Last month, my sweet husband and I had the rare opportunity for an early Valentine’s Day present to each other: a week in Paris! Thanks to his work and some mileage rewards points, we explored, dined, and shopped our hearts away, (and yes, my fashionista friends I have an entire article coming soon dedicated to all the AMAZING shops, designers, and sales I discovered there, as well as a special bargain-hunting treasure guide…)
But today’s post is all about love. Why? Because it’s Paris, baby! The City of Lights, and romance. Would this legendary place be able to work its magic on us, a well-traveled couple who have been together over 18 years? We were excited to find out!
Ready, set EXPLORE! Isn’t there a saying about the couple who goofs off together…? Trevor and I had been to Paris before, 15 years ago, and did a lot of the more touristy-stuff at that point. Once you’ve been lost in the mega-labyrinthine Louvre, the shine kind of wears off a little. Nonetheless, the cab to downtown dropped us off at the famous museum, so we figured it wouldn’t kill us to look around a little. And then this happened:
Yes, I got 6’4″ Trevor to stand up on a pedestal and pose like a tourist! Ok, now we’re loosening up a little bit…
I’m not quite as tall but I can almost reach the top!
All right, well, it was windy and pouring down rain, so we decided to pick a less-crowded museum and see some art: Musee d’Orsay. If you’re looking to skip the push-and-shove crowds of the famous Louvre and have a more relaxed cultural experience, I highly recommend this gorgeous museum! Lines weren’t too long to get in, and it’s absolutely stunning inside. You can meander through well-mapped main halls and side rooms, enjoy the statues and artwork up-close & personal without hordes of people posing with selfie sticks, and even grab a hot chocolate & crepes in the lower-level cafe.
Bright open spaces, no crowds!
And really impressive art.
Renaissance duck-face, long before the Kardashians popularized this look! 😉
Lots of big-headed famous folks to see here…
And apparently you don’t have to travel to New York to kiss at the Statue of Liberty!
Ok, well, things were perking up a bit in the blustery city of grey… It was still drizzly, but we headed out to explore some more. Because no matter how many times you see it, there’s still something SO romantic about the Eiffel Tower! Even on a dark day…
See what I mean? Beautiful, even in the rain!
After some food in our bellies and a little more meandering time, we found a great spot to sit and chat a while: the Pont de Bir-Hakeim. It’s a little-known bridge just west of the Eiffel Tower, away from the crowds and madness of downtown. There are places to sit, very little foot traffic, and amazing views of the river and city! I mean check this out, there was literally NO one around!
Perfect time to spring a little romance on the man…
I love you / I know Star Wars-themed sterling silver rings by Impressed Art
My husband and I are geeks. I mean, from waaaaay back. We love Star Wars, sci-fi, comic books, and all that stuff; our wedding was a medieval-costume affair complete with jugglers, bagpipes, candles, tiaras, and the theme music to Princess Bride. Awww! Say it with me: “Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew todaaaaay…”
I tracked down these rings on Etsy through a shop called Impressed Art, and the artist Katie Hansen was kind enough to rush them to me in time for our trip. After a couple kisses on the bridge, I pulled them out and asked Trevor if he’d marry me all over again. At least that’s what I meant to say, but I’m a crier, so it came out something more like, “I got these rings and I love you and would you sniffle-sniffle mumble-mumble me?” He got the picture, laughed and hugged me. “Oh babe, you’re so adorable!”
Moment achieved. <3
One of the best parts of our stay was the discovery of this amazing little AirBnB apartment! It was a top-floor loft, fully-equipped and furnished, on a main street, super convenient to everything we needed, and literally two blocks from the Eiffel Tower. See that view? Breakfast every morning, in sight of the Eiffel Tower! We will try to stay here EVERY time we come back. It was perfection!!! Here’s the link, if you’re interested:
The view from our bedroom. Every night starting at dusk, at the top of every hour the Tower lights up with a spectacular sparkle show! I loved it… Every evening, all night long. 🙂
View from the street, downstairs from our apartment.
Paris truly shines at night, and I don’t just mean the Eiffel Tower! After shopping and exploring all day, you generally have dinner around 8 or 9pm at night. In fact, we discovered that many of the restaurants didn’t even open their doors until 7 or 8pm! We had a blast wandering around, looking for delicious eateries and local wine. Yumm!
Yes, every big city needs a waterfront Ferris wheel now! You started it, London Eye.
Sacre Cour Basilica, the stunning cathedral on the hill overlooking Paris. Hike up here for the BEST views over the entire city – it’s gorgeous! But they don’t allow photos inside, because this church is still a holy place of worship. Religious ceremonies and prayer were happening, while we were walking through gawking at the sites! Felt a little awkward about that…
Back down the hill we went, into the busier parts of downtown Paris.
Street shopping! So many shops, such little time… Lemme at ’em!
Oh yes, and the Moulin Rouge is still a thing! We had to go check it out.
The Moulin Rouge of art, lore and movie fame… It was a fun show, but waaaay more comedy than I expected! Puppets, clowns, and miniature ponies. Oh, and showgirls, of course. Worth experiencing!
So we spent a week, and I have about a hundred more photos I could post here… But honestly they’re mostly kissing and Eiffel Tower pics, which you’ve probably gotten your fill of by now. 😉 We came, we saw, we stayed up every night soaking in the lights, sights, food, and romance of Paris!
Thank you Trevor, for the most romantic early Valentine’s Day gift ever.
And thank you Paris, for working your magic on us once again.
Je t’aime, pour toujours, Ville des lumiers!
Tanya (& Trevor)
Next article: The Best Places to Shop in Paris for Treasure Hunters! Coming soon…