Day number 3 of our Tour de France (Thursday) was meant to be spent touring. But, the previous night throughout our lovely dinner, cruise, and show, I was feeling extremely under the weather, plagued by a nasty cough, chills, a fever, and raging headache. So instead of possibly wasting our treasured Paris passes on my sick self, we decided to postpone our sightseeing in favor of more shopping and exploring.
In the morning, we stopped off at the Place d’Aligre Market near the Bastille. There we gawked at the cheese stands; the array of sausages, meats, and eggs; the countless fruit and veggie vendors; pastry and bread stands; and the occasional handmade soap stall.
|That would be dehydrated eel...|
|My dear, sweet gluten|
Looking back, I wish we would have bought something there, but alas, we spent the whole time just looking and tasting all of the goodies that were offered us by the vendors.
Afterward, we went shopping and gallivanting around, wandering into whichever shop or alleyway we found intriguing.
|Cool little alley|
|I loved the sunflowers in the window|
|Fridge stuffed with accessories. Genius.|
|Sexy husband with his model pose|
|On the Seine|
Along the way, we snapped some shots of famous stuff, including the Obelisk, where Louis the XIV and Marie Antoinette were beheaded by the guillotine during the French Revolution. It felt so incredible to be that close to such a huge piece of history.
|Notre Dame behind the Bridge of Love.Those shiny things are padlocks with couples' names on them. Cute.|
In our exploring, we found our way to the Jardin de Tuleries to further admire the lovely city of Paris.
|I wanted to jump and role around in this field of lavender.|
|Fat lady sculpture|
|What a romantic, writing our names in the sand.|
With more exploration behind us, we headed back to our hood, where we sat down for an afternoon beer at a pub next to the Moulin Rouge.
Later that night, we decided to check out a restaurant recommended by one of my favorite bloggers—Gillian Young with Confessions of a Young Woman. The restaurant, called Yeliz, was located in Anvers, one neighborhood over from ours. Well, actually, when we finally found the place, we realized that the name had changed and was now called something much more complicated and also Turkish. After having some major communication issues, we eventually found out that the same family still owns the place, they knew Gillian, and they simply decided to change the name. So cool!
Once we had our made-to-order food in take-away boxes, we headed down to the Seine for some river-side eats.
|If happiness were measured in how much bread you eat, we'd be the happiest people on the planet.|
|My lamb and yogurt plate|
|Miguel's lamb plate|
|Top it all off with a 1 euro 500ml Heineken|
It was at this point I realized how much I was in love with the lifestyle in Paris. By the time we sat down for dinner, it was 9:30 PM, incredibly bright out, and possibly hundreds of other people were doing the same thing we were. On a weeknight. What a life.
Day 4, we woke up bright and early to head out for our first day of super touristy stuff. Miguel was clever enough to get us a 2 day Paris pass which got us into any museum, monument, chateau, etc. AND not have to stand in lines. What an awesome hubby I have. :)
Our first stop of the day was none other than the Louvre. Obviously, you have to go to the Louvre, and there are so many famous and renowned things inside, but to be perfectly honest, I found it very spread out, difficult to navigate, and full of stuff that I had no clue what it was. Call me uncultured, but hey. That being said, we did see some pretty amazing things.
|The inverted glass pyramid|
|We were obviously taking the whole thing very seriously|
|Posing in front of the Caryatids|
|Awesome face photos|
|My favorite ceiling in the Louvre|
|More of the beautiful ceiling|
|Me in front of the Mona Lisa|
|The dining room in the Napoleon apartments|
|The Virgin Mary|
|Slinking around outside the Louvre|
Following our tour through the most famous museum in the world, we went back to the Arch de Triomphe to actually go inside.
|The ridiculous amount of stairs we had to climb|
At the top, we were able to see Paris from every angle, and really take in the magnitude and the exquisiteness of the place. Our first few days in Paris were characterized by chilly, gloomy weather. But on Friday, we were lucky enough to see Paris under clear and sunny skies.
We found it fitting that following our pinnacle view, we go to the Paris Aquarium.
There, Miguel took about a million pictures of fish, and we realized that the aquarium was rather small. Rather than bore you to death, I will show you pictures of our two favorite fish.
|He started out in the hole...|
|And popped out! .... then back in. Then back out! So cute.|
|This was the unicorn fish. I would have called it something different...|
In 20 minutes, we were in and out, but happy we’d gone.
Our next stop was one that I was originally quite hesitant to go to. Is it just me, or is a museum full of wax people creepy as hell?
Once inside though, I realized how amazing and not creepy the Grevin Museum really was. In fact, the artistry and reality of the sculptures was amazing.
|Miguel and Arnie|
|Kicking Jackie Chan in the balls|
|Jean-Paul Gautier and Maria Callas. Legends.|
|Miguel with Zidane|
Next we headed back to the Eiffel Tower to walk the gardens below. The grounds were jam-packed with Parisians having picnics, lying in the sun, playing soccer, throwing Frisbees, and otherwise having a ball. Let me again emphasize the fact that this occurred during the week. DO these people ever work?
Lastly, we rounded off our night with dinner at, not a French, but Italian ristorante!
|Miguel's Caprese pizza|
|My spaghetti bolognaise|
|Cappuccino with torched cocoa powder on top. Delish.|
This seriously authentic food was to die for and we weren’t at all disappointed. By this time, our trip felt as though it was flying by, and it was, but we decided that we were going to continue making the most of the long Parisian days, soaking up the culture, the food, and the lighthearted attitude.