After getting the plane tickets for our trip in August, the first thing we booked was this amazing stone farmhouse from the 17th century that had been redone and converted into a bed and breakfast in the British countryside. Our plan was to spend Christmas there and I was stoked. Then, our credit card expired in November and they cancelled our reservation before we could give them a new number, and someone else booked our spot. Then I was furious. We tried booking two other B&Bs in Bath, but each one cancelled on us for various reasons and finally I said, forget it, we’re going to Paris!
I took French all through High School, and several years in college so I got to be our official speaker for this part of our trip. The main thing this did for me was make me realize my French is really, really bad. I’ve forgotten so much. I did help us get out of being swindled by someone in the metro who was acting like he was going to help us because we were obviously lost tourists though, so at least there’s that. I need to practice up for our next trip someday.
Paris is a unique place—everything about it just feels beautiful and it was perfect for Christmas. Our hotel was completely incredible. If you ever go to Paris, you must stay at the Hotel La Tamise. It was in the perfect location, literally right across the street from the Louvre, every corner of the hotel had a beautiful Parisian charm, and the staff were the friendliest people we met anywhere on our trip. We were pretty much treated like royalty by everyone and it was very nice. They upgraded our room because it was Christmas and I just can’t say enough good things about them.
The first day we got to Paris we found this adorable little patisserie around the corner from our hotel, bought one of everything we wanted to try and went to eat them in the Jardin des Tuileries. We walked around like the aristocrats used to then went and looked at the huge ferris wheel at the end of the garden as it got dark. It was lovely.
On Christmas Morning we woke up and had a delicious French breakfast in bed then set out to explore. This was the day we hit most of our major sites like the Eiffel tower and Champs Elysses (which, surprisingly, tons of things were open on Christmas).
In the evening we had reservations for a restaurant with a glass roof that was right next to the Eiffel tower so we could watch as it lit up while we ate our dinner. The food was just okay for how much it cost but overall the experience was nice. It was pretty magical watching the Eiffel tower sparkle while eating dinner on Christmas in a fancy restaurant.
The day after Christmas we spent a lot of time at Museums, going through different exhibits. My favorite is still the Museé D’Orsay, and the Louvre is of course always very nice. My favorite era of painting is Impressionism and the Musée D’Orsay had a beautiful collection of paintings from that era. They also had an exhibit of art nouveau furniture and housewares that was very cool. In the Louvre, you kind of have to choose what you want to see because it’s so huge, so we spent a lot of time in the Egyptian and Medieval areas, and of course we stopped to see Darth Vader’s helmet as well because we were still on a Star Wars kick after seeing number VII in London.
We spent some time looking at shops and trying ordering at different restaurants in French, which was exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. Man, my french has gotten really bad. We looked through some neat book and clothing stores and walked through a few open air markets that were fun, and then on the 27th we headed back to London to catch our connection to Bath!