Our first European destination was Paris!
We arrived at 9:30AM, after a pretty uneventful plane ride. I slept for most of it, and I believe my mom got some shut eye too. For dinner, she had some sort of chicken thing, and I had beef canolli– oops, I mean canneloni 🙂 I didn’t realize there was a difference until my mom corrected me.
We hoped quickly on their S-metro and ended up at Les Halles, a huge transportation hub near the Louvre museum and just a hop-skip-and-a-jump away from our quaint hotel. Since we couldn’t check in, we tried to ignore the fact we had been in the same clothes for 24+ hours (I was now at like 48 hours with just 4 hours of sleep) and headed out to explore the sites.
I had pre-planned an extensive walk for us, taking us all around the city! We started with the Palais de Justice, then saw the Louvre, before heading through the Touileries Garden & Place de la Concorde & up the Champs Elysee to the Arc de Triomphe. From there, we took a two-stop metro ride to Place de Trocadero so my mom could see the Eiffel Tower up close & personal!
Next we walked under the Eiffel Tower through the Champs Mars to L’Ecole Militaire. Then we swooped back up a bit to the Hotel des Invalides, before crossing the Seine River at Pont Alexander and ending up between the Grand & Petit Palais’s. Noting that it was almost check-in time, we headed then back to the Place de la Concorde & caught the metro back to our hotel for a quick clean-up sesh, before we were off again!
(On a slight side note, I don’t think I remembered to take a picture of our hotel room, which we had booked online through Hotels.com, but we had been randomly upgraded to the biggest hotel room they had! This was a wonderful start to the trip, given how notoriously small hotel rooms are in Paris. We had a nice full size bed along with a twin bed futon, that was on the other side of the room, like a little sitting area. To top it all off, we had the cutest view:
Anyways, after cleaning up, this time we headed the opposite direction of our previous walk & instead scoped out Le Centre Pompidou before meandering back toward the Seine River and across to see Notre Dame!
After crossing the lock bridge, we meandered around the St. Germain District for a bit before headed back toward Les Halles for dinner. My mom and I both had quiche, which would be just the first quiche of many for me during our time in Paris!
Then given our 24+ hours traveling, we headed to bed early so that we could get up early for the Eiffel Tower!
Overall our first day was great! We knocked just as much off of our “to-do” list as I had planned! We ended up following the pre-planned itinerary I had written out to a “T,” but organically, without consulting it and what not. I always knew in my head where we were going next and my mom simply followed me around, listening to me ramble about all of the different sites. (Thank you three years of French studies & a previous trip with my dad, Cherie, and Derek, for that knowledge!)
Highlights definitely included my mom doing yoga at the Louvre (I still can’t. stop. laughing.) and the jokes we were making about how disgusting we looked/felt as we were walking around in such a pretty city, in our comfy workout clothes from the plane ride, after an entire day of traveling and no hair brush, tooth brush, deodorant, etc to help the reality. (Plus I had dried blood dripping down my leg, from somehow cutting it randomly en route to the hotel from the airport, making us look even classier!) Paris was also when we first realized that no one in Europe seems to wear flip flops. Like no one. Ever. So my flip-flop-ed feet had more than their fair share of stares.
I was glad too that Paris was where we started first because I enjoyed the enjoyment my mom seemed to get from seeing so many famous sites in person. While every city we went to was fantastic, I don’t think she was as familiar with the other places & sites as she was with Paris. It was nice to start the trip off with a bang, as they say.
Tomorrow I’ll get to Paris Day 2!