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Where Have We Been?

A European Engagement: Paris


We arrived in Paris from the train around 12:30pm, and took the RER(subway) train to our air bnb to drop our bags off. Our room wasn't quite ready yet, so we did what any American in Paris would and headed for a bakery. We took our Quiche Lorraine and our pizza with potatoes on it to the small park nearby and feasted.

When we got back to the airbnb to check in, our wonderful host showed us the incredible view of the Eiffel Tower right from our balcony, and I immediately decided I was never returning home.




Ready to start exploring, we gathered our things and took the RER to the St. Michael fountain.


(Get it... Saint Michael?)

Also nearby was the Notre Dame cathedral, which was one of the sights I was most looking forward to.

While there, we got weirdly lucky because some sort of politician (no idea who it was, and even tried to look it up later but couldn't figure it out) was there, and all the people flocked to that section of the cathedral, leaving our photos significantly less crowded!



Of course the entire time we were there I was belting "Out There" from Hunchback of Notre Dame.



Within walking distance was the Sainte-Chapelle, which was 8 euros to enter, but totally worth it to see the incredible stained glass covered chapel. It reminded me of the interior to Cinderella's Castle.










Ready for some food, we found a few restaurants on the streets near by that had a nice dinner set of an appetizer, main course, and a dessert all for just 10 euros!

{pro tip: Choose your restaurant wisely. If there are hagglers out front trying to force you in, they are most likely not going to be the best choice since they are more about making the sale than having satisfied customers.}

For our appetizer Mike and I both got onion soup, and it made me chuckle that it was not called "French" onion soup since we were already in France! Dessert was some of the best ice cream I have ever tasted before. It tasted like vanilla cake batter but way better.


After dinner, we had a little extra time, so we took the RER to the Arc de Triumph. If I had not seen the arc in Brooklyn that we have near our house in New York I think I would have been blown away by this beauty, and fighting the cars during rush hour made it tricky to get the best photo.





We also took the small tunnel that leads underground over to the circle where the arc is and saw it all up close.



One of the best parts of the first night however, was waiting til sunset, and on the hour the Eiffel Tower sparkles! It really is such a magical thing, you can almost feel the entire city gasp at the site of it.


The next day was July 14, Bastille Day in Paris! This Bastille Day was particularly interesting as Americans because this Bastille Day was 100 year anniversary of the Americans joining World War I, which meant the American president would also be attending causing even more chaos amongst the streets. We got up nice and early to secure our spot on Champs d'Elysees to watch the parade, and of course we later realized we had been watching across the street from The Disney Store the entire time.


The parade was a similar experience to any sort of mass gathering in NYC, which although you might think we are used to, we never are or will be. It's a tight squeeze and if you're not fighting with the selfie stick in front of your face, you're getting your toes stepped on, or someone's children shoved in front of you for a solid four hours. And that's before the parade even starts!


The parade itself began with some amazing air crafts from both the American and French air forces flying over head, and continued on foot included the marching of all of Frances military groupings while bouts of applause erupted from the crowd.



Hey Emmanuel Macron, Frances President!












It was such a neat experience to get to witness this first hand after hearing about it and seeing it on the news in previous years. With Bastille Day activities going on all around Paris, it was a little challenging to get to many tourist destinations, but we made it work.

After all the excitement of the morning, it was time for some lunch. It was so beautiful outside, so we took our jambon au fromage and praluline from the bakery to our balcony to eat.


Pictured above: A massive praluline, which is a sweet bread covered in rose covered pralines and sweet nuts.



After a delicious picnic lunch, it was time for more exploring. We took the metro, and then a very steep inclined walk up to the Sacré-Cœur, or sacred heart. This beautiful church on a hillside was quite the climb to get to, but with beautiful views on all sides, I had no regrets.





Walking downhill from here, we ventured to the Moulin Rouge, which was sadly a little different than I was expecting. I was hoping to see the more whimsical looking Moulin Rouge like the one in the film with its namesake, but instead, we got the cheaper looking tourist attraction.


Needing a snack, and yet to have a Parisian crepe, we tried the cheap food stall next door and we're shockingly surprised at how good (and stuffed full!) our chicken and cheese crepe was.



Taking the metro once again, we made a side trip to the Disney store we hadn't gone in yet from that morning, and spent all of our money on European Disney tsum tsums.







Our final walking tour for the evening guided us past the Grand Palace, and museum of the Small Palace.Taking a small shortcut through the Tuileries Garden, we arrived at one of our final attractions for the evening, the Louvre.









After another three course meal for 12 euros (this one sadly not as good as the first, but we did have cream brûlée), we were ready to head back to the air bnb to prepare for the Bastille Day fireworks at 11pm.










Watching the fireworks shoot off from the Eiffel Tower from our balcony was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Although the tower itself gets a little lost in all the firework smoke, I was literally pinching myself the entire time because there was no way what I was witnessing could be real.

 










The next full day in Paris was a much more relaxing day, including finally seeing the new "Beauty and the Beast" film (while in France!), eating more French food like Croque Misours and Eclairs, and finally spending some time at Champs de Mars, Trocadero, and the Eiffel Tower.




 (I also had this really fun realization while sitting there that I was engaged and in Paris looking at the Eiffel Tower with my FIANCE!)








{Pro tip: If I have learned absolutely anything on this trip, it's that it always pays off to purchase your reservation or tickets online ahead of time, even if that means you wake up at 3am on the day the reservations open for you to make sure you get that perfect time, like we did to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, even though there was no sunset anyways. When we arrived to retrieve our ticket time, there was a major (estimated 3 hour+) backup for those who had yet to purchase tickets, meanwhile, we got to skip right through three lines.}



Once we got to the elevators, I had a realization that this was going to be similar to the cable cars at Aguille de Midi, and I might possibly have a small fear of going up to high heights.



Although it was cloudy and not much of a sunset, the view from the tippy top was still absolutely spectacular!










Gustave Eiffles small apartment can be found at the top of the tower.
 We could even see Notre Dam and our air bnb from the top.




After braving it to the top, we waited under the tower for the first twinkling of the night.



Our last night in the city of Paris ended as any trip should, eating Dominos Pizza on the balcony staring at the Eiffel Tower with my love.

Our final morning in the city of Paris, we wanted to say a proper farewell to the Eiffel Tower.








Keep an eye out for our final stop on our European Adventure at Disneyland Paris, and be sure to SUBSCRIBE for the latest update!

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