Travel Tuesdays {Getting to know Paris}...

Bonjour!  We have talked about booking our flight, getting prepared to leave the country and getting to Paris, and now we are to the good stuff- what to do once you are finally there! When staying in Paris {or any European country really} you wanna readjust what your expectations of a hotel room are.

These are not Holiday Inns.  There are no movies to rent on the T.V. {if you have one} and there are no English channels {except for maybe CNN International}.  There are no mini fridges or room service.  Now this is in MOST- not all- but you are really going to have to look for a hotel that caters more to Americans needs to find that stuff because I have stayed in a lot of hotels over there {even fancy ones} and have never once seen any of those things.

In the showers {cause there ain't gonna be a bathtub honey} there is usually a hand held shower sprayer sometimes there is a wall mount for them, sometimes not, and you have to just hose yourself down.  But at least the water is safe to drink so it's not entirely a third world country experience.  If you plan on blow drying your hair bring an adapter and makes sure it is strong enough because you don't want to blow a fuse like I did in your hotel room : ) hey I still make rookie mistakes...

This wasn't meant to scare you away from staying in hotels in Europe, it is just to prepare you for the differences.  Every hotel I have ever stayed in has been clean and well kept- they just don't all have indoor swimming pools and On Demand t.v.  We had a very charming patio and our second story room had a window looking out over it.  You could open the windows and let the breeze blow in and listen to the sounds of the streets of Paris- bliss.

Paris truly is the city of love but love is going to be far from your mind by the time you land and get to your hotel.  Jet lag isn't pretty.  It can make you feel sick and if you don't get "on time" with France it can last for days.  I have a solid routine when I fly into Europe that helps me beat jet lag.

I learned this from my boss in Germany {because she has done the whole flight thing back and forth A LOT}  if you arrive in the morning and are able to check into your hotel right away- DO NOT spend the whole day sleeping and then get up and stay up late that night.  What will help you is to take a small 2-3 hour nap, get up and have some lunch, maybe take a walk and then again take a small 2-3 hour nap.  When you wake up eat some dinner and do a little something and turn in around 9.  I guarantee that you will wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go for the day!

Getting around Paris was so easy.  With a map of the city and using the river as our marker it was a cinch!  We used the subway to get everywhere.  At first Ryan was afraid to use it.  I have used them all over the place so I am never afraid of a subway system.  I am always amazed at how clean European subways are.  They do not smell of trash and have gross stuff everywhere you step {thank you New York City} and there aren't bums everywhere.

There are also going to be double decker tour buses EVERYWHERE, any major landmark, you will find a stop for these tours and place to buy tickets.  For about forty euros each we had a two day pass to get on and off at any of the destinations.  It is slow and makes a lot of stops, so don't use it to get to a destination in a hurry.  But it is fantastic when your legs are aching from walking and you just want to sit and look at Paris go by.  They will give you a pair of headphones when you buy your ticket.  Plug them and pick your language and you are all set for a tour in English {or whatever your native tongue may be, they have many different languages to choose from}

There are so many things to see and do in Paris.  It is hard to tell you what you should see because I feel like it is different for everyone.  I would have been happy just seeing parks and eating bread and cheese. Other people like a really packed itinerary so here are some of our favorite sites to see but research stuff on your own and see what Paris has to offer- there is something for everyone!

*The Eiffel Tower

*Garden of Luxembourg

*Notre Dame

*The Louvre

That is really just the tip of a very big ice burg! So be prepared to put on your walking shoes {of refuse to put on comfy shoes and pay the price like I did!  Don't forget to just take time to enjoy being in Paris.  Sit in a cafe and linger over your coffee or wine. Let the sun shine on your face and soak all the sights and smells in.  You are in Paris!  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity- enjoy it because before you know it, you will be back in good old commercialized America!

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