I’m so excited to finally share some of our favorite photos and memorable moments from our trip to England and Paris! Geoff and I left Christmas afternoon on an amazing three-week journey to Europe. It was an unbelievable trip and we have such a fondness for the place, especially Paris. We had some unforgettable experiences and loved simply being together in one of the most beautiful places in the world. P.S. I must warn you, this post will be massive…enjoy!
Our first stop of the trip was Droitwich, England, a tiny town in the midlands where Geoff’s family is from. Geoff got to drive on the other side of the road for the first time as we traveled some 2 hours in the rain (yikes!) from the London airport to Droitwich. Geoff said it was nothing short of terrifying, but after being on the motorway a while he got used to it. The smaller roads were killer though. Even I was scared.
Droitwich was a cute little place and it was wonderful to meet Geoff’s relatives whom I’d never met before. Geoff spent a lot of time in England as a child (both of his parents were born in the UK) but he hadn’t been back here in 17 years.
A beautiful cathedral in Worcester, not far from Droitwich.
After just a few days in England we hopped a plane to Paris! The drive from the airport to the hotel was so surreal. I couldn’t believe after all the dreaming, planning, and waiting, we were actually there, in such a magical place with the person I loved most in the world. When the Eiffel Tower came into view for the first time I nearly lost it.
This is the view from our apartment. Every single day I’d wake up and just stare out the window, admiring the city, feeling grateful for what we were able to do. Not only that but we had a view of just about every major landmark – la Tour Eiffel (that photo above was taken out this window), Notre Dame, Centre Pompidou, Montmartre — it was breathtaking.
Us at the Eiffel Tower, just before Melinda and Greg’s portrait session. Geoff on his phone, of course.
Oh, the pastries! We could not get enough of them! Just about everyday we were there we stopped at the Pâtisserie for a baguette and something sweet. The bread is incredible, so pure in flavor, soft and crisp. And I’m telling you, the butter in France is to die for. I could have gone all day just eating bread and butter.
For New Years Eve, we headed back to the Eiffel Tower along with about a million other people. The streets were literally flooded with party-goers. I guess it was good for keeping warm’s sake — it was freeeeeeezing!
Look at all the people! The Tower had a cool colored light show that went off every hour. Even though I spent the last 20 minutes before midnight practicing counting backwards in French, there was no count down! Guess we’ll have to hit up New York for that one!
Of COURSE we had to visit the Apple Store!
And American icon #2 — McDee’s. Bet you can’t get a beer with your extra value meal in the states! Seriously even the McDonald’s is better in France!
We visited the Paris Catacombs, where the bones of Parisians lie along the walls of tunnels underground the city. It what very cool and very creepy.
At the Louvre.
Ladurée has THE best macarons EVER. Not to mention the other delicious goodies like the cream-puff pastry filled with raspberry cream and rose petal icing known as Le Saint Honoré Rose-Framboise. I am still drooling. You bet there were a total of three trips to Ladurée.
One Dimanche matin we went to the street market about a block away from our apartment. This put our farmer’s markets to shame! Tons of fruits and veggies of course, along with all kinds of meats, cheeses, dairy, honey, seafood, cooked meals, clothes, knick-knacks, everything! We enjoyed a petit roast chicken with potatoes cooked in the juices that day for lunch. Sooooo gooood…
Hotel de Ville aka city hall. Gorgeous. Bright lights twinkled on the rooftop we could see from our apartment window.
Another trip to the Eiffel Tower, this time to go up top. So sad it was closed for maintenance in January! We got a nice view from the second floor though.
Speaking of spectacular views, Montmatre was amazing. It’s the highest point in Paris, only the Eiffel Tower will get you up higher. The Sacré-Cœur was a beautiful cathedral — I liked it even better than Notre Dame.
On the way back to the Metro I spotted the “I Love You Wall” in a tiny little park. It is described as a place for lovers to have a meeting place; a space where love comes together in every language. Can you spot the English “I Love You”?
On the metropolitan and very modern end of Paris is La Grande Arche de la Défense, a monument to humanity as opposed to war victories.
Here is said Arch dedicated to military victory. A bit more famous though.
Did we get crepes every single day? Just about! This was our go-to spot for freshly made crepes at the Place de Bastille, just around the corner from where we were staying. My favorite is the tired and true sucre citron — lemon juice and sugar. So simple. So good.
The monument we’d see everyday as we’d head out. After spending over two weeks there it felt like home.
Eclairs from Fauchon featuring Miss Mona Lisa and Brigitte Bardot, our long lost relative! Ok not really. But my new married name is Lisa Bardot and all over the place we were getting asked if we were related to Brigitte! Hey…I just realized this photo is saying my name…Lisa…Bardot…cool!!!
On the VERY CROWDED Metro at rush hour. The Metro = awesome. We took it everywhere — such a great way to get around.
The street performers in the Metro were great too! One day there was, I swear, a twelve-piece orchestra! This little band of three were playing one of my favorite songs, Hallelujah.
I couldn’t finish talking about Paris without (once again) mentioning the FOOD! I think the highlight of the trip was all the scrumptious things we got to eat. I would have never of guessed it but the BEEF WAS AMAZING! So tender and flavorful! Everything I put in my mouth was a million times better that anything I’ve ever eaten in the US. The quality of food is incredible. The grocery stores were incredible (oh and if you go to France and you love food and cooking, definitely check out the food section at Le Bon Marche, called La Grande Epicerie de Paris. Or don’t. It will spoil grocery shopping for you forever). Our favorite restaurant we went to was Le Gaspard de la Nuit, just a few doors down form our apartment. The food is exquisite and the service is amazing. We even made friends with the owner, Myriam who was just a joy to know. Below are a couple pics from a wonderful Italian restaurant we ate at on our last night in Paris. Unforgettable cuisine.
Our last stop was a quick trip to London! It really was quick too — two nights!
The first night we were there we went to see Wicked, which I have been dying to go see since I found out it was going to be a musical. It was fantastic!
Trafalgar Square. Geoff has a picture of himself here as a kid surrounded by pigeons. I guess there were more pigeons back then — all we could find was this one, who was very well-fed, it seems.
Buckingham Palace! God save the Queen!
Doing what we do best.
We climbed the 311 steps of “The Monument”, the tallest freestanding stone column in the world, dedicated to the Great Fire of London. It said the height of The Monument was the exact distance from that spot to the place the fire started.
From the top — Tower Bridge. (It was not falling down.)
They gave us little certificates for climbing up!
Crazy huge ravens at the Tower of London.
Ahhhhh…it was the most incredible trip. One of many more to come we hope. Geoff and I both love everything about everything we did, but most of all, experiencing it all together. Thank you, my love, for taking me on this amazing journey, I love our adventures together and I love you!!