Saturday, September 22, 2018

Finally-Recapping Our Trip of a Lifetime Vacation-Part 1

We have been back for four weeks now and I'm just finally getting to sorting and organizing pictures and mementos. I'm a little frustrated at DH's lack of organization. We can't seem to find the very first SD card he shot pictures with and I know he has some really good ones. I. I found his second SD car buried with a few from about a decade ago! I didn't marry him for his attention to details. DD1 will share her pics as well and when DS come at Christmas, I'm sure he'll have a slew of edited ones that we can pick from. For those that hate vacation recaps, sorry, and move on by. I'm also sorry for the quality of photos. 

We left on Sunday, August 12th with a short layover in Philadelphia. DS had a long layover in Detroit from LA, then arrived over two hours before us. He fortunately slept on the plane better than we all did so waited for us in the hotel bar adjacent to the hotel first with a coffee then a beer. We easily found a cab that took us to our Air BNB apartment. The apartment was perfect-just across the river from the Eiffel Tower, lovely neighborhood to walk each morning to the bakery and very close to a metro. It was unfortunately on a loud street and the heat made us have windows open. That and Japanese style mattress meant sleeping was not always the best for DH and I, but we managed.

The view from our Air BNB Dining room window.
Picture from Trocadero Square.

Day one then was a mix of just exploring our surroundings taking in the Eiffel Tower, Trocadero Square, the island in the Seine that ends at the mini Statue of liberty. We ate a lunch dinner combination of cheese, fruit, meats, and bread after getting some supplies from a grocery store just a 15 minute walk away. but later found a crepe restaurant recommended by our hosts for a later dinner/desert. We were all pretty beat, but wanted to see not only the Eiffel lit up, but wanted to see it twinkle.

On Tuesday, both DH and I slept much later than intended, but I guess we needed it. Once up, we headed to Sacre Couer, a beautiful cathedral in the neighborhood of Mont Martre. After grabbing some street food sandwiches, good, but as we were to learn, not nearly good enough considering all the delicious bread, cheese, veg and fruit we would be eating. Once you climb up the stairs to the cathedral, you actually come to another neighborhood that we just loved with interesting streets and stunning views. We explored a smaller, yet still beautiful church and the neighborhood before getting in line for Sacre Couer, which didn't take long at all. We had a breaks with drinks at a cafe and did some people watching before heading back to our part of Paris and exploring the opposite side of the Eiffel tower. The architecture everywhere was stunning. We had a later dinner at an Italian restaurant in walking distance of our apartment, and then saw the lights before crashing exhausted. 
Sacre Coeur-So beautiful.

DD2 took this of me in a mirror that was on a building.

She took this of DS, who sat down to get a great shot of the cute pink house.

We loved the streets of Mont Martre and cafe's.

Day three found us using the first day of the two day museum pass. I think we maybe broke even buying the Paris pass, but I would not recommend getting it in the future. The way the pass works sounds great, free admission etc., but you still have to wait in lines to show the pass often to exchange for a ticket, and unless you go on a very low tourist, you can't possibly see more than 2-3 museums in a day with any intention, and it has to be used back to back. The Paris Pass had more limited things, but we were able to spread that out later in the week, but everything seems to be classified as a museum. I'd suggest just preordering tickets on line for things you want to see and want to prepay for in advance. I digress, but it is an important lesson-tip I wanted to share. anyway, we went to Notre Dame and climbed the tower. We had a delicious three course lunch for 10 Euros each. We went to the crypt museum, and then, the Louvre.
Notre Dame

I can picture Quasimoto swinging from the bells as he rang them.

The view of Paris from the top of the Notre Dame Tower.

For Sue, the Louvre was phenomenal, but so crowded. Here is where the Paris pass was helpful as we skipped lines, but had we ordered on line, we could have done that too. We did go to the packed Mona Lisa, felt we had to, and then spent more time in Greek and Egypt art and history. We only had a few hours before closing, so too much of a whirlwind, and we were all pretty spent by then. I will never under estimate access to clean and plentiful toilets. We spent way to much time in line in the Louvre for that. DS and DD2 got a snap shot of th Emona Lisa and some other things inside, but I don't have anything on my camera and this would be on DH's first SD card.  
A horrible Louvre pyramid pictures. Other family members got better pics.

The arch that starts te entrance tot he Louvre

All in all, our first three days were a mix of wonder, lines, excitement, heat, and some crabbiness, but I look back, and I still hardly believe we were really there. Days four, five and six will come soon which include Versaille, Luxembourg gardens and wine tasting, and random activities that were a hit. A bientot! 

The bridges and the Seine-incredibly scenic, and all around our apartment.


  1. Thanks for sharing. I love traveling through other's trips and especially appreciate the Paris Pass tip. TheHub's family is from France and we do plan a trip there after he retires.

    1. You'll have insiders knowledge perhaps. There are so many things I learned that next time, and I plan there to be a next time, I'll be better prepared.

  2. Personally, I love vacation recaps! I don't know that I will ever make it to Europe so I will live vicariously through your travels and photos. :)

    1. Don't say never, but then maybe there are other places you'd rather go. I'm happy to share my experiences.

  3. Thanks for the memories- we went to Paris 29 year ago LOL. We took our 2 teens and 2 year old daughter (she's 31 now so why I remember the exact year). We also went to London. It was the trip of a lifetime for us too. Youngest daughter went back last year and had a Christmas card of GD romping in front of the Eiffel Tower. I'm glad you had such a nice time!

    1. Lovely! Our older daughter went to grad school just outside London so we got to visit her four years ago. I'd love to go again with future grandkids.

  4. It sounds like you had a great time. The best photo is DS sitting in the street in front of the pink house, made me laugh.:-)

    1. We have several photos of each other taking photo's.

  5. I loved this. I'm glad you had a lovely time and I'm not surprised you were sleepy and a bit crabby - it's a long way for you to come! Bring on more travel photos and stories, I can never get enough of them.
    Despite its proximity I've only visited Paris twice, the first time to stay with an ex-flatmate who was living in Bobigny, a mostly African suburb. I'll never forget going to Senegalese and Congolese nightclubs and being treated like a treasured guest.
    Years later I won a competition in a trade magazine and got first class flights and a weeks accommodation in a posh hotel on the Champs Elysee. Jon and I were broke at the time and it couldn't have been more perfectly timed. I found an amazing book called Pauper's Paris (no doubt hopelessly out of date these days) with loads of suggestions for free/cheap things to do which was a godsend until we ended up stumbling into the Moulin Rouge after one vin rouge too many and were charged £60 for two glasses of cognac...oops! xxx

    1. Great story. We balanced thrift and a few splurges. Had we not had our original blip, it would have been almost a bargain.


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