Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Paris day 1. Cathedrals, Croque Monsieur, L'Avant Comptoir and La Tour Eiffel

Our flight from ORD-CDG got delayed almost 2 hours for no good reason but luckily we only arrived an hour late into Paris. We sat in the exit row near the window and it was the worst experience ever- we were freezing our asses off the entire flight! We made it a point for the return trip to not sit in that location again.

After 8 hours we saw the French countryside.

Since our flight landed at 8am, we couldn't check into our hotel, but we were able to leave our luggage behind and start exploring.

We walked through the quiet streets of Paris in the 6th arrondissement and saw "the Senat."

We then continued walking over to cathedral Sainte Chappelle because I knew L would love this church and its gorgeous stained glass windows.

After taking many photos, we continued walking around the left bank.

We stopped for some selfies on the river.

We walked past Notre Dame Cathedral and snapped a few photos. It was a complete zoo of tourists. There was also a very strong military police presence which (while they were there to protect us) made me feel a bit uneasy. A week prior French police arrested a guy who had planned to shoot up some churches-and was only caught because he had shot himself first by accident.
By now we were hungry so we found a local cafe to get some delicious lunch.

L got a ham and cheese sandwich and I got the obligatory "croque monsieur" and it was delicious. We also had a creme brûlée for desert while we were standing in the square.

Our first meal in Paris was perfect.

We keep walking around and saw the Pantheon.

In the early afternoon our room at the Hotel Apostrophe was ready and we checked in. Each room is decorated differently. It is in a quiet neighborhood away from the touristy and busy champs élysées. We took a quick nap and then it was time for dinner!

We walked through the Jardin du Luxemborg on our way to dinner. Google told us to and we didn't question it! The restaurant we were headed to made it onto both of our lists of "must eats" in Paris.

We went to L'avant Comptior for dinner in the 6th. It is a wine and tapas bar and has excellent food and a very relaxed atmosphere.

We ordered a buffalo mozzarella, cod fish croquettes, a Parmesan crumble and some cured ham with horseradish. Everything was out of this world delicious and fresh.

This place is tiny, and there are no seats. You stand at either the counter against the wall or the bar. The menu is on the ceiling. You brush shoulders with the people next to you. It is quite an experience.

After dinner and several glasses of wine, we decided to walk to the Eiffel Tower.

By now it was after 8:30pm but still a little light out. (Sun doesn't set until after 9pm!) we were lucky to see the tower sparkle for 5 minutes at 9pm.

I was so happy to be in Paris with L. F#CK jet lag. We hit the ground running and were having an amazing first evening in the city of light.

After taking many photos and video of the Eiffel tower, we went to one of the top rated beer bars in Paris, La Fine Mousse. It was a nice chill no frills bar that had a great tap list- my only complaint was it had mostly Italian beers. I was hoping to try more French beer since we don't see any in the USA. After a couple of beers we took an uber back to our hotel. Pro tip: if you can't speak the language where you are, use uber so you can put the directions into the order so you can avoid trying to pronounce where you are going and consequently avoid have a super awkward exchange.

It was an amazing first day in Paris.



  1. Great tip on how to use Uber when you can't speak the language!!! Fabulous pictures, as always. I love the word "arrondissement" - it sounds so much more romantic than "district." I also love how you and L always check out the local gems like L'avant Comptior where you get the unique experiences without all the tourist kitsch. Can't wait to hear more details!!!

    1. We learned pretty quick that getting where we needed to go in a taxi would be a challenge ;) uber to the rescue! We love food- and love to find cool places to try. It was interesting how much English I heard in L'avant... People from England and other places. Was pretty cool!

  2. Awesome you were able to find a craft beer bar in Paris!

    1. There's several good ones- just ran out of time to try them plus we were headed to a beer fest in CPH- so Paris was all about wine :)

  3. You look gorgeous, I just have to say!!! And a croque monsieur is on my list of sammies to try! YUM!!!! (Although the cheese will kill me for sure, I don't care!!) ;-)

    1. Aww thanks :) you're too sweet!

      The cheese won't kill you!! One delicious Sammy is good for you :)

  4. Agree that the best way to fight jet lag is to just hit the ground running and get adjusted to the new time zone as quickly as possible. Yes, it is very cool that you found a beer place in Paris. One time I was in France for two weeks once and I was tiring of drinking wine and champagne every day so I started looking for beer. I finally found a local french beer in Burgundy that the locals in the bar said was good, but it was pretty awful. I thought that since France is next to Germany that they would have some decent beers, but apparently it is/was not their thing! I was to lazy to go to an Internet cafe and do a search for "good french beer" so I stuck with wine! :)

    1. Hahaha that's hilarious you wanted beer but couldn't find any- but not surprising! I think it's only very recent that craft beer has come onto the scene and started gaining some popularity! I would also think that at least on the border of France/Germany that you could find good beer too...