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Oui, Oui, Paris!

July 27, 2011

With travel in the air (ha ha ha, I crack myself up), I thought I would share just how lofty our travel plans are in our married life.  Even before we got officially married, B and I talked about what we would want to do to celebrate our wedding anniversaries.  We decided that in lieu of big gifts, we would stick to smaller gifts that went with the anniversary year traditions and really save for travel.  A couple weeks ago, we really put our heads together and came up with the plan to focus on saving for a big trip every five years (if feasible).  Will we go broke trying to keep the pattern?  No, we want it to be something that we can enjoy, not bite our fingernails down to the cuticles on, but we do want to see if we can keep up the pattern to celebrate our relationship, our love, and our love of travel together!

For our five year anniversary, we are planning to go to Paris!  Paris was on our original honeymoon destination list, but when we got down to the nitty gritty with the budget, it was cut.  I have a life goal to go to Paris before I’m 30, so what better occasion than our five year anniversary?  The lights, the food, the love… ahhhh Paris! I cannot wait to see the Eiffel Tower (and its light show),

With all of the excitement of thinking about it, I’ve gotten swept up in looking at all of our excursion options.  B and I are people who love culture and exploration, so just sitting around people watching isn’t going to do it for us.  We want to see art, architecture, culture, history and more!  Bring it on, vacation!  Our honeymoon was the same way.  We find an exploration rhythm that works for us and use it to see as much as possible.  With that in mind, I have my eye on a few places and tours I think we should take (if only money ran like water!):

1.  The Chocolate and Pastry Food Tour

Need I say more?  With this tour, you are with a small group of others (no more than 8 people per group) who are like-minded in what they really want:  SWEETS!  A tour guide takes you on a three hour tour (a three hour tour… Gilligan’s, anyone?) of different pastry and chocolate shops in and around central Paris, beginning at La Maison du Chocolat.  For those of you who don’t speak French, that means “the House of Chocolate.”  Perfect?  I think so.

PRICE:  $131.60/person

2.  Paris L’Open Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour

Say what you will about looking like a tourist, but these buses are incredibly helpful and wonderful when touring a new city.  B and I used on in Dublin on our honeymoon and fell in love with the information they share and the ease of seeing all of the sights without getting lost.  It’s totally worth the cost just for the ease of the tour and the information you can gain from it.

PRICE:  $41.67 / person

3. Disneyland Paris (or what I like to call EuroDisney) Day Pass

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I have a life goal:  I want to visit every Disney park in the world.  Now, before you start thinking that I am a Disney freak with life-sized Mickey Mouse dolls sitting in every corner of our apartment, I’m going to stop you right there.  It’s not a love affair with the mouse; it’s a love affair with different cultural takes on a beloved enterprise.  I have a lot of great memories from Disney, so why not see what else they have to offer?  I would only make this a one-day thing just to experience it.  I would also only do one park to save money because the Disney Studios Park looks very similar to Orlando’s.

PRICE:  Day pass for one person and one park entrance: $70

4. An Independent Tour of Versailles

Versailles is a can’t miss when going to Paris.  For Pete’s sake, why on earth would you miss touring an amazing castle full of history and art?!  Add in the gardens, the water fountains, and the fabulous photo opportunities, and you have the pieces for a great cultural experience.  B and I are pretty good at doing our own tours, so we like to save money and do our own thing.  Is it for everyone?  Not always, but give it a shot once or twice.  This could be great!

PRICE:  $74.71 / person

Beyond those tours, we of course want to tour the Eiffel Tower, walk along the streets, sample the cafes, do a little shopping, and just soak in Paris.  We want to walk around and see what there is to see without a real “set in stone” schedule.  I guess I should go work on my French…

Any traveling tips?  Any good advice for tours or activities in Paris or the surrounding areas?

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