Paris Trip: Part 2

Today I’m sharing part 2 of our weeklong trip to Paris.  If you missed part 1 you can find it here!  The only thing that I regret not seeing while in Paris is the Musee d’Orsay.  It is the home to many famous impressionist paintings, and I would have loved to have seen those in person.  Unfortunately I learned about this museum on Sunday, it was closed Monday, and we left Tuesday.  That being said, if you visit Paris make sure you research when the museums are closed because you don’t want to miss out on something great like we did!

Day 4

Ahhh Versailles…buy your ticket ahead of time and THEN get in the long line.  If you buy your ticket when you get there it’s a little confusing and you have to go to a building that isn’t very well marked and then join the long line.  We learned this lesson the hard way.  Make sure you get there when it opens because the crowds (even early) are terrible.
The famed Hall of Mirrors.  Versailles truly is an amazing place to visit because it’s so ornate and over-the-top, but make sure you pack your patience because you will be dodging people throughout the entire tour.

The gardens at Versailles were beautiful, expansive, and much less crowded.  

Coffee break in the Latin Quarter.  We were pretty exhausted and peopled-out after our Versailles experience.

I always love the beautiful art-deco metro signs.

You can never go wrong with a crepe.  There are so many different delicious sweet and savory varieties, but I always get nutella on mine.  

Tom, on the other hand, doesn’t really have a sweet tooth so he opted for a gyro that was so good that it took him back to his Navy days.  He spent a lot of time along the Mediterranean coast when he was a Sailor and always talks about the cheap gyros he would eat in Crete. 

Day 5.

Inside the iconic glass pyramid of the Louvre.

We went to the Louvre this day and enjoyed seeing many famous masterpieces like Winged Victory, the Mona Lisa Hammurabi’s Code.  The Louvre is massive so if you want the full experience you need more than a day, but you can easily see the highlights if you research what is there ahead of time and figure out where everything is.

Doing what I do best: resting my swollen, pregnant feet.  I love that all the parks (this is in the Tuileries Garden near the Louvre) have chairs everywhere!

Day 6.

We went for an amazing 6 mile run one morning.  Running is one of our favorite ways to explore a city.  You get exercise AND see pretty sites!  We had planned on running more than once, but my feet and legs were extremely sore from all the walking we did, and jet lag is a bit more difficult to get over when you’re pregnant….so basically I was lazy and couldn’t get myself out of bed in time.
We ran up the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe.  I’m 18 weeks pregnant here so we had to stop for a photo op. 

After the run we picked up breakfast (chocolate croissants) and picnic food for the day (cheese, baguette, fruit and meat).  There is nothing like a just-out-of-the-oven chocolate croissant, so naturally I had to eat 2 of them! 

We hit Paris right at the height of peony season.  I couldn’t resist taking lots of pictures like this.

I’m a sucker for pretty, organized fruit stands too.  Why don’t we have beautiful fruit displays like this in America? 
Plant shops are so pretty in Paris.  I don’t even know what I’d do with a cumquat tree, but this shop made me feel like I reallllly need one.  Aren’t they so cute?
Day 6 was a leisurely day and we just wandered around to some of the places we had missed.  Hemingway and many of the English speaking expats would visit Shakespeare and Company often (although this isn’t the original location that they frequented).  Still, it’s a fun bookstore to visit and explore.
After Shakespeare and Company we wandered over to Les Invalides.  This was built as a hospital and home for injured Soldiers, and it was founded back in the 1600s.  It’s still a home to many elderly and seriously wounded Soldiers, but it’s also the French military museum.  Most of Les Invalides is closed on Mondays, but we were able to see Napoleon’s tomb and an exhibit on Charles de Gaulle and Winston Churchill that was very interesting.

View of Napoleon’s tomb from above.
After visiting Les Invalides we did a walking tour of Julia Child’s old haunts (using the book Forever Paris: 25 Walks in the Footsteps of Chanel, Hemingway, Picasso, and More).  This was where she lived when she and her husband first moved to Paris.  If you like cooking, memoirs, and Paris, you need to read Julia Child’s autobiography My Life in France.  I read this back in 2009 (as well as Julie and Julia which is a fun book too), so it was fun to see her favorite places in person.
As Tom and I were meandering back “home” along the Seine I heard someone yell “Katie!”.  I didn’t expect it to be directed at me, but it was, and it was coming from this sweet girl who happens to be a friend and West Point classmate!  Evelyn and I hadn’t seen each other since we were at the same Army course in Oklahoma in 2009, so it was a huge surprise to run into each other on the Left Bank of the Seine in Paris.  Such a great way to end the trip!

Well that’s it for my Paris trip recap!  If you have any questions about Paris or our trip please let me know!

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Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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  1. July 8, 2015 / 1:56 pm

    Katie, I really love the workout clothes you're wearing in your running pic! Can you tell me where you got the items? <3 kat

  2. July 8, 2015 / 2:00 pm

    Hi Kat, thank you so much! Lululemon is my go-to for workout clothes. The tank is a Cool Racer Back, the crops are Wunder Understand (more for yoga but this pair has a really comfy waist so I've started using them for everything as my belly grows) and the black top was a pullover I snagged on sale at Lululemon a few years ago. They don't make it all the time but sell items similar to it occasionally. It has a zipper in the back and it's a bit cropped, which normally isn't what I'd go for but I absolutely love layering it over a tank. Hope that helps!

  3. July 8, 2015 / 4:58 pm

    Thanks Katie! Looks like you had a wonderful time in Paris!

  4. Susan
    July 8, 2015 / 10:21 pm

    Katie, great pics! How fun to run into someone you know! Your black and white sneakers are cute – are they comfortable? and where did you find them? Thanks,

  5. July 8, 2015 / 10:30 pm

    Thank you, Susan! The striped shoes are comfortable! I actually bought them in Paris because all my other shoes were killing my feet after walking all day. They are from H&M so you should be able to find them in the U.S. too. Hope that helps!

  6. July 9, 2015 / 12:10 am

    I love all your photos and stories! I didn't know Tom was a former Sailor! Bengie has been to Crete on the Army boats. ­čÖé Your Paris recap is making me want to go again. I've only been there once and it was a 4-day whirlwind excursion for New Year's Eve 2000. Even in that short amount of time, I saw almost all the major sights you mentioned, but each only for an hour or two. It was a guided tour so I was on a bus full of people, but our guide was excellent… always getting our whole group ahead of the lines, and she knew everything about everything. I would love to go back and do it at my own pace though. Thanks for sharing your trip!

  7. July 9, 2015 / 1:09 pm

    Great trip report!! Other than your Julia walk we did many of the same things you did, and walked up the Tower, which was great! The Musee d'Orsay is worth a visit, but now you have a fab reason to return!!! Sitting in the sun in Paris is such a pleasure, DH and I almost fell asleep one day sitting down by the Seine!! I think it was the day after we clocked 11 miles on our FitBits! Oh, lemon and sugar crepes, yum!!!

  8. Anonymous
    July 11, 2015 / 3:19 am

    A romantic trip to Paris with your husband while your pregnant with your first baby. That is so wonderful and sweet and I know you'll remember it fondly for the rest of your life. What a special time in life and I'm so happy for you!

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