Sunday, June 30, 2019

Europe recap day 4: Notre Dame, boat tour, dinner

Welp. Life has been extremely crazy since we got back from Europe. I never imagined it would take me this long to recap the trip, but alas, even if it takes me the rest of the year, I am determined to document everything from the trip! It's kind of nice because I'm able to relive it as I put these posts together. Putting together these posts also makes me realize how much we actually did and saw! I mean. I'm only on day 4. DAY FOUR! Yet this is post number 7! Each day could easily break down into 2-3 posts thanks to all the content. Anyway! Let's go ahead and move on to part two of day 4. If you want a refresher on how part one of day 4 went, you can get yourself caught up here first.

Notre Dame Paris, April 2019

We visited Notre Dame on April 6th. Nine days later on April 15th, the world watched the Cathedral up in flames. It's really crazy to think about. Taking French in high school and college, always hearing about the famous Paris landmark. Then learning about it in even more detail in History of Architecture classes in college. I've always wanted to go to Europe and now, I finally get to go, finally getting to see this in person. And 9 days later it catches fire. We were JUST there. How crazy for all the people that were there on the actual day. 

We received so many texts and messages as news about the fire started to spread. People asking if we were safe. If we were still there. If we got a chance to see it while it was still in tact. I finally decided to make an official "statement" about it on Facebook, which some apparently took as us twisting the fire as an opportunity to brag about our Europe vacation. And to that I will say, uh yes. I'm so proud and excited and boastful that we got to go to Europe! I may never get to go again and it was amazing and I want to relive every second of it over and over again! 

But in response to the fire and using it specifically as an excuse to brag. Any time some sort of catastrophe or loss happens, how can you not reminisce? How can you not remember your experiences with that person or with that place? How can you not think about how eery fate is and the timing of when things happen and all of the what ifs? Like. We debated on which week to leave for Europe. What if we chose the later dates instead? Would we have been there the day it happened? I was so tired from Versailles, I almost skipped Notre Dame altogether. How much would I have regretted that decision?

Open Leg Rocker at Notre Dame
My outfit details: Cardigan: Grace and Lace | Leggings: Spanx | Booties: Cole Haan

Anyway. I'm babbling now. We didn't actually go inside because it was later in the day and the lines were so long. We had already fought crowds at Versailles and felt defeated. I'm kicking myself about that now, but I'm at least glad we got to see it from the outside. I'm grateful for that.

Before I move on - a little bit about my outfit. I ended up changing after Versailles (you can see that outfit here) because I was so cold and wanted something less fussy and a little cozier. Sometimes there is nothing better than a good pair of leggings, let me tell you.

O'Jason Irish Pub Paris
O'Jason Irish Pub

We had a quick meal at Le New York, the restaurant below our AirBNB before we ventured to Notre Dame. We had dinner reservations later in the evening, so after we left the Cathedral, we weren't quite ready for food, but we also needed just a little bit of a break from all the touristy stuff. Even though we did have a pretty booked schedule, there were still times like these where we could just chill, which was nice. We found an Irish pub around the corner from Notre Dame to grab some happy hour cocktails.

Le New York restaurant, Paris
Cocktails at Le New York

We went to an Irish Pub in both Paris and Amsterdam, and I love that Irish Pubs are the same around the world! Same type of food. Same decor. Same music. Casual environment. It's just what we needed at that moment. I guess the biggest difference between O'Jason and the ones in the States is that our server legit was from Ireland, and had the accent and everything!

Paris boat tour
Paris boat tour

We still had a little bit of time to pass after happy hour and before dinner, so we decided to take a quick boat tour. You truly can't go wrong with a boat tour. It's informative, easy (relaxing), inexpensive, and not a huge time commitment.

Notre Dame Paris France from boat tour
View of Notre Dame from the boat tour

Plus you get to see the same sights from different angles, like Notre Dame pictured above.

View of Eiffel Tower from boat tour Paris
View of the Eiffel Tower from the boat tour

And I truly could never tire of seeing the Eiffel Tower. I could do a whole post of the Eiffel Tower by itself, and how it appears to change colors depending on what time of day you are seeing it. It's just really beautiful!

Au Vieux Paris restaurant
Au Vieux Paris - photo credit here

Our dinner reservations were at 8pm and there were 9 of us total because the husband and I ended up being able to meet up with an ex-coworker who just happened to be in Paris at the same time! Considering we always had a large party, we never had any issues getting sat together whether we had a reservation or not! That was nice!

Dinner was at Au Vieux Paris and it was very quirky and eclectic! Going inside was much like many restaurants in Europe - very small and feeling like you're walking around in someone's house. They set us up in a room completely by ourselves. It felt a little weird because it was so quiet and we were literally by ourselves in this room tucked away. Another thing that was quite odd was there was a cat walking around. Inside our dining room....

Truffle Linguine at Au Vieux Paris
Truffle Linguine at Au Vieux Paris

All of that aside, I loved my meal. I had some rose. I had carbs with truffles. I was in my happy place. But I will say that this restaurant probably ranked towards the bottom of the list in terms of places at which the group as a whole were satisfied eating. Honestly, we were traveling for 10 days and eating out for every meal. We were bound to have meals that were not as great as the others, so I can't complain. It's all part of the experience. But yes, not one of the favorites.

Flower shaped Gelato cone from Amorino
Flower shaped Gelato cone from Amorino

But, you know, a mediocre dinner is nothing that gelato can't fix! This was by far the coolest gelato experience I've ever had and will be hard to top. You choose what size cup or cone you would like and then you can pick as many flavors of gelato you want! Every flavor simply becomes another "petal" of your flower. It was such a unique way to try  several different flavors, and plus it was beautiful to look at. After gelato, we headed back to the AirBNB just in time to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle for one more night!

WHEW! That officially wraps up day 4! I do still have one more post about Paris before we make our way to Amsterdam! Stay tuned!

1 comment :

  1. Glad you are back to writing, been checking back! My recap of our Paris day will post this Friday