Friday, April 22, 2011

Maggie's Last Few Days in Paris

Once we got back from London, Maggie's last few days went really quickly. On one of her last nights, we went to a three course dinner. I was so proud of her, because she tried escargot and rabbit!!

Megan, Dustin, and me at dinner with Mags

On Maggie's last day, we decided to head up the Eiffel Tower.  It was an awesome finale!

We rewarded ourselves with ice cream after our trip up the tower.  :)

Overall, Maggie's visit was wonderful.  It was really hard to leave her at the airport...I cried the entire way home (which got me some interesting looks on the train!).  The memories from our 2 weeks together will certainly last a lifetime!!  Love you Maggie!

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Platt Sisters Take on London!

While Maggie was here, we spent three OUTSTANDING days in London! It started with a train ride from Paris to London via the chunnel...the tunnel that goes under the English Channel.  It wasn't nearly as eventful or exciting as we had imagined.  You are underground for about 30 minutes, during which you can see nothing but darkness outside of your windows.  You can't tell at all that you are under a body of water.  Despite that tiny disappointment, we managed to jam a lot of exciting things into our British adventure!

Naturally, we started out with a meal of fish and chips.  Can you believe it was the first time Maggie had eaten this delectable dish?

 Next, we did some shopping at Harrod's.  Maggie got a cute apron and oven mitt!  We also splurged on some cupcakes from the food hall!

After an afternoon of shopping, it was back to the hotel to get ready for the evening.  We were off to see Wicked! 

Maggie couldn't resist this picture opp on our way to the theater! 

 The show was incredible (and particularly fun in a British accent)!

Before heading out for day #2, we refueled with a full English breakfast.  DELISH!

Then we took a walking tour of Westminster.

This beautiful spot is right by Buckingham Palace.

Changing of the guards!

Inside Westminster Abbey.  Preparations were underway for the big crews were meticulously dusting all of the nooks and crannies.

 Side view of Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Gardens in front of Buckingham Palace.

We went shopping at the Twinings store, located on this cute street!

We ate at a restaurant called "Maggie Jones".  I ate roasted pigeon there...this is not a joke.

I was a little concerned about the meal I had just ordered...but it actually was pretty good!

Next to the Tower Bridge!

Tower of London!

We ended our London adventures at St. Paul's, where Diana and Charles were married.  I have to admit, I liked St. Paul's MUCH better than Westminster.  It didn't have the creepy factor of all of Westminster's graves.

Inside of St. Paul's.
After our whirlwind visit to London, we headed back to Paris for Maggie's last few days!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Versailles, Nutella Crepes, Chocolat Chaud, and more!

Maggie's first full week here was FILLED with new experiences.  We spent a day at Versailles, had nutella et banane crepes, took a picnic one evening up to Sacre Coeur, visited the Middle Ages museum, tried the world famous Angelina's chocolat chaud - L'Africain (hot chocolate), toured the two islands, and ate the world's best ice cream.  And that is just what we did together!  Maggie explored a lot on her own as well, giving me time to catch up on "real life".  I was so proud of her for venturing out on her own - it is scary in a country where you don't speak the language!

Outside of the gates of Versailles

Inside Versailles - the Hall of Mirrors

Gardens of Versailles

Maggie's first Nutella et banane crepe on rue Cler!

Our picnic at Sacre Coeur

Cheering on the Bulldogs!

On Sunday afternoon, we had hot chocolate and pastries at Angelina's.  Click here to read more about Angelina's hot chocolate!

World's Best Ice Cream!

It was an awesome week!  I especially liked that I had an excuse to eat so many tasty treats!  :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Maggie's First Day

I got to spend two incredible weeks with my sister in Paris.  The memories from our adventures are amazing and I will cherish them forever.  There are too many things to write about for one blog post, so I will start with her first full day in the city. 

We decided that the best way to get a feel for the city was to take a hop-on hop-off bus tour.  I had done one before, but decided it was worth doing again.  Plus, it was so much fun to see all of these things through Maggie's eyes.  I hate to say that things are starting to feel normal here, but it is true.  Sometimes I forget that this really is a beautiful city with incredible history, architecture, and art.  So, to see these things from Maggie's perspective reminded me of how amazing this place is.

 Waiting for the bus...of course it had to rain on her first day!

We got off the bus at the Arc de Triomphe.

It is huge!  Can you spot me beneath the arc?

The view from the top was worth all of the stairs!

To finish off Maggie's first day, we put together a feast from several of the little shops in my neighborhood.  

Monday, April 11, 2011

BJ Visits Paris!

One of the things that is great about Paris is the number of people who want to come visit us!  We are definitely going to have more visitors in Paris than we had in Michigan (hmmm...I wonder why??).  For the last three weeks, my living room has been transformed into a guest room.  Although it is a bit cramped, it is so much fun having familiar faces here! 

BJ got to come visit for a few days in March.  Since he had already done Paris before, we got to do some things that are a little off the beaten path.  Our first stop was the Catacombs.  They were closed the last time BJ was here, so we were sure to go there first!

When you enter, you head down A LOT of stairs and then proceed to walk through dimly lit and super tiny hallways.  BJ had to duck down several times to fit through some of the doorways.  We hadn't even seen any bones yet, and already it was pretty creepy.  The tunnel seemed to extend forever. 

Eventually, we emerged in a long series of more spacious hallways FILLED with bones.  There are an estimated 6 million people buried there.  It was one of the most unbelievable things I've ever seen.  Apparently, the bones were moved to these underground passageways in the 18th century as a way to deal with the overcrowding and unsanitary conditions in church cemeteries within the city.  Chanting priests would move the bones in the middle of the night, by horse-drawn wagon, to the catacombs. 

The amazing thing is that the bones, 19 meters below the streets of Paris, have been artfully arranged in a way that pleases the eye (well, sort of...but it is still pretty creepy).

When we finally emerged back into daylight, we found an Indiana Café! 

On another day, we visited the gardens of the Palais Royal.  There are a whole bunch of black and white striped pedestals, where you will see people striking different poses.  The idea is that it is always a revolving art exhibit!  

After a few wonderful days of having BJ here, it was time to say goodbye.  It is always a little sad when people leave, but I knew that my sister would be arriving soon!  Maggie arrived in Paris just a few days after BJ left.  More on the two weeks with my sister in my next post!