"I love Paris. Why oh why do I love Paris?
Because my love is here."
- Ella Fitzgerald
You've landed at Charles DeGaulle, gone through customs and retreived your luggage. Next to the airport's main exit doors there's a counter where you can exchange your USD$ for Euros (you can also use your credit or debit card to get $). Nowadays, you can use your credit card and/or debit card pretty much everywhere in Paris, but always have some $ on hand.
"Taxi Parisien" 8x10 fine art photograph by Kitty L Wren
Do yourself a favor, spare yourself the time, effort and frustration and take a taxi to your hotel. You spent most of yesterday at O'Hare and been on a plane for overnight 8+ hours. So you're fatigued, on top of a healthy dose of jet lag!
Yes, you could take public transportation - but that means two bus rides + one metro ride + lugging your luggage + lots of standing around = hassle you don't need or want (trust me - you want to save all of your energy for Paris and each other ;-). Directly outside of the exit doors is a taxi stand with attendants - you won't wait more than 5 minutes.
Snuggle with your honey in the back seat, savor your journey into the city's center - it's surreal to see and feel the grime of the expressway and the huge tenements fall away as you make your way into the city's enchanting center. Take this time to soak it all in - you're here! You're in Paris! In the most romantic city in the world with the love of your life! C'est magnifique.
Lobby of the Hotel Le Tourville
Your taxi has dropped you at the doors of Hotel Le Tourville. Since you took the overnight flight from the States, you've landed in Paris at 9:15 a.m. Even taking into account your time in Charles DeGaulle and your hour long taxi ride, you'll arrive at your hotel at around 11:30 - way too early to get into your room.
Good news is that the concierge will gladly store your luggage for you. The better news is that you've got the perfect incentive to explore your neighborhood a little before you officially check in (2 p.m.).
*You can arrange to have your room available for you the moment you arrive. But they may require that you pay for the night before you arrive in order to do so. But, believe me, you don't want to wait a moment longer to start your weekend. Time to venture out. Besides, there's no time like the present. And you must be famished...
Pain et Chocolat (Salon de The)
After you pass through the hotel's doors, turn right (you'll be on avenue de Tourville). Walk nearly a block to: avenue de la Motte-Picquet, cross the street and turn right. Walk about a block and 'til you'll see a tiny salon de the (#16) - Pain et Chocolat.
Grab a seat outside and enjoy a leisurely, relaxing, and utterly romantic luncheon.
amazing fresh homemade food and a small, but very good, wine list
Get whatever the specials are. There are two -
one for each of you ;-)
Just make sure to save room for Madame's delicious baked goods!
Make sure to strike up a conversasion with the owners, Madame Kathy Micheli, she speaks English. Monsieur Claude Micheli doesn't speak English, but don't let that stop you. He's always ready to help you practice your French ;-) Tell them that I sent you. See my posts about this special place here and here.
By now, it's 1 or 2 p.m. Stroll back to your hotel and check in. But you've still got an entire afternoon - don't give in to jetlag! Of course you're not up to hours of walking, but I've got the perfect solution: Tuk Tuk!
Mr. Gorgeous & I on a Tuk Tuk Tour
Tuk Tuk Parisiens is a tiny tour company that features a small fleet of open air jalopies. It's just you, your honey, your English speaking guide/driver, and Paris...
The Tuk Tuks experience is open air, private, intimate, fabulous!
I recommend Tour #2. It's 1:15 minutes long (80E for two). It covers all of the high points of the city. But the best thing is that, if you'd like, choose a time-length (45 mins. to 1:45 hours) and you can hand-pick the sights you want to see. Your driver will pick you up and drop you off where ever you like - ask for Salvator, and tell him that I sent you ;-) A Tuk Tuk adventure is the perfect romantic introduction to Paris! See my full post about the Tuk Tuk experience here.
Okay, time for a nap. Just be sure to have the concierge make a dinner reservation for you - 8 p.m. @ Le Bistrot du 7eme...
Le Bistrot du 7eme
56, boulevard de La Tour Maubourg
You've taken a long nap. It's time to venture out into the Parisian night. Where to begin? Dinner of course. One of the things I like most about staying in the 7th is that there are many restaurants - with great reasonably priced food and are tres romantique to boot ;-) You'll venture further afield tomorrow. But for tonight, enjoy this lovely quiet neighbhorhood and each other...
As you leave your hotel, turn left and walk the two short blocks to blvd. de La Tour Maubourg. Turn left again and walk until you see the big red awning. The interior is dark wood paneled, with small white cloth covered tables and is primarily lit with dozens of tea lights. Every table will, except yours, will be filled - giving off a great vibe.
Le Bistrot du 7eme has one of the best prix fixe meals to be found in town: appetizer + entree+dessert for 25E. I recommend the Escargot, Steak Fritz, and any of the desserts. Add anyone of the above average wines (for @ 28E a bottle) and your bill will @ 100E (and that includes the tip). Plan on a good 2 hour long dinner - plenty of time to just...be together. Be sure to strike up a conversation with your neighbors - Mr. Gorgeous and I have made several lasting friendships in Paris that way.
You're relaxed and feeling your second wind, but not enough to do anything too strenuous. Might I suggest a stroll to the Eiffel Tower?
The 7th arrondissement is quiet and residential, it's quite beautiful to wander at night (and VERY safe). The Tower is only about a 10 minute or so walk from Le Bistrot - ask your waiter for directions. Just be sure to bring your trusty street guide.
Stroll hand-in-hand, people watch and enjoy the night air. When you get to the tower, find the most beautiful view, make out a little (okay, make out a a lot) and giggle in delight. You've done it, you're here, you're in love and the moment is perfect. Don't worry about making out in Paris, the French expect it - they really do!
Linger as long as you like (I'm sure that you'll meet a few interesting people, have another adventure). As you're heading home, consider stopping for a glass (or three) of champagne along the way...
2 place Ecole Militare
La Terrasse (du 7eme), at the tip of Ecole Militare and ave. La Motte Piquet, is a few scant steps from your hotel door. The outside terrace is tres Romantique - especially at night - has a fun elegant friendly crowd, and is open at least 'til midnight. Warning: you are not here for the food (which is average at best and kinda overpriced). You're here to cuddle with your honey (again, making out is highly encouraged) while sipping on a glass or three of champagne. If you must order something, order something simple - like a plat du formmage (cheese plate). Your hotel is barely a 5 minute walk away. I think you can take it from there ;-)
Until tomorrow, bon nuit...
Next: Day Two - Saturday
Vivre! Rire! Aimer!