Last but certainly not least, Paris! We saved the best for last. New Year’s in Paris was the grand finale of this trip. When booking tickets last Summer we happily discovered that flights between European cities are very inexpensive. The one-hour flight from Florence to the City of Lights cost less than $200 for two one-way tickets.
We arrived late in the evening the day before New Year’s Eve. Mistake #1 was taking a taxi from the airport to our hotel in the 6th Arrondissement. We knew the Metro was the best way to move through the city, but we had no experience and hadn’t done enough research before we arrived. Take my advice – – do the research! Finding your Metro route is easier than it looks and waaaayyy more cost efficient.
About 70 Euros later, we arrived at our little boutique hotel called the Louison Hotel, formerly the Hotel Aviatic in the Saint-Germain-des-Pres neighborhood. The cutest place… just look at the lobby.
Since we were traveling on a budget we didn’t have all of the luxuries or expansive views that usually come with a high-end hotel, but the Louison was the perfect touch down spot for our stay. The folks at the front desk were always very helpful when it came to restaurant recommendations, directions, and even when I had a minor slip-and-fall in the shower (I’ll never live that down) they had rubbing alcohol and bandages at the ready.
As I’m writing this I’m missing Paris sooo much. It really is just like people say; beautiful, historic, and inexplicably elegant. Unfortunately we were less enthusiastic about seeing all of the sites in this city because what we didn’t factor in was how tired we would be at this point in the trip. 13 days of exploring had caught up to us and the cold, rainy weather made the indoors so much more inviting. We slept in longer and turned in earlier most days. And though I don’t think we physically could have done anything different, it’s hard not to be disappointed and feel like we missed out a little.
But you guys, tiredness aside we still managed to walk thousands of steps a day! They say you’re supposed to walk 10,000 steps every day to stay healthy, but that is not a normal day for me. Like, really not. But I was in serious awe of how much walking we’d actually logged the last couple of weeks I had to take screen shots (via the Heart app on your iPhone).
Crazy right?! These screen shots are my trophies. Noteworthy or pathetic. I’ll let you decide.
In case you didn’t pick up on it, the second screen shot was taken at 1:53AM on New Year’s morning, January 1st. Meaning we walked 8,352 steps from midnight alone. Thanks in large part to locating an open Metro station after celebrating on the Champs-Élysées, and desperately searching for a public bathroom along the way… Let’s just say Michael was really happy with me that night.
Some beauties from this pretty, pretty city~
Sadly the famous fireworks show at the Arc de Triomphe had been cancelled as a result of the terrorist attacks in November 2015. Understandably the city, and county, were being cautious. It’s not every day you walk past uniformed military with assault rifles at every popular tourist site. But people still came out in droves for the New Year’s celebration, simply refusing to be intimidated or fearful. Which made that night one of the most memorable nights of my life.
Food in Paris was awesome, of course. And we ate a little bit of everything, traditional and not so traditional, but we’re still pining after more time to have explored some of the lesser known areas. Story of our life.
The highlights were Le Montparnasse 1900 and Le Bistrot d’Henri in the 6th Arr., and Le Bouillon Chartier in the 9th Arr. Honorable mention goes to the little cafe around the corner from our hotel, La Marquise, which was our go-to for coffee and a little baguette with butter and jam for breakfast. Bread is better in France. I said it.
More wandering and more hearts-for-eyes, smiley face emoji inducing photos~
*GRAPHIC PHOTO WARNING*
Major takeaways from this city: the Metro is the best public transportation you’ll ever experience, baguettes and croissants are the breakfast of champions, and be nice and try to speak the language. It goes a looong way for us Americans.
Two places on our must-see list next time are the Louvre and the Palace of Versailles. We have the photo outside of the Louvre, but we never actually made it in. Picture a four-hour wait. Outdoors. In the rain. Against my better judgement, we chanced the “free Sunday admission” that’s open from October-March on the first Sunday of every month and so did everyone else. C’est la vie.
Until next time, Pa-ree!