My sister and I woke up at 6 am in a state of determination. We were in Paris, damnit! And we weren’t going to let a bit of dirt (and okay, mold) get in our way. There was a laundromat downstairs and there were cleaning supplies in the apartment, we’d simply have to bring things up to our own standards. No problem.
We got dressed and threw some sheets and towels in the machines at the laundromat downstairs. We met some neighbors there the night before doing a load of clothes, and they told us it was perfectly safe to leave stuff in the wash. We decided to take advantage of the wash time (my husband and Kaleb were still asleep!) and headed down to the Eiffel Tower. The city was still waking up, and it was mostly just locals starting their day and taking morning jogs. It was beautiful!
People even called out Bonjour as they passed, and I had to refrain from singing me some Beauty and the Beast for fear of my sister abandoning me on some Parisian side street.
Okay, I sang a few notes before she gave me a look that said if I kept going I was dead.
We stopped at a Boulangerie for croissants. They were still warm and the best croissants I’ve ever had. That is not me exaggerating. They were delightful. We switched over our laundry and went to bring my husband and Kaleb breakfast.
Kaleb was exhausted and slept in (I mean, look at that hair), but it ended up being a good thing. We didn’t get to the RER station until 10:30, so the morning rush hour was over. We took the train to Versailles, got some warm drinks at the Starbucks across from the station, and walked the short walk over to the Chateau.
The Chateau is beautiful and quite impressive, even from a distance. Because the day was calling for rain and it was mid week, I think we lucked out on the crowds. Everything I read said to get there early, but there was no line for tickets. We decided to do the gardens and Petit Trianon first in case it did rain. It was a beautiful walk, birds singing and leaves rustling!
While Versailles is definitely a gleaming example of the excess of some while many suffer, I have to admit I loved Marie Antoinette’s gardens. The sheep, the goats, the kitchen garden… one day my friends, one day.
We had a quick lunch, and the sun was still out, so we decided to take a little trip around in a row boat! It was 13 euros for a half hour and worth every penny.
Then, we finally headed up to the Chateau.
The Chateau was very crowded, and it made it difficult to really soak it in. Maybe this is why we should have gotten there early. There are renovations at the moment, so you really only see a small handful of rooms. Although, even without the renovations it’s a small amount for the size of the palace. There are no interpreters giving fun tidbits and the placards are mostly in (duh!) French. Luckily, between it being my sister’s 3rd trip to Versailles and my own obsessive researching, we were all able to share some fun facts with each other. A part of me wishes we would have sprung for the audio guides, but I’m not sure I would have been able to pay attention properly anyway.
Walking the gardens around Petit Trianon was my favourite part, but the whole visit was amazing. We were there until about 4, and took the RER back to Paris, enjoying the most delicious macaroons we purchased from the Chateau on the way.
Our stop was Tour Eiffel, so of course we had to stop and take pictures. We even found a little park for Kaleb to play and unwind at for a bit!
We then headed to rue Cler, and enjoyed dinner at the most amazing little restaurant, Le Petit Cler. The food was delicious and the servers were friendly and kind.
We lucked out with the weather completely. While it called for rain all day, it didn’t downpour until we were safe inside the cafe eating our meal. The dash to the metro was a little dicey and fun fact: canvas shoes form a grip like a vice to feet when they are wet. Maybe don’t wear your white Keds if they forecast calls for rain, just saying. The trip wouldn’t have been so bad if there hadn’t of been mechanical troubles on the line! We got kicked off two trains to find out they were closing the line for the time being.
We stared at the map and tried to figure out our best alternate route, and luckily a kind gentleman helped us plot it! We ran into him 3 times throughout our 4 train change, each time he called out to us “this way!” He was so, so, so kind and I am so appreciative because we could have been hours trying to find our way! Instead we were home quickly and Kaleb was in bed at a decent hour. Every time I read anything about visiting Paris it warned that cultural differences can make Parisians seem cold, but it couldn’t be further from our experience! Everyone has been so kind and friendly and helpful! I absolutely love it. Maybe it’s giving me a false sense of security, and I’m trying to keep a bitch face on to keep those pickpockets at bay, but I can’t help but smile! I love it!
When we got back to the apartment, we enjoyed some champagne, cheese, meat, and bread as a snack. The rain is pouring down outside but it adds to the cozy atmosphere. And not only are we in Paris, but tomorrow we head to Disney!