Following our promise to show our nieces and nephews the world, we are in Europe for Zach’s big trip. Granted, Zach graduated three years ago but better late than never.
Our first stop is Paris where we met up with Zach’s boyfriend Drake, who happened to be in France at the same time. The four of us had a blast exploring the highlights of this beautiful city.
On our first day we arrived early and immediately walked off the jet lag. Our intent was to walk the Champs-Élysées but because of violent yellow vest protests the week before, all of the streets were blocked and it was not possible to get near that part of the city. Instead we wandered through the Jardin des Tuileries all the way to the Eiffel Tower.
As all the guidebooks recommended we had reserved entry to the top of the tower, which saved us a ton of time in line. We ascended right at sunset and enjoyed watching Paris light up as darkness fell.
Our second day featured a visit to the incredible Musée d’Orsay to see the world’s greatest Impressionist works of art.
We followed our museum visit with a surprise meeting with our friend Nancy Bruce. We met Nancy while on our yacht charter trip with Lauren back in June. Nancy, who works for Ikea in Sweden, was in town for work. Thanks to Facebook we learned that we were close and just had to meet up. Lunch and a walk through Luxembourg Gardens gave us time to catch up.
Our second day wrapped up with a tour of the Catacombes, Paris’s underground burial ground. Creepy, eerie, morbid…it’s hard to describe what it’s like to walk through the remains of six million Parisians.
The next morning we tackled the Musée du Louvre, and its big three: Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and Winged Victory. Zach even saw some paintings he has studied in school.
After the Louvre we finally strolled up the Champs-Élysée and were lucky enough to stumble upon a formal ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe. French President Macron was welcoming Chinese President Xi to the country with all the pomp and circumstance you would expect when two leaders come together. The event closed down the roads and created a mess all around but it was fun to see the spectacle.
This evening we navigated the Paris subway to see the legendary show at the Moulin Rouge. It’s bawdy, tacky, and a lot of fun! There were can can girls, ponies, and an act with live snakes! Champagne comes with the ticket, so it was a great night!
We couldn’t bring Zach to Paris without visiting the Palace of Versailles. An early tour allowed us to avoid the biggest crowds and see the palace in all its glory. Of course, the Hall of Mirrors, site of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles was everyone’s favorite.
We finished our time in Paris with sunset at Montmartre on the steps of Sacré-Coeur followed by a raucous dinner of fondue with wine in baby bottles at a cute little restaurant called Les Refuge des Fondues. Our waitress was from Nebraska, so Big Red was celebrated! Yes, too much is one way to describe our evening.
Now we’re on to London for more sightseeing and shows! Here are more photos from our short time in Paris, along with Zach’s perspective on our trip so far:
“I’m glad I chose Paris as my first experience with international travel. I have never witnessed a more beautiful, cohesive, and culturally significant city where every angle is picture perfect. It’s hard to say what my favorite part about Paris was. We crammed so much into such a short amount of time, but I thoroughly enjoyed every excursion. The museums were amazing and awe inspiring. If I had to pick a favorite it would definitely be the Louvre, I could have spent days in there. The monuments also really took my breath away. I would often catch myself with my jaw on the ground at the sight of them . The food was phenomenal too, even though I’m not the most adventurous eater. The best part, however, was the company I spent my time with. I can’t thank my aunt and uncle enough for introducing me to this amazing city. Apart from the jet lag and the occasional hoards of tourists, I really couldn’t have asked for a better experience Paris.“