25 July 2013


After a night of very, very deep sleep, we woke up early to start day 2 of Paris! We didn't have any food in our place of course, but we had bit of a walk to get to the Paris Opera House, and you always hear on all the blogs and movies that Paris has cute little inexpensive boulangeries everywhere, so I figured that we would run into one along our way. Well it turns out that the street we took to get to the opera house was a SUPER busy touristy street (Rue de Rivoli), and we could only find crazy expensive places where you had to have a real, sit-down breakfast. I just wanted my pain du chocolat, man! When we finally saw this Brioche Dorée across the street from the opera house, we practically ran, out of hunger and desperation. We obviously thought it was super good, since we were so hungry, and I was a little disappointed later to find someone referring to this breakfast chain as "the Dunkin' Donuts of Paris." So yeah. Don't worry, we did better other days. And it was still flaky, buttery bread with chocolate inside. Owen got the chausson aux pommes, which was also pretty delicious.

The opera house didn't open until 10, so we went to this little Fragonard perfume museum, because it's totally free! And somehow, free is even better in Paris. It was actually a pretty sweet little museum, all about the history of perfume and how they make it. Very educational. And tour guide, Wendy, was absolutely adorable. If only we could afford the perfumes she tried to sell us at the end...they were all so lovely and pure and amazing and expensive.

Then we went to Palais Garnier, the Opéra national de Paris, aka the opera house where they shot Phantom of the Opera. Yeah. That one. I had "Masquerade" stuck in my head the whole time. And now it's stuck in your head too...

It's really pretty because they have all these costume and art exhibits in the side wings, and the architecture inside is just absolutely gorgeous. So ornate and luxurious. 

 I just wished that I was wearing a super awesome ball gown to descend those beautiful stairs.

The inside of the actual performing area is so old and beautiful, and the ceiling inside was painted by Chagall - it seemed a bit strange of a choice (quite different than the rest of the interior) but I love Chagall, so I was cool with it. 

If we ever came again, we MUST go see a show here! It was pretty expensive and all of the tickets had sold out by the time I even thought to look online, but it would just be such a lovely experience. The box rooms are so luxurious, everything covered in red crushed velvet and little gilded mirrors and coatracks. 

They had a beautiful music and costume library as well, full of old scores and scripts. Can I have a library just like this someday please? Minus the metal protections of course...

The outside is almost as lovely as the interior -- it's such a beautiful centerpiece in a HUGE shopping area!

My number one favorite Paris store - Repetto. Home of the original ballet slipper, made famous initially by Brigitte Bardot, worn by Charlotte Gainsbourg and Carla Bruni and basically every famous chic French woman in between.

This photo does not do justice to how gorgeous and pretty it was inside. Every former ballerina's dream come true.

We also went into the original Chanel store, just to have a laugh. I was actually really nervous going into the store -- they make it very chic and prestigious of course. I even took off my scarf because I thought someone might think it looked cheap! Everything inside was absolutely luxurious and couture and EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE of course, but I don't know what I was worried about - two separate groups had brought their KIDS inside! I would be terrified that my child might accidentally touch something and then we'd owe $2000 to Chanel! At least we didn't bring kids...

Very French, very expensive. Although, you would not believe the number of people coming out of these stores with bags in their hands! Mind blowing.

On to something we could afford - macarons! Would you believe it, we only had macarons TWICE during our trip to Paris! I am so disappointed. I really wish we had more. They are so scrumptious and delicious and amazing. We tried Laduree first because it just happened to be along our way...

What was not pictured in photo of me at the store was all the forty other people crammed into the tiny store, so we decided to take our little treats outside and conveniently found an awesome building with fabulous columns and stairs to sit on while we ate.

We got salted caramel, strawberry mint, raspberry, and pistachio. The raspberry was definitely our favorite, probably followed by salted caramel. Light and crispy and super decadent...WHY DID WE ONLY EAT THESE TWICE?!!!??!!

Crossed the River Seine, had to take a photo obviously. It is so pretty and such a great way to orient yourself in the city!

Went out to dinner at a little cafe that was near the Eiffel Tower - I was really craving seafood for some reason and I wanted to order something that I knew all the words in the food description, so I got these salmon skewers that kind of reminded me of Dad's salmon lollipops. They were nice and crispy on the outside and served with a ginger soy sauce that was pretty tasty. Don't know if it was French though...

Owen got a pasta with a creamy white sauce with black truffles, yum! We got to experience the "real" French cafe-style eating -- super tiny tables outside with everyone's table facing towards the street and all crammed together. Very interesting. We went out to eat tonight here in Provo, and our table felt HUGE! It was kind of fun because you got to see what everyone else was eating -- apparently steak and salmon tartares are VERY popular in France. Basically it just looks like a huge pile of raw meat! We were never brave enough to try them, it just sounded very scary and also pretty unappetizing during the hot summer. The girl in front of us at this restaurant also had a raw egg on top of hers, and she mixed it all together with Worcestershire sauce and mustard and lotttts of salt and pepper. It seriously looked so gross.

While walking to the Eiffel Tower, I saw this super adorable pharmacy. I LOVE the pharmacies in Paris! They are all so cute and quaint and have the most awesome beauty products for sale. Someday if I have my own pharmacy, I definitely want to model it after these pharmacies in Paris!

First sight of the Eiffel Tower! Don't worry...many more pictures of it to come....

We got there around 8:30, which was a little after I was planning - I really wanted to see the sun set on top of the Eiffel Tower! We at least were able to see it while we were climbing up ALL.THOSE.STAIRS! From this picture you can't see the enormous lines queuing up to buy tickets for the Eiffel Tower - it was insane! We meant to buy tickets ahead of time, but it turned out that the line to buy advanced tickets and the line for the stairs were the same line, so we ended up waiting the same amount of time (at least 45 minutes in line). The lines for the elevator were soooo long. So we toughed it out. And it was actually kind of fun!

Before climbing all the stairs (i.e. not sweaty and exhausted yet).

View from the bottom...so pretty!

We climbed the first level of stairs -- there are two levels accessible by stairs, and then to get to the very top, you have to pay more and take an elevator. This was the view from the first level - things already were looking pretty small! We took videos while climbing up the stairs, it was actually pretty hilarious and I hope I can figure out how to upload them soon. Lots of panting and crazy video work was involved.

Owen looking cute after one flight of stairs.

We got up to the second level, and decided that we needed to get a kissing picture before it got too dark! Unfortunately, it was already pretty dark so the photo we got was not all that amazing. Here it is, edited two different ways. Still pretty noisy and not awesome, but at least we know we were there!

Views during sunset...definitely a great time to go!

This photo was taken while we were waiting in line (our fourth line by this point) to get on the elevator that went to the top. You can tell by my crazy hair that it was already starting to get pretty windy - it was so windy at the top that I was scared to take another picture! Plus its pretty tiny up there (and you have to wait in another line to get back down...so fun), but they do have a bathroom at the top! In summary, I'd say going up to the top of the Eiffel Tower was a lot of lines. I'm glad we did it, because you gotta do it once, but if I was to go again, I'd be just as happy enjoying the view from the less precarious second level, especially since you don't have to pay an additional fee! 

We made it back down to the bottom right as they started to turn on the sparkling lights -- that was pretty fun, and everyone in the park area around started to cheer! We cut through a few sketchy parking lots and climbed through a hole in a fence to get back home, but we made it and can now say we've been to the Eiffel Tower! Phew!

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