Saturday, July 27, 2013

Italy Birthdaycation Part 1: Paris

As I mentioned in the last post, our trip began with a slight change of plans. We only had a 1 hour layover at JFK before our flight to Pisa, and after checking in at the Cincinnati airport, we found out our flight had been delayed 40 minutes, and there were bad storms expected in New York. Luckily, Derek and his parents knew the person working at Delta, and she found us a flight to Pisa that went through Paris. At this point, Derek asked if it would be possible to stay in Paris for a day and take the next day's flight to Pisa. She tried it, and it worked. We were set! And we had 5 hours to kill at the airport.

The flight to Paris was pretty uneventful, besides Derek having a minor moment of panic as the plane was landing and he couldn't find his passport. Luckily it just slid under the seat in front of him and another passenger found it.

We landed in Paris and waited in a very long line to get our passports stamped. By the time we arrived at baggage claim, there were only about 5 bags left and none of them were ours.

We talked to a very nice lady at the baggage claim, who luckily spoke English, and was able to locate our bags. They had been sent on to a terminal 2 miles away where we would be departing for Pisa the next morning. She told us they would be delivered to our hotel. So, with a little bit of nervousness about whether or not we would see our bags again this trip, we got a taxi and headed to our hotel to check in.

Traffic in Paris is awful, and I'm pretty sure our taxi driver didn't know where he was going, nor did he speak much English. It took us over an hour to get to our hotel. We got checked in, but since Derek was the only one with luggage, the rest of us couldn't really change, so we decided to head to the Louvre.

Luckily I had bought our tickets at the airport while Derek was sorting out the luggage issue, so we were able to walk right in.  The Louvre is ginormous. You could get lost in it, and the walls are filled to the brim with art. It's a little overwhelming but we were able to at least find our way to the Mona Lisa, take a picture and enjoy some of the art. My favorite part was probably the ceilings.

You could probably spend days in the Louvre alone, but we only had 1 day to see all of Paris, so we headed out, grabbed some lunch and were off to St. Chappelle and the Notre Dame.

I don't remember what this church was but it was across the street from the Louvre.

The Outside of St. Chappelle

Notre Dame

After the Notre Dame, we headed back to the hotel to see if our luggage had arrived. We were a little nervous when it hadn't, so we decided to head to the Arc d'Triumph then head over to the Eiffel Tower.

Luckily on our walk to the Eiffel Tower the hotel called and our luggage was delivered. So after seeing the Eiffel Tower, we made the trek back to the subway and grabbed some dinner by the hotel. It was around 11 pm when we made it back to the hotel to shower and change into clean clothes that we were so thankful to have in our possession (we had visions of the bags arriving at the hotel in the morning after we had already left for Pisa, then them showing up in Pisa after we had left for Tuscany, etc.) We ended up getting to bed by around 12:30 and had to wake up at 4:30 the following morning to leave for the airport by 5 to catch our flight to Pisa. It was an eventful first day...

Monday, July 22, 2013

We're Back!

Derek and I just got back from my 30th birthday trip to Italy! And I have lots of photos to share and things to catch up on. In addition to sharing about Italy, I've also missed out on blogging about the last 2 months of life, which have included fun things like:
  • A Memorial Day Weekend trip to Florida to visit friends and their brand new baby
  • Finishing up I am Third soccer season
  • Weddings and wedding showers for friends
  • A trip to Pennsylvania to visit family and a wedding
  • My unsuccessful attempt to complete an Iron Man Triathlon during the month of June
  • Game nights, bonfires and summer evenings with friends
  • Planning and preparing for a two week trip to Italy
The beginning of the summer was lots of fun, but kind of overshadowed by the Italy trip. We didn't get our plane tickets until May, so a lot of planning happened in a very short time, but the trip turned out amazing. And, due to storms in NYC and delayed flights, we ended up flying to Paris first, and spending the first day of our trip there, then flying to Italy the next morning. So, next up is Chapter 1 of our Italy trip, Paris!!!