If you have ever found yourself daydreaming of standing among white stone buildings with cool grey slate roofs while the wind blows smells of delectable sweet pastries in your direction laced with the warm swelling heart tickling sounds of an accordion, you might want to travel to Paris. Maybe even be obsessed with the idea of traveling to Paris (I’m guilty as charged).
Newsflash though, if stereotypes of the city of lights don’t delight you, you’ll be shocked to hear there is so much more to this beautiful city. I say shocked as a joke because it’s hard to find people who don’t love and rave about Paris. You’re now reading from a gal who has joined the said ranks of Paris lovers/ravers. But in the build up of my lovely expectations for one of my dream travels, I had the extra pressure of changing my husband’s mind on Paris. He definitely was not head over heels for the city and I wanted our first trip together to be more than special. Spoiler, our trip managed to accomplish my dreams on all fronts, even the convincing BT. So let’s dive into the trip and what we swept us off our feet. Quick note: I’ll have all the links to the major things at the end.
You Arrived, You’re Jet-Lagged, Chances Are You Are Cranky
I haven’t quite 100% figured out the perfect balance of prep/flight routine to get great sleep on an overnight flight to Europe but I do know this. Staying awake until you are tired and your usual sleepiness kicks in is a BAD idea. First class helps, but lets be real, that ish is expensive and we just aren’t there yet without miles/points. Top tips- drink plenty of water, and get some sleep. We arrived early in the morning but between the bad traffic (surprise it’s a huge city) and the hangery situation I developed, we got to our hotel in the Trocadéro area in not the best mood.
This was quickly remedied with a beautiful picturesque walk around the block and our first full blown view of the lovely lady Effiel. Followed by a quick walk down to the river where we spotted the cutest cafe off the bank where the lunch was not only delicious but just what we needed. After we decided to check in to our hotel and have a brief hour nap.http://www.joyouslyjo.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/img_8508-1.mov
Ha. 4 hours later we scrambled to get to our first and favorite meal of the trip at Le Comptoir. We were most excited about having dinner here as this was the favorite restaurant recommendation Anthony Bourdain made for Paris and as foodies, we felt this was a must. We had the preset dinner and we were in mouth………watering………..Heaven. Worth it. Not sure we’ll ever top that meal. I’ll keep you all posted if it ever happens.
Horse Rides Through the Royal Gardens that Louis the XIV built and Marie Antoinette Once Walked Through?! Uh Yes Please
Yea, you read that right. Y’all, talk about dreamy! We got to go horseback riding through the back gardens of Versailles and I’m still not over it! It was a beautiful crisp morning followed by an amazing little picnic afterwards. The photos just don’t do it justice. And as a bonus I figured out the amazing goat cheese dip the guide shared with us on our picnic (Hope to share that with y’all soon)!
Later that afternoon we took a guided tour of the inside of the palace and then a brief tour of some of the gardens. This was also magical because they had beautiful choral and symphony music playing as you explored. The gardens were so lush and beautiful it was honestly hard to leave. Pro tip: rent a golf cart for the gardens! They looked like so much fun! And this tour was so well informed, I highly recommend them. They get you through security and entrance super quick so it’s like cutting the giant line that forms outside. It was the perfect day and a major check off of my travel bucket list.
At the end of the day we were exhausted but still managed to find our way to our favorite part of town, St. Germain and hit up a burger place called Blend to continue our quest to find the perfect burger. This one is at the top of our list right now friends, as the toppings were perfectly combined and the meat was cooked to perfection. Texas travelers beware, the beef just doesn’t compare to ours back home… If you read my post from Berlin, you know that BT and I love burgers and like to try “the best” ones every time we travel. This one knocked it out of the park and had BT asking if we could come back again for another. Ha! We capped off the night at a fun speakeasy (Prescription Cocktail Club)that reminded us of Anvil back home before crashing at the hotel.
This day we also managed to get a brief photo session in and it actually set the tone for the whole day. So if you loved my Effiel tower photos and want to use the same photographer, check down below for the link.
Cars. MonMontre. Craft Beer.
Our third day was a bit of a blur. We caught a late lunch after hopping hotels at a cafe called Auto Passion and it was a dream for BT. So much formula 1 memorabilia that had him crawling through every nook and crevice to see it all. He is such a car nut and it really impressed him.
This day also had us stopping by a craft beer bar to taste some local beers and take in the sights of MonMontre and the gorgeous Sacre Cuer. Pro tip: beware the pick pockets around the base of the church. As long as you are alert you should be fine.
The views were amazing and really set the tone for dinner at a fun eclectic little restaurant that Brandon’s sister and soon to be brother in-law love and go to every trip out to Paris called La Petrelle. We really loved dinner there and highly recommend. The service was great and Chef made amazing dishes that we savored every bite of. Plus they have a cat and dog hanging out, so there is that. We followed this up with soaking in the night light views from our room at the hotel with a bottle of champagne and toasting to our 2 year anniversary. We seriously had the best views of the Effiel tower there and it definitely added to the dreaminess.
La Vie en Rose
We wrapped up our last full day taking in the sights of our new neighborhood near St Germain with a gorgeous walk that found us at a vintage car meet up of Brandon freak-out levels. Again cars are his thing. It’s almost like he has interesting car radar where ever we go. We tried to stop for coffee and had our first and only rude/bad experience in Paris so don’t believe the negative hype friends. We brushed it off and made our way around the neighborhood, had lunch at a trendy Ramen place that had a line around the block and took in the Parisian cool kid vibes in St Germain. It was a good day.
That evening we took a tour of the Parisian Catacombs and learned quite a bit about why Paris looks the way it does and let me tell ya, it a bit dark. I’ll save that topic for another post but needless to say the tour was fantastic and it’s linked below if that kind of thing tickles your fancy. We ended our evening with a stroll around Notre Dame and sadly still couldn’t get close as security was beefed up after the fire there. Great excuse to go back in a few years!
Long story short, Paris was a dream come true and I honestly can’t wait to go back. This trip was a solid win with the Trotters A++ and even though we didn’t see nearly half of what I wanted to see and do, we took it at a good pace and weren’t overwhelmed by trying to do too much. Let me know what you think below and anythign you might be excited to check out yourselves!