5 nights in Paris

Peter and I took the train from London to Paris.  It took about 2 hours and gave me a chance to blog about our fabulous time in London.  We discovered from Natalie that many countries in Europe use Uber so we took that from the train station in Paris to the Latin Quarter where we were renting a flat for the next 5 nights.  We loved the place we rented.  It was the most perfect Parisian flat.  The location was ideal as we could walk to so many places.  We stayed at 18 Rue de Seine.





The first night we did a walking touring.  We walked by Notre Dame, past the Louvre, and checked out the neighborhood Montmartre in the 18th  arrondissement.  We hiked up to the Basilica de Sacre-Coeur where we took in a beautiful view of the city.  This entire area was very touristy and really great for people watching.  Much different from where we are staying in the Latin Quarter which made it fun to see the contrast in neighborhoods.    We sat at a cafe outside, had a couple drinks, and took it all in.  Mainly we people watched and discussed the various fashion senses as the attire was really all over the place.

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One thing that we really dove into in Paris was eating.  Holy amazingness.  It was awesome.  My friend Shastin had given me a list of all kinds of things to do and see in Paris.  She had researched places and asked a friend of hers that had lived in Paris.

The first stop we went to was a place called L’Avant Comptoir.  The place had a front and a back area which were two separate restaurants.  Her note said to try the place with all the unique dishes.  That area was packed and not a single person spoke English.  I looked over to the front area of the restaurant and saw a girl eating a crepe and it looked delicious.  We decided to go with the crepes.  If you go to Paris you NEED to go here.  I got one with chicken and cheese and it was one of the best things I have ever had.  Melt in your mouth good.  Now I will admit I do not have a sophisticated palate.  I don’t think it matters though.  It was a fun experience to order and then stand outside in the rain.  We felt very Parisian.  There was a young girl and boy outside eating crepes next to us.  The boy engaged us and we discovered that he lives in San Diego and was there to study ballet.  The girl was taking him around and informed us that every time she is in Paris she comes to this crepe spot because it’s the best.  It was the boys first time in Paris and it was really fun to see the excitement and enthusiasm he had to be there.

















Peter had scheduled us a fancy dinner in the city months ago, but right before it was cancelled because a diplomat was going to be at the restaurant the same night.  The restaurant asked him for a second choice which was Le Cinq at the Four Seasons.  It has a 2 star Michelin rating and it ranked #2 out of over 12,000 restaurants in Paris on Trip Advisor.






The food was incredible, but I was also taken by the incredible service and decor.  The restaurant has elegant chandeliers, old paintings, massive flower arrangements, and custom china.  The budget for the hotel on flowers is $1 million per year.  I felt completely intimidated in this place.  Most of the women were dressed with effortless sophistication with designer everything.  I was wearing flips flops.  Gold flip flops, but flips flops because that is all I packed bedsides my tennis shoes.  The great thing was that soon after we sat down the waiters put me at ease with their friendliness.  If I had any questions about the menu or anything they made me feel like they wanted to get me the best answer.  The table next to us had a drink on the table that I inquired about.  The waiter told me it was a passion fruit mix and asked me if I wanted one.  I declined then he asked me if I would be more in the mood for a drink with organic cucumber, basil, ginger.. etc.  Whatever he said it sounded delicious.  I said, “sure.”  He replied with, “I will be back with your sunshine.” It was pretty much that, a little piece of sunshine in a drink.

There was uniqueness in every dish.  Even the butter for our bread was a seaweed butter.  My sea bass was flavored with black lemons from Iran! It was a true dining experience lasting over 3 hours.  We started with a glass of Rose Champagne.  We worked or way from the amuse bouche to an appetizer, main and dessert.  After dessert the waiter rolled over a cart full of bite size chocolate, carmel, and fruits.  The entire experience was exceptional.  A good thing to know going in is that the ladies menu does not list pricing, but the men’s menu does.  I never knew I had such expensive taste in food as I picked out the priciest appetizer and entree.  You can do Le Cinq for lunch fairly affordable if you do their tasting menu, not if you order off this menu.  I decided I needed to eat crepes for the next few days to feel right about my absurdly expensive lunch.

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Another major highlight when it came to food, specifically dessert was “Laduree” where they serve the best macaroons in Paris. Well that’s my opinion anyway.

Peter and I went there after a long day at Palace of Versailles. We popped in for a little snack before dinner. We both did the 4 macaroon option. I went with rose, salted carmel, coconut chocolate, and pistacio. I also opted for a vanilla tea.  The tea menu is lengthy with just about any type of delicious tea you could imagine.  Not only were the macaroons incredible but the restaurant was too cute for words. It is fancy in a colorful and sophisticated way with china sets in pastel preset at the tables. It felt like something out of Alice and Wonderland. This was one of my most favorite spots we visited. We both left with a massive sugar high.  A perfect place for an afternoon sweet.








During our time in Paris we didn’t have the best weather. It rained just about everyday we were there so we did need to be somewhat creative with our time there. One evening we decided to buy tickets to the movie theater that was walking distance from out flat. We bought tickets to an Indie film in a quaint and small theater. It was an Irish film that was up for a gold medal at the Cannes Film Festival. We both really enjoyed it. We did sneak a delicious bottle of Bordeaux into the theater which made it seem almost like we were on our couch at home. Peter and I love going to the movies back home so this was enjoyable for us to have a movie experience together in France.

Something else that we really enjoyed was buying a bottle of champagne and drinking it on the lawn by the Eiffel Tower. Talk about an incredible view as you enjoy a glass of champagne and conversation with your partner. We took some time to really take in what we were doing and be appreciative of that moment. It was also a rare day that it wasn’t rainy so we were happy we got the chance to do this.








We also attended the ballet while we were in Paris.

What an incredible experience. We had the special opportunity to watch, “Notre-Dame de Paris.” There was bit of drama involved in the ballet not just from the performers. There was some confusion on which theater the show was at – it was “put on” by one theatre but “staged” at another. There was a group of us who had made the same mistake patiently waiting outside the wrong theatre, so it wasn’t just Peter and I that had made the mistake. About 10 minutes before the scheduled show-time, someone connected the dots and we all made a collective mad-dash to get taxis to the correct theatre.

An American girl from Texas who was in Paris attending school jumped in the cab with us. There was some panic that we wouldn’t be able to see the ballet now if we were late. It’s at times like these that I like my everything happens for a reason and that past is destiny mentality to take over:

Will we miss it?  Maybe.
Is that disappointing?  Yes.
Can we change it?  No.
Can we really feel sorry for ourselves about missing the ballet in Paris?  No way.

We got to the ballet about 10 minutes late and were told, or rather the girl we were with was told, in French that we couldn’t be let in until Act 2 and that we could watch it upstairs on the TV. We got upstairs and the American girl started talking to a worker in French. The next thing we knew we were escorted thru a door and were able to watch the ballet from the top floor. This ended up being really cool because we could see the stage and the orchestra from the nose-bleeds. It worked out! Good thing that girl jumped in the cab with us.

For Act 2 we went to our purchased seats. At this point, I’ll mention that the cigarette smoke in Paris was really affecting me. My throat was really dry, sore, and I was coughing a lot. I’ve turned into my Father, who if you know him well enough, he cannot stand cigarette smoke. About 5 minutes into Act 2 I started to have a coughing attack…not ideal for a ballet… I had to walk out of the show. After I got myself together I headed back to the area upstairs that I watched Act 1 from and enjoyed the rest of the show. Again I was grateful for the American girl. I lost myself in the show. It was beautiful and haunting. It was also much more of a modern show than I would have expected. From the costumes, to the dance moves, to the music. During the encore when the lead woman was applauded for her moving performance I had massive chills.








Another unique experience for us was watching the World Cup game at an Irish bar in French starting at 10pm. After awhile I realized I didn’t need the English commentary. It was the Germany vs Brazil game. By the time the game finished in a shoot out it was getting close to 1am. This did not slow the Parisians down one bit. As we walked out of the bar patrons were eating and drinking like it was a normal dinner time. Parisians certainly enjoy a late lifestyle.

The Palace of Versailles was one of the last things we did.  It was a massively rainy day.  We took an uber all the way out there to find an enormous line.  When it’s rainy most people have the same idea – visit museums.  We decided to head to the gardens and grab some lunch.  This was my idea since I had done this when I visited Paris four years ago.  It was fun to eat pizza, have a glass of champagne, great conversation and recreate one of my favorite memories of a previous Paris trip.

Since waiting in line to get to the Palace didn’t seem reasonable, especially because we didn’t bring an umbrella, we decided to tour the estate of Maria Antoinette and the gardens surrounding it.  There luckily wasn’t a line for this part of the tour.  It was quite daunting to read about each room and try to imagine what it was like during that time when each room was alive with activity.  To think that we were staring into the room where Napoleon did his work, or where royalty entertained, dined, and slept.  Maria Antoinette is the only Queen who had influence on the decor and art of the palace.  She earned the moniker “Madame Deficit,” due to her extravagant taste and lavish spending which has been blamed for Frances financial crisis.  While we were touring the estate Peter told me I was his Maria Antionette.  It seemed like a compliment at the time until I later read more about her.  My husband is hilarious.

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On our last day in Paris we took a stroll over to the love lock bridge where we placed the lock that I had special engraved for us and threw the key into the water below. So thats it. We are together forever. Yay! Or until the city cuts off the locks or the weight of the locks destroy the bridge.  In reality the love lock bridge or Pont des Arts holds much controversy.  In other words the Parisians are against the sentiment.  The weight of the locks cause threat to the historical bridge.  In June of this year part of the bridge collapsed due to all the locks.  There is actually a campaign called, “no love locks,” that is currently fighting to get rid of this tourist activity.  This romantic act started in 2006 after an Italian writer published the book, “I want you.”Like typical tourists we partook in this ritual , but with mixed emotions.

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Paris was beautiful dream. We loved it and were now looking forward to a road trip to Reims or in other words, Champagne Country.

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  • Mary Samson Fotheringham

    Great to read about your latest adventures in France….WHAT FUN!

  • Shastin Diaz

    Now I have to read about Maria Antoinette! lol. I love that you were able to enjoy some of the places I had recommended. I hope to eat one of those crepes one day!! Did you lock the lock I gave you too? Or maybe there is another bridge somewhere in the world you could lock it on! ;-) Sounds like you two are having a blast!!

  • Rosemary Hodges

    You are doing such a fabulous job. I feel like I’m right there alongside of you. Pretty fantastic adventures. Sounds like you are trying to get it all in, I’m a very bright shade of green.

  • Evan Hall

    Where are you now?

  • You will be soon. xoxo

  • Thanks for following us Shastin. We look forward to blog comments. Love you.

  • We are in Florence. We miss you!

  • Thanks for following us. Every day is a new adventure. Much love.

  • Thanks Mary! France was really good to us. xoxo