On boxing day, which is the day after Christmas in the UK, we headed out to the London St. Pancras International Train Station for our two and a half hour journey to Garde du Nord, Paris. This was my first time traveling by train internationally. I've always wanted to travel by train whenever I watch movies and the characters are having fancy meals while riding (how cliche of me). I did, however get to buy a french baguette and a drink during the ride, hoping not to spill on other people like Mr. Bean always does in his adventures.
I took the window seat, and my brother described me as being emotional as I listen to my music with my earphones whilst looking out the window. Well, I was still trying to take it all in that I'm in France and I can finally utilize the two years of French I took in high school (that I can barely remember). Plus, it was so beautiful. I felt so blessed that I was able to travel to such a place.
We arrive in Garde du Nord station in Paris, and it was much more chaotic than St. Pancras in London. It also felt weird to cross streets normally as we got a bit used to the roads being backwards in London, looking right first instead of left. We end up renting a limo service for all the luggage that we had for a flat rate, which was probably much better than getting two taxi cabs. We checked into Hotel du l'arc de triomphe, located at Charles de Gaulle, right by the Champs-elysees.
Let's explore! First mission: To find Rue Saint Honore, because my mom has a bit of shopping to do. We walked past the Arc de Triomphe and I had to stare at it for a while. I'm in PARIS! The city of love, shopping, fashion and the most important, FOOD.
I found out after this trip that you could actually go up to the top of the arc and view the entire city of Paris. I will definitely make sure I do that the next time I visit.
The Place Vendome! We ended up here by accident, trying to find our way through Rue Saint Honore.
We took a taxi cab home, and our driver was nice enough to give us a little history of the city, and drove through some iconic places (so the meter would go up too I bet). When we got back to the hotel, we were so tired that we ended up ordering room service. Probably the cutest one I've seen!
The next morning - we hop on to the Big Bus Tour, Paris version. Our only option was to sit on the second level of the bus, which was outdoor, and it was freezing cold. Our faces were frozen by the end of the tour. Look how beautiful Champs-elysees is though.
Holiday decorations all over Paris.
This is the Pont Alexandre III bridge! And there it was, the Eiffel Tower. "The real one, not the small one from Las Vegas" -Gru, Despicable Me
River Seine. We should've taken the boat ride through this. So much to do, so little time!
Place du Trocadero. One of the best places to view the Eiffel Tower. This was such a tourist spot that I didn't bother taking pictures here, as seeing the Eiffel Tower was more than enough.
Next stop: The Notre Dame Cathedral. This was truly majestic. There was so much history and detail in the architecture that it gave me goosebumps. Was there really a hunchback?
Ever look at a Goyard bag in detail and see that street painted on it? This is it! 233 Rue Saint Honore. The flagship Goyard store in Paris. Shopping in Paris is truly a different experience. My mom's so cute in this picture. :) Below is a display of luggages across the street from 233! How I wish I could travel with these beauties?
Red bottoms. Need I say more? We waited in line just to get into the store. It was a personal shopping experience in here. Mom snagged a pair of classic black heels!
We asked the valet guys at our hotel where we could eat some authentic French food around here. They recommended Riva, which was walking distance from our hotel. Everything was in French, including the menu. This was my first charcuterie plate in France. What I would do to come back to this moment to eat this again.... We also had moulet frites, poulet & crab cakes. Delish.
On our way home, we stopped by a convenient store to grab some bottled water for the room. The French does not sacrifice fresh ingredients and this is proof. This was at the convenience store.
The next morning, we get on the train from the Charles De Gaulle station to another train that would take us directly to the Chateau de Versailles. It was an easy and quick trip.
Here it was. Marie Antoinette and Louis the XVI's chateau. Probably the grandest entrance I've ever seen to a home. What did they do with all these rooms?!
This was the Palace's hall of mirrors. I was so speechless. It was so gorgeous!
Imagine waking up to this view every day.
Oh you know, just strolling in their 'backyard.'
The place was ginormous that we rented a golf cart to ride around the palace. The house behind us is the Petit Trianon, Marie Antoinette's home away from the palace, within the palace.
That night, we headed back to the city to visit the Louvre. The museum was so crowded, I could barely breathe.
We fought our way into the crowd to see THE Mona Lisa. We had no idea it was that small. Is this even the real one? ;)
All that walking = hunger. These sandwiches were from PAUL, inside the Louvre. Possibly one of the best sandwiches I've ever had.
Ahhh! I had a moment here. I stopped to stare at this, to look for our departure time just like in the movies. I love how it's constantly changing and it makes that noise (you would know what I mean). Back to London we go.