Paris and Final Days of Switzerland

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Wednesday morning came very quickly as we had to be out of the house by 5:00 am in order to catch the train to Geneva. This meant a 4:30 am alarm was in order. It’s interesting how quickly one’s body adapts to a different schedule as not long ago a 4:30 wake up was an all-too-often occurrence. However, that morning, it was brutal in every sense of the word. With eyes half open, hair askew, I slipped in to some clothes I had set out the prior night and ate a bite of cereal though I wasn’t at all hungry. We grabbed our modest suitcase that was packed full and quietly stumbled out the door towards the train station located a short 5 minute walk away.

We bought our train tickets for the four of us and sat waiting for the train to arrive for what seemed like an entire REM cycle. As you would expect there’s not much happening at 5:00 in the morning on Wednesday’s in Nyon, or many places in Switzerland, for that matter. Thirty minutes or so later, the train arrived and we were off to Geneva to get to our pre-booked speedy train that would take us to Paris.

Following a mad dash sprint to catch our next train with luggage in hand, we were able to sit down and relax knowing that we didn’t have to stress about a thing for the next few hours. The train was nearly empty which allowed us to sneak ourselves into our own seats to get a bit more leg and shoulder room.

A benign 3 hour train ride — albeit at speeds of over 165 mph at times — and we arrived to the buzzing train station in Paris. Whilst making our way out of the station, we stopped at a tourist information booth to grab four tickets to Orsay Museum and a pack of 20 metro (Paris’ subway system) tickets which would prove to be very handy as Paris is overwhelmingly spread out and just gigantic in general.

A short 4-stop metro ride later and we were ready to drop off our luggage at our hotel and explore the city. Our hotel was located very near to the Louvre with the Luxembourg Gardens to our south and the Orsay Museum just to our west. We didn’t exactly have a game plan coming in — besides chatting about places I would like to see during our previous train ride to Paris — so we got to walking and would figure out as we went!

We quickly spotted the Louvre Museum which, to my amazement, was astoundingly larger than even I had read about. I guess it’s one of those things that just can’t be realized unless one is standing staring at the massive proportions to this old palace. As our time was short and the crowds surrounding the entrance were overwhelming, we decided to skip out on getting in. No matter, as Lisa and her parents explained that with so many people, the chances of actually seeing anything of worth would be rare. If you did actually venture to see the Mona Lisa, you would have to risk getting your hair or perhaps even arm pulled out in the foolish effort.

Our next stop on the walking tour of Paris was the Notre Dame Cathedral. Again, words cannot describe the intense detail that was taken over the years to build this amazing place of worship. As expected, the line was long and the temperatures were hot, so we settled on a few pictures and continued on our way.

We were getting a bit hungry so we found a nice place to stop and grab a meal nearby.

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Myself and Lisa’s mother Wendy had the veal with truffle sauce paired with some pasta and an arugula salad. It was quite delicious! Lisa and her father ordered the mussels in a garlic and tomato broth which was also very tasty.

The rest of the afternoon consisted of more walking around town where we found a little garden area to rest our tired feet before continuing on to St. Paul’s Cathedral, a spot to grab a snack and a coffee and back to the hotel for a quick recharge.

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After our nap, we went to a grocery store nearby to grab some beer, variety of cheeses and bread and some nice salamis to munch on for dinner considering how much we had already eaten throughout the day. We decided it best to grab a taxi from the hotel to our nest destination which was a river boat cruise of the city at dusk: Bateaux-Mouches. There was an emphatic and crazy rush with lots of pushing, shoving, grabbing and the like to get a seat on the top of the boat which was the obvious place to be. Someone even offered to pay me off for the awesome seats that I was able to acquire. I was fortunate to hold on to them long enough for the rest of the family to navigate their way through the crowds to find me.

Two hours and about two thousand photos later, we made our way off the boat and continued on to find the Arc de Triomphe. A few photos here and we were tired from the ten or twelve miles we had walked throughout the day. Check out the photos from the boat and Arc de Triomphe below:

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The following day we reserved primarily for Orsay Museum where we spent about three hours enjoying the famous artwork seen below:

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Later that day we walked to the Palais Garnier (Paris Opera House) and grabbed some lunch nearby. Back to the hotel for a little rest and relaxation, followed a little bit later by a nice spot to experience a real-deal crepe!

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Our 36-hour journey of Paris was nearly over so we packed up our suitcases back at the hotel and made our way back to Nyon.

The final days of the trip were spent in a very relaxed setting where we were able to spend some quality time taking care of baby Maya and taking copious cute baby pictures:

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We also made a drive to a relatively nearby winery (of which there are many) to taste some of the local wine that Switzerland chooses to keep to themselves by not exporting any of it for the rest of the world to enjoy. We also drove to Divonne to check out some horse racing as Lisa’s dad has been following horse racing for many years now. After that, it was time for Lisa and I to pack up all of our things and head back to the US!

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The past two weeks abroad were truly fantastic but it’s nice to be back home so that I can get back to work working on my golf game!

Thanks for catching up on my travels and stay tuned for more updates including a recent weekend trip to the Charleston area to play some golf and hang out with my best bud Erick!

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