Friday, February 24, 2012

for the love of the weekend getaway - paris edition

What can I say, there are moments in life that really make step back and pinch myself and think - is this really my life, how did I get so lucky??? Not only did I get the man of my dreams but I get to travel the world with him and all the things in my life that I never thought would EVER happen all took place and I am truly living my happily ever after. My husband probably should have waited a few more years for such a fabulous birthday trip to Paris because as my mom said "how will he ever top that". My answer was simple - "puppies"! All joking aside (well not really joking I still want the dogs), this was one of the most wonderful trips I have ever had the privilege to go on and without sounding like a travel guide I would love to share our favorite spots in the city of lights! I had to borrow some images from the web as I wasn't diligent in my photo taking and when I was they were far from stellar iPhone photos.

The flight over was a bit of a hot mess. John had booked this trip only a few weeks before our departure so our seat assignments weren't able to be changed. John kept apologizing to me as he wanted everything to be perfect but I kept reminding him we were on our way to Paris and that I could be sitting next to the toilet with a screaming child and I would still be over the moon. Well my part of my wish came true, I was behind a child that screamed for literally four hours of the flight. The mother did nothing to calm the child and scolded her husband every time he wanted to take the toddler for a walk. Since I wasn't able to sleep and John was peacefully out of the loop with his noise cancelling head phones I literally watched this family like it was a reality TV show and kept ordering the mini bottles of vino to help cope with the disturbing family. When the child finally caved in from the tears and fell asleep the mom reclined her chair into my lap for a  long rest for herself. I seriously could have braided her hair she was so close to me. Since the family was no longer entertaining to me and I was pinned under the broken chair in front of me I started chatting with the 16 year old next to me who was on a HS field trip to Italy. She was playing a paper game with a classmate across from her called DKMS. When they had finished their game I was instantly transformed back into a 16 year old high school girl wanting the latest gossip and the deets on the paper game they were cracking up at. So apparently DKMS stands for date, kiss, marry or have sex with. I seriously turned bright red when she said the word sex. She was so cute and young, how did she even know the word! I guess the game is simple, you pick ten guys and gals and then do a counting game to pair them up and then the new found couples are assigned a DKMS which is what was making them giggle. The whole interaction had me nostalgic for a slumber party and playing MASH into the wee hours with my girlfriends. We landed shortly after at Charles de Gaulle and despite my slight buzz and sleep deprivation I couldn't have been happier!

So on to Paris we went!

Sleep

we stayed at a small boutique hotel steps from the Champs-Élysées called the Villa & Hotel Majestic

lobby


bar


spa
(after napping like a newborn baby on those amazing lounge chairs I was ready to throw away my couch & purchase two of them for my living room)


our suite
(when we left I was hugging the walk in closet telling her how much I will miss her)


Other notable hotels to stay at





Eat
(also known as the places that I gained major lbs)

After being extremely sleep deprived and the room not being ready upon our arrival at 8am we stumbled upon a charming boulangerie patisserie named Joséphine . The baguettes in this place were sublime. I loaded it up with the french butter and fresh jam and went to carb heaven.


even their flour bags are gorgeous


Our first dinner was at this very chic restaurant called L'Avenue, it was absolutely amazing and not your typical French Bistro. Located in the heart of some fabulous fashion houses this stylish restaurant serves delicious dishes with Parisian accents. Every single thing we had was beyond astoundingly fabulous. John's risotto literally came with half of a black truffle sliced on it

their photo


my photo


If you don't mind spending 30 Euros' on a cocktail - visit Bar Hemingway in the Ritz. This cozy bar is quipped with decor all of Ernest Hemingway interest, achievements and photos. The uber expensive cocktail was utterly divine and the drink master was meticulous about his description & preparation, definitely worth a visit but we only stayed for one.


Poire Victoire

Grey Goose pear vodka with lime juice and
clarified apple juice from Normandy offers
you a taste of fresh pears in
a Martini style cocktail.



The famous macaroon boutique with many locations in Paris is well worth the wait in line to get your hands on some of their beautiful treats.


notice the tigress claw marks on moi's box trying to open and walk at the same time


the hubs praying for patience in the overcrowded store



One of my absolute favorite parts of the trip was a place my very stylish cousin who lives in Europe recommended was a quirky restaurant named after the french tuckus. Tucked away on a small narrow street which adds to it's charm feeling as if only locals would know of this space is a gorgeous courtyard that leads to the worlds most unusual resto. We chose to have brunch here and the staff couldn't have been hipper or nicer and the ambiance was sensory overload. I can't say enough awesome things about this spot, if I lived in Paris, I would dine here weekly. The food was unbelievable! I just wish we had more time to visit their other two restaurants 404 & andy wahloo.

Courtyard off of  the street


While waiting for our table we were told to go to the 2nd level and walk through he wardrobe at the end of the hall to a secret smokers room - very Narnia no???


this was on the other side of the wardrobe door


the smokers room


the bar built out of an old dresser & frames


the ping pong table in the center of the restaurant


Sunday Dinner at Hotel Costes oh so stylish restuarant was one of my favorite evenings in Paris. We had another incredible meal and the ambience was just perfect. If you like people watching this is your spot! We really turned the dinner plans into an entire evening out and didn't leave the hotel till after 1 am thanks to meeting a few diplomats and a CEO of a company in Qatar. They were kind and shared their fine wine with me & their cuban cigars with John and we really enjoyed their company. They also gave us the scoop on every place in Paris for our next visit!

We dined on this outdoor patio in the courtayard of the hotel. It was covered & heated and so awesome to be outside on a crsip Paris night.


2nd table in was ours
(but obvi that isn't us)


My birthday dinner was our last night in Paris. I actually had made the plans after John & I had watched Anthony Bourdain's "no reservations" 100th episode in Paris. During the episode Anthony Bourdain went all crazy over Le Monde de Joel Robuchon. So I thought - done - that is where we will go too - John was game and even thought it would be our pricest meal in Paris, we thought why not give it a try. Well I was dead WRONG about this place. Not only was it severely overpriced but the service was atrocisous, not in a rude way but just plain inexperienced. The waiters argued as they placed my dessert in front of me on which way it should be facing, when I ordered my entree the server asked me over and over again if I wanted the tuna as my entree interrupting my conversations with John and the food was just plain blah. I felt terrible that John had spent so much on a meal that was supposed to be the best in Paris - people - save your kmoney & do not go here!


More drinks were needed so we headed to another hotel that had a very cool lounge named Bar La Table du 8 at The Maison des Champs Élysées, was empty since it was a Monday night but it was perfect for us as we really just wanted to be alone anyways. The chic decor is all white and very soothing. We sipped some bubbly and soaked up some Paris on our last night in this wonderful city.


Finally the hubs was thrilled that I spotted a Starbucks. He didn't understand that no one walks around with a cafe in this city. We headed in and got us some caffeine to fuel us for the day.


so happy with his mochachino


See


My husband wanted to go to the top but I just couldn't do it. I usually like to test my fear of heights but I couldn't bring myself to do it. Sorry honey.



So many people faces (especially the children) in this museum looked les misrables but the hubs literally had the cheerful smile below on his face the entire time we strolled the vast hallways of this gorgeous museum.



notable museum we didn't have time to visit but wanted to


again I wouldn't go to the top but we did visit this twice, the photo below was taken on my birthday and just as the tower lit up with it's sparkle lights - it was absolutely beautiful & so romantic


The Seine



Shop
*note - most stores are closed on Sundays*

I have to admit John devoted an entire day on my birthday to shopping and while I do love nothing more a lot of the fashions were either a little too over the top or just plain highway robbery. I still thouroughly enjoyed browsing the designer flagships and highly recommend checking out the following stores to feast your eyes on lots of fabulous Parisian fashions.

Gorgeous gowns, statement jewels & lady like purses at this gorgeous boutique on the fashionable Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré

(smelled a bit foul in here but I think it was the sewer) didn't stop me from going googly eyed over a ridiculously expensive "H" blanket I have been coveting


aka - the mother ship
Made the first mistake of going in here on a Saturday, we literally walked in and walked out. It was busier then any other tourist spot in the entire city. We returned on Monday and it was peaceful and a relaxing shopping experience.


I was the fool who walked right up to the door that was locked and pulled with all my might to get in, little did I know that there was a line to get in and as I looked down at everyone waiting I knew they were thinking dumb American. I refused to wait to spend an exorbitant amount of money on shoes. I wish I had a t-shirt I had bought my best friend back in our club days "I don't wait in lines".


The store was under construction so their temporary location which was an eye shot from L'Avenue was less then impressive, but the bags are so worth going in and swooning over.


 

2 comments:

  1. Fabulous post! Thanks for all your tips, especially regarding the restaurants. Based on how crowded you said the shops were, I am happy we'll be there during the week.

    http://middlemaintenance.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. have a wonderful time & if i had to choose the top three it would be Josephine for baked goods, hotel costes for people watching & dining and derriere for most interesting!

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