Tuesday, May 28, 2013

our do's and don'ts of france


Sorry that I am just now getting around to do this blog post from the most amazing trip ever!!! It has been such a crazy couple of weeks at our house so it has taken me a while. Anyway, Richie and I decided to compile a list of the "Do's and Don'ts of France" or rather, "Do's and Don'ts of Paris and Normandy".  Without any further delay, here is our list. Take it for what it is worth and if you are headed out there anytime soon take a look and tell us your do's and don'ts.

...... Do's...... 

-In Paris-
1. Get a museum pass. It is much cheaper than paying for all of the museums individually and is very convenient to have.  Some lines you get to cut to the very front. Almost like a disneyland fast pass but for amazing historical museums and architecture. GO TO AS MANY THINGS ON THE PASS AS YOU CAN. THEY ARE AMAZING. 
2. Get the navigo metro pass. This will save your life in Paris. If you are thinking about actually driving in Paris I would definitely discourage that. The traffic is awful. French drivers are crazy. The metro can be a little confusing at first but ask for a map and you will be golden. 
3. Look on Urban Spoon before you go to find the best restaurants and cafe's or get a list from someone that has been. Take it from my experience if you are looking for real food. If there is a restaurant that looks like it could be good but looks like it may be some sort of middle eastern food, don't go there unless you know that you like the seasonings used in middle eastern cooking. 
4. Stick to the bakeries. Eat as many crescents, chocolate crescents, french macaroons, cheese, baguettes, nutella and yogurt (yes- yogurt. the yogurt in France is possibly the best yogurt in the entire world)  that you possibly can. ---WARNING---: you will most definitely feel like a pillsbury dough boy by the end of your trip from all of the pastries, bread and chocolate. it's fine. it's worth it. 
5. Wear comfortable walking shoes.
6. If you are planning on carrying a bag, use one that has a zipper and that goes across your body so that you can keep a good eye on it. Lot's of pick pocketers. 
7. Get a TomTom. 
8.***Make sure you know the difference between an adaptor and a converter and know which ones you need for your different electronics. 
9. Using your debit card or credit card to make purchases will give you the best exchange rate. We used our cards for more things than we used euros. 

-In the Normandy Area-
1. Definitely go here. This was one of our favorite things about France. The beaches and memorials there are so humbling. You will definitely feel your American Pride while visiting there. 
2. Go to a town called Bayeux and go to the main street. Once you are there, go to an Italian restaurant called Le Domesday located directly in front of the cathedral. It has the best pizza that I have had so far in my 21 years of life. We went there two days in a row. 
3. Go to a city right on the coast called Honfleur. Such a cool town. Also has the best ever nutella soft serve ice cream right behind the main pier (if it is even called a pier). I don't remember the name of the ice cream shop, but it is pink. look for it. go there. get the nutella soft serve. 
4. Stay at this bed and breakfast and pay the extra money to have the dinner that they serve there. Davy is the most incredible chef and that was definitely the best French food we had while we stayed there. Look at this video if you want to see the AWESOME video that my husband Richie did for Davy and Caroline. 
5. Buy as many Kinder Bueno chocolate bars as you can and hazlenut milka chocolate bars... aaaannd mentos (they have so many flavors). 
6.***Make sure you know the difference between an adaptor and a converter and know which ones you need for your different electronics. 

...... Don'ts......

-In Paris-
 1. Don't leave anything unattended. It WILL get stolen. No matter where in Paris. 
2. Don't eat at restaurants unless you have some sort of knowledge that they are good. Everything is so expensive there and so you want to make sure you are paying for something you actually like. Go to Italian restaurants, you are always safe with Italian food. 
3. Don't order salads anywhere unless you like dijon mustard. 
3. Don't go to Versailles at all anytime friday-tuesday. The only good days to go are wednesday and thursday. We tried 3 times before we were able to finally get in. Definitely worth it though. 
4. Don't waste your money getting an international calling/sim card, you will be just fine with google hangouts or skype once you have wifi connection. 
5. Wordlense and Jibbigo were not that helpful. Don't waste your money on them. 
6. Don't go the McDonald's. It is nasty. Even worse than here. Plus it is way more expensive. 

-In Normandy-
1. Do everything. It is amazing. 

........... Long post. Sorry. Hopefully it at least helps some of you out. If not then feel free to skip to the pictures below and see the different things that the Mr and I did while we were in France. loved it. take us back. 

 gardens at versailles.

pizza at le domesday.

 nutella softserve.
he loved these!!
 the marriott we stayed at near paris
 yummy restaurant at the end of the champs elysees recommended by my friend chelsea.

euro streets

centre pompidou
 honfleur again
our stash that we brought home

smallest. toilet. ever. (i didn't use it, don't worry)
 massive nutella jar.

gates at versailles

...... à bientôt......

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