Thursday, June 5, 2014

France: Day 7

Our last day of our trip to France was spent soaking up all that is Paris. We started the day off bright and early at the Eiffel Tower. It was really cold and windy at the Eiffel Tower so we made our tour there pretty short. A word to future travelers to Paris, make sure that you make reservations to ride an elevator to the top of the tower. The view is spectacular, but if you don't make a reservation, the line is painfully long.
A view from the bottom.
The view from a bridge as we walked toward
the Arc de Triomphe.
After leaving the Eiffel Tower, we made a quick coffee stop to warm up and eat breakfast. This was by far our coldest day in France, but aside from the cold, it was beautiful! We got a little lost took the long way to the Arc de Triomphe and got to peek in the windows of some neat shops along our walk. When we finally arrived, it did not disappoint. Like most of the monuments in Paris in the winter (and often during the rest of the year) part of the Arc was covered in scaffolding, but it was stunning nonetheless. It truly is a sight to behold, a huge carved archway that is sitting in the middle of an enormous traffic circle. There is a stunning view down the Champs-Élysées from the Arc. 

This is probably my favorite picture from our trip. I love the
detail against the bright blue sky!
Since it was our last day and neither of us had done much in the way of shopping, we decided to take a stroll down the Champs-Élysées to see what we could find. I love this block, not only for the beautiful shops, but the street itself is beautiful. It is a broad avenue with big, wide sidewalks lined with cafes and stores and lots of fun things to see and do. We did stop in a few shops...and I may or may not have purchased a bag that resembles a small suitcase. It was a fun surprise purchase and definitely an investment piece I'll hold onto for years to come!
My favorite stop on the Champs-Élysées.
One happy shopper!
And we couldn't pass up a trip to Ladurée. Ladurée is a famous Parisian tea room. We would have loved to have stayed for tea, but it was very crowded. Instead, we opted for an assorted box of macarons. We saved them until we got back to our hotel and then immediately wished we'd gotten a bigger box! These macarons are amazing! I want to try and recreate them! My favorites were the rose and the pistachio.

The famous Ladurée

From Top to Bottom the flavors are: Chocolate, Rose, Pistachio,
Vanilla, Lemon and Raspberry.
We ventured off the Champs-Élysées to find Adam's favorite European store, Hackett. He discovered Hackett in Ireland last year and loves their clothes. He added a few items (including a quilted vest that matches the quilted vest he got last year...just a different color) to his wardrobe. After our little shopping adventure we were pretty tired, so we dropped our bags off at the hotel and headed to find lunch. 

French food is amazing, but we are Italians at heart. We found a tiny little Italian restaurant tucked in a small street just a block from the Tuileries and decided that a break from French food was much needed. We split an insalata mista and then I had Spaghetti alle vongole and Adam had gnocchi bolognese. It was fantastic and truly probably one of the best meals we had on our I said, we're Italians at stomach heart.

After our fabulous meal, we headed off to the Louvre. We spent the rest of the afternoon leisurely strolling with the masses through the Louvre. We took our time visiting the Egyptian, Roman and Etruscan exhibits, the sculptures, and the Denon wing, where we saw hundreds of works from the Italian Renaissance. We had a great time wandering around and seeing all of the beautiful art. I majored in Art History at Wofford, and during our time at Wofford together, Adam and I took an art history class together. Well, we ended up in an art history class together. So we studied  Renaissance art together for a semester...we had a blast quizzing each other in the Louvre and finding paintings that we studied together. 

The Pyramid entrance to the Louvre.
After yet another great day in Paris, we headed back to the hotel to begin packing up. We had one last little hoorah that night. We walked to a great little restaurant near the Louvre and had one more fantastic French meal.
Tuna Tartare
Pomme frites
Foie Gras
We had an incredible trip to France. It was so nice to spend a week, just the two of us, exploring some new places. We drank wonderful wine and ate delicious food and all around enjoyed everything! We're so blessed and lucky that we've been able to travel so much! Cheers to another awesome trip on the books! We're looking forward to our next adventure!

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