Thursday, March 17, 2016

Paris + Barcelona

We recently had the opportunity to travel to Europe and visit the AMAZING cities of Paris and Barcelona. Europe is everything you expect it to be and more. The architecture is breathtaking, the food is delicious and its rich culture is just oozing out of every knook and cranny.  

We arrived in Paris at 9:30am (2:30 am our time) after an overnight flight. Our backs hurt, we were exhausted and cranky but completely prepared to suck it up and drop our luggage off at our hotel and tour the city. When we arrived at our hotel they said our room was already ready. "YES!" I thought I would freshen up and still try and stay up for the day. Wrong. We passed out and took a 2 hour nap. We felt fantastic after and walked the short 5 minutes to the Eiffel Tower, taking in all the cute apartments fixed with flower boxes and picturesque little cafes along the way. (we later regretted this nap as we stayed up till 4am and threw ourselves off for the entire trip, never curing our jet lag.)

The Eiffel Tower is just as romantic in person as you think it is. However there are a TON of tourist pretending to lean against it or hold it in the palm of their hands as they take 5 million selfies. Thank goodness the park is huge and there are lots of spots to snap photos and remove yourself from the crowd. 
After our walk I started to feel tired again so we found a little cafe to grab an espresso. After my first Parisian coffee I now realize American coffee can't even begin to compare. Theirs is so rich and creamy and delicious. I could not however get used to the fact that I couldn't take it to go, especially since it was cold and rainy and a hot coffee in your hands outside sounded too good to be true. And it was. 

The Seine River

 The Louve!

 The skylights at the Museum D' Orsay were stunning. Of course we got to see the famous Van Gogh self portrait, among other renowned paintings that graced my history books.

Notre Dame

Paris at night just glows! Here is the view from our hotel room of the Eiffel Tower.

 If you want to see something highly entertaining, go see Moulin Rouge. Its like Las Vegas, but better! The dancing was fantastic, the costumes were detailed and constantly changing, and the champagne was overflowing. The only bad thing was the ushers sat a couple next to us that had boundary issues and were pretty much sitting in our laps the whole time. What can you do.

A must do while in Paris is to go to Laduree. If you love coffee or tea and macaroons you will be in heaven. I felt like this place was designed by Alice from Wonderland herself.

 Creme brulee and crepes anyone? Yes Please!

 The next morning outside our hotel they had set up a huge Market. I have never seen so many fresh flowers. I wish we were staying longer or I would have gotten some for our room!

We later took the train to Versailles. Anyone want to fly me out for a styled shoot with a bride and groom here? I think I would die of happiness.

On to Barcelona! 
We arrived in Barcelona in the afternoon and instantly began exploring. Our hotel was a 5 minute walk to the pier and less than a 10 minute walk to the famous La Rambla.

Walking up La Rambla we quickly found a little restaurant on the street serving tapas, paella and sangria for 10 euro. Barcelona sure knows how to keep you eating and drinking all day long. Serve small portions for really cheap and keep the liquor coming. We really couldn't get over the fact that our bill at a upscale restaurant was only 50 euro and included a 4 course meal and a huge pitcher of sangria. The only drawback is they don't offer water and you pretty much have to beg for it. It cost more than a glass of wine and comes in an itty bitty bottle. I think I was dehydrated the entire trip.

After much sangria we enjoyed an evening of Flamenco at the Tablo Cordobes. 

The famous Casa Batll√≥

 This market off La Rambla was AMAZING. It was so colorful and full of delicious foods.

 Sagrada de Familia

This park was so amazing! Brandon said this fountain was his most favorite thing he saw on our trip. I only wish it wasn't raining! I didn't take my camera with me much while in Barcelona. My back was starting to hurt and I decided to just use my iphone for a lot of the architecture shots. And it shows! I wish I could portray how amazing the streets of Barcelona are. It is so easy to get lost in this city as there are alleys breaking off into alleys breaking off into more alleys. But every little alley is a gem full of boutiques, museums and restaurants. We can't wait to go back!

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