Thursday, March 2, 2017

Cousins in Paris *Part 1*


I think it was a little less than a year ago (pretty soon after we got engaged and decided we were moving to France) when Brittany first told me she was going to come visit me. I don't know if everyone believed that it would actually happen, but I did! She managed to save her money and make it a reality. She is 17 and just graduated from high school. This was her first trip outside of the U.S. It was so fun to show her around and play tour guide. She just left today, and we had a BUSY week exploring Paris, Milan, Cannes, and Nice.

Day 1 started out with riding public transportation for 3 hours of fun! I rode the metro from the hotel to catch the RER train to the airport, found Brittany, and then did it all again riding back together. She had the added joy of dragging her big suitcase on and off trains and up and down lots of stairs. It was a baptism of fire for her first public transportation experience, but we made it!

After stopping by the hotel we hopped right back on that metro and went directly to the center of Paris- Ile de la Cité. Our first stop was Notre Dame, because we had to start off Brittany's trip with an iconic Paris landmark. 


Once we had our fill of the cathedral, we went on a walk through the Marais, one of the most historic (and one of my favorite!) neighborhoods in Paris.

We ate nutella crepes in front of the fountain at Centre Pompidou, walked down the Rue de Rivoli to the Rue des Rosiers, and ended up at the Place des Vosges. 


The Rue des Rosiers is Paris' Jewish Quarter, so it was added fun for me to see a combination of my 2 favorite countries (signs in Hebrew, challah bread in bakery windows). I even got some falafel from one of the multiple places selling it and it was amazing. It tasted like Israel. Brittany loved the old and narrow streets.


The Place des Vosges is a big symmetrical square. It was a picturesque location to finish my falafel. Victor Hugo used to live in one of these houses.




On the way back to the metro we found this pretty church (St. Paul) to stop in. I didn't think I'd been there before, but when we went inside it looked familiar. Since this was my 9th trip to Paris :) :) :), it’s not uncommon to have déjà vu moments.



Our next stop was Place de la Concorde. From there we walked all the way down the Champs-Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe, making a detour to the pretty Alexandre III bridge. 





This is one of my favorite walks in Paris, but it's long! It's about 2 miles including the bridge, and we followed that up by climbing 20 flights of stairs to get to the top of the Arc. Combine that with the miles we'd already walked that day, and our legs were starting to give out.






Before we completely ran out of energy, we took the metro to Trocadéro for a closer-up view of the Eiffel Tower. I like this particular metro stop because you climb the stairs, turn the corner, and see this:




By then it was around 3 in the afternoon. Jet lag was starting to catch up with Brittany, and I'd woken up at 5:30am to pick her up that morning. We had to take a break for nap time. 

After some rest, we went our for dinner near our hotel and I had a very disappointing French attempt at grilled cheese. I knew it was too good to be true. So sad to live in the land of bread and cheese where a good grilled cheese sandwich doesn't exist. #wisconsinmemanque

To be continued!

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