Chasing Davies: Four Days in Paris!

May 22, 2017

Four Days in Paris!

Four Days traveling in Paris on vacation 

Feeling like we could finally leave our kids with our parents for more than a weekend, it was time to cross the ocean and immerse ourselves in other cultures.  Greg and I had been craving a European vacation, and I'd also really been wanting to visit Iceland.  After some research, and a lot of suggestions from friends who'd visited, we took advantage of the Iceland Air stopover with a roundtrip ticket to Paris.  

I used to think that to make traveling abroad worth it, we'd need be gone for 2+ weeks, and while we were gone a total of 9 days, we hit up two totally different cities (bookending in Washington D.C. to meet up and travel with my good friend and her boyfriend) in only 4 days each. It was totally doable, I felt like I got away from work and our crazy lives and really got to know each city. Of course, I definitely missed the kids a ton, but it was really fun coming home to them.  They missed us, too. ;)
So here is the first part of our trip - our 3 nights and 4 days in Paris!

Day One

After we checked into our airbnb apartment, we pushed through only a few hours of sleep on our red eye and major jet leg to quickly acclimate to the new time zone (7 hours ahead!) by staying out in the day light, walking and wondering, lots of coffee and small bites throughout the rest of the day. This was the perfect time to get to know our neighborhood, the Le Marais area.

Our first stop was for a dose of caffeine that we needed to gain our first bout of energy for exploring. Café Charlot was a sweet little place just for that. We also had our first fromage of the trip! Then we wandered, which is the most fun in such a beauty packed city and ended the day with dinner and early to bed (10pm ish).

 Day Two

This was our big day to explore some old favorites.  We'd all (but one) been to Paris before - I've been there two times before - but there are somethings you never get sick of. After a quick pain au chocolate and espresso, we started at Musée d'Orsay, where my favorite statues, Degas' Little Dancer lives.  There are also a great deal of Monets there, too, which might be my favorite painter.  Coquelicots (Poppy Field) is probably my favorite one at this museum.   

Do you have a favorite Monet/painter?

After the museum, we took the metro close to the Roman Catholic church, Sacré-Cœur, climbed up the hill to the top and then found a nice seat outside to stuff our faces with crepes.  Sacré-Cœur, which stands for sacred heart, is another favorite Paris spot. Talk about a view.  This time, we didn't climb to the top of the church, but you can - and it's amazing.  

But the views from the hill alone are breathtaking, and there is a whole buzzing town with cafes, street shops and artists, etc all around the church. You could spend a half of a day there if you wanted.

After rolling down the hill, we just had to stop by the Eiffel Tour. You'd think if you've seen it once, you've seen it - but not true. It's just amazing, iconic and well - if you don't get a picture (or a dozen) in front of it, were you even really in Paris?!?! ;)  For great photo spots, go to the Trocadéro

We took a quick nap late that afternoon after a crammed morning and early afternoon to rest up for dinner.  We had heard about Robert et Louise, a near by restaurant, that we hit up for dinner. They make amazing meat right on an open fire grill.  We sat in the basement, which was like a fancy cave, and drank a lot of good wine, too.

Day Three

We took this morning a bit easier. And since most of us have been to Paris before, the pressure was off to cram every tourist destination in - especially since the previous day had been so packed. Like any good morning, we started with brunch and lots of coffee at Season.  They're meals and coffee displays were on point. Totally works of art!

After breakfast, we wondered our neighborhood, doing a little shopping and more coffee drinking with some people watching and relaxing. We had really great weather, so it felt very relaxing to sit outside sipping a latte or cappuccino.  Everything is so beautiful in Paris, and it felt really nice to take it all in.

After a quick midday nap, we spent the late afternoon at the Louvre - somewhere I've been before, but this time we had a personal tour guide to get us in (way faster and more efficient vs. waiting in line), plus gave us the highlights tour.  Since there are SO many pieces, it can be very overwhelming. The tour guide took the guess work out of it, and gave us a ton of back stories and more context than what you could read on the plaque.  

One of the most famous pieces at the Louvre is the Mona Lisa. Our first question after this stop was, 'so what's the big deal with Mona Lisa?' and we got a really fascinating back story that made it all more interesting.

After the tour, we wandered the Tuileries right outside the Lourve. Beautifully manicured trees line wide walk ways, and there is a straight view through the arches to Arc de Triomphe.  We wondered a few blocks away to a wine tasting and then to dinner.

This might have been my favorite meal in Paris.  We went to Ellsworth, and I highly recommend it.  It was a restaurant of small plates, and one of my favorites was the rhubarb scallops.  Delish!

Day Four

We only had the morning before heading off to the airport, so we did most of our favorite thing: brunch. Not only is that my favorite meal, but in Paris, it's the whole ambiance and relaxed paced made it vacation-perfect.  

Holybelly was the last of our Paris-meals, and still reveling in the rhubarb dish from the night before, I got the pancakes with mixed nuts and fruit - including rhubarb - on top!  It was so amazing.  Tip: Get there early/right when they open, because by the time we were leaving, there was a line out the door and down the block a bit!

We headed to the airport that afternoon for the next part of our vacation - our stopover in Iceland!  I'll share more on that part of our trip soon!  But if you have any great recommendations for Paris - I'd love to hear them in the comments below! I know I'll be back... Especially since 3-4 days was so doable.

And if you're interested, here are some of the clothing pieces we were wearing throughout our trip:

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