tree to see what Santa left...I felt like a child. It was a pure and innocent jubilance.

Our plane touched down in Paris...There were no mere butterflies in my tummy, but a tumultuous storm and whirling tornado of new, exciting emotions. I can't completely articulate what and how I was feeling....this was new...it was excitement laced with anxiety. Would Paris be what I thought? Would I be let down? Will this love that I've had for this place still remain once I've experienced it first hand?

After about 30 minutes of confusion trying to figure out how to buy tickets for the train...we decided to grab a cab to our hotel..haha. May be more expensive, but we were just done with waiting around.

As we're driving through Paris, leaving Charles de Gaulle airport, I realize that Paris doesn't look much different than a lot of cities at this point. There were modern type buildings, a downtown area with high rises and such.

Then....it happened....we turned a corner.......we're driving along.....and all of a sudden....I see....THIS!



IT WAS REAL!!! I'M REALLY HERE! I think I nearly fainted when I saw the beautiful L'Arc de Triomphe. I have a painting on a wall in my apartment that I can see when I am laying in bed...it's a painting of L'Arc de Triomphe...I stare and stare at it...night after night...dreaming...wishing...hoping....and now...here I am. Unreal.







We have some time before checking into the hotel, so we decide to grab a bite to eat off the Champs Elysees. We stop at a place called Cafe Georges V..and it was ADORABLE!!!



I had a ham and cheese sandwich and TWO glasses of Chablis (hey..I know it was only 11 a.m., but IT'S PARIS! It would have been wrong not to drink wine with every meal...haha)



We check into the hotel and get settled....



This was the inside of the hotel elevator...



This was the view from my room...it was unbelievable...I could see the Eiffel Tower and all of Paris...I was in heaven!


And...this store was right next door....hehe...




Am I really here?



Why, yes.....Yes I am!






We made the idiotic time-saving decision to walk up the Eiffel Tower instead of waiting in line for the elevator for over an hour. I will admit that it was sort of my idea to walk up...After about 200 steps, I realized what an absolute numbskull I am. I was huffing and puffing...goodness, you would have thought I was running a marathon. And, of course, Joe (being the hiker that he is) isn't one bit out of breath...{punk}

I would have to stop about every 10 steps or so and just lean over, taking in deep breaths, praying for the whole thing to just collapse on me and end my suffering the energy to go on. When we finally made it to the first level, I felt VICTORIOUS! That is...until I looked up and saw that we still have about 4 miles to go....ugh.....And, as I was dragging myself up to the second level, there would be some sassy teenagers giggling and running up the stairs playing tag and not ONE. BIT. OUT. OF. BREATH! (I had already made up my mind I was going to trip the next one that swooshed past me, but because of my motor skills being slowed down by lack of oxygen, I wasn't able to wreak any havoc...lucky kids...)

Needless to say...we walked up as far as they would let us walk and I acted very disappointed and let down that they wouldn't let us walk up to the very top. {I don't think Joe was buying it though}







Check out this unbelievable view!



We stopped in their little cafe and had some hot chocolate...it was SOOO GOOD!











Our day of walking led us to the Louvre!!!



Isn't it beautiful?!


Outside the entrance to the Louvre!



I cannot begin to describe to you how massive and beautiful each and every room in the Louvre truly is...if you've been, you know what I'm talking about. It's like a dream...each room leads into yet another magical room, into another, and another. And, every room is more beautiful than the last. And, I'm not even talking about the art!!! Just the architecture of the building itself is incredible!









It's massive and neverending....and the ceilings....OHHH the ceilings!!!



Of course, we had to stop in and say a quick "Bonjour" to Mona....



And good ole Venus de Milo...



It would be quite easy to spend 2 or 3 full days just walking around the Louvre looking at everything and really soaking it up. But, being that we were on a bit of a time crunch, we saw everything in less than 3 hours.

We continued our walking tour of Paris and ran into the Luxembourg Gardens and Palace....massive and captivating in its allure. So grandiose...



We marched on over to see Cathedrale Notre Dame...I was consumed by its exquisite architecture and intricate details flowing and trickling down each side of the structure...the gargoyles peering down at me...wise sentries guarding their illusive and mysterious past.







We happened upon the Hunchback himself!!!



The Parthenon...



Street vendors on La Seine...



We walked and walked for hours around Paris just absorbing every detail we could...every smell of pastries wafting through the ancient streets...every glorious stone that made up the buildings...It was bewitching....

I couldn't help but snap a quick pic as we were passing this store.....

I guess "Victoria" just couldn't cut it here in Paris...haha



This patisserie (sweets shop) was ALL BLUE! I kid you not! ALL BLUE! It was enchanting! I've never seen anything like it before and I was in awe!



There were book stores absolutely EVERYWHERE! Around every corner, down every street...there were dozens...



We stumbled upon this quaint little shop and upon entering were overtaken by the magnificent bouquet of rich chocolate. I can smell it now....mmmm....

Yep...that's a chocolate mountain....





We decided to take the riverboat cruise on La Seine and it was well worth it....



Every night, the Eiffel Tower lights up and is really dazzling with it's brilliancy!






Walking back to the hotel, I noticed this beauty....all lit up...Well, hello there my lovely....Don't mind if I do....



I have left out so many things, but know that I've probably lost 90% of you wonderful readers already with my verbose telling of my trip...I was just overloaded with happiness and contentment...and I was definitely not ready to leave....




Paris has seduced me with its intoxicating beauty...it has hypnotized me into submission and there is no looking back. I must go back...it must be soon...and it MUST be for at least a week (or a year)

8 comments:

Melissa said...

loved the post and pics of paris...
but what about the "date" and the "guy"... is he a keeper?!?

Emily said...

I'm trying to be happy for you, but really I'm just green with envy! :P Glad you had such an awesome time!!

Lynette said...

Looks like so much fun...glad you had a good time!

Lauren said...

Oh I so want to go back to Paris now!!! And, um, gonna need a little more info about Joe!

Kelly said...

I am so excited that you got to go to Paris!! How awesome!! I loved all your pictures. Soo beautiful!!!

Summer said...

Oh my word, woman!!!

How sweet and romantic? Engaged yet? lol

Molly said...

I am so behind on reading blogs that I didn't even know you were going!
The pics are AMAZING! How awesome for you to get to go!

Angie S said...

I have been waiting to see pics! Yay for posting about your trip it looks amazing!!

Joe is a cutie :)