Thursday, May 31, 2012

Europe Trip: Aix-en-Provence

Our next destination of the trip was Aix-en-Provence.  I have more music.  This time, former first lady of France, Carla Bruni.  
Aix sits thirty minutes north of the coast.  As much as we loved Paris, Aix (pronounced "Ex") was a nice break from the big city.  We stayed in the historical downtown which was packed with restaurants, cafes, shops, and markets, all within walking distance.  Our twelve bedroom hotel had a restaurant downstairs, gelato shop two doors down, and tons of shops up and down the street.  Aix may have been my favorite city of the trip.  I highly recommend going there if you ever have the opportunity!
As I mentioned, our morning started with a train ride (with Pimsleur):
Welcome to our French room for the next few days...
Balcony? OUI!!!
We spent all day winding the streets, shopping and eating!
And stopped by a British looking pub, just in case Brent wasn't able to find a good one in London!
Paul Cezanne lived in Aix, so the next morning we did the Cezanne walking tour and museum.
I enjoyed a few minutes on our balcony before heading to NICE...

Friday, May 25, 2012

Typical Train Ride

Brent's New Year's Resolution was to learn French.  On our trip he practiced twice a day and lucky me, I got to sit next to him and listen to him repeat things with Pimsleur.  My favorite part of the video is him flicking his crumbs.  I better not catch you doing that at home!

Europe Trip: Paris

I am so excited to finally share our pictures from France!  We will start with Paris, the first stop of our trip.  I have uploaded a song that you can listen to while tagging along.  You might recognize it from the French film, Amelie.  Enjoy!
(Mark, keep practicing the piano so that you can play this while your mom
 and I host a French dinner party!)
We arrived in Paris Monday morning after a full day of traveling.  We took the Paris Metro to the Marais Arrondissement, our neighborhood in Paris for the next few days.  People were headed to work  and I loved how fast the French move through the Metro station.  You walk to the right and if you jump on the escalator, you stay to the right so that those in a hurry can pass you on the left.  Meanwhile, musicians play music similar to what is playing now.  Hardly anyone is talking.
Our apartment in Marais...
After dropping off our bags in the room, we set out to explore the city by foot.
Seine River
Notre Dame
 And finally, we saw the Eiffel Tower!
( I will explain this picture of Brent on the bridge in another post!)
This is an "I can't believe I am actually HERE" jump!
A view from the midway up the Eiffel:
The next morning, we took the train to Versailles.
In the afternoon, we walked along the Champs Elysses and went to the Arc de Triomph.  In my opinion, is was just as impressive as the Eiffel.  It is a huge landmark in the Tour de France, so I might be just a little biased!
We then headed to Montmartre Sacre Coer for dinner overlooking Paris.  It is kind of strange that so many people go there to drink wine on the steps of the church, but it really does provide a beautiful view of the city!
The next morning we went to Polaine for our first Parisan breakfast.  FYI, the typical Parisan breakfast is fresh squeezed orange juice, coffee, toast and a croissant, with butter and jelly.
 We waked the streets, packed, and took the train headed to Aix-en-Provence!