As you may remember, Greg and I visited Paris very briefly in November with Chris and Megan on my birthday. We stayed for just the night, and then dashed off to Geneva, Switzerland. So, when my parents informed me they’d be traveling all over Europe with a stop in Paris, I knew just where to meet them. It was a lot of fun to really give Paris the attention it deserves. And it was even more fun to be able to experience it with my parents!
Greg and I got to Paris around dinner time. We checked in to our beautiful hotel just steps away from the Notre Dame, and then met up with my parents, who I hadn’t seen for SIX MONTHS. That’s the longest I’ve ever gone without seeing them. We wandered around the Latin Quarter in search of somewhere to eat (there were so many options, it was almost overwhelming), and then landed on a place looking out onto the River Seine. After dinner, we made our way back to our hotel for the night.
We got up bright and early to catch a tour bus to Versailles to see the Palace. It was very impressive. As part of the tour, we also got lunch at a cute restaurant that had once been horse stables, saw the Grand Trianon and the Petit Trianon, and visited the Queen’s Hamlet, where Marie Antoinette spent most of her time before her eventual beheading.
The tour bus dropped us back off in Paris in the late afternoon, and we made our way to the Eiffel Tower. My parents wanted to see the Tower when the sun had set and it was all lit up, so we stopped at a cafe to kill some time. We snacked on Foie Gras (Greg’s favorite appetizer) and a gigantic plate of various cheeses (my favorite appetizer) and sipped French wine. Once the sun began to set, we headed over to the Eiffel Tower. We took a ton of pictures, walked underneath it, took a ton more pictures, and then made the trek back to our hotel.
After our long day Saturday, we slept in a bit and then stepped out for the day. First, we made a quick stop at the famous bookstore, Shakespeare and Company. I actually had never heard of this little shop until Chris mentioned it on our first visit to Paris. I’m SO glad he did, because that place was amazing! I really could have spent all day inside that cozy space among the books and typewriters. Maybe someday I’ll make my way back there to write or listen to visiting authors.
With a few new books in my bag, we then made our way to the Louvre. Greg and I didn’t have enough time to go in last time we were in Paris, so we were excited to actually step inside! The line was long (we should’ve bought tickets a head of time), but I think it was definitely worth the wait. That place is massive! We spent a few hours inside and still only scratched the surface of just one side.
After we had our fill of art, we wandered over to Luxembourg Gardens. We walked around and then stopped at a cafe in the park for crepes and rose. We sat down right as an orchestra began to play, and we listened to a few classics and then, weirdly, the Austin Powers theme.
We also went to Montmartre, a giant hilltop offering amazing views of the city. We trekked up a steep sidewalk, climbed a bazillion stairs and took a bunch of photos before heading back down and to our hotel. We got dinner at a tiny bistro near the Notre Dame (it was delicious!) and then called it a night.
On Monday, Greg and I flew back to Southampton, and my parents caught the Eurostar, a high speed train which travels underneath the English channel, to London. They’ll be meeting us in Southampton on Thursday before flying back to Minnesota, and I can’t wait to see them again and show them around!
Our next trip will be to Scotland with Brian and Trina!