Monday, October 29, 2012


I have a lot of catching up to do!  We've had a string of fun trips all in a row: Paris, Bratislava, and Vienna.  We had such a great time and are so grateful we got to visit these beautiful places--but it sure is nice to be at home. :)  Anyway, first up, Paris!  Cam and I went for three days, just the two of us.  We have this great couple in our ward here who stayed home with Andy.  It was amazing for us to be able to spend some time alone, to eat in nice restaurants and cafes, and to not have our schedules revolve around Andy.  We absolutely loved every minute of it.  I spent a week in Paris with my family about ten years ago, but I remember surprisingly little about it, so I was very excited to go back.  Cam had never been, so he was excited, too.

Paris is about 3 hours away by train.  We loved just relaxing during the ride.  I finally got Cameron to watch "Pride and Prejudice" with me, which he loved. (Though he might not admit it to you.)  We stayed in a teeny-tiny studio apartment with a perfect location--5 minute walk to the Louvre!  And a couple shops down was the best bakery I've ever been to in my life.  I'll refrain from admitting how many pain au chocolates I ate during our stay.  The only downside of the accommodation was the super uncomfortable futon we had to sleep on.  We thought we'd be catching up on sleep without Andy there, but we slept so badly!  Oh well. The price you pay for a great location.

We spent Friday doing a lot of the main tourist sites.  We started with the Louvre and exhausted ourselves with all the walking we did.  We saw a few of the most famous pieces (like the Mona Lisa, of course), spent some time looking at the egyptian artifacts, and also the italian sculptures.  We loved it all, of course.  Next, we walked from the Louvre through the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triumphe. After that, we headed over to the Eiffel Tower.  We went to the top and loved the stunning view.  That night we headed by the opera for a dinner reservation.  It was amazing to eat out without Andy! We actually got to sit and enjoy our food and the atmosphere.  Imagine that.  Apparently I'm a lame old person because I was content to head back to our place at this point (9:30/10 PM) but Cameron insisted we stay out and get some dessert at a great little cafe.

Cam crossing the Seine to the Louvre.   
The Louvre! 
The crowd in front of the Mona Lisa. 

Arc de Triumphe 

View from the Eiffel
Walking down the stairs. 
Cam's food!  Please note that $7 Pepsi he chose to purchase.
Saturday morning we headed out to Versailles.  We were going back and forth on whether or not we should go, and we are so glad we went.  It ended up being our favorite part of the trip!  Of course, the palace is absolutely breathtaking.  It's fancier than anything you could imagine.  Our favorite part, however, was the gardens.  There are no words to describe how beautiful they are.  It was rainy that day, so everything was a little misty with a slight fog, making it especially gorgeous.  I'd read a tip on a blog somewhere to rent bikes and ride through the public parts of the gardens.  We were apprehensive because of the rain, but we did it anyway and are so glad.  This seriously was both of our favorite parts of the whole trip.  We were pretty much all alone out there and we loved every second of it.  That afternoon, we headed over to Notre Dame.  It's so unique, so dark, so beautiful.  We both loved it.  We happened to get there just before Vespers, so we stayed for the service.  I was hoping it would be a full choir (which I love!), but it was just a couple soloists.  Still, it was a nice experience.  We walked around in the Latin Quarter for a bit, which is a really fun, lively, touristy area.  Then, we headed to dinner.  Our dinner was amazing.  We had a reservation somewhere else, but we happened upon this little restaurant, outside of tourist areas, full of french people, delicious food, cozy atmosphere, reasonable get the idea.  We loved every second of it.  I had salmon; Cameron had duck.  After dinner, we headed back to the Eiffel Tower to see it lit up at night.  We even got to see it sparkle.  Beautiful! Pretty much the perfect day.

All that gold!

Rameau, a famous french music theorist.  His statue was in Versailles! 
View from the back.
View of the gardens.  We road bikes all the way around the lake you see far in the distance. 

Here we are on the far end of that lake.  You can kind of see Versailles  way far back.  

Back at the gardens.  Amazing!

Notre Dame
Me being a hunchback in front of Notre Dame.  I'm clever, I know.
Latin Quarter
Cam is pretty proud of taking this picture.
Sunday morning we headed to the Musee D'orsay.  I remember loving it when I came with my family, so we had to go back.  It was only a two minute walk from where we stayed (seriously, best location ever!), so we got there before the lines and crowds.  We loved it all, but especially loved the impressionism section, which is what the museum is famous for.  My dad loves to paint and is particularly fond of impressionism, so I grew up loving it.  They have so many Monets, Manets, Renoirs, and Degas (my favorite!).  It's amazing to see the real things in person.  After that, we headed to see the Sacre-Coeur Basilica in Monmartre.  Monmartre was a really fun, lively area to walk around in and the view from the Basilica is incredible.  We loved it!  It was such a great trip overall.  We both fell in love with Paris and are so grateful we got to visit!

Cam with a crepe in front of Sacre-Coeur.
View from Sacre-Coeur.  We watched this amazing juggler while we sat on the steps.  He was  incredible.  I've never seen so many people rush up to give him money! (Ourselves included.)
Random things we loved about Paris:
1) They'll serve you tap water!  And even bring it out chilled in nice little bottles or pitchers! Amazing.
2) Americans everywhere.  Well...I don't know if we loved this.  It was nice to hear something familiar, but it seems like every american we overheard was loud and obnoxious.  I hope this was just the americans we encountered and we're not all like that. My favorite American lady I overheard was actually talking about us.  She was watching us guzzle our full glasses of water and was appalled because she thought it was liquor.  Too funny.
3) Stopping at bakeries for croissants and macaroons.  Crepes on the street.  Ham sandwiches at cafes.  Stopping for hot chocolates.
4) The warm weather!  We were surprised at how much warmer it felt than Amsterdam.  Granted, it was raining a lot of the time we were there, but it was still nice.
5) The public transit.  It was so good!  Especially compared to Berlin, which was our most recent endeavor.
6) Climbing loads of stairs without having to worry about a stroller.  


  1. So fun, Steph! You make a stellar hunchback. How nice that you were able to make Paris a romantic getaway for two. :) The impressionism section of the Musee D'orsay was my favorite part of Paris by far. Love reading about all your adventures!

  2. You and Cam are making such awesome memories!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I enjoy the pictures!

  3. What an amazing trip! Everything looks like so much fun! And you look beautiful in all your pictures! So happy you had such a great trip!

  4. I love those pictures of your bike ride, especially with the misty weather! Tell Cameron I like his night picture of the Eiffel Tower :) Looks like such a fun trip!

  5. I now feel like I have been to Paris. Haha, I love the update! I'm glad you went back to see the Eiffel Tower all lit up, and got the best picture ever. I want you to learn how to back these delicious crepes, macaroons, etc that you speak about, and make some for me when you come back to Texas!

  6. WOW those pictures are breathtaking!! I'm very impressed with Cameron's eiffel tower picture. Also I'm dying at your hunchback pic haha. I'm so glad you guys got a trip to yourselves it sounds like you needed it. Love you!

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  8. Can I just say I am so jealous! What an awesome trip! Seriously that picture of the Eiffel tower is amazing! The picture of you as a hunchback is pretty awesome as well. The gardens are beautiful, I'm sure even more spectacular in person. I still can't believe all your adventures, what a great experience. Glad you are having fun, hope we can talk soon!

  9. What a dream! This looks like such an amazing trip! So glad you got to take a trip just the two of you!

  10. This is so cool that you got to go without Andy. What a fun trip!