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Our Paris Adventure! Trip Report: June 21st - June 28th

Texas
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Our Paris Adventure! Trip Report: June 21st - June 28th

I would like to preface my trip report with a big thank you to all the locals, experts, and regulars who so patiently answered all my questions as I did my research. This trip was 9 months in the making. Dreaming of this trip was my #happyplace for so long I'm rather at loose ends now. Reliving it through the VERY detailed trip report I'm writing is my consolation for now.

Thank you in advance to anyone who has the patience to muddle through this account.

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Texas
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6,417 posts
195 reviews
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1. Re: Our Paris Adventure! Trip Report: June 21st - June 28th

Saturday, June 21st

Today we left London via EuroStar for our long awaited Paris trip. We loved London, so it was a bittersweet train ride. If anyone would like to know how we spent our week in London you can find my trip report here:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g186338-i17-k75904…

At 14:17 we arrived at Gare du Nord. We were in car #16 so we had to drag our luggage quite a distance. Once we reached the lobby portion we were approached by someone offering us a taxi. I remembered the advice I had received here on TAPF and we joined the queue for a taxi at the official taxi stand. I had called up the address for the Hotel Saint-Louis en L’lse and taken a screen shot of it to show our taxi driver. The queue moved quickly and within 20 minutes we were settled in the back of a taxi getting our first glimpse of Paris!

Today was the music festival and it was nice to hear music drifting into the windows as we moved through the streets. It was almost as if Paris was serenading us with, “Welcome! Welcome to Paris!”

When we arrive at the Hotel Saint-Louis en L’lse www.saintlouisenllsle.com I recognize the street from the Google Walks I had taken so many times while dreaming of this moment. The taxi driver helps us unload our luggage (€18) and we are greeted warmly by Denis. Our room was ready and we are quite pleased with both our room and the location of our now ‘home’ for the next week. If anyone is interested you can read my review here:

ShowUserReviews-g187147-d219996-r212769208-Hotel_Saint_Louis_en_l_Isle-Paris_Ile_de_France.html

After tossing in the luggage we break with tradition and decide not to unpack as the Mr. (who is OCD) normally insist we do! We are hungry so our first stop is for lunch at Le Saint Regis. We order the special of the day and find we have one of those inedible pieces of beef that Patty in Paris warned us all about. It tasted good and the accompanying sauce was nice and flavorful but the meat just could not be chewed completely. What I tried to chew usually ended up waded up in a napkin on the edge of my plate. I left about half of the meat untouched. It was just too much work to eat! The veggies were very good though! After paying the bill ($49.01) we head across the bridge to get a closer look at Notre-Dame. We wanted to go in or up the tower but the crowds were just massive! We decide to move on. This time we are in search of Sainte- Chapelle. We find it and join a fairly short queue. When we reach the cashier, I ask for two audio guides in addition to our admission fees. The cashier tells us that they are going to be closing soon and we would not have time to enjoy the entire audio guide. We decide to come back another day. In retrospect, since a return never happened, I wish we had just paid for the admission and the audio guide and enjoyed what we could while they were still open. #sigh

Now we begin to wander. We come to a bridge (I never can keep them straight) and the Mr. says, “Let’s walk across it.” “Why?” I say. I wanted to see if we could locate Vedettes du Pont Neuf since I had prebooked a cruise that we were planning to take that evening. From the direction the boats are heading the pier is on the other side of the river. He asks me to humor him and we keep walking. He’s leading the way and finally he stops, points, and says, “Looky there!” We get our first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. Granted it’s just the upper portion, but in that moment we are SO happy!

Now he’s ready to locate Vedettes du Pont Neuf and we walk back across the bridge, beside the river, and finally find a set of stairs to descend. This area is full of happy drinkers and picnickers. Since there are musicians everywhere we know they are all there to enjoy the music. We locate Vedettes du Pont Neuf and head back in the direction we came. We pass Notre-Dame and walk across another bridge and end up in an area where there are many HOHO buses. We briefly consider taking one to get our bearings but decide it’s too late in the day. We’d already done something similarly stupid in London on our last day and it was a total waste so we keep walking. We stop and admire some of the street vendor’s art, particularly anything that features a ‘chat’. We’ve been gone for 9 days at this point and miss our two Cat-Girls. I’m dying of thirst and spot a Subway. When we were in London someone had mentioned that a Subway is a good place to get a drink because of the self serve station and unlimited ice they provide. We stop in and you’d know it. The ice machine is broken! We move on and park ourselves at a sidewalk café. I know it will be expensive (and it was - €10!!) but we are dying for a Coke Light so we indulge. We are also given water and ice, so it was a luxury but worth it. After this we cross back over another bridge (behind Notre-Dame) and head back to the Hotel Saint Louis en L’lse. We have a special ‘date night’ dinner planned and we needed to get ready!

Dinner tonight was at Le Tastevin @ 7:30 (20:30) and we were about 15 minutes early. When we first peeked in we were a little unsure of ourselves. The restaurant was so beautiful and charming. With fresh cut roses and little lamps on every table the space was elegant and romantic. The Mr., while dressed in slacks and a nice shirt, was worried he was under dressed, but the host & hostess greeted us quite warmly and seated us in a sweet little window seat. The menu is written entirely in French and naturally we are somewhat lost. The hostess kindly translates for us and the Mr. orders fish and I choose lamb chops. We also order a half bottle of wine. We are given some olives and fresh bread to munch while we wait. I want to photograph the space, but the Mr is like, “Uh no!” He relents later as more and more diners join us and begin taking pics of the charming space. We start visiting with the tables on either side of us and compare trip notes. The couple to our left asks if we will take their photo and promise to return the favor. Now the Mr. is a handsome man, but neither of us photograph well. You will never see us ‘voluntarily’ take a picture (unless we are tipsy maybe) and at that point we hadn’t had that much wine! However, we WANT good pictures so we do keep trying. The pictures came out “meh” but we are used to that. Our plats arrive and we are both very pleased with our choices. For dessert we chose a dessert I’ve had my ‘eye’ on for quite some time – the profiterole and they do not disappoint! Decade, chocolately, yummy goodness! Our bill comes to $145.89. Can we afford to eat like that every day? Of course not, but it was our first night in Paris! We were giddy with joy, and somehow it seemed fitting to splurge on such an amazing meal!

We have lingered so long we need to hustle if we are going to make the 10:30 sailing of the river cruise. I’m glad I had insisted on a ‘dry run’ because we know exactly where to go. We retrace our steps from earlier in the day and find even more music lovers enjoying the warm Paris night. It’s truly a party! I had pre-booked the tickets while still at home so we were able to board immediately upon arrival. We find the top deck totally full. Boo! We have to be content with open window seats on the bottom deck. It isn’t long after boarding that the cruise departs. The young lady who provides the commentary does so in both English and French. We enjoy the sites and cool river breezes. We circle by the Eiffel Tower and miss the ‘timed’ twinkle. I look at my watch and realize it’s 10:54. So while the boat circles around starts back in the direction in came I get up and head to the back of the boat. I keep checking my watch and looking at the departing Eiffel Tower. Just before it disappears in the bend of the river, I catch it sparkling! Like this afternoon’s first glimpse it’s not a full view, but it’s enough to set my heart aflutter! OH M GEE! That happy moment will forever live within me! Sadly, the Mr. missed it, but no worries. He does get to see it before we leave Paris, but that’s another story for another day. 

The river cruise continues. Every time we pass another boat or a group clustered along the river they give us a shout and we return the favor with enthusiastic waves and shouts of our own. The French police are present on board a boat of their own. Every now and then we witness them stop to ‘visit’ with partiers. The Mr. and I wonder where are they going to the restroom? Booze = pee-pee. We also hope they are picking up their litter and not dropping it into the beautiful Seine.

At the conclusion we disembark with the others and head back to ‘our little Island’. The party seems to be breaking up and there are lots of people on the streets. Every now and then we have to step over running liquid. We hope it’s just water. #grin

We make it back to our room and are too excited to sleep! Some of you might recall my post “I Saw the Eiffel Tower Twinkle!” it was during this time I made the post. Finally at about 1:00 we finally settle down enough to sleep. I have a busy day planned for us tomorrow and we will need our rest. At that point, I didn’t realize we’d also need our wits about us, but that’s tomorrow’s story.

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Nord
Nord
Hauts-de-France, France
Gainesville, Florida
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2. Re: Our Paris Adventure! Trip Report: June 21st - June 28th

EEEEEEE finally!! We've been waiting!! :)

St. Petersburg...
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3. Re: Our Paris Adventure! Trip Report: June 21st - June 28th

Now I'm missing Paris even more !! Great start to your trip report.

Sacramento, CA
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4. Re: Our Paris Adventure! Trip Report: June 21st - June 28th

Great start.... And LOL

Booze = pee pee

Gave me a good laugh!

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Lol
Lol
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Paris, France
Tucson, Arizona
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5. Re: Our Paris Adventure! Trip Report: June 21st - June 28th

I was in Paris that night. You had far more fun than I did! Doing laundry was a drag .. but I did enjoy some music later.

Philadelphia...
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6. Re: Our Paris Adventure! Trip Report: June 21st - June 28th

Fantastic- Thank you. Can't wait for more

Val-de-Marne, France
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7. Re: Our Paris Adventure! Trip Report: June 21st - June 28th

Yes, I remember your Eiffel Tower twinkling thread! :) Lovely first day in Paris. I know you said there were also mishaps so I'm ready to read more hoping it was nothing too bad. But I see it did not diminish your enthusiasm nor your love of Paris.

Texas
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8. Re: Our Paris Adventure! Trip Report: June 21st - June 28th

Geez! I have some real boo boos in that post. Sorry for the poor edit!

Thanks to all who are reading. I have Sunday almost ready! :)

San Diego...
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9. Re: Our Paris Adventure! Trip Report: June 21st - June 28th

Enjoying the utter joy exuding from your post - making me miss Paris!! Cannot wait to read the rest & continue on your journey!

San Diego
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10. Re: Our Paris Adventure! Trip Report: June 21st - June 28th

I was so sad when the London Trip Report ended this morning, but now have a reason to be happy again! Can't wait to read more!