So, off we went. Packed our bags, book a ticket on the Thalys, and the three of us were off to Paris.
The Thalys train is very nice and is only a 3 hour trip from Amsterdam to Paris Noord. There is a snack cart on board so if you don't bring snacks you can get small sandwiches, waffles, coffee, wine, etc. Everything was pretty good. You can even get decaf coffee which I have found is difficult to get outside of the United States.
Arrive Paris Noord.
I had it so we would hit the ground running the minute we checked into the hotel. However, you know that thing about the best laid plans…yeah it didn't happen. Turns out the hotel we booked couldn't accommodate three. When we made the reservation even though we put in three something happened during checkout and they had only planned to accommodate two of us. I'm not sure if y'all know exactly how hotels work here but they are very meticulous and rarely let you cram an extra person in there. So there was no sleeping on the floor. We called the company we booked the hotel through and they weren't even willing to help us find a place that could accommodate three. So, we talk to hotel management and they found a spot for us the next night but we'd have to find a place for that night. So, they recommended we go to one of the chains…well, it being summer in Paris you can imagine that didn't go over well. Every single place was booked to the max. I had no idea what in the hell we were going to do. It was something out of my worst nightmare. So the chain hotel we went to called the other hotels they own in the area and found one that had no space but thought it likely they may have some cancellations. We get there and the day manager starts calling those that hadn't checked in and things were not looking good. But, the last person she called cancelled their reservation…and the room would fit 3! She was kind and did not charge us the 35 Euro for using the couch as a bed (seriously, don't get me started on this lol) and got us all set up.
Off we went to find a place to eat. We found this super cute little pub down the way that was playing the US soccer game so we loaded up on Adult Beverages and coke and relaxed for the first time that day.
After, we walked over to the Eiffel Tower. I think things worked out for the best because we got to the tower at the perfect time. It had been drizzling so the crowds were small and we managed to see the sunset….
I just loved watching the sunset from the summit
I love how you can actually see the layout of the city from the top of the tower.
I love this picture. I just looked up and started snapping photos as I walked and when I looked through the photos saw this beauty!
Ah, the Seine at night. So gorgeous. I could have stayed down there the entire night.
No one was playing these but there were several public pianos all decorated differently! Very cool!
I took this shot as I turned around from the piano picture above. I love the color of the sky behind the lit up carousel and tower.
Talk about magical. A dream come true.
This began with a cab ride to our original hotel to drop off our bags and check in. They were super nice and knew exactly who we were. I would definitely recommend anyone who is looking for a place to stay, stay there.
These two are just too dang cute!
After we walked around the corner to a little café/pub and got some coffee and croissants…ya know, why not?
Then it was time for the Louvre.
Finally outside of this amazing pyramid! I've had many dreams being outside this place...one included my grandmother after she passed we were standing outside and she just walked by me and waved. It was the weirdest dream but I was so happy once we were here...maybe it was a premonition of where I'd be eventually!
If you follow me on instagram you saw a picture similar to this a couple months back. This wound up being one of my favorites since you can see the other side of the Louvre through the pyramid.
This is another of my favorite pictures...I love how they are just standing there discussing art and tossing around opinions making each other think. I think that is what I love about art museums...no one is necessarily ever right or wrong and everyone can have something to say.
So gorgeous and so overwhelming.
Tip for the Louvre: pick your top three things you want to see…make it to those, then take a break. Get some food at the café.
This was one of the most amazing pieces of chocolate cake I'd ever had. It doesn't look like much, but it was so moist and had gigantic chocolate chunks all throughout the cake...it was amazing, Best ever.
If you have time and the want then wander some more or check out one of the non-permanent exhibits. We did this…we saw Napoleon's Apartment. It was amazing.
Who is up for a dinner party?! Anyone?!
I love this bed.....
...and since we are in the 21st century I had to do a selfie....
After, it was time to walk the Tuileries Gardens.
...and no I have no idea who that woman is...
Gorgeous walk. We then settled in for a snack at a café.
Then on to a walk down the Champs Elysee, which ends at the Arc de Triomph.
This was everything I thought it would be...
I'm not a Vuitton lover but this was the biggest store of his I had ever seen...I know some of you out there will be salivating! The line to get in went halfway down the block!
I was so glad we found someone to take a photo of us. I took one of him and his family, so he took one of us....It was the first time I didn't have fear the person would run off with my camera! ha! They were a genuinely nice Italian family.
I must work on my squishing the monument skillz.
After this we caught a cab over to Notre Dame. We got there just before the mass and were able to tour the Cathedral. I will say, and many of you will probably be ready to shame me at the end of this sentence, but after the Cathedral we saw in Brussels I honestly was not that impressed by Notre Dame.
It is beautiful, I just feel as though there was something missing. Maybe it was the ancient, old world beauty or the lack of creepy basement that housed the villagers during times of need I'm not sure but it just didn't grab me the way I expected it to. Oh well, not important, just glad we got the opportunity to experience it.
After we got dinner at a fabulous little café.
The burgers were so amazing. Best burger we'd had in a while.
I loved this little dessert platter. I got coffee and was able to try a small selection of different desserts!
The kiddo got the chocolate mousse...it was really chocolaty...it was perfect!
The creme brûlée was fantastic! Perfectly sweet.
We then headed back to the hotel fairly early so we could rest up. All that walking is tiring.
Just because, ya know mirror selfies are fun and I really wanted to see what my face looks like when I am taking a picture! ha!Day 3
We woke up to rain….and lots of it! But, we wanted to make it a day to remember and since there were not too many more landmarks we wanted to see we decided to turn it into a shopping day.
We dressed up and headed over to the National Opera. Again, we didn't go inside because the line for admission was just much longer than what I wanted to wait in so we looked around the outside between storms…it was gorgeous and definitely worth seeing.
We then headed over to a shopping centre nearby and shopped to our hearts content.
We came away with some great items from a sale at H and M and Forever 21.
We then stopped at a cafe and got a delicious brunch:
This sandwich changed the way I make grilled cheese!
It was nothing shy of amazing.
Aren't they adorable?!
After we ate, we did a bit more shopping and the kiddo wound up with a beautiful large purse for school.
We took a break from the shopping to decide what we'd do next and we found a great café with fantastic desserts:
We decided to drop our bags at the hotel and figure out where to go from there. We decided since it was still raining that we would head up to the mall by our hotel and do some more shopping until it was time for our dinner reservations.
I was sad I still hadn't found a bag but wouldn't you know, Michael Kors was having a great sale. So I walked away with a fantastic bag to put as a "classic" in my wardrobe!
We went to dinner...it pretty much sucked...this was the best part:
Then, because of the rain decided to stay the rest of the night in our room. We got drinks from the hotel bar, watched soccer, and enjoy time together as a family.
The next morning we checked out and headed back home.
It was an amazing trip and I think we spent exactly the right amount of time and saw everything we wanted to see.