Six Days in Paris

Six days in Paris.. it almost seems like a dream. M had a conference in Luxembourg and a few months ago asked if I wanted to join him for the weekend. The kids were going to be out of school, the in laws were going to be here so I said sure. Some time passed and nothing was really confirmed. My sister in law wanted to go on a kid free trip and asked if the in laws visited her over the summer. We said sure. More time went by the the Luxembourg talk started again. We thought to add the kids to the trip since they had never been and maybe do a few days in Paris. The dates were really close the the 4th of July. M said he could squeeze in a couple more vacation days if I wanted to turn this little weekend things into a full on trip. We decided we would stay in Paris and M would commute to Luxembourg a mere 2 hour train ride. 

I was really late to planning the trip. Finding a hotel was very difficult. Seems like Paris was the place to be this summer and almost everything was booked. In the end we had to stay in the 13 arrondissement, a little away from the center of things but once we were there it was no problem at all the Paris metro system is amazing and everything felt very close.

Monday night we took a red eye flight in Charles De Gaulle. Thankfully there were no delays and we arrived at our hotel around noon. Our rooms were ready early (this is my favorite thing to hear when we arrive at a hotel before check in) We went up, freshened up and hit the streets!

Day One

We started with a late breakfast of pastries from Carl Marletti. We ordered the lemon tart and a chocolate eclair. 


Unfortunately D has an assortment of allergies especially to nuts and we learned very quickly that many Parisian pastries have nuts in them :(

We walked through Rue Mouffetard which we found a bit underwhelming and then took our first Metro towards the Eiffel Tower. It was a very easy process and by the end of the day the boys were leading the way. 

Side note: Covid and masking did not seem to be a big concern of the French. We were at times packed in the metro like sardines and not a mask in sight. 

Once we departed the Metro we first needed a bite to eat. We grabbed a pizza at La Commanderie. They had this great chili oil to drizzle over the pizza which I want to attempt to make at some point. 



Next stop Rue Cler, a bustling market street. So many more yummy things to eat. It was a toss up between macarons and ice cream. Amarino's ice cream won, it was such a hot day. 


Afterwards we slowly made our way towards the Eiffel Tower. Some of the area was under construction. The Eiffel Tower was getting repainted. We took some pictures from the gardens and then crossed the bridge and took some pictures from Tracadero Gardens.



Here's a pic of baby us from back in 2009 when we first went to Paris.



Sunset at the time was 10pm.. it was close to 8pm when we took these pictures! Afterwards we grabbed a metro back to our hotel and went to a local Chinese restaurant Di-Choulie. Another Paris thing we noticed, air conditioning is not very common. Most restaurants we went to had open windows and no air conditioning.. so you never really got a break from the heat. We Americans are used to blasting air conditioning everywhere. 

Day Two

So the jet lag made it difficult for us to sleep until midnight and we struggled with waking up in the morning. But M had no choice as he had to wake up early early and head to Luxembourg. I set an alarm for 9am and dragged the kids out of bed as we had reserved tickets to The Centre Pompidou for 11am. We had a quick bite to eat at Florent Toupin - Boulanger Bio (some of these names are so long). Here the lady behind the counter spoke no English and the bakery offered no coffee. So we grabbed some croissants, nothing memorable. 

Thank God I reserved all tickets online in advance because the wait outside the museum was long! We breezed right though.





Museums are a tricky thing with kids. I will not pretend that my kids are super cultured and love museums. They complained constantly until they would find a piece that interested them, then they would spend minutes in front of it entranced and then immediately go back to complaining. 

When we wrapped with the museum in the late afternoon we called it a day and headed back to the hotel to relax till M came home. When he did, we went our for dinner at La Mexico and then followed it up with dessert crepes at Creperie Little Breizh. 




Day Three

Day three was a rainy day.. we had seen the forecast earlier and moved up our trip to Lourve so that we could spend most of the rainy day indoors. I had once again reserved our tickets online in advance so that we did not need to stand in a long line in the rain. I had also discovered that entering from the Pyramid was a bad idea as it was the most famous hence busiest entrances. Instead we entered from the mall (which I didn't even know existed) and the line was very short and quick. But before the museum we had breakfast at Terres De Cafe. 


We got a slice of apple, banana chocolate chip and my favorite carrot cake bread. D couldn't have any of the carrot cake (allergies) but it was the best of all three breads. Even H who cringed at the sound of carrot in a cake had to admit it was delicious. 

Then off to the museum. Knowing the the kids may find it oh so boring I created a scavenger hunt for them. Something basic like find a fruit bowl, a headless woman, a flag, something that starts with the first letter of their name and their favorite of course butts!

                  

The Louvre is massive and I didn't want to spend the whole day there, but I also didn't want to miss out on seeing anything important. So again I did some research. The Louvre is split into 3 wings, Denon, Sully and Richelieu. Denon is where the most famous pieces are. So we started there and ventured into Sully to see Venus De Milo and into Richlelieu for some sculptures and the Islamic section which was in a completely different sub section. 






The Mona Lisa - the crowds around her very insane. And we wondered out loud with the kids if everyone came to see her because they liked the painting or because it was 'the' thing to do. And how it's okay to not do something just because everyone else is doing it or loving it. It evolved into a conversation about peer pressure and we all agreed the the vegetable man below was way more interesting than the Mona Lisa, sorry Da Vinci. 




The rain had finally died down so we left the museum.


We headed to Rue Montigruil - great street with tons of food options.


We started with lunch at Riha Durum a Khurdish sandwich shop. It was very heavy on the parsley which I was not a fan of.
 

And then the very famous pastries from Stohrer. Nom nom. D still had a very limited selection to choose from as 99% of the pastries had some sort of nuts in them. :(
 



We bought some coffee from Starbucks, it was nice to get a nice American size of coffee. Bought some chocolates from La Mere Da Famile and then continued to wander through Rue Montamare. All lovely streets, hustling and bustling. We stopped at Osteria Ruggera for dinner. 




                   

and ended the day with delectable choux from Odette. 

Day Four

We started day four with breakfast at Jozi Cafe near the Pantheon. There was a bit of a wait and it was absolutely worth it. 




We walked along the Seine, perused the bouquinistes and then crossed the bridge into Ile de la Cite.


The Notre Dame Cathedral still under renovations.



A baby us outside of Notre Dame in 2009. I always laugh at this photo because it looks like M has held me hostage, arm behind my back. Lol. 


After the Notre Dame we visited Shakespeare and Company and The Abbey Bookshop. There were no pictures allowed inside Shakespeare and Company and they were limiting the amount of people entering the shop. The Abbey on the other hand seemed was overflowing with books.. literally could die buried under them. Not a horrible way to go.

We do not give the boys an allowance of any sort but on trips we give them spending money. They choose how to spend it with our guidance and any leftovers rolls over into the next vacation. They bought books. :)


We had lunch at La Bucherie.. the service was very spotty. And I am now struggling to remember what we even ate.. burgers maybe?


We walked through the streets of Cr du Commerce Saint-André and Rue De Buci and many in between. Rue Seine was full of little art galleries.


We stopped for some pastries at Aux Merveilleux de Fred. They are known for these cream whipped fluffy meringues covered with flakes or crumbs. 

We also spotted a Pierre Herme Boutique and had to get some macarons. They had the most unique flavors. We tried the lychee raspberry, the wasabi, blackcurrant, and strawberry mint.  


We strolled through the Luxembourg Gardens and realized that French gardens contain very little grass and more pathways lines with trees and shrubs and they don't have many playgrounds, the boys were especially disappointed by this.

We ended the night with dinner at Le Choupinet. 


Day Five

We started the morning as usual by grabbing a metro to a new area to have breakfast. Today's restaurant of choice turned out to be reservations only so we had to wing it and stumbled upon Dunkerque which had a delicious breakfast. 




The one oddity we experienced was that when H ordered a lemonade we got 1/4 a glass full of pure lemon juice and were provided with water and sugar to make our own. 

Sacre Coeur was on today's agenda.


We strolled down to Place du Tertre a small square full of painters and cafes. And then continued down to Rue Norvins and Rue de l'Abreuvoir.


On our way to the metro we stopped at Jeff de Bruges to buy some more chocolates. Then we headed to The Parc des Buttes Chaumont. But first lunch. We stopped for some good old southern food at Gumbo Yaya and it was finger lickin good. 



Next The Parc des Buttes Chaumont. It was a lovely sprawling park, hilly with a suspension bridge, a lake, waterfall and grass! We spent some time just sitting, kids again a little disappointed there was no playground. Afterwards we hit up another park, Parc de Belleville that promised a great view of the Eiffel Tower. It was not not good. It seemed more like a place where young people came to drink. There was a ton of graffiti everywhere and the view was unimpressive. Below the supposed lookout there was a nicer garden where people were sunbathing but it was not worth the trip. 


Last stop Canal St. Martin. It was a cool neighborhood with a bunch of restaurants. But it had been a long day and I think everyone was just a tad tired now. We were walking an average of 20,000 steps a day. We had pizza at Acqua e Farina. The pizza we had on our first day at La Commanderie was better. 

Day Six

Our last full day had arrived. We had donuts and coffee for breakfast at Besties Bakery.



And then headed to Galeries Lafayette Haussmann. A fancy mall with a a gorgeous ceiling and a breathtaking view. This was true on all counts. 




We were set to explore of Paris' passages. The covered passages of Paris were an early form of shopping arcades. The oldest one the Passage de Panoramas built in 1799. 

Right outside of Passage Jouffroy we spotted a Neko Ramen and couldn't resist.




Then we explored both Passage Jouffroy and Passage de Panoramas. 


Our last stop was Champs-Élysées and Arc de Triomphe. It was a hot day and there just happened to be a parade going on in the street. After much Googling we discovered it was The Tropical Carnival of Paris. So it was even louder and more crowded than ever.



We went up all the many many steps up to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, all 284 of them. 





We ended the day with some burgers at Butcher. The service was not great. The server messed up our orders then overcharged us and then instead of refunding the extra charge they claimed the machine wouldn't allow it and tried to give us a bunch of water bottles or juice bottles instead. 

Day Seven

The last morning we thankfully got a text message early in the morning that our 1pm flight was delayed an hour so we basically went right back to sleep. With all the horror stories we were hearing about flight delays and long long lines we were still a little apprehensive and wanted to get to the airport early. We had our last parisian breakfast and bid Paris farewell.


Thankfully our flight was on time but when we arrived at Newark the airport was full and we had to wait on the runway for over an hour before our plane got a place to pull in. But it could have been worse.  

This will be my last post for a while.. we have a few more adventures planned for this summer so I will see you all in September now. Enjoy the rest of your summer my friends. 
       
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Comments

Jennifer said…
Looks like you had an amazing time! I love Paris!

Jennifer
Curated by Jennifer
rooth said…
Y'all are so brave for doing a Europe trip this summer. I've heard the nightmare stories about travel there. Glad you had such a good time
Wow! What a fab trip -- the food, the art, the sights! Looks like you had a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing all these amazing photos! Enjoy the rest of your summer too!
Kelly said…
What a fantastic trip and so many great photos!! I'm really glad it all went well. I got tickled at the thought of eating TexMex in Paris. :)

Enjoy your next adventure!
Sugar Lane said…
Paris is always such a dream, specially if you share it with your loved ones!
Have a great week,
S
What a fantastic time you had! The photos you took with your kids were especially fun. I like how you ate a little bit of everything while you were in Paris.
Sounds like you had an amazing time in Paris, packing in lots of culture and yummy food! Loved the photos of baby M and you!
Surprised about the non-masking of the French and their apparent nonchalant view on Covid. France is actually one of the only EU country which still requires vaccination certificates. In fact, on our return from the UK, as we were travelling on the shuttle to Calais, we had to supply these even if we were only driving through France towards the Belgian border for half an hour! xxx
Debbie said…
i read every word with so much wonder, i have never been to paris. first, your boys are so lucky to have experienced this and second, the food, oh the food, the white pizza was my favorite!!

you captured and cataloged the trip very well. how kind of m's boss to exchange out the first class airline ticket, i'm sure that was a great financial help with this trip. i have 2 sons, less than a year apart, they did not like museums either!! and i never understood the mona lisa either?? scavenger hunt was an awesome idea, it looks like they did have some fun there!!

i really enjoyed the picture of you 2 from back in the day. i'm not sure which young one was "licking" the tower but that was a fabulous idea!!

i could go on and on...what an awesome trip!!

Christine said…
Thanks for sharing this wonderful dream trip with us!
so much yummy food! - now I'm starving!
Tamara said…
Amazing! What a beautiful reflection on a memory of a lifetime. Thank you for sharing your holiday with us in #ParisinJuly. Your photos are classic summer time in Paris memories.
Mae Travels said…
You really hit the high points on a tourist agenda for Paris! Too bad the kids don't like museums, but I don't think any kids like them.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

What a fabulous trip! My sister just got back from Paris and loved it too! The food just looks incredible!

https://www.kathrineeldridge.com
Wow! Wonderful Paris post!
A travel log to remember
Have a wonderful Summer
Emmylou said…
Would love to go back to Paris someday, but in the meantime, Imma just gonna leave vicariously through this post:D Love seeing the 2009 pics too:D
What a fabulous trip! Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos. I especially enjoyed seeing you two back in 2009.
Veronica Lee said…
Looks like you had a wonderful time!

Incredible photography as always, Hena.
Lovely said…
Looks like you had a wonderful time in Paris. Lovely to see these pics from your trip.
xoxo
Lovely
www.mynameislovely.co
Gosh all that delicious food! What a lovely trip!
What an interesting trip! It would be fun to try all those different types of food. Especially all those pastries!
Oh, I loved going on this trip with you through your post! I stood in many of the same places a few years ago. It looks like you all had a wonderful time.
Lisbeth said…
What a wonderful trip, and how many things you managed to visit. I like your old photos to compare. Special for Notre Dame of course. I also love the picture of your son licking the Eiffel tower.
Mary Kirkland said…
Wow, sure looks like you all has a good time there. I would be tasting and sampling all kinds of food and desserts. Everything looked so good.
Wow, such a wonderful trip! I loved seeing the "baby" pics of you and your hubby from your first trip to Paris interspersed with the new family photos.
I loved my time in Paris! Wishing I were back there now!
Lory said…
Thanks for all the wonderful pictures, I'm glad you had a good time in spite of some subpar expereinces. Kids and museums -- it is a problem! We feel like we have to expose our son to culture sometimes in spite of the complaints, but we try not to overdo it.
Red Rose Alley said…
What a wonderful time in Paris! The food looks amazing. Even a single cup of coffee looks good. That pink bakery looks charming. Is that a chicken sandwich? - it looks delicious with the cheese dripping from the sides. The macarons look Yummy too. Jess finally learned to master the art of making them. I love all the alleys that are shown in these pictures, and the quaint cafes. And that pink shirt he's wearing is so cool.

~Sheri
Heather Noire said…
It is one of my favourite cities in Europe besides Italy, to travel to and see. Your post is so chic and brings out the best in your holiday and in Paris as a beautiful city.
https://www.bauchlefashion.com/2022/07/why-bright-green-is-this-summers.html
I'm so happy to see that you had amazing time in Paris.
Amy Johnson said…
Wow! 6 days in Paris. What a dream. The food looks amazing, especially the macaroons.
Looks like a fabulous trip! Your description of your boys in the museums reminds me of when we were in Amsterdam with my then 11-year old son, who did a bunch of complaining, too. All of your food pictures are making me salivate! Enjoy the rest of summer!
I love Paris and can't wait to go back! It looks like you had a wonderful vacation!

Jill - Doused in Pink
awhite said…
What a dream trip! I love that you included the throwback shot and that you got to bring the kids and show them the city! So many memories.

-Ashley
https://lestylorouge.com
Sakuranko said…
Oh thanks for share all these good photos

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