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Making the Most of Four Days in Paris: Day One

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Life has been incredibly busy since we got back from France! It seems like a month has literally flown by. With Easter and the Boston Marathon behind us, there is a little lull until Cinco de Mayo. My favorite holiday of all, because tacos and margaritas pretty much make up the blood coursing through my veins. While we await the onslaught of south of the border recipes, I’m still missing all the delicious things we ate and drank in Paris. Eating that much butter is amazing and should probably be illegal.

After we returned home, we were greeting with welcome back salutations and the customary questions about our trip. My response to it all is that we honestly did so much in the time that we were there. Four days in Paris and there was a lot checked off the bucket list.

Of course, there is plenty we didn’t get to do that I would love to in a future visit. But if I never have the opportunity to go back to Paris in my lifetime, I can die feeling pretty satisfied about our travels there.

Four Days in Paris - Day One

Four days and so many possibilities. Here’s how to make the most of four days in Paris, broken into four parts.

Four Days in Paris – Day 1

Tip One – Don’t Sleep

We took a Thursday night flight out of Boston, Massachusetts that landed in Charles de Gaulle airport at 8am the following morning. After retrieving our bags and an uber, we checked in at the Crowne Plaza-Paris République, checked out the accommodations, took a quick shower and head out. This was key to our jet lag survival.

Lunch at Café des Arts et Métiers

Four Days in Paris - Day One

A cheeseburger in France, way to be a stereotype Lauren….

Located right next to steps to the metro and the Musee des Arts de Métiers, the patio is the ideal place to sit. Plenty of seating, a spectacular view of the street and the comings and goings to satisfy those who like to people watch.

Four Days in Paris - Day One

Food was good with typical brasserie lunch offerings available – salads, croquet monsieur/madame, cheeseburgers, etc.

Four Days in Paris - Day One

Carlos enjoying a cool glass of Sancerre.

The Louvre

Our first day in Paris was rainy and a bit dreary so we took the opportunity to spend it indoors. Off to the Louvre!

Four Days in Paris - Day One

One day is certainly NOT enough to really take in The Louvre in it’s entirety. Henry and I had originally opted for the audio guided tour, but after seeing the rental lines decided against it. At one point in my life I had wanted to study art history so I was in my glory nerding out at all the art.

Four Days in Paris - Day One

Though there is plenty we didn’t see, we definitely checked off the go-to exhibits. Like Mona. Luckily I knew what to expect. She’s kind of small and you can’t get close. Carlos was not aware, Carlos was disappointed.

Of all the paintings, this one stuck out in my phone…there’s just some sort of perfect ‘Motherhood’ caption in here…

To sum up the Louvre in one sentence, hmm, I’ll give it a try. An immense collection from sculptures to paintings, but be prepared for lots of nudity and lots of religious figures in the art, both of those not being mutually exclusive. It’s a poorly constructed sentence, but that’s the gist.

Four Days in Paris - Day One

If you’re in Paris and you have a few hours or the weather is lousy or you truly appreciated old things from the past, go go go to the Louvre.

Cocktail break

Post our art-absorbing venture we stopped for cocktails and incurred the first of the Martini Problem‘s experience. Probably one of the funniest of the trip. And the hunt for a proper cocktail began.

Notre Dame

With a refresh of liquor coursing through our veins and our tour director Carlos motivating us onward. Blindly walking countless blocks to Notre Dame. Next time, we take a cab.

Four Days in Paris - Day One

Regardless of your religious observations, I highly recommend you check out Notre Dame. The space and architecture is truly breathtaking. To think of how old the building is and the way it was built is just mind blowing.

Four Days in Paris - Day One

We lit candles for loved ones, listened to perfectly harmonized voices bounce off the magically acoustic walls.

Four Days in Paris - Day One-16

And then I forgot my beautiful, perfect, delicious macarons from the high end shop at the Louvre in the cafe bathroom next door. Womp womp.

Dinner at La Closerie des Lilas

If you are in Paris, this restaurant is a must go. We struggled all day to find some really delicious craft cocktails and were desperate for a traditional French brasserie meal. This place fits every bill perfectly. While waiting at the bar for our table, we sipped well-made martinis and old-school cocktails in a real silver shaker. Extra effort taken to chill the tin with shaved ice prior to shaking.

Four Days in Paris - Day One

Sitting at a barstool, the upbeat music from a piano player just a few yards away fills the background with lively buzz. The name Hemingway glitters in the soft lights from a gold plate attached to the bar top. In sync cocktail making routines from the bartender and bar managers, and a few prankster tricks like this secret selfie had us all impressed and amused.

Four Days in Paris - Day One

If the drinks and the service don’t have you, the food will. Escargot, foie gras, duck, lamb and more. We ordered all the French cuisine we could eat and each bite was positively delectable.

Four Days in Paris - Day One

We spent the rest of our vacation trying to find a restaurant to meet this experience, and while quite a few came close, La Closerie des Lilas was tough to beat.

Popping Bottles from the Balcony

In toast to our travels and a great start to vacation with friends (and perhaps a little delirium from lack of sleep) we popped a complementary bottle of champagne in the hotel room. Balcony windows were open and a beautiful view of Place de la République and statue on offer. The busy sounds of a late Friday night filled the room while we laughed, sipped and eventually snoozed ready for the next adventure Four Days in Paris could bring.

 

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Aarika

Saturday 22nd of April 2017

I loved seeing your Paris pictures! There is so much to see and experience in Paris, and you truly packed in a lot of epic awesomeness in 4 days. Wahoo! Isn't the Louvre AMAZING? Cheers to more travel adventures!

Lauren

Sunday 23rd of April 2017

Thank you so much! The Louvre is just so mind blowing! All that art in one place. Cheers!

Veronika Sykorova

Saturday 22nd of April 2017

Oh this made me really miss Paris, I definitely want to go visit this amazing city someday again! :)

Alexa @ Millennial Empire Builders

Thursday 20th of April 2017

I was just in Paris in February for the first time and that city is absolutely INCREDIBLE. We spent an entire day at the Louvre and only got through like 1/3 of it. Notre Dame was incredible too... I remember learning about gothic architecture in my art history classes in college but to see it in person is just... insane. Thanks for sharing your trip with us! <3

Lauren

Thursday 20th of April 2017

I remember feeling exactly the same way about the Louvre! Thanks for reading :)

Marissa

Thursday 20th of April 2017

I love Paris so much! I didn't get a chance to go inside the Louvre, but next time I want to. I was just in awe of the outside!

Lauren

Thursday 20th of April 2017

The outside is so big it's hard to imagine it's filled top to bottom with art!