Bonjour mon amis, and a big hello from Paris!
I hope all of you who celebrated Christmas yesterday had a wonderful one spent with loved ones. Ours was definitely one to remember, as Scott and I spent it with an arrival and full day to explore The City of Love in France!
After a longl night of traveling, a six hour time change, and a cluster of trying to figure out the metro system with four large suitcases (two obnoxiously large cases are for Scott’s work event), we were anxious to get checked into our hotel, cleaned up, out the door, and into the city.
Check out the digs! Above is a snapshot of the charming holiday decorated lobby of our hotel and below is the chambre we are staying in.
Adorable right? Before I go and get too picture happy I want to throw a disclaimer out there:
All of the pictures used on Day 1 were taken on my iPhone. While packing at home, I couldn’t find our memory card for our point and shoot camera, and I eventually gave up looking and left without it. Arriving on Christmas isn’t really ideal for someone in the market for a new one, so here we are.
Thank goodness for smart phones!
An Afternoon to Explore
A bit on the sleepy side, Scott and I got dressed and ready for an adventurous day of walking the streets of Paris. This is Scott’s fifth time visiting this city (lucky duck!) so I trusted his directional lead as we set out on foot determined to fit in all we could.
I have also been to Paris before, but it was just passing through on a trip to Switzerland and don’t really remember much about it besides a visit to the Eiffel Tower and day at Le Louvre. This time I promised myself I would take more pictures and be better at documenting it (even if it’s via iPhone!).
As our walk became longer and longer, we eventually got the idea to hop on the metro and took to it pretty quickly.
(Look… a total natural!)
Being Christmas Day, we knew a lot of places would be closed, so we took the recomendation of our hotel concierge who pointed us to lunch at Bouillon Chartier.
It is a very well known place to visit for both locals and tourists alike. The place was built in 1896 and the legendary dining room is different from any other I have been to.
Watiers are known for running around in a hurry. They take your order by writing it down on your tablecloth, and you share your table (and even basket of bread and water!) with complete strangers.
Intruiging, no? The hustle and bustle feeling of the restaurant certainly made a great story, but both Scott and I questioned if we liked that style of dining or not. It was neat to interact with differnt parties who come and go right beside you, but at the same time almost impossible to hold a real conversations with anyone because of the noise and and lack of privacy.
After glancing over a traditional French menu, I felt inspired to go with the flow and really wasn’t sure exactly what I ordered. We started off with a salad and a side of Camembert cheese. That was the first time I had it and have to admit I wasn’t that big of a fan. In fact, I think I compared it to smelling like sewer and tasting like feet.
The bleu cheese on the salad, however, was delicious.
Both Scott and I ordered some kind of steak and frites (fries), and both came out red enough to moo right there on the table. As somone who prefers to order their steak medium-well, I got major points for eating all of mine without complaining.
By the time desesrt came around, the jet lag monster caught up with both of us. It was a constant struggle to keep our eyes open and we found ourselves stumbling into each other on our walk home.
A two hour nap was needed and as much as we didn’t want to “waste valuable exploring time”, we eventually gave in, rested up, and woke up feeling so much better.
Honesty Bar + Accessible Coffee
Even though it was past dinner time, we wanted to take advantage of our time here and do something interesting. It was Christmas Day, after all!
We got ready and went downstairs hoping for more recommendations from our hotel staff on what our plans would be. While we were figuring it out, I took full advantage of their always accessible coffee bar.
While sipping on our coffees, we mapped out our plans and couldn’t help but notice the bright lights above the Honesty Bar in the lobby. Have you ever heard of one of these before?
Honesty bars are unttatended, typically in the lobby or hotel lounge, and leave payment up to the guest using the honesty policy. They differ significantly from regular bars or in-room mini-bars where beverages are automatically charged to the guest. Basically, they trust that you will pay for what you consume.
Sounds scandelous, but I think it adds even more charm to the place. We are absolutely loving this little boutique hotel!
We finally got out the door right before 9 p.m. en route to see a famous strip of shops and bright Christmas lights.
As much as I would to elaborate, I need to wrap this up and get some rest so I am ready to take on Day 2 when we wake up early tomorrow. I’ll be sure to share the rest of our holiday with you very soon.
Have a great start to your Thursday, and catch ya later!