This post could also be called Paris, Day Two: The Longest Day Ever or Paris, Day Two: Don’t Try This At Home. We planned pretty full days for our trip but we ended up doing a lot more walking on this day than we originally thought we would. And it was exhausting! I read some travel forums before we left and everyone said not to do everything during your first visit because you’ll always go back. I wish we had listened. This was such a fun day and we saw a lot of the city but we completely wore ourselves out! The rest of the week was pretty rough. It was actually pretty funny looking at our pictures from the trip- as the days went on we looked more and more tired and our posture got worse and worse, like we were too exhausted to even stand up straight!
What could be better than a spur of the moment trip to Paris? I have always wanted to go to Paris. Growing up, it seemed like such a beautiful city full of glamorous people doing glamorous things. I couldn’t imagine a place much more different than the Phoenix desert. I watched all of the French movies (A Very Long Engagement is one of my favorite movies ever), listened to French music, and took French classes in high school and college. But I never visited! C’est la vie.
Fast forward to this spring. G and I had some vacation time at the end of April and we originally planned on going to London. We had the perfect itinerary planned and were so excited… until the flights filled up! So naturally our only option was to go to Paris instead (quelle horreur!). It was a little crazy- I only had a few days to plan the trip and we ended up booking an Airbnb while sitting on the plane! But we made it and spent five amazing days in the City of Lights.
Venice was our last city in Italy and the last stop of the trip for M and N! We arrived in Venice in the late afternoon after driving from Montefollonico. It was a nice end to our road trip getting to drive all the way to Venice. After dropping the car off we took a taxi to the water shuttles, and then a water shuttle to our hotel. The water shuttle was quite the adventure. Our hotel was located on the far end of the island so we got to see quite a bit of the city on the way. Venice was beautiful – besides Nice it was the prettiest city of my trip. The architecture was incredible and the water made everything that much more beautiful. I practically grew up on a boat so I definitely enjoyed the boat aspect of the city. It’s still a little crazy to me that there are no cars in the city but after spending a couple days there I’ve seen how impossible it would be to have cars there – the city just isn’t designed for it. After getting dropped off by the water shuttle it was quite the adventure trying to find our hotel. We ended up taking the long way which included dragging out luggage over four extra bridges (luckily people saw us struggling and offered help) before we found our hotel.
After leaving Rome, I only had about a week left of my time in Europe – a few days each in Tuscany, Venice, and Paris. M, N, and I actually rented a car from Rome to go on a mini road trip through Tuscany (3 quick days). Let’s just saying driving in Rome was quite an adventure! We had discussed our mini road trip with our tour manager, who is Italian, and he told us to be careful! This should have been a sign for what we had in store. Getting out of Rome was probably the craziest part of the drive – everyone just seems to go whenever/wherever and the streets aren’t in a grid system so it’s a little more confusing than what we are used to. Once we made it to the highway towards Greve in Chianti, the driving calmed down except for the speed – everyone drives crazy fast there! We were even almost run over by a police office – he was driving so fast and there was a semi truck next to us so we couldn’t get over right away! Probably the scariest part of the drive. Once we got into the Tuscan region, we drove through the country roads and had quite a view of the countryside. The whole Tuscan region was so beautiful! Rolling hills, trees, and vineyards everywhere.
My second day in Rome was spent visiting the Colosseum and Vatican City, and eating lots of Italian food (pizza, pasta, and gelato all in the same day)! The morning started out with a trip to tour the Colosseum. The Colosseum was massive in person. It’s incredible to think it was built so long ago and is still standing! Walking up the stairs to the top was definitely a workout – the stairs were quite steep and weren’t evenly spaced. Once at the top, you could see the whole stadium and what it must have been like to be there for the gladiator battles. Visiting the Colosseum was one of the highlights of the trip!
After a jam packed two days in Florence we set out for our last few days of the tour in Rome! I was super excited to be going to Rome – because of all the history, to see the Colosseum, and make a wish in the Trevi Fountain! Rome was quite the city and definitely didn’t disappoint!
Upon arriving in Rome, we went directly to the city center to check out some of the main attractions. During the drive through the city, I spotted my company’s Rome office, which was pretty cool to see! We were then dropped off in the city and our tour manager took us on a mini walking tour – first stop was the Spanish steps, followed by the Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon. The Spanish steps were quite a sight – they were located right at the end of a street with all the high fashion stores – and they were pretty massive. It started to sprinkle when we got there so I didn’t climb up the stairs at that time (we later went back on our third night in Rome and climbed to the top).