Thursday, April 29, 2010

Honeymoon Vacation - Day Two

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel

Day two of our honeymoon brought us breakfast at Angelina and a visit to the Louvre, the Musée de l'Orangerie along with exploration in the Ste. Germaine.

Angelina Breakfast Remains

We woke up early and headed to the Rue de Rivoli where Angelina is located. I clapped my hands with joy and we headed in for a Parisian breakfast. Angelina has some of the best hot chocolate in the world and I enjoyed every lovely sip.

Louvre Square

We then headed through the Jardin des Tuileries toward the Louvre. Scott was extra excited about the Louvre since he studied Art and Art History in college. He's really fun to go to museums with because he can tell you all about the history and brush strokes and all that other arty stuff.

Not Venus Demillo

The Louvre is a wonderful and yet exhausting museum. Even though we arrived near opening time for the museum, it was packed with hoards of people straining to see every famous piece of artwork.

Louvre Sculpture Hall

We did however stumble upon this really cool statue head while lost in the South American Tribal Art area.

Head of Satue

After finding our way back to the entrance of the Louvre, we decided to head into the underground mall for some lunch. It was there that I spotted the McDonald's Macarons. I really wanted to try them but I couldn't bring myself to do it.

McDonald's Macarons

Once we were full, we headed back down the Rue de Rivoli so I could find the purse shop I visited on my previous visit to Paris. I also wanted to visit e-Dehillerin which was where Julia Child shopped when she lived in Paris.

I found the purse shop and I purchased a lovely purse.

Parisan Purse

I had a great time in e-Dehillerin but didn't buy anything as Scott said I'd have to carry it home myself and copper pots are heavy!

Dehillerin

We then went to the Musée de l'Orangerie where Monet's Waterlilies are on display.

Waterlillies 3

They are quite lovely but you can see Monet's aging process in the paintings. You can see where he slowly began to lose his eyesight where the Lilies become even more fuzzy.

Waterlillies 2

After a lovely day in the museums, we headed back to our hotel room where Scott caught me napping. Those museums really wore me out!

Tuckered Out

Once I woke up again, we headed out to explore the Ste. Germain district. We went to the Le Bon Marche which was highly disappointing.

Le Bon Marche

After the Bon Marche, we visited a park where we watched a French couple having a heated argument. We were transfixed watching them. It was strange to see such passion in such an open space.

We ended up having dinner at an ok place that evening and while it wasn't terrible, it wasn't that great of a meal. We did however have a great time exploring the area near our hotel.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Honeymoon Vacation - Day One

Jet Lagged on the Eiffel Tower

Just over two weeks ago, Scott and I headed out on our honeymoon to Europe. Along the way we visited Paris, Brugges and Amsterdam while having a damn good time.

We flew out of SeaTac early in the morning and had a short layover in Chicago. Our red-eye flight out of Chicago was practically empty which gave Scott and I hope for sleep. Hope which was denied. We ended up getting a bit of sleep but not enough.

After arriving in Paris, we took the Air France shuttle to our hotel, Le Meridien Montparnasse. My parents were very generous and shared their Starwood points with us. We had fantastic accommodations in Paris for five nights.

The Eiffel Tower Street

We tried to check-in to our hotel early but unfortunately there weren't any rooms available. So we left our bags with the bellhops and headed out for lunch. We had a fantastic meal at Le Petit Sommelier de Paris before taking a stroll to the Eiffel Tower.

Palace de Invalides

As we headed toward the Eiffel Tower, we ran into Hôtel des Invalides where Napoleon is buried. Invalides has the most beautiful garden.

Napolean's Tomb

We then kept walking toward the Eiffel Tower, stopping for a cafe along the way. We arrived at the Eiffel Tower a few hours before our reservation to go to the top. I hoped that they'd let us go early but they are strict about their reservation times.

Le Eiffel Tower

We filled the time by walking along the Seine, taking photos and attempting to fend off the wandering salesmen with their rings of metal miniature Eiffel Tower figurines. The salesmen were especially annoying since we were exceptionally tired.

Itinerant salesmen

Even though we were early for our reserved time, I would still recommend buying your tickets in advance. The lines for people who did not pre-purchase were a few hours long.

The Seine

Our reservation time slowly came around and we queued up to head to the top of the tower. I had purchased the option to head all the way to the top but once we were on the main level, I got a bit nervous about the height and Scott was so tired that he just wanted to head back to the hotel. Maybe some other time.

Paris View 5

The view from the top of the Eiffel Tower was amazing and I wish I had taken more time to enjoy it.

Paris View 2

After checking out the Paris skyline, we headed back to the hotel. Unfortunately I was too tired to figure out the Metro or the bus so we walked the 2.5 kilometers back to our hotel with aching feet. There was a small grocery by our hotel so we grabbed some bread, cheese and salami from there for our dinner before heading up to our room. We barely it made it to 8:00 p.m. that night before crashing BUT we did not suffer from jet lag for the rest of our trip. The first day is always the hardest but once you make it through, you're home-free.

Lessons Learned:
  • Pack Lighter - I had way too much going on before our trip and packed at the last minute which meant that I over packed.
  • Beg for early check-in - If I could have showered and had a few moments to freshen up after our long flight, I would have enjoyed our first day in Paris a lot more.
  • Figure out the Metro BEFORE you are too tired and have to walk home

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hitched!

Bridal Couple!

We're hitched and riding off into the sunset! Tomorrow we head out to Paris, Bruges and Amsterdam for an awesome honeymoon. So far, I'm really liking this married thing. So much that I think I'll do it forever!

Flowers

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Two MORE DAYS!

Mandarian in Action

I can hardly believe it but in just two short days, I'll get getting hitched to the most wonderful Smooshy in the world. (Yes, I call him Smooshy after my favorite yarn, Smooshy Sock).

Shortly after that, we're heading off on a honeymoon to Paris, Bruges and Amsterdam. I'll be back with wonderful stories and photos to share.

Right now I'm going to revel in being the luckiest girl alive, because right now I feel like I am!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Seven More Days of Being a Singleton

In 7 days, I will be getting married and all of this planning, stressing and hemorrhaging of money will be over with. I'm so excited to be getting married and even more excited that these last seven days will be spent calmly.

If I may brag a bit, I'm done with the planning, all done. All that needs to be done are those last minute details that just can't be done until well the last minute. For instance, I need to drop the programs off at the church but I can't do that until the Rehearsal and so on.

While I am an extremely organized person, the real reason that I'm done with the wedding planning so far in advance (I was done about a week and a half ago) is 100% due to the best iPhone App in the world.

IMG_1916

It's called "Bridal Guide" and all I had to do was plug in our wedding date to get a list of "To-Do's". I love a good To-Do list with due dates and all that so this app was perfect. This guide has thought of every little detail and by following it, I didn't miss a beat.

IMG_1917

The guide also has a contacts section, a budget guide and a planner section. I didn't use the contacts or budget section much but they were helpful. I especially enjoyed the planner section where different portions of weddings are explained. For instance if I wanted to know more about a groom's cake, the planner quickly explained it for me. (A groom's cake is typically shaped after the groom's interests and are smaller, masculine and usually chocolate.)

IMG_1919

So if you are getting married and have an iPhone, RUN and get the "Bridal Guide". It will seriously save your sanity and help you relax in those final weeks before the wedding.