Paris in February

12 March 2020

Alright! Because if anything deserves a dedicated blog post in an era where lots of people consider blogs all but dead (minus me! not me! dedicated blog reader to the bitter but hopefully never end) it's a trip to Paris so here we are and here we go. 

+ I spent a spring semester (aka very frigid few months) at my college's campus in Austria and was able to travel around Europe on the weekends quite a bit for for some reason did not make it to Paris and SO it was such a blast getting to experience it for the first time with the girls. And now I want to go back with Simon when it's just a teeny tiny bit warmer. 


+ I will say that the forecast called for it to rain the entire time and I came prepared with thre perfectly compact umbrellas with loads of 5 star Amazon reviews and used them: ZERO times so if you're in a similar predicament - I wouldn't stress. But, if you're about to travel somewhere where the sun is supposed to shine the entire time -- maybe stress. Kidding. I'm kidding. But, I was anticipating terrible weather and only one day was truly windy and frigid and cold but the magic of being in Paris made up for it, truthfully. 

+ We stayed at the Hotel Le Lapin Blanc which was adorable and very accommodating when our flight landed an hour early and we found ourselves on the streets of Paris a little too long before sunrise and the girls all but fast asleep (because they weren't able to sleep on the flight, I couldn't blame them but uh - wish they did) and they let us nap in an empty room free of charge until we felt rested and more importantly safe to roam about. We were a few blocks from Notre-Dame which was obviously under loads of construction but was still a sight to see and a fun, "first" of the trip. I was initially told we couldn't go inside but then right before we left to come back home - was told oh! actually you could go inside so I'm bummed we didn't. 


+ We did go to the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal which I highly recommend doing if you're in Paris and have the time. The Sisters are the absolutely sweetest and I felt like we bought a lot of the gift shop's inventory but now wish we would've bought double for gifts and for ... ourselves. Next time! Next time. I do wish I would've prepared Phoebe for seeing the incorrupt body of Saint Catherine Laboure but I was so focused on getting there before it closed for the evening that I did ... not. She took it in stride and left the question peppering for after we left, thankfully. 


+ Lauren arranged a brilliant kid-friendly scavenger hunt at the Louvre on our first day which was perfect for the girls. They were in separate groups (according to age) and while it's impossible to see the entire thing in one afternoon - I felt like we got a really great interactive trip that ended with seeing the Mona Lisa and the girls getting a little gift/memento which is obviously their love language. This was the "roughest" day on the jet lag front as they were fading fast around 5pm so we got some food at a deli down the street, had a little picnic in our room, and called it a night. 


+ I'm not going to turn this into a retroactive itinerary of our trip, worry not.

+ We also enjoyed seeing Monet's Water Lilies, a tour of the Royal Apartments at Versailles, a golf cart excursions of the grounds of Versailles (I wouldn't mind spending a day on foot in the gardens but this was our one truly cold and bitterly windy day and we were pressed for time so, golf cart it was!), going to not-the-the-top of the Eiffel Tower which was perfectly fine with the girls thanks to the wind, and multiple dining establishments. The girls were also treated to macaron making lessons which was definitely very high on their highlight list!

+ We went to Mass at the Basilique de Sacre Coeur where Phoebe almost received her First Communion from a well-meaning French speaking (duh) priest but I intervened like the buzzkill that I am. We wandered around MontMartre (photos with pink building above - and where I fully expected Belle to come waltzing and singing around the bend!) and ate our favorite meal of the trip: a Nutella and strawberry crepe from a street vendor (and we ate a LOT of good food!). The girls still talk about it. I still think about it. No words will do it justice so I'll stop but it was so good.

+ As much as I missed Simon and the boys I kept thinking what great ages the girls were for the trip since Phoebe is very firmly out of nap/stroller age, Julia will have vivid memories of our time together (Phoebe's will be murkier but thankfully I have 9238472347 phone photos to crystalize the memories), and they're still young enough that even the snacks and little bottles of water on the flights excited them to no end. Simon and I have tried very hard to impress upon the girls that a trip to Paris is an enormous privilege (and one we owe to Lauren for the invite) at any age but especially at their age and we hope that they'll understand that to a greater degree as they get older.

+ Overall, it was the most wonderful 5/6 days (4 days in Paris and 2 days of travel) that I'll never forget. We can't wait to find out if it was a full on girls trip or if we had a little brother tagging along for the ride ... soon enough!!

+ Oh! I do have to add that we used Land Sky See to book our flights and saved almost $1000 in doing so. I have no affiliation with them but they came highly recommended by Lauren and I'm SO glad we went that route! 

4 comments:

  1. I've been following Lauren for a few years now from your recommendations and's even though it will be years before we're in a position to travel, I read her blog and dream. I'm so glad for you to have that special time with your little ladies.

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  2. So glad it was such an awesome experience!

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  3. What a magical time for you and your girls! So so special. My dad was in the Air Force when I was growing up and he was stationed in Germany, France and Turkey. I was too young to remember France but since my mother was German and had family in Germany, my dad was able to put in for a couple of extensions so we could stay there a few years longer. I have so many good memories of that time period. Love Europe.

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