Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Trip Recap: Paris.

We've waded our way through a lot of the pictures. Up first, the Paris pics!

Despite what it may look like based on the sheer number of pictures in this post, it really was so hard to choose my favorite photos to share with you -- I loved them all.  I seriously loved every single second of Paris. I would go back tomorrow if I could. There was just so much about the city that captured me -- the people, the food, the architecture. It was all amazing. So without further ado . . .

We pretty much hit up all the major Paris "attractions." We ran out of time for Versailles and the Musee d'Orsay, but we just kept saying we will go there next time.  


Other fun random pictures:

We frequently rode the Metro.  Justin was the master of the train system and totally had it figured it out -- we didn't get on the wrong train once.  Quite impressive. 

But we also did our fair share of walking too -- and it was needed after all of the amazing food we had.  It's hard to pick a favorite between the bread, cheese, macaroons, tasty glace (ice cream), and steak/frites, but the thing I still crave the most are the lemon and sugar crepes.  Seriously, yum.   

A pigeon had the nerve to beg from me as I enjoyed my delicious macaroon from Pierre Herme in front of St. Sulpice.  The pigeons even know how good they are!    

Don't worry, Justin enjoyed the food too.  And the drinks.  Our first night, we went to Harry's Bar (the oldest cocktail bar in Europe and where the Bloody Mary was created).  You can read an interesting write up about it here.

And what's Paris without shopping?  We checked out Merci -- I could have spent hours there.  They had some amazing things for the house and beautiful jewelry.  I picked up a couple of souvenirs. 

We also went to Les Puces de Saint-Ouen (the huge flea market).  I ended up with just a couple of things -- a letterpress H and some French vintage books.  If I could have packed mirrors, chandeliers, and furniture, I would have left with a truckload.  But I wasn't disappointed -- I loved walking around and just looking at all of the beautiful things. 

One of my favorite parts of Paris was just walking the streets and being surrounded by the beautiful architecture.

I quickly became obsessed with the doors and now have the desire to paint our front door a glossy teal blue.

Of course a Paris trip recap wouldn't be complete without pictures of the Eiffel Tower.

The view from the top of the tower:

People always ask what my favorite part of the trip was.  It's so hard to just pick one favorite, but Paris would definitely be up there at the top.  I'm already thinking about our return trip there.  Stay tuned for the remainder of the trip . . . Italy is up next!  

Au revoir!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Trip Recap: Hotel La Belle Juliette (Paris).

I mentioned that we took over 2,000 pics in my last post.  Well, we miscounted -- there are over 3,000. We've sorted through the majority of the Paris ones, so I should be sharing those with you in the next couple of days.

In the meantime, I thought I would share my take on the fabulous hotel (La Belle Juliette) we stayed in that I previously blogged about here.  I don't plan on sharing such detailed recaps of each hotel we stayed in, but if you're curious, please let me know and I will answer your questions and give you the deets!    

The hotel was every bit as fabulous as I had hoped it would be.  The sitting area on the main level was amazing.  I mean seriously two pink couches?  Yes, please.

This ornate gold mirror was one of my favorite things.  Beautiful!!

The stairwell was also stunning.  The top right picture is looking down; and the bottom left picture is looking up.  They had little birds suspended the entire way up on the wires you see and the lighting was so dramatic. 

On to our actual room . . . here's the hall leading up to it.  Super dark and moody.  Loved it.

And inside the room . . . the green color on the walls was so pretty.  There was a small fridge, safe, electrical outlets, and hanging room in the built-ins on both sides of the bed.  Oh, and that lamp in the foreground was baller.  It was kind of chandelier-ish -- it had crystals under the shade (you can kind of see, if you look closely).  It was lovely when it was lit up.

Across from our bed was the desk/tv area.  The computer monitor also doubled as the tv (not that we had time to watch tv, but it was a cool space saving idea).  I loved the desk and the soft green color.

We did take advantage of the internet to access maps, check store hours, and other things to fine-tune the last minute details of our day.  It is amazing how using a slightly different keyboard that what you're used to can totally throw everything off! 

A few other little areas around the room . . .

Our bathroom was small, but that's to be expected.  However, it was still incredible.  It has beautiful stained glass, hence the coloring of the following pictures.   

Not sure how appropriate it is to post a picture of the potty room, but the walls were too cool not to share!  I love how they totally jazzed up the small space with paint (and yep, it was paint and not wallpaper).

Justin and I are still talking about the shower and want to install something similar here!  It was one of those car wash showers with plenty of jets (and super high water pressure). 

And a few other little details that I loved.  First, the gray color of the inside of our room's door.

The chevron trim on the pillows.

And last but not least, the door handle to the restroom (or toilette, as they would say).   

In addition to the accommodations being fabulous, the hotel staff was also great.  We mentioned that we were arriving early in the day and just wanted to ensure they could store our luggage while we hit the town to sight-see.  When we checked in at 10:00 a.m., they had our room ready!! It was so nice to freshen up after nearly a 10 hour flight before walking around for a full day.  They also provided excellent restaurant recommendations and spoke great English! 

I'll be back soon with pictures from Paris!  Thanks for your patience!  Hope y'all had a wonderful weekend!    

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I'm Back (and Slightly Jet-Lagged).

We just got back from our big Europe trip this weekend!  We had an absolutely amazing time.  It was so nice for Justin and me to take some time off of work and just relax together.  Call me crazy (and/or slightly paranoid), but I didn't want to advertise to everyone that we would be away from our home for over 2 weeks.

I can't wait to share the details of our trip and the pictures with you.  We have over 2,000 pictures to sort through -- so it may take a little time!  To give you a better idea of our vacation, this map shows the places we visited -- starting and ending in Paris.  (Athens hardly counts because we got there super late and had to leave the next morning for Milos, but since we slept there, I included it!) 

Since I don't have any pictures to share with you right now, I will share a hilarious message we received during the trip from our friend Kevin, who checked on things around the house while we were gone: 
Justin and Emily, a brief update:

I'm well, thanks for asking. The house is good. The light over the front door went out. Do you know if you have any extra bulbs? If not, I can pick one up. Also, do you have any drywall patching compound? If not, I can pick that up as well. Oh, are there any special instructions for removing stains on the couches (are the instructions different depending on which couch?)? The cars are... well, you have had that Lexus for a long time, right? I found a guy on craigslist that will take it in its current condition (long story). I think it's only fair that you guys get almost all of the proceeds. Also, can you take the passenger seat out of the Infiniti? I couldn't find it in the instruction manual. I think I found the right tools, so I'll give it a shot. Other than that, everything is peachy. I accidentally left the water running on the soaker house for a few days, so someone posted a notice on your gate about water usage. The gate was locked (like you said!), so they couldn't actually put it on the house. I think that is legally relevant. I'll turn it off this weekend.

Oh, I forgot to tell you that I... well... nevermind. I'll just tell you when you get back.

Miss you guys!
Of course he was kidding about everything except the front door light.  Too funny, right?   

Between snuggling Riley and Zoey and catching up with work (which I am dreading), I am looking forward to seeing what all I've missed out on in blog land over the last couple of weeks.   

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hotel La Belle Juliette.

Remember the gorgeous Florence hotel I posted about?  Well, I have another beauty to share with you.  This one is the Hotel La Belle Juliette in Paris.  The best part is that we are actually staying at this hotel!

Check out how amazing the place is.  (I know, picture overload -- but I couldn't narrow it down.  They were all too pretty not to share.)

I may never want to leave!  Thankfully my firm has an office in Paris -- maybe I can just relocate and live here!  (Just kidding, mom!  Kind of.)