Barn Chic Antiques

Barn Chic Antiques

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Barn Chic goes to France!

What a trip. Andrew and I are back from a destination wedding to France, and it was beyond amazing. Though it really had nothing to do with 'business,' the trip incorporated much of what I talk about on the blog, so I have to share - I hope you don't mind!
I feel spoiled rotten to have gotten to go, but we couldn't pass up the opportunity to go to a family wedding. This trip was in the works for well over a year, as Andrew's cousin Jon and his beautiful French fiance Alexandra were planning their wedding near her hometown in Annecy, France. What a wonderful experience it was, and together Andrew and I have over 650 photos of our visit! The backdrop of the historic town at the base of the French Alps was breathtaking and seemed out of a movie. But before we got to the Haute-Savoie region in southeastern France, we enjoyed a few days in the City of Light, Paris. 

I began to look for hotels at the start of the summer, and I was really pretty clueless as to where to begin! I love and rely on Tripadvisor, but there are thousands of hotels throughout the city and I knew nothing about Paris. Hours and hours of research finally led me to choose a hotel near the most famous avenue in the world, Champs-Élysées.  We couldn't go wrong with lots of exquisite shopping nearby, right?! With so many hotels in this area, I still didn't know how to decide. I knew I wanted an affordable, smaller boutique hotel that was close to the metro and had good reviews, but that really didn't narrow the search down too much. The honest truth as to why I went with the hotel we booked? The chandeliers. Every room has one! 

Here is the lobby. So beautiful! 

And our room? About the size of my antique booth - but with a chandelier! I knew the room would be small, but wow, it was small. I was standing at the door to get this picture; the bed is the entire room! And the elevator was like a vertical moving coffin, so we got good exercise (and vertigo) climbing four floors of spiraling stairs.  

The windows were great and we slept with them open one night since the air-conditioning didn't really live up to our expectations. We had one very hot day with temperatures in the low 90's. 

And while I am on the topic of things that are different internationally, let's talk about that glass shower 'enclosure.' Half of the shower is still uncovered and that means ALL of the floor gets a bath anytime we showered. What is the trick?! I would step out of the shower onto the bath mat and make a splash each time. Mexico has shower enclosures like this as well. We don't get it.

The best part of our hotel (besides the chandeliers) was the fact that they let us check into our room at 8am when we arrived. Though I was excited to explore the city, there wasn't much happening early on a Sunday, which was to our advantage when transferring subway lines with luggage from the airport. We took a nice four hour nap and then ventured out. Andrew has been to Paris before, but I had not. I'm not much for planning activities on vacation, so we just started exploring. 

We ended up at the Jardin des Tuileries by the Louvre Museum. It happened to be the last weekend of the festival of Tuileries, which is a summer fair complete with rides in the best setting I have ever seen for a carnival.   

I wanted to ride the Ferris wheel but somebody wasn't so excited about it.
That just means I need to go back next summer to take that ride!

At this point I knew about three words of French, but I quickly learned that bonbons = candy!


The gardens are beautiful!
Proof I was there. 

This pond had metal chairs all around and was the perfect place to rest our feet after an afternoon of walking.

There were several cafes dotting the landscape of the park. 

We didn't eat in the park, but we did find a lovely little sidewalk cafe on a side street on our walk back to our hotel. 

I had the most delicious crepe. I proceeded to eat about a crepe a day from then on!
Most are served with nutella. That's healthy, right?

Water was hard to come by! Wine is literally cheaper than water in France. So wine had to do.

Dogs are welcome on the metro and in this restaurant. The dog enjoyed a lemon served on a plate. (??)

One of my favorite things we did in Paris was an evening boat ride along the Seine. It was not even dusk when we boarded the boat (it stays light out until 10pm!), but nightfall set in and "La Ville Lumiere" (the City of Light) glowed. 

There were many boats cruising past the Eiffel Tower.

Summer in the City of Love with my love!

Posed for this shot on the walk home. Love that our hotel was within walking distance. 

The day after our boat cruise, we visited the tower, up close and in person. I hoped to make it to the top to get a good look at the city, but that little planning piece that I lack is key -
I heard tickets to the top sell out months in advance.

 Nonetheless, just as great is a trip up the stairs, all 660 of them, to the first and second levels; the view of the city was worth every step (there is an elevator - we took it down from the second level). 

After all that climbing, we had to take a little nap on the lawn underneath. 

And on the walk back, we saw this little car. This is so quintessential Europe to me.

One more skyline monument for this post - the Arc de Triomphe. 

Andrew is a champ at taking our picture. He doesn't even use the 'selfie' feature on the phone. That is talent.

Stay tuned for a post on shopping the fleas in Paris and the gorgeous wedding celebrations in Annecy!

Have a chic week,


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  1. Sarah, y'all are such a cute couple. Looks like you had a great time! I have several things I want to talk to you about, I hope we get a chance to visit some. See ya on Saturday.

  2. Thanks for sharing your trip, Sarah. It sounds (and looks) like you had a fantastic time. I can't wait to hear about the flea market....... that is on my bucket list!
    I went to Europe once when I was a teen (we're talking WAY back) and my only regret was that we didn't take an opportunity offered to us to see Paris.
    Love your post!

  3. Thanks for sending the link. Enjoyed reading it this AM before ACL. Will continue to read and forward to a few key people who will also enjoy it. Your hotel looks amazing. Paris speaks for itself.


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