Thursday, March 19, 2009

Travel Radar: Paris

Hi Everyone!

Wow! So, it's time for the Paris update that you've all been waiting for! Sorry it has taken me so long, I've been uber busy this week with cleaning, cooking, and preparing for this weekend's jaunt to Germany. But! I finally have gathered up some extra minutes to share some trip highlights with all of you!

Since it would be impossible to show you the whole trip (we literally took 100's of photos), or tell you about the entire experience, I am only going to share a few things I think are interesting and share a little background behind the photos. Enjoy!

Here's the breakdown of our trip:

Day 1: Arrive in Paris around noon. Check into hotel, wander around city.
Day 2: The Louvre Museum (Mona Lisa, Da Vinci, etc.)
Day 3: Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Browsing in the Latin Quarter, supper outside at a small bistro.
Day 4: The Palace of Versailles (Marie-Antoinette, all the Louis the 14ths, 15ths, whatevers), and exploring Lafayette Galleries (the biggest store I have ever seen in my life. Period. Bigger than anything I've seen in New York, Texas, or anywhere else in the USA.) It carried all the designer names. I picked up a pair of Prada flip-flops.....400 bucks. Yeah....I put them down carefully. If that's the flip-flops, I don't even want to see the boots and high heels! Dessert at a bistro.
Day 5: Museum D'Orsay (Van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Degas, Millet, etc.), Nice dinner inside, due to cold weather!

Okay, here are two shots of our hotel. The Hotel Prima Lepic. We enjoyed staying here! The staff was very friendly. We had a bit of trouble finding it, but not too much which I'm grateful for. My suitcase was getting awfully heavy!

Our cute little bed with a pretty canopy. Typical European hotel room -tiny with thin walls! You could hear everything! We didn't mind though! It just makes for better snuggling up!

As you read above, we spent the first full day of our trip at the Louvre. Stuart and I had a running joke that we spent the majority of our trip doing this.....

Haha! Which makes sense, because most of the ceilings are beautifully decorated! Neck gets a little sore though. We toured several sections, hitting the highlights like the Mona Lisa and some of the Classical and Napoleon paintings, then decided to look at our personal interests. We both wanted to see Vermeer and other Dutch painters, Stuart specifically wanted to see the German paintings, and me? Well friends, I immediately headed for the Egyptian artifacts! What can I say? I've always been fascinated with ancient Egypt, and here was my chance to see a real sarcophagus! It is a topic I'm very much interested in, but don't know very much about...hmmm...I should work on that!

This picture is of Stuart and Homer becoming fast friends. Homer even played his harp for us. What a thoughtful guy.....

Here's a shot of us culture vultures somewhere during our trek of the Napoleon paintings. I couldn't believe how huge these paintings were, or how perfectly detailed! Where was I when all this talent was handed out? I haven't even graduated from stick figures yet!

This is our second full day in Paris! We decided to visit the Eiffel Tower and climb it the old fashioned style! No elevators for us! We came, we saw, we got slightly dizzy, we conquered! After this, we walked to Notre Dame where we did not see Quasimodo, but did get to see beautiful Gothic architecture and stained glass, and got bugged to death by some woman who wanted us to give her money. The thing was, there were like 10 women working the same street with the same lame story! Really? They should split up or something! Anyway, we were approached probably four times by these people, and then got cursed at for turning them down!

"Oh wait ma'am! Come back! Now that you've cussed me out, I just really want to give you money!"


Anyway, us in front of the Eiffel Tower!

Our third day found us at Versailles, the palace of some very rich, very troubled people. When we got through, all Stuart and I could say was, "No wonder the people revolted!" These rulers lived in such ridiculous opulence. It was really incredible. I can't even describe it! It was beautiful, but wow! Apparently, it really sapped the money out of the country. The king had a series of rooms (about 7) leading up to his throne room, each one growing more and more ornate as we grew closer to the throne room and the king's divine presence. It was kind of his way of saying, "So do you feel inferior yet?" Here's the famous Hall of Mirrors. Very bright and open!

Here is the room several of the queens slept in, including the doomed Marie-Antoinette. It was out of this room she fled from Paris when the peasants began to attack the palace. (Oh! Side note: The picture at the very top of the floral chair is also from Versailles. All of the furniture varied from room to room. Nothing was decorated the same! This chair was in the library of one of the king's daughters.....) Anyway, everything in this room matched! I must admit, being a person who is fascinated with interior design and clothes, I was excited to see Versailles simply because of the array of fabrics I had heard about. Now, I can't decide if it would be a designer's dream or nightmare!

Check out this canopy with the feathers! I don't know....I kinda think it should be a little more ornate, don't you?

Here is me in Marie-Antoinette's room sporting headphones and my awesome audio guide necklace. I'm pretty sure that all of you are jealous of this right now......Visit Versailles and you too can wear one, my friends!

Here is the outside of a section of Versailles. It's only a side of the palace, can you believe it? One story tells of a maid who got lost inside the palace for several days before she found her way again! I believe it! Also, this is only one of the palaces on the extensive grounds. There are two others, a smaller one specifically for Marie-Antoinette to get away from her duties and relax in. She kept animals like sheep and cows, and liked to disguise herself as a dairy maid to get away from her people and all the royal demands. The other is a much bigger one that we didn't tour. I didn't have the courage....

Our last full day in Paris we went to see the Museum D'Orsay. We loved the paintings there, and Stuart was so excited about seeing one of his favorite paintings by Van Gogh up close! Of course, we had to get a picture of him with it! Here it is! I think this is the title!

Vincent's Bedroom in Arles:

And lastly, this is Stuart and me in the Museum D'Orsay browsing random galleries. One of my new favorite artists is definitely Millet, who had several beautiful pastoral paintings, which reminded me of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles, one of my favorite books! I fell in love with them, and we even bought a small print for our new house (wherever that may be)!

So! We had a wonderful trip! I will try and fill in some other finer points later, such as food and smaller attractions we enjoyed, but this should give you a rough sketch of our trip! Some of the best times were at night, when we were eating outside under the heaters and talking for hours together! It was so great! The metro was an adventure as well!

Well, off I go now! Tomorrow we are on the road again for another short trip to see Dana, Rob, Hannah, and Rebekah! Yay!

Goodbye for now!


  1. Hi Haley! I always read your blog, but I feel badly that I don't comment. I'm glad your package came in a timely fashion! And thanks so much for your email :) It made my day!! Lynchburg misses you and so do I!

  2. YAY!! On to see me. I'm glad that you found Paris as enchanting as I wished it was going to be. Sounds wonderful, we didn't get to see Versailles. Germany might be a let down...we'll see.

  3. Liz! Thank you so much for posting a comment! It makes me so excited! Do you have a blog? You should get one, so I can "follow you." Haha! sounds creepy, but it really isn't! Love ya!

  4. Dana,

    You are such a loser for thinking that I will be disappointed in Germany. As Dad always said, "Haley gets excited over paper clips." Trueness! Germany beats France any day just because you guys are there!

  5. haha, I do actually have a blog! It's nowhere near exciting as yours, and I mainly just talk about random stupid things that happen to me. :) But nonetheless :) I think you can just click on my name and it'll go there.

    Update again soon! I love all your pictures :) :) :)
    ~Liz :) :)

  6. Hey Haley - I hope you guys are having a marvelous time visiting your sister & her family in Germany. Paris looks AMAZING. You guys really did it right, seeing what looks like ALL the major highlights. I am so thrilled that God has bestowed the blessing of time and finances on you and Stuart so early in your marriage to take such an amazing adventure. You two will look back on this with just joy and will retell the tales for years to come! I just wantched 1/4 of our Scotland honeymoon video last night and was reminded again what a great time we have traveling. You two sound just the same. Tell Stuart I love him, and love you as well!

  7. Ok, this is just me saying I miss you!


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