Our Saturday morning plans were simple: Versailles.
The plan was to leave at 7 and get there at 8 but we were really tired that morning, and didn't get up as early as we planned, and dragged our feet a bit at the complimentary hotel breakfast, etc etc. We probably left at 9:30 and didn't get there until later - at least 10:30 or 11:00. Don't do what we did. What we did was a mistake.
When we arrived, the masses had beaten us there. Even though we purchased our tickets ahead of time, we ended up waiting in line over an hour to get into the palace. We met a very nice Australian couple and had an interesting hour-long conversation about their vacation, our vacation, politics, life in America, life in Australia, and more. It was a great way to pass the time. Once we finally got in, we walked around the crowded palace. We had afternoon plans and wanted to see the garden, so we rushed through the palace and went outside. Well, when you go outside, you're exiting the palace (not clear by the signage!) and we ended up not having tickets for the garden (we thought we did), so we were kind of screwed. To go back inside and spend more time in the palace, we would've had to wait in the long line again (not an option) and to go to the gardens (for a short visit only!), we would've had to pay extra. We were disappointed and feeling defeated, so we just headed back to Paris. Versailles seemed so beautiful and we will definitely have to go again, earlier, and with more time to explore.
When we got back to Paris, we had a picnic scheduled, to relax and people-watch near the Eiffel Tower. We planned our picnic through Paris Picnic, so all we had to do was pick up our bag and it had everything in it for us to enjoy. Because we didn't have a ton of time, this was a really convenient option, though it was a bit overpriced and some of the food was just so-so. Nonetheless, it was nice to spend some time in front of the iconic Eiffel Tower, people watching over a bottle of champagne and snacks.
After our picnic, we went over to Place Vendôme for some shopping. We hung around there for a while and then headed towards the opera and the Galeries Lafayette Haussman. The plan was to enjoy the sunset (not sure which direction it would've been or if we could've seen it) atop the Galeries Lafayette, where there is a rooftop cafe.
It was raining a bit, so we decided to look for a place that was mentioned to us at Place Vendôme, and sounded indoors, Café de la Paix. I'm sure the Eiffel Tower view around sunset would've been nice, but honestly, I am glad that it rained, because Café de la Paix, once we finally stumbled upon it, was beautiful. There we enjoyed a little cheese plate and a drink while recharging our batteries and figuring out what our next move was.
We went back to the hotel and relaxed for a while. We went downstairs to enjoy our hotel's wine and cheese happy hour only to find out that the cheese was free but the wine wasn't. We were hoping for a repeat of Barcelona, where we enjoyed free wine, cheese, and conversations with new people every evening. Instead, we decided to head over to a little cafe we had passed a few times, Royal Pereire, which was walking distance from our hotel.
There, we hung out outside trying not to suck down secondhand smoke (and failing miserably) and enjoyed more people-watching. Royal Pereire was a lowkey spot, where there were lots of young folks just hanging out on a Saturday night, and only our waiter spoke English. They had heat lamps there and a nice view of the square, so we sat outside for hours. We partook in some adult beverages and shared escargot and an entree I don't remember. Eventually, we headed back home to our hotel, to pass out from a busy day.
Tomorrow, I share day three! Thanks for reading!