Two Teens And Their Mama: Paris Is Always A Good Idea: Day One

Friday, October 21, 2016

Paris Is Always A Good Idea: Day One


Where to begin?  I guess it's always best to start at the beginning...

Flashback to eighth grade French, where my class name was Giselle.  I loved my teacher, and her exuberance for the language and everything about French culture rubbed off on me.  She spoke romantically of Paris, showing us slides of her own visits to the City of Light.  Way back in 1980, my dream to see Paris for myself was born.

Over the last 36 years, I may or may not have shared that dream a thousand times with anyone who would listen.

So with major changes looming, and my husband knowing I would be sad, he hatched a plan to distract me by fulfilling my dream with an empty nest adventure.  A kick off party for the next phase of our lives.  For two years he shared the secret with only a few others, until the day we were driving home after dropping T off at college.

When he handed me the travel guide to Paris and said we'd be leaving in two weeks, I kind of panicked.  You can't plan a trip of a lifetime in fourteen days!  But I quickly got over myself, and decided to go with the flow and embrace the unknown.


On September 8th, ready or not, we boarded the plane for the ten hour flight from Seattle to Paris. I had books, chocolate, and my baby blardigan.  I was prepared!  We arrived the next morning to a warm, sunny day. As we drove away from the airport, I excitedly looked around for my first "French" sighting.  What I got instead was a huge Ikea.  I guess the French like their Swedish meatballs too.

An hour later, we pulled up to our charming apartment in the Montmartre district.  As per usual, I forgot to take any pictures inside, but you can see some on the VRBO listing here.  It was a simple one bedroom unit with a small kitchen and bathroom, but the large terrace overlooking the neighborhood was the main draw. The merchants nearby were friendly and helpful (and cheerfully put up with our terrible French), and it was a short walk to the Metro.


With jet lag setting in, and the bed looking way too comfy, we knew we had to get outside and start walking and exploring.

The Montmartre neighborhood is located north of Paris in the 18th arrondissement, and is home to the Moulin Rouge, a busy artist's enclave, and the Basilica du Sacre-Coeur.


Sacre-Coeur was the first of many beautiful churches we would see on our trip, although this one is a relative newbie for Paris, built in the late 1800's.



We were getting hungry, so we set off down the hill to find my friend Whitney's favorite cafe, L'ete en pente douce.  Success!  And so delicious.  I cannot remember what I ate, but I know it was good.


After lunch we wandered around Montmartre for hours, looking at all the little shops.  Paris literally has a store for everything.  One poor guy was working at the diaper store, a tiny shop with diapers stacked to the ceiling.

Because it's on a hill, there are stairs everywhere.  Aaaaannnd...my husband on the phone.  You can't really get away when you own a small business.


Eventually we ended up at the top of the hill again, and stopped to take in the stunning view of the city.  But I still hadn't found the piece de resistance, the thing I'd been waiting 36 years to see for myself.  La Tour Eiffel.


The emotion and jet lag finally caught up with me as we rounded the corner and there she was. I burst into happy tears, staring at Eiffel and thinking about all that had happened to get me to this very moment in my life.  I couldn't believe I was really there.

And with that, my hubby declared the day done.  We stopped at a boulangerie for some bread, a fromagerie for cheese, and headed back to our apartment, exhausted and excited and ready for sleep by 8pm.


Stay tuned for day two to find out where we went next on our Paris adventure.  Hint:  everywhere!

37 comments:

  1. Oh Lana, a dream come true!! You look so relaxed and happy!!!! Such a peaceful bliss..like Wow, I'm really here!! I cannot wait to see more of the adventures you share!! Have a weekend as lovely and sweet as you are!!

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    1. Thank you Andrea! I'm not sure if it was relaxation or exhaustion :)!

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  2. How special that your husband had been planning the trip for two years! Your photos are beautiful! Looking forward to seeing more of your recap!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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    1. Thank you Jill. I couldn't believe he'd kept the secret for two years!

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  3. I'd been looking forward to these recaps : )

    The little spot you found to stay is lovely!

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. It was the perfect little apartment!

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  4. Love this!! And your apartment is soooo cute. Brings me back to my grad school days.

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    1. I would love to see pics from your time in Paris!

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  5. Hi Lana, how lucky to have a wonderful husband to take you on that fun trip to Paris. I can't wait to read more and look at the lovely photos! :)

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    1. Thank you Julie. I can't wait to share them!

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  6. I cried the first time I saw La Tour Eiffel too! And I still get teary when I take friends and students to see it the first time. Seeing the wonder on their faces is priceless. And I'm also really happy that you ate at my favorite cafe :)

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    1. Thanks so much for the recommendation. I was so proud of myself that I found it!

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  7. I cried when I saw the Eiffel! So much fun that you were able to go and live a dream!

    http://www.mylittlenest.org

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  8. Your husband is so sweet to plan this special trip for the two of you. I remember the exact thoughts in my mind the first time I saw the Eiffel tower and the first time I saw it was at night and it was ALL lit up. It really is so beautiful. Can't wait to read more about your trip!!!!!!! Isn't international travel with Invisalign THE BEST (not!). ha!!!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

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    1. Thanks Carrie. It was such a thrilling moment. And yes, travelling with Invisalign was such a pain!

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  9. What a fantastic trip and hubby! I am sure that facing an empty nest with a caring, thoughtful husband like yours makes a HUGE difference. Mine is nothing like that but I will spare you that tale. I have never had a desire to go to Paris but I felt your emotion and enthusiasm come through in your writing and even I got excited. :) Thanks for the visit at Empty Nest! I'll be visiting you often!

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    1. I'm so glad you stopped by! Looking forward to getting to know you better!

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  10. I love travel adventures!
    I love that you can't remember what you ate at that great restaurant.
    I'm so curious about a diaper store! Were they disposable diapers or cloth ones? Intriguing!

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    1. Boxes of disposable diapers stacked all the way to the ceiling! I don't know why I can't remember what I ate - I think I was too tired!

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  11. Your husband has a sweet way of making all your dreams come true. I love this for you friend!

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  12. Your husband is the best!!! How wonderful that he had been planning this adventure for the two of you just at the right time! You got to see a lot on your first day in Paris!

    Andrea
    Andrea’s Wellness Notes

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    1. We did see a lot - trying to stay awake!

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  13. Oh, yaya, I have been looking forward to these posts!

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  14. How wonderful! How great is your husband! I guess some people don't care for Paris but not me. I love Paris. I went the first time when I was traveling through Europe with a friend and vowed I'd come back when I could really afford it and not sleep in cheap student digs. Fast forward 20+ years and I brought my husband and he too loved it!

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    1. I loved it so much. I can't wait to go back someday!

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  15. How fantastic! Gold star for one thoughtful husband. Looking forward to next instalment.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, he gets many gold stars!

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  16. What a fun trip! I love Paris! Thanks for sharing it with us!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and reading!

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  17. I burst into happy tears reading about YOU bursting into happy tears! What a guy! Sounds a bit like something my guy would do. I like him already...

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    1. Aww...thanks Sheila. He's definitely a keeper!

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  18. Oh my goodness! What a fun first day! I was near tears just reading this and how happy you were!

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  19. What an amazing man! I am so happy for you. I know that feeling. I have pictures of the Eiffel Tower everywhere! I can't wait to read more, but nobody deserved a trip like this more than you!

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  20. Wow, how exciting for you! Can't wait to read more.

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