Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Calling all Europhiles

Holy flip.

(Those are the closest things to swear words I'm allowed to say since I've been let in the Resistance. Did I tell you she finally let me in? Greatest day of my life. Tragically, I'll probably get a ticket for writing them here though. Totally worth it.)

I did not realize it has been almost two weeks since I posted here, with the exception of my complaints last Friday against the morons at Photobucket.

Sheesh. How is that possible? I was thinking maybe three days, five at most. I had no idea it has been almost FOURTEEN.

This should give you a little insight into my present state of mind right now. I am swimming. I have never been so busy in my entire life. My little business is booming, and it's something that makes me so very happy. Family sessions, newborns, senior portraits, and a wedding this week. But it leaves me very little free time for blog reading or blog writing. Or nap taking, for that matter.

I've got to remedy this. Somehow.

The other major time-suck right now is a little trip I'm getting ready to go on. Excuse me while I scream in excitement yet again.


There. All better. I'm getting ready in about five days to board a plane with one of my favorite people and take a little hop across the pond to London and Paris. Where we will indulge my fantasy of a night with Alfie Boe singing his heart out in this, and possibly convince Prince Harry to fall madly in love with me. Which will be tragic, as I will have to break his heart since I am married to a man wonderful enough to send me on this fantasy vacation in the first place. But I'll probably wait to break the news to Harry until after he's showered me with a few of the crown jewels. As he will be wont to do, I am sure.

But the point, dear internets, is that I am up to my elbows in cleaning, shopping, editing, mothering, and cleaning all in preparation for the trip of a lifetime. I've got a mother-in-law coming to stay, and ain't no way is she getting a peek at my cupboards in their current state.

So, indulge me while I'm scouring sinks and drawers and tell me your favorite things to do in London and Paris. Must-eats, must-sees, and everything in between. I've never been and need to know all the best spots. What would you recommend?

And in the meantime, I'll try and carve out a little time and share some of the less-exciting, but still worthwhile, things that have been happening around here.


Julianna said...

Sorry. Only been to Rome.

But I'll be sure to save your highlights for my fantasy trip.... I'm still wanting a Med. cruise of my 40th... we'll see. :)

Holly said...

I wish I had oodles of advice and tips for your trip but I've never been (yet) (emphasis on yet).

How exciting!! I can't wait to hear more about it--y'all will take London and Paris by storm I'm sure (plus she's a pro, right?)--SQUEEeeel!!

Cathy said...

I went to Europe when I was 16. It was a band trip. I actually turned 16 in the Swiss Alps. Not too shabby. I have no idea what you should do in Paris since that was 22 years ago and I didn't really pay attention. Have fun!

Andrea Shupe said...

I've never commented, but had to this time. I am going to be in Paris next week too! Have an amazing time. I got to go to London in the spring and have two lesser known recommendations. Take the train to Hampton Court Palace. Beautiful gardens. Also, try and hit Borough Market, a fantastic outdoor market that any foodie would love. Enjoy!

Cynthia said...

In Paris - Climb the Eiffel Tower, then have some Hot Chocolate at Angelina's, pastries and macaroons at Laduree. We loved Paris, but didn't plan nearly enough time there.
Love your blog. Have fun!

ellen said...

Two things: 1) buy some French envelopes (they're a bit bigger than 4x6 and I think they're cool). 2) Toss a piece of French chocolate in a river in memory of my brother Robes who served his mission in Belgium/France and died from brain cancer 13 years ago tomorrow.

Rebecca said...

Oh, how exciting! I actually spent a few days in Paris in high school, but I don't remember too much. There's a big cemetery with lots of famous people buried there, but it wasn't too great. We took a sunset boat cruise along the Seine--that was really cool. Also, the Louvre, Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower (at day and at night, if you can swing that!) and L'Arc de Triomphe. Except I missed L'Arc and I survived.

My favorite place in France is Monet's Garden in Giverny. Definitely worth a trip!!! Also, if you like castles, go out to Versailles. That was great.

I studied abroad in London for a semester and had the most fabulous time. Theater, theater, theater! Take a double decker bus ride, take the underground... if I were taking a trip there with my hubby, who's never been, I'd probably take a bus tour to get the layout of the town, and walk a lot. I always took the underground because it's faster, but I didn't really know where things were in relation to each other, if that makes sense? Shop at Harrod's or a market...go to the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace and Westminster...stroll through the parks. They have gorgeous parks! If you're into art and history, the British Museum and the National Gallery are world-class. There's also the National Portrait Gallery, and the V&A (Victoria & Albert) which has some Victorian era dresses, etc. and was quite fascinating.

Both places--enjoy the candy bars, they are SO much better than American. I brought home a bag full of British candy for my family! You'll walk plenty of miles to burn them off! :):)

I can't wait to see your pictures!!!

Certificate Programs said...

Seems you had a good time. Lucky you.

Lauren in GA said...

I've never been...but LADY, I am so excited for you!!!

I clicked on the Alfie Boe link and he was singing a song from Le Mis and I got goose bumps. Seriously, that is going to be such a wonderful show. (Don't have to tell you twice, huh? ☺) Congrats again on your lovely trip. ☺☺☺☺

...and even more congrats on being allowed into the Resistance! I hope this doesn't meant that the end of the world is nigh ;)

danandcindy said...

Well, i'nt that special.

Heidi said...

Hit a movie in Leicester Square. Your bound to see someone famous there. And the theater for sure! Les Mis? We saw it at the Queens Theater & there was a great Italian place kiddy korner from it I think. Best place we ate in London. Have so much fun!

Jen said...

I am very excited for you! You will have a great time no matter what!

If it's your first time, here are a couple quick suggestions:

-Eiffel Tower a must. I think it is worth the hour+ it might take you to get to the top. But also just grabbing a picnic (lot's of places to grab bread and cheese) and just have a little picnic under/around the tower and take in the sights. Watch out for gypsy's approaching you with signs asking if you speak English. Keep your wallets hidden!

-For Dinner, 'Le Petit Chatelet', meaning little house. Which it is. Right near to Nortre-Dame (39, rue de la Bucherie). You can have a WONDERFUL meal while staring out the window at Nortre-Dame. The owners speak English and are very friendly. We went two nights in a row!

-Red bus tours. I know it sounds very touristy, but you are able to see allot of the city and get on and off as you like.

-Versailles was also worth the train ride - If it's a nice the day, the gardens are wonderful!
-Hotel- Let me know if you need recs.

London: Where to start!
-Theater is great, but you may want to pre-book your tickets. Although there are places you can take your chances and get 1/2 price tickets.

-Harrods. You can visit for Breakfast, Lunch or dinner. Lot's of places to eat (and shop!). I would suggest East Dulwich Deli on the 5th or 6th floor. When I was there last, if you eat at Harrods, you can ask for a 'token' (which is really a card) to use the restroom! The cleanest and nicest restroom in all of London - besides maybe Buckingham Palace!

-London Eye, if it's a nice day you can get great pics!

-Tower of London is OK. You get allot to see for your money. Castle, Jewels, Beef Eaters! But if you can make your way to Windsor, Windsor castle is much more interesting (I think) or Bath!! So beautiful!

-If you get tired of pub food. Look for a Pizza Express. I know they have one in Bath, Windsor and London. Great salads and of course, pizza!

Here are other suggestions:
- Bring a rain coat with an attached hat. You don't want to carry an umbrella around. And chances are you will leave it somewhere!

-Bring your own seat covers, and Tissue. You can get some travel seat covers at Target. I know this sounds silly, but allot of the tourist places run out, or don't even have them!

-Coin purse! You will be amazed at the amount of coins you will end up with!

Have fun!

Linsey said...

My favorite place in all of Paris is the Musee de l'Orangerie. It is not to be missed. http://www.musee-orangerie.fr/

Macaroons at Laduree are lovely, but you can find equally nice pastries anywhere, and you should.

I love the Latin Quarter for people watching, antique browsing, and crepe devouring.

Also, if you have time, check out the markets. There are many and themed and worth a stroll just to breathe in the smells, sounds and atmosphere.

I know Annie just went to London so I'm sure she'll have wonderful suggestions. Every time we go to London we do different things and have yet to be disappointed.

Overall I would say, eat your way through Paris and soak in as much London theatre as possible and you can't go wrong.

Have a fabulous trip!

Rochelleht said...

Love them both. Personally, I don't think you could ever go wrong in either. Especially with Annie as your guide. Have a glorious time. Eat lots of macarons for me. And white chocolate Kinder Buenos. And crepes. And honey goat cheese. And baguettes. And chocolate croussants. Ok, ok, you get the idea.

Travelin'Oma said...

I second the hot chocolate at Angelinas in Paris. Unbelievable! And a boat ride on the Thames (in London) to Windsor, which is a darling little town. In London, the underground headquarters of Winston Churchill during WW II is fabulous and Chase would LOVE anything they have in the gift shop.

Karey said...

Congratulations on this trip. I'm a little jealous but SO excited for you. He's amazing. Have a great time!

Lala said...

Frankly Christie, I'm shocked you're going all the way across the pond and not going to Scotland. I really don't know what you're thinking.