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Sunday, November 19, 2023

Celebrating 40 in Paris

 Guys!  Guess what?  I went to France!  Most of you reading this probably already know this nugget of information, but for anyone that doesn't, I did! The trip was a couple months ago now, and was to celebrate the 40th birthdays of me and my Bff, Miranda. The trip was over her birthday at the end of September, so it made it extra special. 

Since it has already been two months, and I've taken two months to finish editing photos etc, I may not remember much for details, but I do have some awesome photos.  So enjoy, I'm sure you will recognize some landmarks and I'll throw in some info that I remember as I go.  It was such an amazing time even though it was just a short trip and a million times over worth it.

Miranda and I, maybe 1 hour after I got off the plane.

Coming in to land in Paris and this was written in a field. 

As soon as I got off the subway I walked up the stairs and saw Miranda and Sean walking down the street.  Pretty awesome. 

Lunch, the best Croque Madam I've ever had!

Seriously, how gorgeous is this? Surreal!

After a walk to my hotel and then back over to the banks of the Siene for my boat cruise, I stopped to take a picture of the Olympic countdown clock.  I actually had no idea they are in Paris next year haha

The next several photos are from the Siene River Cruise.

these are from the Pont Alexandre III. 

Statue at the Grand Palais.

Musee D'Orsay

These homes along the river are amazing.

Notre Dame Cathedral.  I'm pretty sad I didn't get to see it in all its splendor but it was beautiful anyway.

The house in the middle is the smallest home on the Siene.  This is one of the only things I remember from the boat cruise.

The Eiffel Tower and the Carousel in front.

On my walk back to my hotel the streets were filled with these adorable cafes.

The next day was Miranda's 40th birthday.  We started out early with another delicious breakfast and then headed over for our trip up the Eiffel Tower.

This view! We went as high up on the tower as is possible and made 3 separate levels to take in the views from.

Of course we had to get some birthday celebration Champagne at the top!

Miranda got us these beautiful 'Together in Paris' necklaces.

Another delicious lunch, Quiche and Fries and a salad and seriously one of the best meals ever.

On to the Basilica of Sacre Coeur De Montmarte.  This was a must see, the most gorgeous Cathedral I have ever been in and the surrounding artsy area is so much fun and such a different vibe than the Eiffel tower area of Paris.

We (mostly Miranda) decided that we should climb to the top.  300 stairs.  after walking down about as many from the Eiffel tower haha.  It really was worth the climb though.  AMAZING view and I felt like Quazimodo.

Miranda and Sean did the Love lock thing.  This is where they do it now since the bridge that they used to put them on almost collapsed,

We enjoyed some tasty Macaroons

This area is totally my vibe.  I could wander for days.  The gardens, the ivy on the walls, the old stone architecture.

Little Crepe cafe. 

Okay so I actually have back story on this...  The Dalida statue, in memory of Dalida who lived on one of the nearby streets. She was a disco singer who sold 170 million albums over 30 years.  She took her own life in 1987 at age 54.  I don't know why, but rubbing her breasts is said to be good luck. 

Another amazing looking bakery.

The famous Moulin Rouge in the daytime.

Paris has these urinals in certain areas to stop the homeless from peeing all over the trees and sidewalks.  they really stink but I guess it is better than having to walk through the urine.

My first view of the Arc De Triomphe. It's so massive.

Okay... the Eiffel tower at night... 

One of my favorite meals, before the Moulin Rouge. 

Here we go! The Moulin Rouge!  We weren't allowed to take photos during the show, but we snapped a few outside and while we waited.  An amazing iconic experience!

The next day, my first time on a European train, on our way to Epernay to sample some Champagne.

The French Countryside, Vineyards.

Epernay, the home of the finest Champagne in the world. 

On our way to walk down "Champagne Avenue"

Moet & Chandon

Check out the price list....


Champagne glass chandelier.

Each glass was for a different Champagne.

I could spend the rest of my life in this town.

We made a friend and she took us to her reservation at this amazing restaurant, "Why Not"

The next day, I said goodbye to Miranda and Sean as they ventured further to the south of France.  I had some more time to explore Epernay before I hopped back on the train to Paris.

Back in Paris and headed over to the Ritzy shopping district by the Palais Garnier, the Opera House.

So on the bus tour, I got to see a few of the landmarks that I wanted to see but couldn't get to, to spend more time.  One of them was the Louvre.  I really wanted to see the pyramid, but I had no desire to go inside.  I know it's a "must see" but I also know that it takes at least an entire day and is crazy crowded and the Mona Lisa is underwhelming.  If I had time I would have checked it out, but there were other things that I wanted to see more. 

Notre Dame, street view.

Arc De Triomphe.  This photo also sums up Paris traffic, especially on the Champs des Elysees.

My final night, I stayed back in the Montmartre District.  I loved that planned to stay in several different areas of the city, it made wandering so much more interesting.  I will say there is a ton of stairs.

I did a short food tour, which was great but I didn't take much for pictures as it was a bit rushed.  there was wine and cheese and lots of other delights. 

Look at all that Rosemary.

This is the Eternal Flame Memorial. It is not an actual memorial for Princess Diana but that is what it is used for.  I had intentions of walking to it but just didn't have time. I also drove through the tunnel where she was killed.

Bright and early on my final morning I took a bus trip out to Versailles.  I was not sure if I wanted to go but I am so glad that I did.

This is the bridge in Inception that goes all twisty.

The rest of these photos are from Versailles.  Again I will do my best to remember bits and pieces but I learned a lot and retained little haha.

I was obsessed with every single chandelier in the palace.

The only working original clock and one of the only original pieces in the entire palace.

The Hall of Mirrors

The Gardens.  If I ever came back I would spend an entire day wandering the gardens. I am sure I only saw 1/4 of them. 

My lunch for the day, a Marie Antoinette and yes it was delicious as it looks.

The rose garden had the most beautiful roses I have ever seen.

That's it!  I got back from Versailles and had to high tale it to the airport, which was much more difficult on the Subway than on the way in to Paris.  Seriously, don't do it.  My flight took me straight to JFK in NYC and I got to sleep overnight in the airport.  Or wander around and nap for an hour.

It was an amazing, whirlwind trip, but if you ever are on the fence about France, just do it, totally worth it.