Monday, January 28, 2008


J'Adore Paris!

Places to Stay:

Eden Hotel Montmartre
90 Rue Ordener
75018 Paris
Picturesque neighborhood (with fruit/vegetable/cheese & bread markets just around the corner)
At the foot of Montmartre
Continental Breakfast
Close to Sacre-Coeur
Closest Metro stop Jules Joffrin
The staff here was great. Very sweet and always tried to help out with directions and questions even with my horrible French. Some of them did speak a little English which helped out tremendously. :) Beware of the's ridiculously small! Basically we used it to take up our bags but used the stairs the rest of the time. 2 people in it is tight. And awkward if you are in it with someone you don't know. I know this from experience. ha ha!

Things to Do:

Musee du Louvre
Mona Lisa
Venus de Milo (Aphrodite)
Winged Angel
8.50 EUR

La Tour Eiffel
To the Top: Approx 11 EUR
Children: Approx 6 EUR
Sunset is a great time to go. Make sure you stay until it's lit up at night. Also, try out the delicious crepes at the stand near the bottom of the Eiffel Tower! It's an octagon like brown stand. My favorite is the Nutella crepe!

Arc De Triomphe-
Memorial to the fallen soldiers from World Wars 1 & 2
Located on the Champs Elysees

Notre Dame
(The Hunchback!)

Les Champs Elysees
Fancy Shopping. :)

Moulin Rouge
Opened October 6, 1889
The dinner shows were too expensive for me, but that didn’t stop me from stopping by to take pictures in front of the famous Moulin Rouge windmill!

Sacre-Coeur & Montmartre
Cathedral and artist town. I suggest finding a taxi to drive you up the hill to get to the Sacre Coeur. There is also a tram that will take you up. If you are adventurous or can’t find the tram (like me), you can hike up the million staircases that will eventually take you to the top. It is very rewarding once you are there. The Sacre-Coeur is at the top along with an artist square with painters, tourist shops, small cafes and street performers. It’s one of my favorite places in the city.

The Metro is pretty easy to navigate. However, if you've never used a subway or underground service, you may not want to start in Paris. Take a taxi!
*A perfect Paris day:
Start at the Musee du Louvre. Walk through Jardin du Carrousel (sort of a mini arc du triomphe). Enter Jardin des Tuileries (garden). Walk straight through the middle. Why not stop for a sandwich or a yummy gellato. :-) It’s a long walk, but very beautiful! You will run into Place de la Concorde. Keep walking straight and you will end up on Avenue Champs Elysees. Your walk ends at the Arc De Triomphe!! Check it out on a map! It's a straight shot.

*Live like a Parisian:
Paris Cafe's are the best place to people watch. Parisians are known for spending a whole afternoon sipping cappucinos, chatting & visiting with friends at the local cafe's. Don't be surprised if your server does not bring your check right away. They feel it is rude to rush you. If you are in a hurry, just catch your server's glance and do the universal sign for "check please!".

*Be Respectful:
I've found that if you know your basic French vocabulary, The French are very friendly. I believe if you try to use their language for the basics, they will be more willing to help you out. Learning how to say a few key phrases such as Hello, Good Afternoon, Please, etc will help you out and they feel that your are respecting them. This tip works in most countries. It all goes back to the saying, "Treat people the way you would like to be treated"!

Movies to See:
Funny Face

An American in Paris

Sacre Coeur

Some of those stairs I was talking about. And these are not all....there are more!

Travel Video Log (VLOG)

Friday, January 25, 2008

New York City!

Love love love this city!!

Things to Do:

Central Park
Horse & Carriage Ride
Rent Bikes
Find the Alice & Wonderland Statue!
Strawberry Fields (John Lennon memorial)

Horse & Carriage Rides
They are very knowledgable about the city and tell you where all the stars live.
Approx $40 for 20 minutes
Approx 59th St./7th Avenue

Pedicab (looks like a bike with a small carriage in back. fits 2 people)
Approx $40 for 30 minutes
Starts at 57th St./7th Avenue by Café Europa
This one shows you more of the park. They will also let you get out and take your picture at different spots.

Renting a bike in Central Park
Central Park Boathouse Rentals
East 72nd St. And Park Drive North
Approx: $9/hour
Boat Rentals
Approx: $30 deposit
$10 for first hour

On Location Tours
Daily starting at 11am.
3-3 1/2 hours
Central Park Movie Sites Tour
Sopranos Sites Tour
New York TV & Movie Sites Tour
Sex & The City Sites Tour

Broadway Tickets
Get discount tickets to same day Broadway musicals:
TKT Booth
Located in the middle of Times Sq.
This line is super long and you must be there early.

TKT Booth
Front & John St. (In the financial district)
199 Water Street
Monday-Friday 11-6pm
Saturday 11-7pm
A or C to Broadway/Nassau
J,M,Z,2,3,4,5 to Fulton Street
This TKT booth off the beaten path a bit, however the line is usually about 10 minutes long as apposed to a few hours of waiting at the Times Sq. Booth. Hint: Go to this booth before going to the Statue of Liberty. The TKT booth is in the same part of the city as Battery City Park which is where you depart for the Statue of Liberty.

Empire State Building
Approx: $18
The best time to go is right before sunset. It's amazing to see all of the lights of the city. Lines can be long, so factor that into your timing.

Cosby Show House
10 St. Lukes
I’ve never been, but I heard this is the address. Let me know if you’ve seen it!

Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island
Adult: Approx $11.50
Children: Approx $4.50
Seniors: Approx $9.50
Departs daily from Battery Park on the Circle Line ferry.
Great views of the NYC skyline from Liberty Island and Ellis Island.

Brooklyn things to see
Brooklyn Heights Promenade (Awesome views of the New York City skyline including the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Brooklyn Bridge, etc)
Montague Street (Very cute main street surrounded by high end brownstone walk ups)
Brooklyn Bridge

Places to Eat:

Al Dente (Italian)
Off the beaten path a bit, but a cute little Italian restaurant. Great food and not touristy. It started snowing when I was having dinner here. It was the perfect New York night! ha ha.
417 Amsterdam Ave.
(at 80th Street)

Ellen’s Stardust Diner
51st & Broadway
Next to the Wintergarden Theatre
50's theme diner with singing staff. Fun for before or after your Broadway show. Mama Mia plays right next door.

225 East 60th St.
As seen in the movies One Fine Day & Serendipity starring my BF, John Cusack!
Famous for their frrrrozen hot chocolate!

Roxy Delicatessen
Bakery and restaurant
Located in Times Sq.
Their window display of bakery items will probably draw you in. If you have a sweet tooth, this is the place to stop.

Good Enough to Eat
483 Amsterdam Ave.
Lines on weekends
Breakfast spot

Very popular with the locals (including J.Lo who stops by for their famous strawberry butter!)

Movies to See before you go:
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Sleepless in Seattle

Extra Tips:

*This is a great walking city. Wear your flats and grab a map. My favorite maps are the Pop Up Maps available for many big cities. I usually find mine at Barnes & Noble. The NYC Pop Up Map includes their subway map and is very easy to navigate. And the best thing is they fold back up the way they are supposed to! If you insist on wearing your cute heals or uncomfortable shoes, please take a taxi!

*Meet your favorite Broadway stars! Last time I was in NYC, I noticed that after the Broadway shows, people were waiting at the back door and the stars of the show stopped by on their way out to sign autographs and take pictures.

*Do Research before your trip. If I'm unfamiliar with a destination, I usually go to the local Barnes & Noble, grab a bunch of books and find a seat. I bring a notebook and jot down some key points of interest. The internet is always helpful too!

Have fun in the Big Apple!