December 28th, 2011 – January 7th, 2012
This whole trip was my surprise Christmas Present from Steve to go to Paris for New Years and London before and after.
We arrived in London and stayed in the Sofitel St. James hotel. This place was amazing ! Perfect in every way. We arrived mid-day and knew that to avoid jet lag that we must say awake and go to bed on their time. We were exhausted but also very excited to see such a wonderful place. That day we walked all of the way to the London Bridge and rode on the Tube. We gorged ourselves on some fantastic Sushi and then crashed in our hotel.
The next day we visited Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, then Westminster Abbey, and Trafalgar Square.
The following day we took the Euro-rail to Paris. This was a very unique way to travel for us and took advantage of viewing the country sides and parts of Europe that you can only see that way. We arrived and found our hotel, which is equally as amazing as the hotel in London, but in its very own way. We stayed at Luxembourg Place which is a boutique hotel. So perfectly Parisian. We still had some daylight left and wanted to venture out that afternoon. We walked to The Louvre and spend 3 hours there. This was plenty for us as we had mapped out where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see there ahead of time.
The following day we went on a brunch cruise down the Seine River and had an excellent poached egg with salmon. After the brunch cruise, we went to the Eiffel Tower. This was the eve of New Years so we knew that we would be there later that eve but wanted to take advantage of the time to visit the top of the tower. Steve is afraid of heights but was a trooper that day:) We went all the way to the very top and got to see all of Paris! We went back to our room to change and got some champagne and an assortment of cheeses and headed back to the Eiffel Tower. At the stroke of midnight, Steve proposed! I definitely was not expecting that surprise! Of course I said yes! We later got lost in the city of Paris trying to find our hotel, which was a fun venture and there were tons and tons of people celebrating along with us saying Bonne Année (Happy New Year). We finally found our hotel with the help of a couple from St. Louis MO which is right near where we are from! Small world! The next day was a chillax day as many business were closed for the holiday. Later that eve we went for a walk down the Champs Elysees and saw the arc de triomphe. This was the only day so far of our entire trip that had rained pretty steadily.
We were okay with this as it added to the surroundings. The next day we went to Notre Dam. The Cathedral was impressive to say the least. So much hard work went into the structure and made it an art piece as well. So amazing that it was built 400 years prior to our country being established! That afternoon we boarded the Euro-rail back to London. We stayed in the same hotel and prior to turning in for the night we went out to a nice place to eat and then we got back to our room to find the staff had put rose pedals in the shape of a heart and on the floor leading to our bed after learning about our engagement.
The following day went to ride the London Eye prior to going to the airport.
We got to see much of what we had already seen in person from a London Eye view!
We then got to the airport to depart for our trip back home. We had such a memorable time there in London and Paris and got to see a lot while we were there. In addition to getting engaged to my best friend, this trip will always hold a special place in our hearts.