BC: DEPARTED | FRANCE | 19 Mar 2012
1: PARIS | FRANCE | ARRIVED 10 Mar 2012 | is the capital of France. Founded more than 2000 years ago, Paris is a modern and vibrant city with significant commercial, cultural, academic, scientific, administrative, business activity.
2: I finally got to take James to see my favorite city in the world, the City of Lights. Every sight was even more magical with him by my side. Below is the view from the summit of butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city. We're actually standing right in front of the beautiful Sacré-Coeur Basilica.
4: Around Town
6: Ladurée Bakery Ladurée is a luxury bakery brand founded in 1862 by Louis Ernest Ladurée, a French miller from the southwest of France. The brand is known as the inventor of the double-decker macaron known all over the world.
10: PARIS MUSEUMS Paris has some of the most amazing museums in the world. We visited the Orsay, the Centre Pompidou, the Rodin Garden, the Orangeraie, and Les Invalides. We had to have a picture taken in between museum visits in the beautiful Louve garden.
12: The beautiful region of Normandy was likely the best and worst of the whole trip. Excited for our day we drove to the outskirts of the city to get our rental car. As we arrived to pick up our rental car, we realized we had forgot our passports. Our excitement for this day began to dull as we had to make the dreadful trip back to our apartment to retrieve our much needed passports. We drove across the entire city down the Champs Elysees and around the city's center. James soon decided that the road was navigated by Martial Law. We then got lost getting back to the interstate for a good hour or two. Once we got on the right road we eventually made a stop to see the tapestry of Bayeux. James was pleasantly surprised once he realized which tapestry it was. All the while, we were fairly sure we were completely lost. We were planning to go to the American Cemetery on the coast, James’ main focus of this trip. After a three hour drive we found out the cemetery had closed an hour prior to when we arrived. Knowing we had another hour and a half to get to our hotel, James pulled back out of the parking lot, broken-hearted. He lost all hope of seeing the cemetery he had always wanted to visit. I, of course insisted on going back the next day after the best night at L'Ertimage and a good morning spent at Mont Saint Michel. James loved getting to finally get to see the American Cemetery, on our second visit the next day. | Normandy
15: L'Ermitage was the most pleasant surprise after a very long disappointing road trip from Paris to Normandy. After we got to the cemetery to late James was terribly hard to cheer up but from the moment we walked in to this small hotel we knew we'd have a good night. We made it in just before the five star restaurant closed. At almost ten o'clock we were the only people in the perfect little French restaurant at the bottom of the hotel. This is the place I had the best meal I have ever eaten. The waiter brought out two different live lobsters from 10 kilometers off the shore to let me choose which size lobster I preferred. Then the lobster was served sliced in half with coral butter poured over the top and shredded local vegetables in the top half of the shell. Ridiculous......seriously
16: LE MONT SAINT MICHEL | Normandy | 14 MAR 2012
17: Le Mont Saint Michel is a small rocky island about 1 km from the north coast of France at the mouth of the Couesnon River in Normandy. The mount is best known for the medieval Benedictine Abbey and steepled church at the top.
18: The monastic buildings, known as La Merveille ("The Wonder"), include the abbey church, a winning hodgepodge of architecture with a Romanesque nave and a choir of Flamboyant Gothic style. It is topped with a gilded figure of the Archangel Michael. Exquisitely carved arches set on pink granite columns line the cloister. Magical, absolutely magical!
20: D-Day Sites | NORMANDY
23: Versailles | The Châateau of Versailles The Châateau of Versailles is one of the most beautiful achievements of 18th-century French art, as well as my favorite place of earth. It is very possibly the most grand piece of architecture that exists and walking through the rooms you can feel the history. It is the most surreal feeling to have your feet walk the same space as Marie Antoinette, Louis XIV, and so many infamous historical figures. I can only imagine being such a young girl being sent from her home to marry someone I had ever met. You get to see the scale to which they were so disillusioned in their level of extravagance. I hoped James would love the history soaked estate that I had loved so much since my first couple of visits in college. James loved every inch of it, taking it all in as slowly as my first visits. In fact we both loved it so much we made a second visit to be able to spend more time in the palace. James of course on such a sprawling estate did hear gun shot and found a gun range that is at the top of his list for our next visit. It was definitely our favorite retreat from our spot in the city.
24: The Jardin of Versailles | We wandered the gardens to see the sculptures, the fountains, the Trianons and of course the many gift shops. We almost rented a small boat to paddle down one of the lower ponds, just never enough time in the gardens of Versailles.
26: Marie Antoinette's Estate
28: Farewell France... until next time....