Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sisters in Paris

Lucky for me, Jenna's flight home left from Paris!!!!

The size and color that I put 'Paris' in expresses my feelings for Paris pretty well.

Her flight left on Saturday morning, so we left Strasbourg early on Friday to have a sister day in Paris for Jenna's last day in Europe. She hadn't been there since she was 12, so she planned our itinerary for the day with everything she wanted to see. We got to our hotel at around 10, dropped off our luggage, and then hopped on the metro to go to our first destination: Sâcré-Coeur.

And the view from Sâcré-Coeur!

In the middle of that picture, you can see the two towers of Notre Dame. And that was where we went next...

Paris' Christmas tree is in front of Notre's completely lame compared to Strasbourg's, but hey, it's a Christmas tree.

Just like I did with my mom on our trip to Paris, then we had lunch at the fountain by the Centre Pompidou. Yay crepes.

Our next stop was the Musée du Louvre! Due to time constraints, we didn't actually go inside the museum, but Jenna wanted to at least walk around the outside and look at the pyramid. She probably got her fill of art in Italy anyway :)

A lot of people don't know that the Louvre, home to the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and a million other famous pieces of art, is also home to a mall and a food court. With a McDonald's and everything! So classy, right? We didn't want McDonald's, but we were excited to stop at Starbuck's before walking around outside again! Italy doesn't have Starbuck's, and neither does Strasbourg, so this hot chocolate was calling our name.

Aaaaaah, a little taste of America. Then we enjoyed sitting outside by the pyramid and taking some pictures. 

To give you a glimpse of how long it's been since Jenna was last in Paris, please enjoy this picture from 2005.

A lot has changed since then. Not Dad's winter gear though, haha. And let's just say that I'm really happy that the facial recognition on my Picasa album couldn't tell that this was my face.

Then we decided to walk through the Tuileries Gardens on our way to the Pont Alexandre III and the Champs-Elysées. There was a ferris wheel set up at Place de la Concorde, which I'm guessing was there as part of the special Christmas stuff.

We sat down for a minute on these big lounge chairs by a pond halfway between the Louvre and the obelisk of Place de la Concorde. It was one of those perfect Parisian moments where everything is picturesque and you're just really happy to be in Paris.

As we got to the Champs-Elysées, we walked through some of the Christmas markets but didn't spend a ton of time there since we were coming back at night to see the lights and to have dinner.

I did find (this somewhat intoxicated-looking) Santa though. You can see the market stalls in the background. Couldn't you picture him holding a bottle in his hand instead of a bell?

Then we turned onto my favorite bridge that crosses the Seine, Pont Alexandre III, for some views.

Our last destination was the Eiffel Tower, and we decided to walk there even though we'd already walked a pretty long way from the Louvre. Thankfully Jenna can read maps, which is a skill that eludes me. I'm not a very good adult sometimes.

I feel like it's obligatory to post our pictures from the Eiffel Tower, or it's not real that you were even in Paris or something.

For a while we entertained the thought of actually going up the Eiffel Tower, but then we saw the line and decided to go back to the hotel and take a nap instead haha. We had woken up really early to take the train to Paris, and then had a pretty crazy day seeing a lot of stuff and going all over the city! I'm pretty impressed with how much we saw in this amount of time, though.

After a little bit of rest, we met up with our favorite French friend Claire Porcher on the Champs-Elysées for some dinner. She was nice to come see us even though she had a cold :)  I'm always happy to see her, and I was happy Jenna got to see her after 8 years. I think the last time they saw each other, Jenna was actually shorter than Claire.

Not anymore!

Soeurs <3

We said goodbye to Claire after dinner, and then enjoyed some lights on the way back to the hotel. 

If you can't tell from the pictures, this really was the perfect Parisian day. I'm so glad I got to see Paris with Jenna! We had a lot of fun.

She left for Wisconsin the next morning, but I stayed in Paris Saturday and Sunday alone. Pictures and stories to come!

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