That day I spent in Paris

What a dream come true! I crossed a HUGE item off my bucket list! Although, one day in Paris is not even close to being enough!

There is so much to do and see in that city, I wouldn’t even know where to start when I go back.

During my stay in London, we decided to take the train (through the Chunnel) to see Paris for one day.

We woke up super early that morning, to get on the first train out of London, so we could have the most possible time in Paris. Sleepily, we walked across the street to the train station, went through security and boarded the train to promptly fall back asleep.

I am not going to lie, my very first impression of Paris wasn’t positive! When we first got out of the train station, we were accosted by beggars asking us if we spoke english and if we could donate to whatever charity they had on their paper, claiming it was a petition at first…only to find out they wanted you to sign and write the amount you’re donating. Doubtful that it’s going to a real charity, but very clever!

Then one of the first neighborhoods we walked through after breakfast wasn’t that impressive and there was “naughty” shops all over. It is the city of Love, I supposed! ;0

But I found a cute dog to play fetch with on beautiful church steps and we had breakfast at a cute little cafe while we looked at a map to figure out where we needed to go. Once we made it to all of our stops, my impression of Paris changed quickly!

First Stop: Notre Dame Cathedral 

(Side note: I just re-watched the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Disney movie, and I pointed at the screen and yelled, “I’ve been there! I’ve been there!”)

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Amazing architecture and sculptures!

Amazing architecture and sculptures!

Inside! It's HUGE!

Inside! It’s HUGE!

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Second Stop: The Louvre

We didn’t go into the Louvre, but we did want to see the outside. There just wasn’t enough time to go in…and we knew we would want to see EVERYTHING and not leave! Ideally, I would want to get a COUPLE days inside the Louvre, ya know, next time I’m in Paris. 😉

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Third Stop: THE EIFFEL TOWER!!!!!

WOAH! I’ve always wanted to see the Eiffel Tower! I couldn’t actually believe it when I was standing in front of it. We took the tram-car up it of course, but only to the mid-level. With a storm potentially approaching, they closed the top for a moment. By the time we got through the line and to the mid-level, it was re-opened but we decided that we didn’t have enough time to wait in another line to get all the way to the top.

First sighting!

First sighting!

I came around a corner and BOOM! Eiffel tower!

I came around a corner and BOOM! Eiffel tower!

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Underneath the tower selfie

Underneath the tower selfie

And the view were incredible!

And the views were incredible!

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My current Facebook cover photo.

My current Facebook cover photo.

My Dad "walking the tight rope." Part of the floor is see through..a little creepy for me!

My Dad “walking the tight rope.” Part of the floor is see-through…a little creepy for me!

Forth Stop: The Arc de Triomphe  

Please don’t mind how SLEEPY I look in the rest of these pictures! I was getting pretty worn out! We made our way to the Arc but opted to not go to the top. It’s a pretty cool building/structure if I do say so myself! What was also super cool (yet crazy and scary) was the HUGE round-a-bout surrounding the Arc! It was as wide as about 10 car widths, no lane lines, no signs, no traffic lights… nothing and people would just drive into, around and exit! No way, no how, would I ever drive in this city! We walked through the tunnel under the super round-a-bout and come up inside the circle where the Arc stood.

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On the underside of the Arc.

On the underside of the Arc.

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Walking in between each stop:

We literally walked all of that city! I don’t even want to know how many miles we covered! (Note to self: wear my GPS watch next time I am traveling. But I did try to recreate our path on google maps…it said about 10 miles!) In between each stop, we walked along the path that follows the Seine River. I loved that area! There was lots of active people running, doing boot camps, and fun things to look at along the way and things “play on” (which may or may not have been for little kids). Here’s some other things we saw walking from place to place:

Cool buildings..

Cool buildings..

other arches...

Other arches…

weird graffiti, er... "Art"

weird graffiti, er… “Art”

Lots of locks on bridges...

Lots of locks on bridges…

Lots of pretty bridges...

Lots of pretty bridges…

Pretty gardens and parks

Pretty gardens and parks

Buildings with walls made out of plants

Buildings with walls made out of plants

And fun things to play on!

And fun things to play on! (That’s my tattoo sticking out, NOT my underwear).

Fifth, un-planned stop: Moulin Rouge 

We walked down a little part of the Champes-Elysees street (a huge shopping area) as we started heading toward the train station. We didn’t last long on that street due to there being a TON of people. While searching for food and after looking at a map to figure out which direction we needed to go, my Dad said we had one more stop and it was mostly on the way. We walked a few more blocks and va-la! The Moulin Rouge!

OH wow! I look EXHAUSTED!

OH wow! I look EXHAUSTED!

And that was a wrap! From the Moulin Rouge, we walked to the train station. With a little bit of time to spare, we finally found some crepes to eat (not that they aren’t EVERYWHERE, but by the time we were looking for them, we couldn’t find them ANYWHERE!), a french beer to drink and got back on the train and promptly fell asleep, again.

Oh yeah… I went to London!!! (and Paris too!)

I can’t believe how fast time flies. I also can’t believe how tired I have been lately!

It could be from working three jobs…

Anyway.

I did get a chance to take a completely work-free vacation a couple of weeks ago. I had a lovely father-daughter trip to LONDON, with a one day stop over in PARIS!

Say what!?

Yeah! London! As in, across the pond and bangers and mash (which I ate a lot of).

I haven’t been on a true, no-work vacation since…2010! True story. Even during my trip to Oregon I had to work a little. This time, I used my “being out the country” as an excuse to not check my email…however, don’t tell anyone, I did have some data and cell phone coverage over there – thanks T-mobile!

I could sit here and type out a day by day recap of what we did, but frankly, that would take me even longer to get posted and I don’t think anyone would want to read that. Let’s just say, we DID A LOT and we WALKED ALL OVER THOSE CITIES! I’ll just show you the highlights!

Day 1: I had worked a race and was up earlier than 4am, powered to stay awake throughout the day so that I could sleep through the nine hour flight to London. It worked and I woke up right as we were landing in London at about noon, their time, the next day. Time travel is a bizarre thing.

Riding a Subway for the FIRST TIME! Fun and creepy at the same time.

Riding a Subway for the FIRST TIME! Fun and creepy at the same time.

 

The British Library - Saw the Magna Carta, lots of other other literature, including some old Beattle's song doodles! Plus the King's library was on display!

The British Library – Saw the Magna Carta, lots of other literature, including some old Beattle’s song doodles! Plus the King’s library was on display!

 

Navigated public transportation and rode some Double Decker Buses!

Navigated public transportation and rode some Double Decker Buses!

 

Saw lot's of cool buildings and climbed some statutes.

Saw lot’s of cool buildings and climbed some statutes.

 

And lastly on Day one, we saw, and rode, the London Eye! So fun and fantastic views!

And lastly, on Day one, we saw and rode the London Eye! So fun with fantastic views!

Day 2: I’m telling you, we walked ALL over the city of London….

Walked through a lot of parks, including this one, St. George's Garden, which is a two old cemeteries whose headstones were so worn you couldn't read them, so they moved them all to the side and created a park. Yes, people are still buried under there.

Walked through a lot of parks, including this one, St. George’s Garden, which is a two old cemeteries whose headstones were so worn you couldn’t read them. So, they moved them all to the sides and created a park. Yes, people are still buried under there.

 

THE BRITISH MUSEUM! So COOL! Saw the Rosetta Stone and I'm a huge fan of Egyptian Stuff, plus can you say, Night at the Museum 3?!

THE BRITISH MUSEUM! So COOL! Saw the Rosetta Stone and I’m a huge fan of Egyptian stuff. Plus, haven’t you seen Night at the Museum 3?!

 

Sherlock Holmes Museum on Baker St.

Sherlock Holmes Museum on Baker St.

 

Got to experience true London weather!

Got to experience true London weather!

 

Walked along the canal and stopped at the Camden Markets...including this really cool Horse Tunnel Maket

Walked along the canal and stopped at the Camden Markets…including this really cool Horse Tunnel Market

 

Last stop of the night..we HAD to go see Platform 9 and 3/4, as any TRUE Harry Potter fan would!

Last stop of the night..we HAD to go see Platform 9 and 3/4, as any TRUE Harry Potter fan would!

Day 3: “Rest Day”…. sort of…

Saw the Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guards

Saw the Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guards. It wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be.

 

Took a walk across Abbey Road!

Took a walk across Abbey Road!

 

Walked around, took the busses and saw lots of weird statues and art.

Walked around, took the busses and saw lots of weird statues and art.

 

Ended the day with a play! Saw Wicked in one of the London Theaters! It was EXCELLENT!

Ended the day with a play! Saw Wicked in one of the London Theaters! It was EXCELLENT!

Day 4: Paris… I think this day deserves its own post!

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Sneak peak at Paris

Day 5: I accidentally slept in a little bit this day. We wanted to go down to the London Tower, but ran out of time before our Muggle Tour! We decided to save the Tower for the next day, and met our Tour guide for a walkabout to see some Harry Potter film sites and book inspiration points! It was PERFECT for Harry Potter nerds like my Dad and I, but it also brought us to parts of the city we wouldn’t have ventured to on our own!

Saw the Tower Bridge. (London bridge is actually a really boring-looking bridge, much to my surprise. May the cool one fell down).

Saw the Tower Bridge. (London bridge is actually a really boring-looking bridge, much to my surprise. Maybe the cool one fell down.)

 

Our Muggle Tour Guide, Grettle Granger, she called herself.

Our Muggle Tour Guide, Grettle Granger, she called herself.

 

Yes! This is that actual corner from the movie! Sweet, huh?!

Yes! This is that actual corner where the movie was filmed! Sweet, huh?!

 

Playing Harry Potter in Nocturn Alley. So, yes, this is Nocturn alley, but in reality it is SUPER skinny. So they rebuilt this ENTRIE alley, only wider, on set.

Playing Harry Potter in Nocturn Alley. So, yes, this is Nocturn alley, but in reality it is SUPER skinny. So they rebuilt this ENTIRE alley, only wider, on set.

 

Then end the night with a meet up! Two of my friends had JUST moved to London for school a week before I was already planning on visiting!

Then ended the night with a meet up! Two of my friends had JUST moved to London for school a week before I was already planning on visiting!

Day 6: Getting up on time, we ventured down to the London Town and old castle…

Tower of London

Tower of London

 

Clink Prison Museum! It was awesome!

Clink Prison Museum! It was awesome!

 

Millennium Bridge

Millennium Bridge (ya know, the one that gets destroyed in the last Harry Potter…do you see how much of a Harry Potter nerd I am???)

 

London is beautiful at night!

London is beautiful at night!

 

My favorite thing...Big Ben! So beautiful!

My favorite thing…Big Ben! So beautiful!

Day 7: We enjoyed on last view of the beautiful building across the street from our hotel and breakfast in the cafe we ate at everyone morning and then it was time to get back on the plane : (

Hotel across the street and the colorful building on the left is where we had breakfast every morning.

Hotel across the street and the colorful building on the left is where we had breakfast every morning.

Back to life…back to reality.