I won't even pretend to be an expert on Paris. We visited for one week and while I have to admit I was a bit plagued and paralyzed with fears of a terror attack we were also activated by the beauty, history, and romance of all that Paris is. Our Air BnB flat was just couple blocks from a recent terror attack on a cafe which left me more then a little concerned. All major landmarks were heavily guarded by military police with automatic weapons and on top of that we were there during their presidential election which called for even more security. Long story short Europe is different post 9/11, Paris has lost part of its care free charm but what remains is a history, a culture, and a beauty that can't be taken away and can only be understood if you've been.
We flew into Paris from London and got settled into our flat after a quick trip to the store for staples. I can't say enough home much I wish I would have learned french before coming. We were able to get by just fine but I think there are things lost in translation and one of the things I love about travel is meeting new people and because we didn't speak the language we found ourselves shying away from strangers.
On our first day we walked the Champs-Elysses (where all the fancy shops are) then we hit the Musee D' Orsay (On a free day for the win). The Orsay is AHHHmazing! It used to be a train station that was converted into a museum. We liked it so much that we ended up passing on the Louve as we felt pretty full after all the art we took in at the Orsay. One of my favorite spots was upstairs looking out of the clocktower- it truly felt magical like I wasn't supposed to be there.
The Louve. All set up on election day for Marcon to make his winning speech
Jardin Des Tuileries (This amazing park even has trampolines for kids to play on)
This is the Centre Pompidou Metz- we didn't make it inside but it houses Frances' largest modern art museum and a public library. The exterior is really cool looking
We ate lots and lots of pastries every morning. My favorite were the chocolate cream cheese croissants
Tally really wanted this fancy dress in this boutique. A girl can dream.
Sacre Coeur and Montmarte
I know this is a beautiful spot but I was disappointed by the street vendors that accosted us. A group of 5 africans literally grabbed my arms and wouldn't let me move on- I felt really uncomfortable and it tainted the Sacre Coeur for me. When we got to the top and walked around the artists (which were extremely gifted) we saw a french person try to rob some americans. The americans penned him to the ground and waited for the police to come and arrest him. Again, this just left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth for this area.
Waiting to ride the metro
going up inside the Arch de Triumpe
Jardin de Luxembourg. This park was one of my favorite things about Paris. We actually came and sailed the boats twice. They also had an amazing playground with a zip line for the kids
This guy was a trooper but 14 mile days on foot are a lot of a 5 year old
Lunches in Paris looked like: Bread, Brie or another cheese, and salami
The Palace of Versailles. This estate was HUGE and so fun to explore
We rented a row boat and cruised around the water
Chocolate and Cream Cheese Croissant
Jardin de Luxembourg (again- we couldn't stay away from this place)
This was my favorite Pastry shop
Parc de Belleville (Highest park in Paris) This place was amazing with waterfalls, trails, and a playground
We met these crazy french men on their way to the Rugby World Championships in Edinburgh. They were singing and chanting on the flight and bus from the Airport. We had to get a pick with these crazies