we went on our first trip to europe as a married couple just over two months ago and it was all kinds of amazing. we planned it super last minute. basically i saw one of our friends post about cheap flights to europe which sparked my interest and i started doing some research (thanks brad). i found affordable flights through norwegian, but we ended up using buddy passes through jarman's aunt (which i had traded photos for earlier in the year). when we realized we could actually afford to go and found the perfect little niche where jarman could miss a bit of class (#senioritis) we jumped on it.
i had already been to paris but was dying to go back. since i had already been there i knew that we shouldn't spend all of our time there, so we added in a stop in bruges, and then two days in amsterdam. whenever i talked about the trip beforehand i said it was our 'paris trip' because it was what i was the most excited about and basically the only part of the trip i planned out (even though it was only half of it). i'm so glad we added the extra cities in though!
originally we were supposed to have four full days in paris but we had a little passport mishap that delayed us a day. we got to the airport bright and early on a friday morning and our first issue was that i had purchased a ticket using jarman as my last name, but forgot that i had my maiden name on my passport. so we quickly had to buy a whole new ticket (i got refunded for the old one a bit later luckily). then once we got that figured out the check in lady told us that jarman couldn't travel to france because his passport expired in january of 2017, and we were travelling in november of 2016?? apparently you can't travel to france if your passport expires within 3 months. she told us she couldn't let us even through security and we were heartbroken. luckily san diego has a same-day passport place that was only about 10 minutes away. jarman got there before they even opened and was the first person there. he had a new passport by 10 am by some miracle, so we headed back to the airport. but since we were on buddy passes we didn't make it on to three different flights, but we finally made it out that evening to seattle which had a flight to paris the next morning. it wasn't ideal but we got to see seattle for a morning, and we still got to go to europe. so learn from us- check your passport dates! otherwise it could cost you quite a bit of money.
we got there early saturday morning so we had a full day ahead of us. somehow neither of us slept at all on the flight but we were so excited we had so much energy all day and never crashed. it actually helped us to adjust to the time over there, we never really struggled at all. we checked in at our cute apartment (pictures at the very bottom of this post) and then headed straight to the louvre. we bought the paris museum pass. we were originally going to buy a four day pass because we had four days there, but the guy convinced us to buy the 2 day one because we were only going to be there for 3 days. i kind of regretted not just buying the 4 day because we felt like we had to fit all of the museums i wanted to go to in to 2 days so that we wouldn't have to pay. which was a lot of museums. but i definitely recommend getting the paris museum pass! it makes it so you skip the lines to purchase tickets and just makes everything go so much smoother.
we headed straight to the louvre to 'get it out of the way'. i knew it was going to be the most overwhelming and crowded but i didn't want to miss it either. so i figured doing it first thing would check it off the list and make sure we weren't too exhausted to do it by the end.
the main thing i wanted to see at the louvre was the raft of the medusa by gericault, because i had written my undergraduate thesis on it and had read over 20 books about it and researched it for over 6 months. it was so amazing to see it in person. there was TONS of other amazing artwork there. of course the staircase that audrey walked down in funny face was a must see too:)
next we took a walk along the seine over to the chapel of saint chapelle. we had purchased metro passes but we pretty much walked everywhere and didn't use them much. we were blessed with amazing weather at the end of october. it couldn't have been more perfect and we actually got to experience fall leaves, which we don't get to enjoy as much in san diego.
saint chapelle is 100% a must see. it is the most amazing cathedral i have ever been to. it is completely covered in stained glass windows, the pictures don't even do it justice.
next we walked some more along the river to notre dame, and then headed to the the picasso museum and the pompidou center to take in some modern art. i actually though the picasso museum was a little underwhelming unfortunately. it just didn't have that many of his works on view, i felt like the pompidou had a better selection of his paintings. the pompidou, on the other hand, was amazing. the building itself is worth visiting (it's an 'inside out' building with all of its pipes on the outside). there was a magritte exhibit there that we hoped to see, but got there too late and the wait was over two hours. the museum pass got us in to the museum, but the special exhibits required reservations.
^^ the view from the pompidou at sunset!
on our second day we woke up bright and early and found the cutest french cafe near our apartment. i definitely think it was the most authentic place that we ate (most of the food we had was a fail because we were trying to not spend too much time/money eating). but at this little cafe we were the only americans which was a good sign. we each got omelettes, the most delicious croissants i have ever had, fresh orange juice and a cafe latte. we went back the next day we loved it so much.
next we headed to the orangerie museum. this is my favorite museum in paris, possibly in the world. it is a smaller museum which i always enjoy because you can take your time looking and really enjoying all of the pieces. Plus it has two giant rooms with monet's water lillies on every wall. i'm pretty sure that's what heaven will look like.
next we walked through the tuileries, ate a crepe, took some photos and tried to take everything in.
we walked across the pont des arts, but didn't add our own love lock- hopefully that isn't a bad omen:)
we walked all over the musee d'orsay, another one at the top of my list. it is housed in an old train station, i ended up getting more photos of the architecture than the art.
we walked to the rodin museum, but saw this building along the way and i died. i don't understand how there can be so many different palaces and buildings like this on every corner. they are all so majestic and massive. we didn't even know what half of them were but couldn't get enough.
the rodin museum is another must see. his artworks fill a gorgeous garden in one of the cutest chateaus. it is so peaceful and definitely worth the visit. plus rodin is a genius.
next we headed to the arc de triomphe to catch the sunset. it seriously was so gorgeous we stayed up there for almost an hour, i never wanted to leave!
on our very last day we planned to get up early to take photos with the eiffel tower. of course we didn't get there till like 10 because we had to stop at our little cafe on the way. i made jarman lug around my tripod this whole day and take photos all over paris. it was the best weather that day, i didn't even need a coat. we walked the whole city for a final time starting at the eiffel tower and ending over by the palais royale.
^^ i was packing super light and decided to not bring a curling iron. so when i finally had to wash my hair after a few days i braided it to make me not look homeless. i don't love how it looks but whatever. end sidebar.
loved this spot at the palais royale!
finally got some amorino gelato!
we watched the sunset by the notre dame this night and ate croissants. it was perfect.
after this we walked over to hemingways first apartment in paris because i had just read a book about his wife, hadley. we explored that area and grabbed a cheese plate from one of the local bars. when we were ordering i forgot what pate was and made the mistake of getting it.
the apartment we stayed in was gorgeous and felt so parisian. i almost wanted to hang out there the whole time. here is the link for the airbnb, i totally recommend it!
ALSO, i made a little video of this trip. because sometimes videos tell the story better than photos. see it below:)