Paris, here we come.

29 Jul

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Zack and I have slowly started to plan out the specifics of our Europe trip, because it is creeping up on us very quickly here*. I decided to start by planning out Paris, because I feel that if Paris goes right, the rest will just be the icing. It was a blast to go through travel books, search websites, read reviews**, and figure out the places that would make the most of our stay in the city of love, and I feel confident that we have an excellent plan*** in place. 

*Six weeks!

**It was quite an exhaustive process we developed. Caitlin made a 3-page Google Drive document with all potential destinations we’d be interested in broken down into food, dessert, sights, museums, etc. and I’d look them up and leave a sentence with my thoughts. 

***After going over my notes and discussing any differing opinions, Caitlin made the day-by-day plan below. 

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40/60 is a pizza place that was recommended by Lonely Planet, and after looking at a few photos, we were pretty quickly sold on this as our dinner spot for night one. We needed something that wouldn’t require a reservation and could be gobbled down fairly quickly, so I’m looking forward to what appears to be deliciously doughy, cheesy* goodness.

*I think of Italy before France when it comes to pizza, but France does run the cheese game, so I have to think this will be pretty delicious.

Berthillon

Zack was a little bit worried that following up pizza with ice cream would make our later plans totally unpleasant, for the dairy-weighing-us-down factor, but I convinced him that if we cooled it on the pizza and just held ourselves to a slice or two, that plus a bike ride to ice cream should help keep us from being too over-stuffed*. Plus, this ice cream place is supposed to be the best in the city and have incredible flavors and ICE CREAM IN PARIS, Y’ALL.

*I tried to argue that we may be too tired to dance at the concert, but Caitlin correctly pointed out this probably won’t be a dance party of a show.

Au+Revoir+Simone

Neither Zack nor I were all that familiar with Au Revoir Simone, other than the fact that I knew they’d been a big part of the soundtrack to The Virgin Suicides (which I haven’t even seen yet). BUT, after listening to a number of samples of their work, I am 100% sold and so is Zack, so we decided they would be our Paris band. We’re going to check out their show on our first night in town*. We aren’t doing festivals abroad, but we just couldn’t keep ourselves from some live music.

*I’m relieved we’re not seeing a festival, as much as it kills me to say that. We’re trying our very best not to over-commit ourselves for once. Another concert option was Built to Spill, which we decided was a bit too drone-y guitar rock for the final night in Paris and we missed Roger Waters by a day, but I’m happy with our selection. 

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We’ll start Thursday early by heading to the March D’Aligre, an open market*, to pick up items for a makeshift breakfast. I’m really excited for this, because I’m hoping to stick my hand in beans** so I can get my Amelie on.

*Mmm I love this and I hope it inspires us to hit up Farmers Markets in Austin more often when we get back.

**We’ll have to skip stones and crack creme brulee with a teaspoon as well, then.

notre-dame-cathedral-paris

Notre Dame is next on the list, which should be a fantastic opportunity to test out our new camera. We’re hoping to get here early to beat the crowds. Oooh look, it’s a picture of Manti Teo’s girlfriend in front of Notre Dame. Sorry. I had to get that out of my system now.

galeries-lafayette_paris2

What is this gorgeous, gigantic structure, you ask? Oh, no big deal, just a mall. A MALL, PEOPLE. This is how Paris does malls and I cannot WAIT to check it out. I don’t even want to spend that much money, I just want to take photos! If you Google image search “Galeries Lafayette” you can see the inside, which is just as breathtaking. We’ll find lunch inside, at one of their restaurants.

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We don’t want to be the most stereotypical of all tourists, but how can you not do the Louvre*? One of the largest collections in the world, there’s just so much amazing, original art to be seen here. Who knows — maybe Zack will finally “get” the Mona Lisa and stop hating on her**. (My bet is on no, he will still not like it.) We’re going to hit up Paris’ most famous hot chocolate place within the Louvre, Angelina, and then catch our dinner reservation at La rose de France afterward. Then it’s wine time at Taverne Henri IV, and we’ll see where the night takes us!

*You can’t spell Louvre without lover. I’m really looking forward to this.

**I get it. Maybe she’s smiling. Maybe she isn’t. We’re all very impressed.

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We’ll be switching to our only “splurge” hotel on Friday – Hotel Apollon in Montparnasse. We’ll try to do this early, get settled there, and then head for some breakfast. Or have breakfast in bed?

the-creperie-mural

This particular creperie, Creperie Josselin, is supposed to be one of Paris’ best. I cannot WAIT to sink my teeth into some of their delicious savory-or-sweet offerings (I may have a little column A, little column B). Crepes had their own section on the planning guide. And with good reason.

bois_de_boulogne_jardin_bagatelle

I honestly had no idea which photo I ought to select of the Bois de Boulogne. This is one of Paris’ largest and most gorgeous parks, with tons of bike trails, so Zack and I intend to get our bike on in a big way here. This is another place you should slap in the Google image search, because your mouth will drop open. Mmm I just want to bike in circles around here all day.

Eiffel-Tower-paris-215498_1024_683

We’ve got the classic on tap next. The gorgeous, the one and only, the Eiffel Tower. We’ll be seeing it in the daytime, but we want to make sure we get a night visit, too. If the line isn’t horrendous, we’ll try to climb up; otherwise we’ll just admire this beaut from below. I super want to climb it. And see it day and night. And take pictures where it looks like I’m pinching it. And all of the things.

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This is another spot I had a lot of trouble choosing an image for. The Laduree is Paris’ most famed macaron shop — mostly because they are said to have invented the dessert! I CAN’T WAIT Y’ALL YOU HAVE NO IDEA. I GET TO EAT A RAINBOW! We’re getting more and more caps lock from Caitlin and I’m right there with her. I want to eat three of every flavor.

Nuit_blanche_piscine_butte_aux_cailles_petite

After our treat, we’ll take a dip in the Piscine de la Butte Aux Cailles, as long as there’s time. We’ve gotta try to get our swim on somewhere! I feel like this might get cut. If we swim anywhere, I’d love it to be outside.

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Luckily, Zack is as much of an adorable romantic shmuck as I am, so he agreed we absolutely must stop by the Pont de l’Archevêché. The legend is, if you go with your loved one and lock a heart onto this gate, you can throw the key into the Seine to symbolize your eternal love.* Everyone together: D’awwwwwww.

*This is just the sweetest thing ever. I’d be a monster if I said no to this suggestion. It’s so adorable.

We’ll round out the night with a stop into Shakespeare & Company to pretend we’re Jesse and Celeste* for a few moments, and then it’s off to our reserved dinner at Chez Paul** for an authentic Parisian nighttime nom experience. Once again, our night is open to wandering the streets of Paris (and possibly heading back over to the Eiffel Tower, because how can you not?)

*I love that Caitlin always calls Celine from the Midnight films Celeste because of that Andy Samburg/Rashida Jones movie Jesse and Celeste ForeverThat’s not why I call her that. I even Googled it and Google thought it was Jesse and Celeste in the “Before” trilogy, too. I’m not the only goofball.

**This place looks super legit.

musee-d-orsay

Saturday is our last day in Paris — sads! But we’re still packing it in by checking out TWO museums before we go. First, it’ll be the Musee d’Orsay, which has amazing works by Van Gogh (my absolute favorite) and Degas. I want to Van Gogh to there.

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Then, Musee Rodin for, you guessed it – Rodin! The Thinker, The Kiss, more Van Gogh. These two museums are right next to each other, so we’ll meander around each for probably a few hours before catching a flight to Venice. Overall, now that we have a plan, I feel more secure, but we also both agreed that if we decide to change the plan while we’re over there, we can totally go with the flow. We just want to have something to base our days around loosely so we make the most of our time there. We’re spending more time in Paris than anywhere else, and it’s going to be a dream, I just know it.

It may be a bit of a rush between Berlin and Freiberg and then Venice and Rome, but France will be just magical. With all these wonderful plans, how could it not? I gotta give Caitlin all the credit in the world for being the master planner. If it were up to me, we’d just book hotels and play it by ear. I can’t wait!

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One Response to “Paris, here we come.”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 10 Predictions for Zack & Caitlin’s Crazy Europe Adventures | rockloveaustin - September 12, 2013

    […] day-by-day plans for Paris are pretty intense. We want to fit in museums, parks, monuments, and lots and lots of delicious Parisian delicacies. I […]

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