Europe Part 3: Bon Anniversary

I promise I’ll get back to food blogging & recipes soon. I’ve got a few recipes up my sleeve to try this weekend, but until then, I’m going to continue to be an attention whore about my Europe trip.

Our second day in Paris was actually my 27th birthday. The day was perfect, despite waking up with an allergic reaction due to a foreign feminine hygiene product. Yeah. Not fun. But moving on…

We started our morning by hopping on the Metro & heading over to the Arc de Triomphe:

We arrived just before opening time & used our Paris Museum Passes for free entry & to skip the line. We climbed to the top & had some amazing views of the City:

Yes, Another Eiffel Tower Picture. I have approximately 500 more.

After we descended the old spiral staircase, we made our way down the Champes-Elysses sipping crème brûlée lattes & heading towards the Louvre.

Being the ridiculous tourists that we are, we meandered our way towards the Mona Lisa:

We wandered Napoleon’s apartments & through the Greek Antiquities. While their collection is phenomenal, I really was not a huge fan of the Louvre. It was entirely too large to tackle in a single day… much less a few hours. It was overcrowded. People were pushy. & in general, it was just plain overwhelming. We preferred Musee de Orsay over the Louvre actually. It was smaller, more manageable & contained more of the paintings which I was interested.

One of the best decisions we made in planning our trip was getting Eiffel Tower reservations beforehand. Buying tickets in advanced allowed us a much shorter waiting time & we could better plan our day. Our reservation was at 5:30 PM – perfect for a pre-dinner treat.

I’m not going to lie: I have a lot of anxiety when it comes to heights & elevators. We arrived a few minutes early & staring up at this started to make me pretty anxious:

You mean I have to ride in a glass elevator all the way up there?! Where’s a Xanax when you need one?!

But I sucked it up. I’ve really wanted to do this my entire life & I knew I’d regret it if I chickened out. What I didn’t know was that Brandon had a little surprise for me. A reward for my bravery, so to speak.

When we reached the Summit, the views were incredible:

After a few minutes of ooh-ing & ahh-ing, we went on a hunt for the Champagne Bar. We each grabbed a glass of bubbly & stepped aside to soak in the views:

& that’s when Brandon surprised me with my birthday present – a Little Blue Box from Tiffany & Co:

Sorry about the dark pics. Wind or lighting. Sometimes a girl has to make a vain decision.

I’m pretty sure when he pulled out the Blue Box, everyone around us thought he was going to propose. Sorry to disappoint, but you’re about 3.5 years too late on that one.

Post Eiffel Tower, we headed back to Le Grand Corona for birthday dinner. It started with wine, of course:

I love red wine. That’s no secret, but the wine in Paris? Wow. Just wow. It’s smooth. It’s crisp. It’s served at the correct temperature. I love it.

& I indulged with farfalle in a 3 cheese cream sauce:

& Brandon did the manly man American thing with steak & french fries (yeah, I know):

& bread. Did I mention bread? This was the holy grail of french bread – perfectly crusty with a soft & warm center. The kind of bread that begs for a sauce or a soup to go with it:

Overall, Paris was everything I imagined – beautiful, old, worldly, charming, delicious, lovely. This part of the trip was a dream come true & I couldn’t have asked for a better 3 days (unless you take the allergic reaction out of the equation & put my in the Ritz Carlton).

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Devon Stiles


  1. Mmmmm crispy crunchy french bread is the best!
    And major points for B for the bday gift! Bon anniversaire indeed!
    Also, I’m with you on the museums. I liked the Musee d’Orsay much better than the Louvre too. Although Winged Victory is my favorite sculpture of all time.

  2. hahahah if i saw him pull out that blue box up there i would’ve thought the same thing! Those people were probably like ahhh really?!

    those earrings are gorgeous!

    SO jealous of your europe adventures.

  3. This post killed me, I LOVE Paris! On the way up to the top of the Tower, my husband had to hold me up… he said I turned green and my knees definitely buckled. That elevator is horrifying! But I think that the second level is scarier than the top, its all out in the open!

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