November 3, 2014
Everyday when Anthony & I were in Italy last year, we told each other we would wake up extra early to not waste any precious time to explore. Almost everyday during this trip we slept in and it felt extra nice! Old people need their precious beauty rest ;).
After our much needed rest, we woke up around 10am to get breakfast from Maison Kayser. We picked up a couple of butter croissants and a cappuccino to go.
There are a string of museums & attractions that offer free admission the first Sunday of every month and luckily we were there to take advantage of that! With our coffee in one hand and croissant in the other we headed toward Notre Dame. The line to get into the cathedral wrapped all around the corner and beyond but the line moved quickly. Our next stop was Saint Chapelle. The line for the chapel was shorter so we quickly got in. This chapel made entirely of stained glass was one of the highlights of my trip! It was much grander and beautiful in person than in pictures. We spent a good amount of time just looking up in awe and silence. After tackling 2 major attractions we decided on a snack break. One of the top things I wanted to see and EAT while in Paris was a macaron from Laduree. We pulled out our handy Tripadvisor App to steer us in the direction of the Laduree located on Rue Bonaparte.
After walking in a couple circles, we finally found the Laduree tucked in the corner! Like the tourists we are, we took pictures of all the details from the display case, to the menu and the architecture of the building before heading inside. We ordered 3 macarons – raspberry, salted caramel & vanilla. The final verdict? The macarons were disappointing & underwhelming. We were expecting a mind blowing experience – a chewy macaron that would melt in your mouth after every bite. We didn’t get any of that. The cookie was crumbly and too sweet. After our bummer experience there we decided it was time for lunch. This time we hoped lunch wouldn’t be disappointing! We scanned the menus at restaurants near Rue Bonaparte and ended up eating moules & steak frites at a Belgium restaurant. The meal was hearty & delicious. 🙂
After lunch we spent an hour at the Louvre where we saw the famous Mona Lisa. We had to fight through crowds and families to get to the front to take a picture. The painting was actually a lot smaller than I was expecting. Anthony & I aren’t big art people so one hour at the Louvre was plenty for us. We spent more time admiring the gardens, exterior of the building and its surroundings. We took a rest on one of the benches outside of the museum for a bit before heading over to Arc de Triomphe.
We underestimated the length of the walk from the Louvre to the Arc. It took twice as long as anticipated and by the time we were halfway there, our feet started to ache! We stopped by a fountain to sit and rest for about a half hour. Our day 2 was packed full of sight seeing so we were exhausted. Not ready to be defeated we continued to the Arc. We shopped along Champ Elysees where Anthony picked up a few souvenirs for himself. We tried the infamous macarons from Mcdonald’s which were surprisingly really tasty for only 90 euros each! We finally reached Arc de Triomphe. We snapped some pictures, admired the monument and jaywalked to try and figure out how to get to the top! After such a long day full of walking we decided we would wait to view the city of Paris at night. Deciding against taking the metro we walked all the way back to the Latin Quarter and settled on dinner at Gladine’s, where we had dinner the night before. The place was packed to the rim so we ended back in our hotel room. For our late dinner at 10:30pm, we had a picnic with items we bought the night before. We stopped by Carrefour and picked up some mango juice, plates/utensils, chips and crackers. A block away was a charcuterie and fromagerie. We got a few different kinds of cured meats and a block of french cheese to go. Our simple dinner never tasted so good. That evening, it felt so nice to just lay down and let our feet rest.
Tomorrow we are headed to Brussels, Belgium!