Salon de bain, or bathroom, may be a strange title to a post when we are in the magical City of Light, however after our last trip to Paris, the bathroom is somewhat important.
When we booked our first trip to Paris together, we analyzed many different hotel options and ultimately decided on the Hotel Design Sorbonne, aptly situated next to the Sorbonne. We were focused on getting a decent room without breaking the bank as the conversion rate for Dollars to Euros was not nearly as forgiving as it has been the past few years.
The hotel had an option for a slightly larger room with a definitely larger bathroom for €50/night extra. We decided this was too much and opted for the smaller room. This room ended up being very cozy – read small, very small by US standards. D could not take a shower without whacking his arms on the wall. Although we did not think the €50 was worth it, we decided that we would try to get a bigger bathroom when we returned.
To our delight, the bathroom at the Renaissance Vendome is awesome! In fact, I think it is better than our master bath at home. It was awesome to have the bathtub this morning when jetlag had ,e awake at the ungodly hour of 3am. What could be better than starting the day with a relaxing Bulgari infused bubble bath while reading Paris Was Ours.
We had planned to go to Versailles, but it is closed on Mondays. After a delicious complementary breakfast at our hotel (thanks Gold status with Marriott Rewards), we headed to our friend’s hotel in the Trocadero area. With a bit of extra time to get to our friends, we rented the Velib bicycles that we envied so much during our last visit to Paris. Alas, the directions on the iPhone were not nearly as easy to read while bilking as I thought they would be, so we arrived plus tarde to our friends. I did end up switching to the turn by turn navigation half way thru the bike ride and that helped.
Have you ever driven around the Arc de Triomphe? Well, we biked it. Talk about an exciting traffic circle. No helmet + on a bike + lots of cars = very exciting. Alas, parking spots for the Velib were harder to come by in the Trocadero, which definitely contributed to our tardiness.
Once we met our friends, we headed to a museum that their concierge had recommended. The Musée Jacquemart-André was a wonderful little museum. It reminded us of the Museo Picasso Málaga that we visited last summer. Much like the Picasso, this museum was a former home converted to a museum, which really just makes the whole museum experience much more palatable.
We enjoyed one of the best meals of our trip at a café that we happened to walk by on our way to the Champs Élysées. The Le Bistro du 28 was scrumptious.
We continued to the Champs Elysées where amazingly we only made one small purchase given the volume of shops in that area. Then we checked out Velib again with our friends and rode back towards our hotel. We continued the discovery that checking in the Velib requires a bit of planning as the first 3 stations were full, which meant we could not check them back in. Given that the first 30 minutes are free with the daily ticket, it was somewhat important to return them in a timely fashion.
D bought my amazing anniversary gift for me in the afternoon (hint: it is orange), it was such fun to find it in Paris!
We met up with our friends again just before dinner at the Eiffel Tower. From there we headed up the steps to the Trocadero area as their concierge had mentioned a good view from there. We selected the Café de Trocadero, however we would not recommend it unless you just want dessert. The view was impeccable, but the food was below mediocre especially in Paris.
One of my few wishes for Paris this trip was to see the Eiffel Tower lit up at night. From the Café, we had a beautiful view of the Eiffel all lit up plus the fun light show. After a few photo opps, we split off from our friends for the evening.
As we headed down the stairs, D suggested that check the ticket lines at the Eiffel Tower. While they had been hideously long earlier in the evening, they were nearly empty when we showed up. Up we went in the elevator to the second level. We arrived just in time to see another light show.
From there we headed to the St. Germain, where we stayed last time. Although my favorite crêpes place was closed, we were able to indulge in a street made crêpe to cap off the evening.