Last week, some of our best friends from college came to visit. Bryan and Whit were roommates from sophomore to senior year, and while Adam and Whit didn’t live together until they were both interns at Tech, they were close friends and the best man at each other’s weddings.
The trip started as Adam and Liz’s idea to see Paris as well as visit us, and when they threw the idea out to some of our other good friends, Bryan and Erin figured out a way to make it work (despite being in the middle of a pregnancy and the school year!). We wished that our other friends had been able to come too, but since they just had a baby, I suppose we will excuse them this time around.
Their visit was different from when my parents came and we were dying to show them around as well as experience Paris for ourselves. When our friends arrived and we met up with them on the first day, it felt as if we were simply meeting up with friends on a regular day. Riding the metro and walking around the city together felt down-to-earth, like we were just living our normal life together. Neither of us expected it, but experiencing our new city with old friends really helped us feel more at home here.
The pace was fairly relaxed, but our friends left feeling like they got to see everything they had wanted to without feeling too exhausted. On the itinerary was Sacre Coeur, Versailles, the Louvre, the Catacombs, Giverny, a couple other museums, and of course the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and Notre Dame. Just as important on was devouring a tremendous amount of cheese, macarons, wine, baguette sandwiches, and other delicious food.
Whit and I were able to join for most activities and meals. We loved hosting as well as visiting places we had never seen before – Giverny, the musee des Arts et Metiers, Rodin’s sculpture garden, and the Catacombs were all new for us.
Best of all were the times spent eating tons of good food, catching up on life, and just enjoying time together. Enjoy photos from their visit below!
The first afternoon, we casually took the metro and walked up to find our friends fighting off jet lag in a cute cafe.
They split an AirBnB in Montmartre, so visiting Sacre Coeur was first on their list of sights to see.
The next day Bryan and Erin visited the Louvre and Musee D’Orsay…
…while Liz and Adam ventured out to Versailles
The Musee des Arts et Metiers (arts and industry) was new for Whit and I, even though we live approximately five minutes walking distance from it. It was especially appreciated by the two engineers in the group. Whit and I both decided we need to take each of our dads here pronto!
The Catacombs were slightly creepy but so fascinating! It is a unique destination that you can’t find just anywhere. It was interesting to learn the history of sanitation and crowding during the Middle Ages that resulted in overflowing cemeteries because of the black plague.
One of the most enjoyed meals wasn’t from a fancy restaurant, but from a food truck! This photo doesn’t do justice to how delicious our steak and fries – and store-bought wine – were!
What better time to see Notre Dame than for mass on Easter Sunday? We finally made it in for part of a service after waiting in a very long line. Though we didn’t catch much, it was a memorable experience.
It was so great to see these good friends back together!
After Notre Dame, we wandered the rest of the day – through the Latin Quarter all the way to the Eiffel Tower. We first popped in for a short visit to Shakespeare & Co, where Bryan and Erin found some cute books for their girls.
Liz and Adam really wanted to get raclette, which they had gotten on a previous visit to Paris. There are tons of raclette and fondue restaurants in the Latin Quarter, so we wandered around and eventually settled on one with good reviews and a lodge-like atmosphere.
Raclette is a hearty fondue, made by melting cheese on burners at your table and pouring it onto potatoes and sausage – yum!
Spending a leisurely Sunday afternoon at the Luxembourg gardens is a very French thing to do. We picked up Easter candy from a chocolate shop and enjoyed it sitting in front of the pond.
Before we reached our next destination, we popped into a bright cafe to rest our feet.
We made it to the Rodin museum before it closed and browsed the sculptures hiding throughout the gardens.
Finally nearing the end of our day’s journey, we said a quick hello to the iron lady before our stomachs led us to dinner.
Le Petit Cler is one of our favorite French restaurants. It has great food and attentive service, and is only a short walk from the Eiffel Tower.
Full from dinner, we trekked back to the Champ de Mars to see the Eiffel Tower in her nighttime glory. Seeing the tower lit up and sparkly at night is a must-do for anyone who visits Paris!
Whit and I had Monday off for the Easter holiday, so the six of us took the train to Giverny to visit Monet’s home and gardens. Seeing and smelling the fresh flowers was a stark, wonderful contrast to the still-gray city. The bright colors in Monet’s home were inspiring and set in us a longing for spring.
One of the trip highlights was simply hanging out in the airbnb together, eating meat and cheese and drinking wine, and catching up on life. French pastries were never far from reach, with macarons being the favored treat.
The last day Whit and I had to go back to work, but we met up with everyone for dinner to enjoy a meal at Whit’s favorite restaurant near our house. We celebrated in honor of Whit’s and Liz’s birthdays, and reminisced on the good times we had during the week. We had such a great time with everyone and are so glad that they visited!