Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Paris, France- Day 1-May 17th

I loved hearing phrases such as, "mind the gap" every time we got onto the train. :) Leaving London I realized that everything was about to change though. Everything would now be written in French, as it should be in France, but still a little scary when you don't know any more French than the travel book gives you!
We took the Eurostar to Paris bright and early.

Breakfast from the train station was actually delicious!

When we arrived with our luggage and tried to get around in the subways in Paris and such we thought it was ironic that we came across this sign: :) It seemed like a foreshadowing of what was to come...

Luckily we were wrong. Just navigating through the subways with luggage was miserable. We checked into our hotel, which was fabulous and had 2 separate rooms and a small kitchen. After we dropped off our luggage we headed out for some lunch.

Just around the corner we found Pasta Ritchi. Pizza sounded good, and their menu had some english on in- which would make for quicker selection.
We should have know lunch would be automatically served with wine. They probably thought we were crazy to turn it down. Maren looks pretty temped. ;)
Although the second menu name looked appealing, and surprising :) (maybe that's what Ryan and Mare were smiling about), we decided on some pizza and Paris began to deliver yummy food.

After lunch we headed to Du Pont Neuf for a boat tour of the city. Seemed like a nice way to get our bearings on the landmarks.

Lovers lockets on lots of the bridges.

When we finished our tour we walked to Notre Dame.

^While waiting in line we shared our first crepe. Just as good as everyone said they would be!

The bell tower was neat! It was all neat!
^Sorry Mare, your Quazi pic is much cuter than mine. :)

Interesting to find condom dispensers in the subway. :)

^And fun to see how different each stations walls, ceilings and surroundings were.

After a stop back at the hotel we headed out for dinner. We found a corner restaurant on the street of our hotel (forgot the name) and went with it. Contrary to what some people said about the French, they were very friendly and helpful in trying to understand our few French words and tried their best with any English they knew. It was kind of fun ordering off the menu, only knowing what the main dish was. No real details on preparation or sides, etc. :)
^ This Cheese Ravioli was DELICIOUS!!
So was our other option.
We lucked out and found this pastry shop right as it was closing. One of the workers was so friendly after finding out it was our first day in Paris and gave us tons of free beignets to go with the many other pastries we ordered.

^This is what we came home with the first night! :) People told me to take advantage of the delicious food and desserts, and you better believe I did. Eclairs were my favorite!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

London- Day 4- May 16th

Day 4 started at St Paul's Cathedral. We walked up a gagillion steps and took some pics on top.

Red busses everywhere!

Next we headed off to Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guard and the Queens Gallery.

For such a giant crowd you would thing this exchange would be pretty darn cool.
We waited forever! It rained a little...
And unfortunately it was a "short change" as they call it.

Not that cool of a production for the crowds of people and long wait, but it gave us some time to take meaningless shots of each other. :)

We heard Harrod's shopping center was worth seeing, so we had a look-see. It was quite extravagant!

My kind of place! TONS of candy, but I didn't buy any. Ed got some chocolate and Ryan, some turkish delight.

After Harrods we had lunch at EAT - a local place. I loved seeing Bircher Muesli at lots of places in Europe.

Ed and I shared a pot pie and sandwich.

After lunch we went to see Westminster Abbey.
^ This picture shows some London Landmarks, The Eye, Big Beg, Westminster Abbey, and of course a red phone booth and red double-decker bus. :)

The Abbey is such a neat building!

^Info about the Royal Wedding. ;)

This London trip was go, go, go! We walked close to our dinner spot to Grosvenor Square and took a quick, much needed, and glorious nap on the grass in the sunshine until it was time for dinner.

Then when it was time we went to the Maze Grill, a suggestion from a friend and one of Gordon Ramsey's restaurants.
It was very delicious. Our waiter gave us all sorts of info about Gordon and took us to meat the kitchen staff.
It was a fun experience and apparently we just missed Gordon himself, who was having dinner there that night.

We rushed off and ran to the Queen's Theater to see Les Mis. We barely made it in time! Just in time to see that someone else was sitting in our seats as the lights dimmed and they were not able to correct the mistake in time. We ended up having to sit on the side. I was so ticked!!! Finally mid-show, at intermission we were able to have our real seats!!
The show was amazing and a perfect ending to our stay in London.

Farewell London! We thought you were great!
Our hotel was ite!

Now off to Paris, France...