It’s now Day Two of our stay in Paris. Every time I visit Paris, you know that moment when you’re still asleep, yet you’re in that moment of near consciousness that you’re about to wake up? That moment in between made me think, “Get up, you’re in Paris!”
So I did. And I woke up the rest of the troop. We finally got out, and got ready for our day. I read an article from Conde Nast Traveler and it mentioned the French word flâner, to walk in the city in order to experience it.
That’s what our trip has been so far. We walked, we strolled, we got lost, we found gems, we wandered…aimlessly wandered. So nothing different with this morning.
We walked towards Place Vendome and this time we made a left on Rue de Rivoli. We headed straight for Angelina, well known for their pastries and especially their hot chocolate. We kept it light and simple since Evan wanted his daily croissant. I had to take a bite of the croissant from here. It was shiny, a little bit of a crispy top layer, and man, it had a little bit of sweetness. It’s a far cry from the ones that we get from Costco! LOL!!!
Musee’ du Louvre
We kept on walking on the avenue towards Passage Richelieu. Again it was like riding a bike. We took the kids to Musee’ du Louvre. It was almost as if it was a rite of passage. After the Eiffel Tower, even if we’re not big on art, just being outside the Louvre and its surroundings take an appreciation on its own. It’s a such a wide space and then bam, there’s this glass pyramid structure that led us in to the Louvre. The line to go in wasn’t that long, but at the this time in the morning, the sun was already bright and shiny and HOT!!!
What’s different with this visit? I didn’t want us to focus and head straight to Leonard Da Vinci’s famous painting of the Mona Lisa. I wanted to take our time. So for the first time in my three visits to the Louvre, we explored the Sully section and headed straight to Egyptian section. We were also enamored when we saw the Grecian and Roman sections. Those statues were so lifelike, just beautiful. We paced ourselves. We didn’t rush. Heck, we were in Paris. We took pictures with Venus de Milo, she was tucked in the corner but was the center of attraction.
After walking about for over an hour, we found ourselves in the Denon Wing, Room 6. It was a huge room filled with dozens of paintings including her, Mona Lisa. As expected, she was in a glass enclosure, and all the paparazzis were on her. I read somewhere that there are plans to give Mona her separate room. I think she deserves it after all these years.
I don’t really associate ramen when I think of Paris. However I knew that we’d be spending quite some time in the Louvre, so I checked top rated places to eat near the Louvre where I don’t have to break the bank. It’s a touristy area so everything is priced to choke your wallet. Higuma was highly rated. Known for its ramen, priced as low as $7.50 Euros, surprisingly, this was just 1 block away from the Louvre. They have 3 other locations nearby as well, which I might have to check out later.
We were craving comfort food. Despite the 99 degree weather, ramen and fried rice was the solution we needed. I loved the broth and the ramen noodles itself. It wasn’t overcook. It wasn’t salty. The fried rice was packed with flavor and lots of little shrimp. Yes….Higuma, I shall return.
Moving to our new home
Yesterday, I mentioned that while I had four FREE nights I could use at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome, I opted use just one night since I had three other FREE nights award from Club Carlson. I booked the rest of our Paris stay at another five-star hotel near the Arc de Triomphe. We moved to the Radisson Blu Hotel Champs-Elysées. It was perfectly located one block away from the avenue and the Arc, and from a distance, one could see the Eiffel Tower.
Since we are Club Carlson Gold members, we were given an upgrade from a classic room to a deluxe room. It’s typically around $335 Euros per night (roughly $400 with tax and everything). But for us, we got our three nights stay for FREE. Thank you, Club Carlson!!! After we checked in, we took a little break from all the walking and exploring we did today. We freshened up, I worked on my blog, the kids played, Nancy got to rest as well.
After taking dozens of pictures, we headed for the Eiffel Tower. It was only one bus ride away, the #92. It was a short 10-15 minute ride, and once we got out, we walked for 10 minutes and didn’t realize that we’d be right at the foot of the tower. We got there around 9pm, that’s when the tower started to shimmer and lights were flashing. As you might imagine, we took hundreds of pictures!
It’s a small, small world
As we strolled around the Eiffel Tower, Nancy ran in to one of her co-workers from Kaiser Permanente. They rarely saw one another at work due to different schedules. But how random was that to see someone you know in Paris. The world is so small. This same thing happened to her a couple of years ago when we strolled around Times Square in NYC. We were walking up and down 8th Avenue and out of nowhere, she and her friend from college, Ommar, saw one another. What a small world.
We started to make our way back to the bus stop and strolled along Rue Saint-Dominique. Lots of restaurants and we chose Le Campanella. We ordered escargots, crepe, and steak. It was a perfect way to end our day, our 2nd day in Paris.