What a wonderful and fast moving New Year thus far - can you believe it's already February!? Time is just another daily reminder to really savor the moments, soak up the good stuff and start (or continue to) explore the bucket list. Two months ago, I got to exercise my bucket list and check off so many amazing things in PARIS!!! This has been a long awaited dream for me, and everything leading up to the moment we booked our flights to our return home (and even today as I look back at our memories) has been so incredible. It's still like a dream. All I can say is, Paris is so much more magnificent when you personally see it, touch it, smell it, feel it, taste it, imagine it and live it in your own journey. Moreover, I am so grateful I had the chance to experience it - especially with one of the most precious persons in my life, my amazing husband, Thay.
I don't know if Thay was just in a good mood that day he surprised me with, "Let's go to Paris," or maybe he just felt that we really needed a break from all the hard work and upcoming stress of closing down our portrait studio. Perhaps, he finally gave in because I was extremely persistent on traveling to the city of romance. We would always joke about the day we go to Paris, would be the day we would try for another child. So, long story short - the surprise happened on my birthday. Our birthdays are a week apart in November and since this was the first time (in 17 years) we didn't get to spend it together, we decided to take this spontaneous trip to celebrate in Paris, France. We literally decided on which week to travel and booked our flights in less than 30 days. Amazingly, tickets weren't too outrageous and December has to be one of the prettiest times of the year in Paris. This was our first time traveling abroad to Europe so we were super excited about the plane experience. To our surprise, the flight wasn't that long. It only took one connecting flight to DC and then a 7 hour non-stop red eye to Charles de Gaulle Airport.
The moment we set foot into Charles de Gaulle and strolled towards custom and baggage - all you can see are walls and ceilings covered with gorgeous modern interior decor with lines of sophisticated luxury boutiques and designer stores. Thay had to remind me that we didn't come to Paris to shop. LOL!
Once we collected our baggages, it was pretty easy to find transportation. There are several English speaking security officers that direct the crowd to the outdoor area where you can either take the train or cab to the city. We decided to take a cab which was about a 30 - 40 minute ride and costed a flat 62 euros. The cab ride gave us the opportunity to sight see some trademarks along the highway. Our driver was friendly but only accepted cash which we found out at the end of the ride. Good thing we did some cash exchange at our airport. We later learned that using the UBER service would of been half the price. I highly recommend using UBER for all your short and long distant local rides! Which is exactly what we did for the remainder of the trip.
Our first stop was to drop off our luggages so we can start exploring. With the 6 hour time zone change, we arrived to Paris around 8 am and was able to do an early check in. When researching Paris hotels, we weren't sure about where to stay, but we were so glad we ended choosing HOTEL NAPOLEAN PARIS on Friedland Avenue. It is the perfect location to everything. Walking distance to the Champs Elysees strip of restaurants and shopping district which stays lively day and night and feels super safe. We stayed in the Junior Suite and our third floor balcony view overlooked Friedland Avenue and the famous Arc de Triomphe. We loved the beautiful natural light that added to the quaint vintage feel of our French living quarters for the week! The full bathroom and a separate guest bathroom are fully updated with a clean, modern look. We didn't have time to enjoy the bathtub but loved waking up to the ceiling shower head shower.