Who is honestly able to say that they had Thanksgiving in Paris? I will tell you what, I can! It wasn't a typical American style Thanksgiving, there wasn't any turkey or stuffing, but it was still really nice.
The trio came back together for one last trip since we had four whole free days to travel and we did just that. On Wednesday, we got on a flight to go to Paris after a full day of classes and we headed straight to the hotel as soon was we landed.
The next day we got up some what early so we could get some breakfast and go to our reservation for the Louvre. We stopped at a pastry shoppe called Les Gourmandises de Saint Honoré. I got the biggest madeline that I have ever seen and it was delish.
After some brekky, we walked to the Louvre and saw so many paintings and sculptures. One important piece that we saw was the Mona Lisa. She looked absolutely beautiful even though she is so small. It is crazy how much you have to go through just to see her portrait because the only way to look at the painting is through someone else's phone.
After the Louvre, we took a taxi to the Eiffel Tower where we had lunch at Brasserie de la Tour Eiffel. I ordered a Shepards pie and of course some authentic French Fries, I am kidding but I did have regular fries. After lunch we went and did our own little photoshoot in front of the tower and booked the next taxi to take us to Le Arc de Triomphe. We went there and took more of our pictures and I filmed some Tik Tok's because well why not.
Then we took another taxi to Angelina's who is known for their rich dark hot chocolate. We all ordered a cup of hot chocolate and a dessert to accompany it. It was Thanksgiving so I of course had a slice of apple pie, what is Thanksgiving without pie! Then we walked around and bought some small trinkets. I wanted to go back to the atelier that we went to in Nice because they had some locations in Paris, but we didn't have time for it. After shopping, we went back to the hotel to freshen up a bit before going to dinner.
Only Emily and I went to dinner and instead of going to the restaurant where we had reservations, we found a different place that was closer to the hotel. The restaurant we went to instead was called Marie Belle. Emily and I both ordered drinks and for dinner I ordered some onion soup, which in America we call french onion soup, mind absolutely blown. It was so good, I miss it. I ordered a salmon as well for my entrée. Everything was so good and the staff was wonderful. We were sat outside so they gave us blankets to keep us warm. After dinner, we went to a pub for one last drink before we went to McDonalds to try the seasoned fries. French McDonald's is pretty good.
The next day we checked out of the hotel, Hotel des Comedies Paris, and headed to the train station where we went through customs to take the Eurostar train to London. It was all a great experience, customs was pretty fast and the train ride was nice and smooth too. The train itself was probably just about a two hour journey, but I was able to get quite a bit of work done, and watch a movie.
As soon as we arrived in London, we immediately got into a taxi and went straight to the hotel. The hotel we stayed at was the Park Plaza Victoria London. We had an amazing stay and the rooms even came with robes and slippers, this was the first room that I ever stayed in the had that. We were able to check in and get to our room immediately even though it was only 12:30 pm.
After leaving the hotel, we went to lunch at the Plumber's Arm which is owned by a chain called Green King. The food was excellent, I did not order the fish and chips instead I got a chicken and bacon burger with onion rings on the side. It was well deserved. When lunch was done we headed to the London Eye and passed through Westminster Abbey and Big Ben on the way. From the eye, London looked amazing. I have heard that the view is even better from the Sky Garden but we didn't have time for that.
We only had a day and half really for both places so we kinda rushed everything. When we were done at the Eye, we walked back to our hotel, stopping at a store kind of like Walgreens, then we found our way to Krispy Kreme as well, so good. When we got back to the hotel, we immediately got ready for our night out. Our night was going to consist of a show at the Hippodrome theatre and going to a couple pubs and clubs that were recommended by one of my friends who studied in London.
It was a really fun night and we ended it with the classic McDonalds before going back to the hotel to hit the hay. We woke up sort of early on Saturday to go to the Theatre Royal at Drury Lane for some afternoon tea. I have wanted to go to high tea ever since my grandma got me a porcelain tea set. I don't know where it is now, but when I was younger, grandma would fill the little tea kettle with iced tea and the milk cup with some milk, and she would enjoy some tea with me. I really want to take my mom to have afternoon tea too because I know it is something she would want to do.
I loved my experience at the Theatre Royal at Drury Lane. I reserved our tea time back in September for eleven o'clock. With our reservation, we had a selection of teas to chose from, as well another selection for coffee too. They served us each three different options for lunch, dessert and scones. The part of lunch that I enjoyed was the smoked salmon with whipped feta on a madeline. It was so good you just have to try it for yourself. Dessert was excellent too, we had festive slice of vanilla cake, caramel popcorn and an ice cream sandwich. If you are planning a visit to London, definitely go experience afternoon high tea at the Theatre Royal at Drury Lane. You can even go to some of their shows that they have going on at one of their many theatres.
After tea, we went back to the hotel to change before heading to Notting Hill for some shopping and taking pictures of all of the beautiful houses. I really wanted to get a travel novel while I was there, not just because of the movie Notting Hill, but because I love travelling and I want to continue to do it for the rest of my life. Sadly, I did not find one that I was interested in, but I got some nice trinkets and gifts for my friends. Like I said earlier, we had to really rush our London trip because by the time we were done at Notting Hill, it was probably three o'clock and we knew we needed to move closer into the center of the city.
We headed to Oxford and Carnaby streets to see the Christmas lights that I have been seeing all over Tik Tok. Carnaby Street had a beautiful galaxy theme for their lights. We walked up and down and then stopped in El&N cafe for a small treat and hot cocoa.
We then took a taxi to the 411 which on certain nights will turn into a stock market bar. Unfortunately, for the Saturday night that we went it was not, but the waiter we talked to said that it gets a lot of attention. For dinner, we walked to Karen's Diner where the whole staff is rude to you, on purpose.
I was a little scared to go into it but after ordering, I got comfortable. Part of the experience is that you celebrate something, we weren't but there were many birthday's being celebrated there and they even sing you a special birthday song, not PG. They will go around and give you a hat with something that they write down, most of the time it is sexual so again, not PG, but the staff interacts with the customers throughout the whole night.
I was really tired after dinner and I needed to get some studying done so we all took an Uber to the hotel and dropped me off while Alyssa and Emily made the most of their night. I will say that my night in the hotel was not terrible. I was still proactive enough to write an essay, shower with my music and I could watch a movie too. I also set my clothes out for the next day, did some planning for the next couple weeks that I have left in Rome, and then I was off to bed.
On Sunday, we woke up pretty early to check out of our hotel and then we made our way to Buckingham Palace. Every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the changing of the royal guards happens at 10:45 am and the ceremony lasts about 45 minutes. We didn't have that much time so we watched the marching band play, see the new guards come in and then we left to buy some small souveniers. After that, we stopped back at Krispy Kreme for some brekky before going back to the hotel to gather our luggage and heading to London-Heathrow to go back home to Rome.
One thing I can say is that I am not a person who is in airports enough to judge, but I did not have the easiest time in London-Heathrow. For some odd reason, we were having difficulty with Alyssa's ticket, and then for security, they had to check my whole carry on for bugs, computer bugs. So my laptop, iPad and phone were taken to be checked, and I have never had that happen before, very odd. We were out of security within 30 minutes so we had time before our flight so we grabbed a bite to eat at a sit down restaurant where I ordered nachos and onion rings, very English of me, kidding of course.
Our flight was seamless. I watched the Frist Daughter with Katie Holmes, read some of my book, listened to Luke Combs because he is awesome, and then in 3 short hours we landed in Rome. We went thorugh customs so I got my passport stamped again, yipeee! Getting my passport stamped feels like a badge of honor. We got our luggage and I split from Emily and Alyssa because they were going to taxi back to their apartment and I was catching the train to mine. We live a little far-ish away from eachother but they both live in the same building and I live close to the train station in Trastevere.
The good thing about the trains are that they are fast. To get from Roma Trastevere to Rome Termini, it is 15 minutes, from Roma Trastevere to FCO airport, it is 22 minutes. There is always enough space and there is even space for luggage, thankfully. So if you are ever in Rome, or in Italy, travel by train, so much better.
As a recap, Paris and London are must see places in Europe, take my advice though. Make sure that you are spending more than just one and a half day in each city. There is so much to see and we didn't get to see everything in the little time we had. Plan accordingly!