A few days in Paris....
So we finally did it - took the kids to Paris! I think it's been almost 2 years now that I have heard the constant - "I want to see the Eiffel Tower". from my older girls. As we have always flown in and out of Bordeaux - we don't always go through Paris. So, in conjunction with my brother and his family visiting, we all went up to Paris on the tail end of their vacation.
It was only a 3 day trip, but we packed it full of the sights of Paris. My goal was to give my girl's a sense of the city..what it had to offer and how special it can be. We trained in and out on the TGV and that alone was an adventure for the girls. They have been on Amtrak trains before in New York - but never on a fast train like the TGV. They were amazed as we sped by cars on the Auto route and bulleted our way to Paris.
Once, we arrived at Gare Montparnasse, we walked to our hotel and got our bearings. We could see the Eiffel Tower in the distance from our hotel - it turned out to be a 30 minute walk which of course way the first thing we did that evening! I'm not sure who was the most mesmerized, the kids or the adults as we stood from afar at one end of the park and looked toward the Eiffel Tower - sparkling in all it's glory! Paris - we had arrived!!
So after going to bed close to midnight, the next morning, we were off to enjoy our first day in Paris. We opted to buy a 2 day pass on the L'Open Tour - Hop on Hop Off bus tour. This company had 5 loops that toured the city and at any stop you could get off and enjoy the area. We walked to Les Invalides and got on the Grand Tour Route. This route took us past all the great sights Place de La Concorde, L'Opera, L'eglise Madeleine, Le Louvre, Notre Dame, Musee D'Orsay, Champs Elysees, L'Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower.
I will do another post later with photos from each of the stops we got off...These first photos on this post are taken from my cell phone - (I haven't had time to go through my other camera yet.)
The Cafe in the Musee D'Orsay
Paris is nothing with out a little souvenir shopping.
View of the Louvre from the bus
Our morning breakfast..croissant, juice, hot chocolate for the kids and coffee for us!
On the second day, we stopped by a street market to pick up lunch for later - it was fun selecting the meats, cheeses and fresh fruits. Of course choosing dessert I think was the girl's favorite! Took it all to go, and enjoy later.
One of our first stops of the day was Printemps, the famous Parisian department store. My mother in law use to work there when my husband was small - so he has fond memories of the store, the restaurant and of course the view from the top! It was fun to look at all the Paris fashions and the girls enjoyed pointed out styles they liked and didn't on all the mannequins.
There was even a photo booth that took Hollywood glamour shots..a young model's delight!
Restaurant inside Printemps and then the view from the roof. Such a fun morning!
After our trip to Printemps we were off to Montmartre (via a different bus route which took us by the Opera, up some of the Grand Boulevards and then past the Moulin Rouge and finally to Montmartre). We stopped for ice cream of course and then headed up the hill! I think one of the things that surprised me the most, was the number of people! It was mobbed - It was fun to see but definitely one of the most crowded places we saw. We decided to let an artist sketch the 3 girls - a wonderful souvenir of our visit!
In my book, no trip to Paris is complete without a trip down the Seine. We decided on the famous Bateaux Mouches- a scenic trip at twilight. My youngest wasted no time chatting away with Australians who were on a tour of Europe.
The above photo is my girls intermixed with these fun young people from Australia! And of course another view of the Eiffel Tower was had from the boat!
We had fun enjoying various food in Paris - each night was a wonderful dining experience! Tiramisu
Smoked Salmon & avocado salad
Fun chocolate moose for the kids
Grilled duck with hearts of palm salad
After we checked out of the hotel on Sunday, we headed over to Jardins de Trocadero on the other side of the Seine from the Eiffel tower. It was a hot sunny day, nice enough to put our feet in the fountain. We also enjoyed meeting up with new friends - Growing Berries - it was a great afternoon!
So after 3 days, we headed back home...with our fill of Paris - Last night as I was putting the girls to bed, I asked them to tell me their favorite things about Paris -
Number 1 for each girl was THE EIFFEL TOWER - at night and during the day.
They also loved the Musee D'Orsay, Bateaux Mouches, and our time at Printemps. Shopping was also a hit - of course I have 3 little fashionistas!
I will share more impressions and photos in another post.