The First Parisian Experience

Sorry for the delay, I fully intend to write on our trip to France but I hardly had any time while we were there.  This is a long one but that’s how great of a day we had in Paris.  I will keep the next ones shorter and plan on posting every few days over the next week or two about the trip. Also still working on pictures for the first day, will post those later.  

Walking out of the metro stop for the first time felt like walking onto a movie set. I had seen Paris in pictures, movies and in Vegas but never had been to this incredible city.  However within seconds of walking the streets, it was exactly as I had imagined.   No skyscrapers ruled the skyline, only 17th and 18th century houses lined the streets in perfect symmetry.

The streets of Paris. 
After finding our hotel, a small but clean boutique hotel with a not so friendly older Parisian woman manning the front desk, we made our way to the Jewish district of Marais.  For anyone visiting Paris who has never been to this area, it is a must.  It is bustling with tourists and locals on the colorful narrow causeways trying to find the perfect falafel or piece of challah. 

Our first meal. 
Samantha and I were famished so we rushed to the most well-known falafel joint in the area, L’as Du Falafel.  Everyone who knew I was headed to Paris recommend the area and the falafel.  Although the line was about a 15 minute wait, it was surely worth it.  Only two minutes after scarfing down our falafel, we came across a Jewish bakery.  We of course had to get more food including challah, pastries and a few jelly filled cookies.  Stopping at any bakery that looked good became a habit on our trip.

One of the many cookies we sampled on the trip. 
Fully satisfied, we decided to walk off the five pounds we just added starting at the Louvre and ending at the Arc de Triomphe.  (One thing to note is that if you go to Paris, the metro is insanely easy to navigate.   There are 12 or so lines and once you stare at a map, you will realize how easy it is.)  We started our walking tour around Paris at the Louvre but decided not to go in.  There appeared to be a two hour line (it was cloudy so we figured we would try again another day) so decided to walk through the gardens to the Champs Elysees.

In front of pyarmid at the Louvre. 
We navigated our way through the crowded streets only to see stores such as Banana Republic, Abercrombie and Fitch and other name brands…  I could have easily been walking down the Magnificent Mile.  For anyone going to Paris for the first time, walking down the Champ is a must (especially to stop in Laudree which we did), however I felt no need to go back.  It was other areas in Paris that are much less crowded and much more entertaining to walk around which I will cover later. 

As we were walking, crews were setting up for the Tour
de France. 

Laudree's famous macaroons. 
The whole reason we walked all the way up the Champ was to get to the Arc de Triomphe.  It was recommended by a friend to climb the 250 or so stairs to the top and it was actually only a ten minute wait.  Climbing the Arc is a must in Paris; it provides a spectacular 360 degree view, including the mesmerizing Eiffel Tower and the skyscrapers you never see on TV in the distance. 

Just before our climb. 
Just before heading back to our hotel to brush up for dinner we searched all around for a chocolate store called Angelina’s.  The hot chocolate was recommended by everyone and after 30 minutes of searching, we finally found it.  The hot chocolate was literally melted chocolate and is recommended on any cold day in Paris (fortunately for us, our first day was our only cold day).     For those who might try to find it, it is located on Rue de Rivoli to the left of the Tuileries metro station. (Right by the Louvre)

Angelina's famous drink. 
We ended our night at a small café right by our hotel.  One thing that everyone told us to do was walk around and find café’s to eat in, there was no need to make reservations at some fancy restaurant.  This is great advice to follow, although this café was recommended to us, many of our meals were at small café’s that we just stumbled upon. 

Where we ate the first night, pictures of the dinner
will come later. 

One thing to know about Paris is that in the middle of the summer, it is light until 11PM (it is truly amazing).  Therefore on the first night, we ended up going to be as the sun was still up because we had an early flight to Nice in the morning, a place that would wildly exceed both our expectations.  

What the next few days would entail. 


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