Well, I was supposed to post this yesterday, but sometimes life gets in the way. So, enjoy a Saturday read! 🙂
Today I want to cover the Paris portion of our trip in case any of you plan to go in the future or just want to see some fun pics of a far away land! 😉
The First Impression
– They say first impressions are everything. I would say design wise, Paris had me at hello! We arrived to a beautifully designed airport with marble floors, gray weathered wood ceilings, and stainless steel walls. Can you say gorgeous?
The Fashion Show
– Our first five days were spent at the “Who’s Next” fashion show. We were there on bow tie business
, presenting them to buyers from all over the world. It was an amazing opportunity to see works of art that you can wear, from fabulous formal dresses to stylish & chic accessories. Not to mention I became privy to all the upcoming fashion trends. The whole experience definitely felt like something you should do while your in one of the four fashion capitals of the world (New York, London, and Milan are the others).
And since I was at the fashion show with Two Guys Bow Ties, I decided I would make a female version of the product. Here’s how they turned out. 🙂
The Flea Markets
– Well I’ve heard these are amazing and I did get a little taste of the vintage goodness that you can find at these markets (which Paris is known for), but as you know from this post
, I didn’t make it to the most famous flea market. Because of that post
, I have great new info to share from Jessica who did find the hidden gem! You can find specific directions to the world renown flea market on her blog- right here
! Thanks for the info Jessica! Future “would be frustrated” travelers thank you!! 🙂
Generally Tim and I don’t care for typical tourist attractions. But when you’re in a place like Paris, and the places you’ve read about in story books and seen in movies are all within walking distance, so you just have to stop by and take a moment or two to appreciate the history present in this incredibly old city. I recommend visiting the sites during the day and the evening. I can’t tell you how beautiful these giant, and intricate buildings are when they are lit up and glowing in the darkness of night. Just breathtaking.
The Effeil Tower
– Of course, the Effeil Tower is a must do. We decided to get some exercise in and take the stairs. I wasn’t sure how challenging this would be, but it was no problem. If you enjoy exercise, definitely make the climb. So many pictures have been taken of this and from this amazing structure. Tim and I tried to get a couple of views you may not have seen before.
Also, did you know that at the very top of the Tower, their is a small apartment built by Gustave Eiffel? He lived there and would host parties that, as you can imagine, many important people attended.
The Louve– We viewed this as another “must do” in order to really experience Paris. As the care taker of the Mona Lisa, the Louve is the most visited museum in the world. A full post about The Louve coming soon.
– Did you know that Notre Dame took 700 years to build? Wow!! I get annoyed when a project takes more than a few weeks! This place was incredible. I can’t fathom the fortitude it would take to start and finish a project of such magnitude. And to know that this structure, along with all the other enormous and intricate buildings, were created during a time when there were no cranes, power tools, welders, ect. Well that is just crazy!!!
Notre Dame is still a working church. As a matter of fact, there was a service going on while we were there. Along with services, there are also confessionals. . . which seem to be one of the only things that have been updated. If you grew up Catholic or have seen movies, you know that confessionals are generally closed off boxes set side by side that share a wall. You never see the priests face, and it feels very private. Well the confessionals at Notre Dame have glass doors and you simply sit across from the priest at a table. You are face to face, no screen to hide behind. I am no longer Catholic, nor do I think confessing to a priest is necessary, but I found this practice to be jarring. It seemed to make confession into a spectacle for all the tourists to see. It really kind of bothered me, though I’m not sure why. Anyway, just an interesting tid bit for you.
Love Lock Bridge(s)
– Ah, the city of Love! Yes, Paris is known as a place for Lovers and romantic types. Maybe that explains the fairly new interactive art installation that has popped up in the lovely dovey city. The love lock bridges are two spots where couples come to profess their love for each other. The idea is that you bring a lock and attach it to the bridge and then throw the key into the river. The lock signifies the commitment to love each other forever. Such a sweet gesture and really cool looking installation that is added to every day! Apparently there are two bridges, one for true, eternal love and one for “lovers” (if you know what I mean).
– Getting around Paris is easy. Many of the main attractions are within walking distance of each other, so you can choose to make your rounds on foot. And of course there is also the subway (or Metro as they call it) and it is very easy to navigate. But our favorite way to get around the city was the bikes! Paris has bike “bars” literally every few blocks. You can pick up a bike at one location, ride it to your destination and drop the bike off at another “bar” almost guaranteed to be a few steps from where you want to go! Read more about the bikes and how the service works here
The Food– well, I wish I had better news to report in this area. I’ve heard lots of people comment about how the food is delicious in Paris. I however was so disappointed with the food the first couple of days, I almost made a post pleading for some help! Here’s what the non-published post said. . . .
“So far Paris has been surprising and more difficult than I expected. I’ve been to Mexico (where I knew part of the language) and I lived overseas for 5 months while I played basketball in Lithuania. Every time I’ve traveled it’s been an adventure and I’ve enjoyed it immensely. I expected Paris and still do expect Paris to be an amazing trip. But, what I’ve realized is that during all my other travels, I’ve had either a host or some understanding of the language. Here in France, we do have a friend that is part of the Two Guys Bow Ties French division, but for the most part it has been Tim and I on our own. And generally it has been no problem. EXCEPT for when it comes to food!!! Eating delicious food is always one of my favorite parts of vacationing. However, not being able to read a menu makes ordering especially difficult. So far we’ve had to settle for things we can understand because pointing is about the best we can do.
In America I could order, eat, and be happy with almost anything. Here, I am finding that a challenge for different reasons (like they tend to eat their meat very undercooked). Any advice out their from the well traveled?
Things definitely got better over the course of our trip though. Here are a few strategies we developed for picking food. . .
Strategy #1- Look at the food of people around you and point.
Strategy #2- Be adventurous and just play “ini mini miny mo”- In a perfect world this could be super fun and exciting. In the real world, it could mean Tim is left with a “hangry” wife!
Strategy #3- Spend lots of money and order multiple dishes (surely one will turn out to be good, right?)
Strategy #4- Only go to bakeries. Everything in them is delicious! I could have become a “carb”etarian there in the land with bakeries on every corner! In the American south we have the “Bible belt,” well I think France could easily be part of the bakery belt. Yummo!!
Strategy #5- Around most of the major tourists attractions, you can find restaurants with English menus. You just have to ask for them. This ended up being our go to strategy when picking which restaurant to eat at.
– Here are a couple of pics from the two places we stayed at while in Paris. You can see more pics and read more about how we picked these places with a unique service known as Air BNB right here
A Photo Shoot- Before we left on our trip, we had a friend recommend having a photo shoot in Paris. Obviously it would be a gorgeous back drop and the pictures would be great momentos to have from the trip. Honestly we thought it was a fun idea, but kind of forgot about it during all the hub bub of actually getting to Paris. Then, while at the fashion show, a local Parisian photographer asked if he could get some pictures of Tim with the bowties out in the city. That offer reminded us of the idea to do a couples photo shoot and so we asked how much it would cost for a couple’s session. And actually the price was not bad at all. We contemplated it and were about to pull the trigger, but then we decided against it. Although the pictures would have been cool, we don’t feel like they would have told our story. Just like our designs, we would want these photos to really show who we are and what we are passionate about. And honestly, Paris just isn’t a part of who we are. (Plus, we have so many talented photographers here in Tulsa that I’ve been dying to work with!) However, I am sure that Paris would be a special place for a number of couples and I do think this idea is a super fun one. So, I wanted to mention it in case any of you are planning on heading to the city of love and would like to schedule a photo shoot. If it tells your story and/or you just want to have some fun- you should totally do it!! 🙂
So there you have it! Our paris trip all wrapped up in one post! Hope you enjoyed it! 🙂