One of the hardest parts of living in France is being so far away from family. One of the best parts is we live in such an amazing part of the world, it is not that hard to convince people to visit. This July we got to welcome M’s family to visit us for a couple weeks.
The trip began with meeting everyone in Paris. We picked up M’s mother, brother, niece, and his niece’s mother at the airport then took the train into Paris. Like most trips involving a time difference, the first day was rough. We got a few drinks, showered and napped.
After feeling refreshed we headed to Notre Dame for a few photo ops and dinner. We strolled back to our hotel stopping at Shakespeare & Co. and the Luxembourg Gardens.
Paris Day 2:
The next day we retuned to Notre Dame and purchased tickets to climb the towers. A first time for M and me, we got some pretty spectacular views of Paris.
Inside the bell tower of Notre Dame
Afterwards we got Chipotle. Ironically this is a must whenever we visit Paris. It is a little piece of home we can never get enough of.
Across from Chipotle is a little park M’s niece got to run around and get some energy out. Shortly after we headed to the Eiffel Tower for a boat tour. Stopping at the statue of Michael the Arch Angel along the way.
After our boat tour we picked up some Amorinos, a must when visiting Europe. They have the best gelato and, when not in a rush, will make your icy treat look like a rose. It was hot and we ate it to quickly to get a photo.
After gelato we were standing outside a few souvineers stores when we noticed some gypsies loitering nearby. They would approach tourists with cardboard “clipboard” like they were trying to get people to sign for some charity. They would approach the tourist with the clipboard and sneak their grimy little hands into the victims purse. A classic. Fortunately these gypsies looked like amateurs and we didn’t see them actually trick any tourists, they moved on.
For dinner we experienced a Parisian dream. We stopped at a grocery store and filled a basket with baguettes, cheese, sliced meats, olives, veggies and wine. We parked ourselves at the Champ de Mars and enjoyed the beautiful view while munching on our dinner.
Once dark the Eiffel Tower puts on a beautiful light show at the top of the hour. The only downside here is that it does not get dark in the summer until 10:30PM. We had high hopes that there would be a 10:00PM showing but it was still to bright. Exhausted we boarded a subway for home.
While all of us were sitting on a fairly empty subway, tired and desperate to get back to our rooms, an elderly man walked over to the train doors. Just before the train came to a stop M’s little niece looked over at the man, pointed at him and said, “that’s a crazy person.” We don’t think the man spoke English but there were definitely a few people around us that did. Her mother quickly tried to divert the conversation, “o no, he is a nice man.”
Paris Day 3:
The last full day we woke up early and made our way to the Louvre. We visited Mona Lisa, Nike, and a couple other favorites.
Filled our bellies with lunch then headed to the Arc De Triumph for a couple photos and coffee while it rained.
We ended the day with a list minute stop by Sacre Coeur. At the top of the hill you will have the most amazing view of Paris, and if you look just behind an obnoxious tree (I wish they would cut) you will see the Eiffel Tower.
We got dinner at a great Creole place called Chez Celeste. Not French, but still authentic food you could not get back in the states.
Just as we paid our check it started to rain, hard. Like we are going to need an arc, hard rain. Our hotel was just around the corner so we all held our bags tight and ran!