© 2011 Aaron A wide view of the courtyard at the Louvre museum

Paris

After many weeks of trying to keep this secret trip from Zach and Katelyn, we finally enjoyed time together in Paris. This was our Christmas gift to them.

We stayed in a hotel a block from the Arc de Triomphe and Metro system, which was perfect for getting around efficiently – especially when doing as much of Paris as possible in only 34 hours. We arrived early Saturday morning, had lunch at a very nice restaurant, then went straight to the Louvre. It is impossible to fully appreciate all the Louvre has to offer in only a few hours, but we managed to see several of the primary artifacts and a few surprises, including the Mona Lisa, the Nike of Samothrace, many beautiful paintings and sculptures and an Easter Island Moai statue. The architecture of the museum and its courtyard were stunning as well.

From the Louvre, we found a bus to Notre Dame and arrived just before dusk as the Christmas tree lights came on. We enjoyed strolling through the interior, then made our way behind the cathedral to a restaurant with a crepe stand. Mmmmmmmmmm, sugar and butter, applesauce, and lemon and sugar crepes as the sun set. Fantastic!

Then, we began to walk along the river toward the Eiffel Tower. We began walking to enjoy the views, but also because we couldn’t figure out the bus system. Eventually, we found an access to the train and rode the rest of the way to the Eiffel Tower.

It was definitely a treat to see the Eiffel Tower at night. While we didn’t wait in line for an hour and a half to ride up the tower, we really enjoyed it. Like Pisa in Italy, you just have to see it – an iconic landmark best appreciated in person.

With our feet exhausted and our appetites growing, we set out to find supper. As we walked the street near our hotel we came upon Le Paradis du Fruit. It was uncharacteristically modern for the area and the menu sounded nice and fresh, so we popped in. It was a varied, delicious meal to close the day, providing just the right balance to prepare us for some rest.

 

Video
(Including a sneak peek of Day 2 at Versailles)

 

Photos

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