Thursday, June 23, 2016

Coghills Go International: {Day 8-10: Paris + Flight + Reunion}

Our final days in France. I hope you've enjoyed the other recaps here, here, and here!

May 30, 2016
{View from our hotel in Montpellier. It was beautiful}
{After a leisurely breakfast, it was time to say goodbye to Montpellier. I really did love this city best, but was excited to experience Paris for more than a few hours :)}

{These flowers were just outside the hotel lobby, and I loved seeing them}
{Walking across the street to the train station, I actually had to do a double take because I thought I recognized someone. It would have been my new SIL's friend, Monty, if it was really her. I didn't take a picture or anything, (no need to be creepy), but it really did throw me for a loop momentarily!}

{Mars ready to jump on the train to Paris!}

{We checked into our hotel quickly, then made our way to Montmartre neighborhood for a mini Amélie tour I came up with. My mom and I really like the movie, and I thought it'd be something fun to do. After getting off the Metro, we saw Moulin Rouge right away! We did not go inside though ;)}

{Next, we had a reservation at the Cafe de deux Moulins - the cafe where Amélie worked!}

{They even have a poster up inside :)}

{The menu}

{I was legitimately hungry, so we went ahead and ordered a full meal. I felt awful, but I had to ask for the burger to be taken back. It was still pink in the middle, and I didn't feel comfortable eating it since I'm pregnant. I even made sure we explained that was the reason why I wanted it cooked more. I did break a rule I read about eating salad, because it looked so good! The food really was quite delicious}

{They also have an Amélie special for any time - creme brulee plus a hot beverage, (I got hot chocolate). It was amazing! I had to hold myself back from licking the ramkin ;)}

{The counter for the restaurant}

{When we walked outside of the cafe, I saw this street art and just had to take a picture!}

{We walked to the market that was the setting for the grocer Collignon, (if you're familiar with the movie). I told my mom, who likes the movie too, that I would try my best to find a garden gnome in Paris for her as her souvenir. Not only did a find a perfect one, I also found it here! I was beyond excited!! It must be a normal thing because the man who worked there gave the gnome a kiss, and wished it good luck on its new journey. I thought it was sweet :)}

{There are lots of hidden stairs in Montmartre BTW....}

{Some more street art I really liked}

{Street art again...}

{And more street art :)}

{I had to take a picture of this restaurant: The Three Little Pigs!}

{After a few million stairs, (it is the highest point in the city), we made it to Sacré-Cœur Basilica. We didn't go inside, but it was still beautiful on such a rainy day}

{Another view}

{The view of Paris from the base of the church}

{Riding the Funicular down so I didn't have to do the millions of stairs again in the rain}

{The carousel at the bottom. I was told there are usually lots of street artists that hang around this area, but none were to be found on such a wet day}

{We stopped at the Gare de l'Est to find the photo booth! Unfortunately, it was a fairly large train station, so we didn't find the exact one from the movie, (if it's even still around). We did have fun looking}

{We found a photo booth, and took some pictures!}
{I wanted to skip stones at the canal from the movie, but it was not really worth it thanks to the weather. I felt like our Amélie tour had gone well, even without that stop. It was fun to do!}

{This sundial is a face! I thought it was cool :)}

{View of Notre Dame as we looked for...}

{Shakespeare and Company bookstore! We bought some books and got the special stamp. I got Much Ado About Nothing because it is my favorite Shakespearean play}

{This was just a cool looking mini fountain outside of the bookstore :)}

{Before settling in for the night, we bought a fresh baguette, (poppy seed!), and some yummy desserts from a nearby boulangerie, (bakery). It was so delicious!}
{Not pictured: Watching Ratatouille while I slept in the hotel room ;)}

May 31, 2016
{We decided to walk around a find a cafe to have breakfast. We didn't have to go far to find this little spot! They had a covering for their outdoor seating with heat lamps, so we ate outside and I people watched! (We decided that I'm a people watcher, and Phil's a people ignorer HAHAHA) They offered a Parisian breakfast which was a hot beverage, OJ, and bread/croissants with butter and jam. We decided to get one of those, plus an English breakfast, which was the same with the addition of a plain egg omelet. We split the omelet, and it was very delicious!}

{My hot beverage was hot chocolate. I did have to add a little sugar to it, but it was still yummy}

{Before starting our day, we took a quick photo of the Saint Michel fountain near our hotel. We're pretty sure it's a statue of Michael the Archangel stepping on the devil, though we were not 100% sure}

{Due to all the rain, the Seine River was very high. Luckily, there were plenty of bridges we could walk across to get to Notre Dame}

{There's a thing in Paris called the Love Lock Bridge. I recently heard that they are no longer allowing that since the locks were getting too heavy. However, now there are locks in random places. This is just a small garden area near Notre Dame that had several love locks on it!}

{Outside of Notre Dame. It was hard to not have songs from the Disney movie in my head the whole time! It was a beautiful cathedral, and I just loved looking at everything}
{As I said before, I'm not a huge fan of audio tours, so I did lots of exploring on my own at my own pace. Plus, I like to touch pillars and things like that. That way, it's not just a visual memory for me. Physically touching places like that really make me feel like I was there. That's why traveling is such a weird concept to me. Sitting "still" for a few hours had me looking at the Chicago skyline, then I was suddenly in front of the Paris skyline. I have to do more than see and take pictures of places. I have to hear the sounds. I have to taste the food. I have to touch the buildings. I have to really experience being at that place in that moment. Of course, Phil thinks I'm nuts, but he knew that going into the marriage ;)}

{BB-3 and I outside of Notre Dame}

{This model of Notre Dame made me think of a project I did in Honors Trig in high school. I made a model of the Sears Tower, (now the Willis Tower) out of toothpicks, which was a terrible idea because it took approximately 12986719765310783532597089652385 toothpicks. I don't believe this was made with toothpicks, but I couldn't imagine how many it would take to make this! LOL}

{After a quick walk, we tried to make it to our Seine River cruise tour, but we missed the boat by 3 minutes. Luckily, they had another leaving in 45 minutes, so we waiting in the picnic area and had a snack. We were told that, due to the river's height, they would have to cut the tour in half. We were a little disappointed, but we knew it would still be a fun cruise. We went west on the river where we saw the Eiffel Tower again and other cool buildings. I didn't get many good photos on the way back because our windows on the boat had fogged up too heavily. Oh well!}

{In an effort to get some souvenirs, we ended up at a park that was near the Louvre! We were too far away to see the famous triangle everyone associates with the museum, but it's there! I took a quick photo for memories sake :) As a side note: no we did not go to any museums on our trip. There were just so many that we would have had a hard time picking which ones. Plus, it was nice to do most things on the time schedule we came up with. If we did lots of museums, that would have been hours of time we didn't have to do other things. It's also an excuse to go back some day :)}
{We made a few more stops on our way back to the hotel for souvenirs. It was nice to just shop and explore Paris leisurely}

{After our last shopping excursion, we grabbed some hot drinks and decided to try and sit on the terrace of our hotel room. I mean, that was part of why we got the room we did! We lucked out and the rain stopped just long enough. This is the view of our terrace}

{Mars and I had to wipe down the chair and table}

{Beautiful city, handsome man, and hot beverages. I'm a lucky gal!}

{Then we had the task of repacking our bags with all the souvenirs inside! It didn't take long thanks to my Tetris skills ;)}

{We had two more excursions we wanted to make. I read an article that said there was a building near our hotel that was the inspiration for Gusteau's restaurant in Ratatouille. Since that's a favorite Disney film for Phil, we went to check it out. I can definitely see how they based the building off of this! There was no fountain in front, so there was a little creative license going on}

{This restaurant was near our hotel as well. I just took the photo because of the name Colbert. It's pronounced differently here, but that is the last name of my Chickasaw ancestors}

{I asked for one last Nutella crepe before we left Paris. Boy was it yummy!}

{Our final adventure was navigating to the Eiffel Tower to see it light up at night. Unknowingly, we got to the perfect viewing spot just as it started to flicker little lights for 5 minutes. It was a fitting end to our wonderful trip <3}

June 1, 2016
{After a long line to get our luggage checked, we made it to our gate in Paris. We decided to get lunch before we boarded just in case the food was iffy. They did feed us several times, so we felt pretty full by the time we landed in Montreal. It was worth eating that chocolate tart though}

{This is the face of a bear who just witnessed a pregnancy cry at customs. Once we landed in Montreal, we ended up having to go through a security check point, (one Phil thought we were allowed to skip due to Global Entry), and for whatever reason, I set off the metal detector. Still not sure why since it didn't go off anywhere else. So I got a pat down. Isn't that lovely? Then, after all that, that's when we discovered that they had lost a bag. We didn't know which one yet, but they didn't even know for sure if it was still in Paris or not. They kept making us wait to go through customs, and it was making me feel like we were going to miss our flight to Chicago. Knowing full well I couldn't run to catch the plan since I was so pregnant, I began to cry a bit. I'm not really proud of that, especially since I was doing it more to get sympathy so we could just leave and go to the gate. I was legitimately upset because I wanted to get on that plane and go home. I was so done. And clearly Montreal has a problem with me! So we got to finally go, and I reminded Mars that it was our final flight before he got to be with Jillian, (and David), again. That made us all happy :)}

{After a bumpy flight, (thanks Lake Michigan!), we made it to Chicago. We found out it was our luggage full of souvenirs that was lost, so we had to fill out a form. Then we called for a shuttle to take us to the hotel where my folks and the kids were waiting. It took awhile to get there, and we shared a 15 passenger van with 9 Nigerians and their millions of bags. It was quite an entertaining ride, but we made it!}


{So glad to be in America with the ones we love <3}

I will be doing one more post to talk about things I would do again/do differently next week. No matter what, I am so thankful I was able to go on this trip. Everything turned out great, and we really did have a good time. I'm sure it's the last big trip we'll take alone for several several years.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, we did get our bag back. Everything was still inside, any only one of my coffee mugs had a small chip broken off. Everything else was in tact! Yay for happy endings :)

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderfully fun adventure you had! I am so glad you got to go on this trip with Phil and that you got your bag back!


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