Saturday, November 10, 2007

My Engagement Trip to Paris!!

It was a complete suprise, so i didn't want to know where my mystery trip was going until the gate...and i didn't! Brian kept the trip a secret until we were there in Chicago and then the gate lady told us she was checking our bags through to Paris!!!! I was so excited. After a few hours (8!) on the plane, we arrived in Paris early in the morning and hopped the train to our hotel.
Once we changed a few subways, we got off at the stop that our tourist help desk woman told us to...and we spent a few more minutes (30) looking at the map to find where we were going. We went the wrong way and ended up walking about 40 blocks before we actually found out hotel...and me with new shoes! Me and my 4 blisters made it to the Hotel Eiffel Tower about 2 hours after we started our voyage.
This is my face at the end of this adventure!
Our hotel was beautiful, and even though i was exhausted...i was so excited for our adventure!!!

Thursday, Nov. 1st-the fabulous French cuisine!

We decided to wander the streets of Paris as November 1st is a HUGE holiday in Paris and a lot was closed. We didn't want to get too far away from our hotel in case the public transportation quit running at some point. We were actually exhausted from the travel the day before, so we slept in, then struck out to find some food. Little did we know we were about to find the most amazing lunch we could have in France.
We stopped here at this place after passing up about 5 that just didn't seem to fit our taste. Here, we commenced to have a 3 course meal that was everything i could expect from a French meal. Lamb with potatoes gratin, a fabulous salad, a pesto Ravioli app and a sparkling atertif! For dessert i had a sorbet trio and Brian had some amazing chocolate slice of heaven! It was a great 3 hour lunch, perfect for our relax first day.
Then we got lost for a few hours on the streets, pausing just long enough to grab a guiness in a local pub. During that time, Brian found the world's largest vending machine!
Me and Jacques...lost.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 08, 2007


After a great day of relaxing and walking around, we passed the back part of the Invalides building (mind you, i have no idea what this is, but that is what it is called and so i went with it!) and we took this shot.
We had an amazing stroll around the streets of Paris and back to our neighborhood, next to the Eiffel Tower. We decided to watch the sparkling tower, so we sat down on a bench off to the side of the Champ de Mars, the main park behind the Tower. The night was cool, so i wrapped up in my wool shawl and Brian has his arms around me sitting on the park bench, facing the tower. It was perfect, sitting in the cool fall night with my love on a bench by the Eiffel perfect i started to fall asleep! Little did i know what was about to happen!!
After a little while, Brian asked me if i was sure i wanted to spend the rest of my life with which i replied 99% of the time! Not what he was looking for, so he was about to rethink his next move, when i told him that this was just perfect: the Paris night, the trip, him...he then said "the only thing that would make it more perfect is if you would say you would be my wife". So...the first thing i said was "YOU LIED!" because he said he didn't have the ring with him! Then, of course, i said yes!
It was an amazing night. We got dressed up and celebrated with some good French wine and a wonderful ice cream dessert. Then we watched the Eiffel Tower sparkle again one more time before going back to the hotel. I could not have asked for a more perfect day!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, Nov. 2- The Louvre...a mixed experience

So, the last time i was in Paris, i visited the Louvre and was disappointed and not finding the paintings, and getting stuck in sculpture area. Of course i told Brian we had to go, it is just one of the things you do while in Paris!
So, hopped a train and went to one of the most famous museums in the world. It could have been great, it could have been exciting and was not exactly what thought. There were a million people there, it was unusually hot and we kept getting stuck in the sculpture!! Brian didn't much care about it, and i was just not enjoying, we left. We probably should have toughed it out, but we opted to find some wine instead!
However, we had to find the Mona Lisa first, just so Brian could say he had seen it. That is it, in case it is too blurry for you to see!
And this is our reaction to the experience!
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

This day was the most walking ever! But so fun...we ended out day trip with a walk down the Champs Elysee. I was really hoping they would light all the trees, but it must not have been close enough to the holiday! It was still amazing. And i was not aware you could acutally go up on top of the Arc de Triomph! But oh, you can! We crossed under the large roundabout and climbed the stairs (just a few:) and the view from the top was amazing!
And this is the view from the top!! We stayed up at the top for awhile, and it was amazing. We also got to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle from up here and B shot a great video of me discussing the engagement, but i can not seem to understand how to attach stay tuned. Hopefully i will get that all figured out.
And here is a pic of the beautiful lit Eiffel Tower. We decided to walk back from the Arc to our hotel down the most amazing fashion street in Paris...all the great fashion houses were on it! We meandered along the river, finding the Princess Diana memorial and then stopped by the river for the great shot below. Isn't he great at the self portraits! It was a great day...
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, Nov. 3- Church Day!

So, we decided to see the two big churches in the city, the Sacre Coeur and Notre Dame. We started our journey north, to the Sacre Coeur as it is quite far by metro. Once we arrived...we had no idea where we were going. Fortunately there was a huge church in front of us called the Abbesses and there was a map! The LUCK! So we started off up the hill.
this church has this overall feeling of beautiful hope with tall white spires, gold plating and amazing imagery throughout the interior. i would rather taken pictures on the inside of this one, but it is prohibited.
On the outside we walked around for a little bit and saw a random concert on the plaza, with this french guy who was singing thing from Bob Marley to Gladis Knight to Cake to much more. So fun.
We sat for a sucre crepe, sugar crepe, and a Heineken before going on to find the Notre Dame. Back on the metro!!
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, Nov. 3rd- Church Day, part 2

We actually lost the Notre Dame for awhile, which is funny because it is huge! We just got turned around afer taking the metro and had to search for a bit, but man it was amazing. It is incredible the detail on the inside and outside of these old churches. And i love that there are bible stories carved in imagery all over the church.
Brian loved the rose windows most of all, but i was a huge fan of the new and old testement carvings and all of the candles. I always feel like it is just amazing to see all the lighted prayers of people...even if they are not religios. That is truly God's great plan. It was amazing.
Then we came outside and found this guy. The headless accordian player, of course! We walked around the back and viewed all the amazing architechture...this building is truly gorgeous.
Of course, Jacques, being the cheeky devil that he is, had to tell us all about the methods used and how they constructed it. He really is a very intelligent giraffe! This visit ended with hot chocolate and chocolate crepes, followed with some good wine and dinner at our favorite, Iolanda, by the hotel again. What a great last night in the city of love!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, Nov. 4th...OUR LAST DAY!

So, we only had a little bit of time in the morning to climb the Eiffel Tower before we had to head out on the train. We got up nice and early, packed and headed down, thinking we were so early and on top of it. 5000 were on top of it too and the lines were crazy!! But we had the short one, as we were doing the stairs, and we made it up to the front quickly.
I was so excited! I had been on the top before, but Brian never had..this was going to be fun. As we neared the front, however, we realized that it was probably an all euro event, and we were short on cash. Would there be enough money to take the elevator at the top? Only time will tell!!! As we neared the front, we had to get our bag checked, and Jacques was inside, of course. Needless to say, when Brian showed the guard his stuffed giraffe, he chuckled a bit.
And we were off. We raced up the first few flights, getting to the first floor at about 234 steps, stopping momentarily to take in the view. Then up to the second. But when we got there we realized that we only had enough money for one of us to go up...and the line was about 2 hours! So, we just looked around, took some pictures of Jacques and came down.
The trip was so amazing, i could not have asked for a better engagement experience. And now for the best part...i get to marry my best friend!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 05, 2007


There will be a lot more after this post, but for now, WE'RE ENGAGED!!! Brian suprised me with a trip to Paris and a request to be his forever, i said yes!!! More to follow, stay tuned!
Posted by Picasa