Ok so, what is the most ultimate “girls’ trip” you can think of?
Just you and your best ladies- your closest friends, your sisters, your mom- all together for a week of wine and shopping and taking each others’ clothes and beautiful sights?
I mean, if has to be Paris, right? The city of lights. The city of love. The world capitol of incredible fashion and food and all thing feminine.
Lucky me, I got to have just such a trip in May with my mom and two older sisters. It started as a dual birthday gift for both my mom and my milestone birthdays (but I am not telling which.. you’re welcome mom!).
Armed with a perfectly planned itinerary to ensure that we hit every Parisian sight- from tourist laden to off-the-beaten-path- we met up in Paris with 10 days ahead of us to enjoy each others’ company and the beautiful city.
People constantly ask me what I miss about living in the States. Oreos? Drive throughs? Car ownership?
The answer is always my family. And BBQ chips.
But with my next oldest sister only 14 months older than me, and the oldest just 16 months older than her, you can bet that they are both my family and my best friends. Add an amazingly awesome mom (who, despite promising all through my teen years that she was not our friend, is now certainly one of the best!) and you have an incredible trip in the making.
Ill follow with posts that talk specifics about what we did: Day trips to Giverney and Versailles, some unique things to do in Paris, as well as incredible places to eat. Right now, here is a general run down and visual barrage of our ultimate girls’ trip to Paris!
We can, of course, start with our incredible rental apartment right off the Champs de Mars. This is the third time we have rented with Paris Perfect, and I have nothing but rave reviews for their apartments, support and services! I mean, can you get a better view??
On my mom’s birthday, we woke her up with breakfast, balloons and gifts. Oh and champagne!
And then began our grand tour of Paris!
Le sigh! How beautiful the sweeping avenues and charming old shop signs.
I always expected that the Eiffel tower would be over rated, but the first time I saw it, my heart leapt into my mouth. And it has never gotten old since then. What an incredible feat of engineering! What a timeless icon of grace!
Oh and the Arc du Triomphe? Yeah, tell me it is over rated until you go and stand before it. It is stunning. Just keep an eye out for that ridiculous traffic. French people don’t use lanes.
Being a Paris veteran, there were certain places we had to return to. Namely, Place des Vosges. Not only can the best salted caramel macaroon in all of Paris be found there, but it is a charming escape from the noisy streets of Paris’s Marais district. One of the oldest squares in Paris, it is a beautiful example seventeenth century French classical architecture. The inner courtyard was originally used to stage equestrian games. The surrounding arched walkways enclose artist boutiques, small cafes as well as the Victor Hugo Museum, as the famed Parisian author resided here for a time.
In my opinion, this is one of Paris’s treasures and the perfect place to take a picnic or buy some mouth watering macaroons.
Of course, what is Paris without the Louvre?
Apparently, still Paris. Because we never went, despite our good intentions. Maybe you heard about the River Seine flodding this year. Well, as the Louvre sits on the banks of the River Seine, the flooding forced the museum to evacuate their lower levels, leading the museum to close -literally- over the exact days we were there. So no Louvre for us. But we still did take a stroll by the impressive palace and through the adjacent Tuileries.
Scattered throughout these photos are snippets of another favorite neighborhood: St. Germaine, which is one of the most quintessential areas in Paris and can easily take up the better part of a day. It will be featured heavily in following posts discussing restaurants and shopping. I think that some of my favorite memories were made which wandering the streets there, eating (and laughing) in chic cafes, and visiting one of the more unique museums that Paris has to offer (again, in a following post).
Oh, did I mention that it rained? And I mean, it rained and poured 9/10 days that we were there. 100 years flood, national natural disaster. And I packed mostly dresses and sandals. But the inconvenience to the entire city was far worse than it was to my own wardrobe. The romantic walkways along the river were completely drowned, along with some semi-permanent bars, river cruise boats, and all of the event spaces that were constructed for the European Soccer Championships. The financial losses were staggering- and I cannot even imagine the clean up efforts.
As for these tourists, we did our very best to keep our chins up. Paris is, after all, a great place to be during a natural disaster. We ate endless amazing food, drank bottomless delicious wine and (soggily) wandered winding streets. But it seemed like we kept getting kicked down each time we got up; showed up for the late night opening of the Musee d’Orsay, just as they were closing early to accommodate the flooding. They stayed closed. As did the Louvre. And the main metro line from our apartment. And the trains to Versailles (lucky us, we found a round-about way!). We managed to get to Giverney the day before the rails completely flooded. We salvaged my mom’s birthday dinner cruise with a night at the cabaret, but my sister became extremely ill.
But despite all of the wrenches thrown our way, we had the most incredible trip together, just us four. Spending time with my mom and sisters -no matter the location or weather- is my favorite thing in the world. We never have anything short of an amazing time.
A HUGE thank you goes out to my Dad for sending my mommy and sisters out to see me, and in such style! The sacrifices you make never go un-noticed. Also thanks to my brother-in-law Gus for taking on a 1 year old and a 3 year old for 10 days by yourself so that Megan could join us!
Look for a post on our most favorite day in Giverney, coming up next!