There were beautiful photos of German castles and villages on the walls of our apartment and we were thinking of driving to the famous, Neuschwanstein Castle (the one Walt Disney based Sleeping Beauty's castle on)...but looking at the map, it was about a 6 hour drive north from where we were staying...
So, then we realized we were only a 4 hour drive from Paris and since Paris is my favorite place in the entire world, and since we wanted to start the new year off, true to our 2012 motto, "The Best is Yet to Come" based on the verse, 1 Corinthians 2:9 "Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, nor has entered into the heart of man, the things that God has prepared for those who love Him", we decided there wasn't a better place to be than the City of Lights on New Years Day!
So, off we went...
It was an adventurous ride as it began to rain pretty heavily and the windshield wipers STOPPED working...we made some detours to try to swap the car out with dealers along the way, but since it was NEW YEARS DAY, everything was closed...Thankfully, the rain slowed and we got to Paris safely, where our rental car company swapped us out for a new car at Orly Airport, but again, and continually, God showed us how carefully he watches us.
Paris was incredible. We arrived just as night fell and checked into our hotel. Johann worked his magic as he is so well equipped at doing, and scored us a room with a view of the Eiffel Tower. The girls and I oooohhhed and ahhed each time it glittered every hour on the hour. We dropped our bags off in the room and headed to the Eiffel Tower to see it sparkle up close and while there ate some delicious crepes, sausages and FRENCH fries!
It was a magical night. My favorite New Years by FAR!
The next morning we got up bright and early to eat breakfast at a lovely cafe...the girls were excited for their fresh baguettes avec buerre et jus d'orange (which they have been talking about since our last trip to Paris) and Johann and I enjoyed our quiche lorraines and cafe au lait!
After breakfast we walked to the Hotel de Ville where there was an ice skating rink!!! Johann took the girls skating while I snapped pictures and laughed at their efforts to stay up right! Still recovering from surgery, I decided to keep my two feet on the ground! The girls said this was the highlight of their trip!
We walked from the skating rink, along the Seine River to Notre Dame...
Praying in a church like Notre Dame really gives you a sense of awe and wonder at the hugeness and majesty of God. I think sometimes it's easy to get very casual with God when we worship in our churches at home, but the builders of the ancient cathedrals knew what they were doing to build such glorious tributes as a place of worship. I am honored to have been able to kneel there and worship my God!
Nutella and Banana crepes on our way back to the car and hotel for a little nap...
That evening we drove to the Champs Ellysee for dinner at this delicious sushi restaurant! We sat and grabbed plate after plate as the fresh sushi went by via conveyor belt!! Then to Haagen Daaz for dessert. Mmmmmm!!!! We walked the Christmas markets along the avenue...even riding the ginormous ferris wheel at the Place de la Concorde! (Against Rayna's wishes!) And finally a post midnight snack at Le McDonald's :-) before retiring to bed on our last night in Paris.
In the morning, we slept in a bit, and then had brunch in the Latin Quarter by the Sorbonne...Croque Monsieurs all around! We took a long stroll through the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens and let the girls play in the large playground before taking the 4 hour trip back to Germany.
Happy New Year Indeed!!!