As I mentioned before, we stayed at Le Meurice which is right across from the Tuileries, near the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde. It's a beautiful, grand hotel and the staff is exceptional.
This framed piece was in the lobby right by the door. The surface was cold to the touch and you could make your mark on the frost and it would last for a bit. Fun little twist courtesy of Philippe Starck.
Here's part of the view from my brother and his wife's room...they were on one of the top floors!
View from a cafe in the Tuileries overlooking the Louvre...
The public gardens in Paris are so amazing and I love how the Parisians really take advantage of them. The weather was gorgeous during our stay and thus the parks were full of people soaking up the sun. One of my favorites was the Luxembourg Garden. We went one day and just relaxed and read our books.
The Meurice is also conveniently located just around the corner from the Place Vendôme, which is where the Ritz, Chanel, Giorgio Armani, and many top-notch jewelery stores are located.
Since we hadn't done it before, we went to the Musée de l'Armée and Hôtel National des Invalides. Here we saw Napoléon's tomb (below) and the museum gave a really interesting account of the long history of the French military.
The Musée d'Orsay is a must-see...an amazing building with a remarkable collection of artwork. The museum is currently undergoing a major renovation, but they still have most of their prominent works on view. If you love French Impressionism, you'll be in heaven here!
Doors! We took tons of pictures of all of the amazing doors throughout the city. I hope to have them printed and framed so I can do a whole wall displaying the set. Once I get them on Flickr, I'll share :)
We went to the top of the Arc de Triomphe as the sun was setting one night. It gives you a great 360 degree perspective of the city.
The Grand Palais was one of my favorite buildings
We ventured out to the Marché aux Puces in St-Ouen, which is a world-famous flea market. It was quiet, probably since it was a Monday, and I had a great time perusing the offerings of the different booths. I didn't find anything I couldn't live without and the prices were too steep. Despite that, I'll definitely come back to on another trip because flea markets are always hit-or-miss!
After going to the flea market, we spent the afternoon in Montmartre, and actually went up into the top of the Sacré-Coeur. LOTS of stairs, but the view is spectacular since the basilica sits on the highest ground in the city.
Gargoyle at the top.
I didn't do my homework and we went to the Pompidou Center on a Tuesday (our last day), which unfortunately is the one day of the week that it is closed. Such a bummer because it's one of our favorites. It's such an inspiring space and it contains one of the top collections of modern and contemporary art.
It was such a great trip and I can't wait to go back because there is so much more to discover. I actually spent much of the time we were there trying to convince my husband that we should live there for a few months at some point in our life. He does not speak French and thus wasn't as hot on the idea as I was :)
Oh Eiffel Tower...I hope to see you again soon!