We are going to land in the morning of my guys birthday. I know we will be tired, but full of adrenaline I'm sure. It's his bday and I always plan something for us here. Neither of us have been to Paris. If your sig other was planning your special and romantic birthday what would you want? Restaurants that are a must? Awe inspiring views from a certain locale? A show? A tour? Special pastry shop? We are really open to all types of experiences, I just want to plan something really special!
Years ago, we landed in London the morning of DH's birthday. It was our first trip to London and I booked dinner and expensive tickets to the Phantom of the Opera for his birthday. We both fell asleep early on in the show.
I learned to not book a show for our first night in Europe after that, LOL!
Here's an idea: once you drop off your stuff at your hotel, grab the fixings for a picnic lunch nearby, then head to the Jardin du Luxembourg for a picnic lunch.
A baguette, a little cheese, some charcuterie, some fresh fruit, some patisserie, and, of course, a bottle of wine... preferably a bubbly (no need for a corkscrew).
If you go to the basement of Le Bon Marché, absolutely everything that you would desire is there!
Although the cliché would be to head to the Eiffel Tower, personally, I wouldn't. IMO, both the Trocadero (across) and the Champs de Mars are just too crowded - plus you have to fend off sellers and watch your stuff very closely there - best done when you won't be tired.
The picnic sounds like a wonderful idea, and a little walking around. After that, your room should be ready, and you could go back to freshen up, and have a um, well, um...nap. A nice romantic nap.
Re-reading your post, that maybe isn't the special celebration you'd have in mind. But it's what we like to do for birthdays.
Thinking on this a bit more, I can propose a plan:
Pick up your picnic fixings, wander to the Luxembourg garden, have your picnic at the Fontaine Médicis, then walk to Notre-Dame Cathedral, and take the Batobus from Notre-Dame to the Eiffel Tower.
Then go for a nap ;-)
Karen, only on birthdays?... ; )
I've made the long flight to Paris from San Francisco many times, and while a picnic at Jardin de Luxembourg is certainly nice, I don't think I'd want to go food shopping the first thing in Paris. I'd pick one of the thousand great cafes and have coffee, wine or lunch. I'd drop off my bags at my hotel, and take a taxi to Ile de la Cite and stroll around the islands, Notre Dame and the Seine - if weather is nice. Get some air and a little exercise. It's one of the most beautiful and romantic settings in Paris (or anywhere).
If it's raining I'd pick a picturesque cafe in the area and hang out, though strolling in the rain in Paris can be quite romantic too. The major sights are great of course, but you have time to get to them. To me just being in Paris is special --particularly the first time. I think you will feel that way too.
Not sure what time of year you are going, but what about finding out what time the lights go on at the Eiffel tour, position yourself for viewing and end your evening with that.
Thank you all! Change of plans - we are landing the day prior to his birthday and headed to Loire Valley for 5 nights, and then returning to Paris for 5 nights. Hooray! So I don't have to worry about trying to put on a good celebration (I.e. Stay awake!) the day we land. Although I will say every time I've been to Italy I've been so excited and hyped the day we arrive, I've had no problem having a full day/evening, it's later in the trip after walking miles and miles and having the time of my life that the exhaustion sets in. :) I will have to repost once I figure out our home base in Loire Valley. Thank you all though! I may use some of these ideas in Paris anyway!
Sarah, this might work: how about a balloon ride over the Loire for his birthday? Followed by a tutored wine tasting?
DH's birthday is in May and we often travel on that date. Here's something I did one year:
One month before his birthday, I contacted our friends and family and gave them the name and postal address of our B&B in Verona.
I told them to mail his birthday card by the date I gave them, 3 weeks before we would get there. I also gave them instructions to write in Italian on the back of the envelope " please hold for name, until birthday date - thank you!". So, with our breakfast on his birthday morning, the B&B owner gave him a stack of birthday cards. DH had a great birthday that year in the city of Romeo and Juliette!
My first night in Paris I had dinner at the Eiffel Tower restaurant. There are two restaurants, one being higher up and more pricey. It is a splurge but truly romantic, unforgettable and special! You could always go at lunch when the menu is cheaper.
For my cousin's birthday I gave her a coupon book for her birthday that she used thru our vacation. She could redeem each one when she wanted. It might be a hug, photo in front of something, just have fun with it. One was even a coupon with fine print which was fun. I included tickets to a show in the book a couple of day's after we arrived. That way you don't have to plan one day for the birthday. You might be really tired that first day and not enjoy your surprise as much. Have a picnic and give it to him coupons then. The restaurant Le Jules Verne is on the Eiffel tower with wonderful views. To get a seat with a good view book early they are first come. You can book online, they start taking reservations 3 months in advance. It is pricy but lunch is less expensive. You can view there menu on line and see photos. If I am spending that much money on something special I would rather wait a day.