Parental Visit: Paris

My parents and I spent two nights in Paris, but they weren’t consecutive; we went there from Nice and spent one night, then spent a day and night in Normandy (that’ll be the next post), and then back to Paris for one more day and night before heading to London.

We took the express bus to the airport in Nice, then flew EasyJet (a budget airline) to Paris.  We took the RER train into Paris, which took longer than expected due to a strange 15-minute-delay of sitting on the tracks partway there, and then we went to find our hostel.  We got a free upgrade to a private three-bedroom room (WOO-HOO!), dropped off our stuff, and then headed out to explore the city.  The first place we went was Sacre Coeur, which is somewhere I’ve never been before and is in the Montmartre section of Paris, not far from our hotel.  It’s a huge church on top of a hill with an amazing view of the city.

Dad standing in front of the Sacre Coeur church.

Dad standing in front of the Sacre Coeur church.

You could even seen the Eiffel Tower from a bit farther back.  Mom and Dad’s first glimpse!

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There were also Christmas markets nearby, where Mom and Dad got their first taste of “boules”- exact translation, balls, but much more tasty than the name would have you  believe.  They’re chocolate-covered meringues with a biscuit bottom in different flavors, and you can buy them at basically all the Christmas markets.  They look like this.

After that, we took the Metro to the Champs-Elysees, where the Arc de Triomphe is.  Mom and especially Dad were in awe of how big it was!

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After that, we continued walking down the Champs-Elysees sightseeing until we reached la Place de la Concorde, where there were Christmas markets and a Ferris Wheel set up, much like in Nice.  I kept calling it the “Paris Wheel.”  Haha PUNNY!

The obelisk from the Place de la Concorde and the Paris Wheel.

The obelisk from the Place de la Concorde and the Paris Wheel.

We walked through the Christmas markets continuing on our way to the Louvre.

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After that, we walked to the Pont des Arts, the bridge with all the locks on it that I’ve mentioned before.  It’s right next to the Louvre.  Mom and Dad were super cute and put a lock on the bridge then threw the key into the Seine together.

Putting the lock on the bridge (they had put their names on it before leaving home).

Putting the lock on the bridge (they had put their names on it before leaving home).

Tossing the key into the river together.

Tossing the key into the river together.

Posing with their lock.

Posing with their lock.

Side note: I went back to Paris a couple days after my parents left and found the lock with my friend Chelsea!!  But more on that trip later.

While we were there, we saw the Eiffel Tower sparkle for the first time.  I had read online that it sparkled for the first five minutes every hour after dark, and it turned out to be true!!  So pretty.  The pictures of it from the Pont des Arts aren’t so good, but I’ll include some later.  After the bridge, we made our way back to a Metro stop, where we took the train back to our hotel for the evening.  The next morning, we woke up early and took the train to Normandy (next post!!).  We spent the whole day and one night there, then the following morning we headed back to Paris on the train.

We dropped our stuff at the same hostel then took the Metro to the Pere Lachaise Cemetery, where some famous people are buried.  We saw the graves of Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, and Frederic Chopin, but I didn’t take many pictures since I had already been there.

Chopin's grave.  I had actually not been to this one before!

Chopin’s grave. I had actually not been to this one before!

Dad next to Jim Morrison’s grave.

Don't bother asking about the doo rag- I didn't :)

Don’t bother asking about the doo rag- I didn’t 🙂

After that, we went to an area on the map that Mom thought looked interesting; I had never been there before!  There was a lot of upscale shopping (read: LOTS of people) and the Paris Opera House and music school.  After awhile we headed to the Eiffel Tower, because we had tickets to go to the top.  I had actually never been to the actual Eiffel Tower before, only seen it from a distance, so I was REALLY excited!  It was every bit as beautiful as I expected.

SO SPARKLY!!

SO SPARKLY!!

Family pic.

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First we took the elevator to the second stage, and got off and looked at the view and took some pictures.  By then, it was dark, so we were looking over the city at night- my favorite!!

From the second stage- see the Arc de Triomphe on the left side??

From the second stage- see the Arc de Triomphe on the left side??

We then waited in line foreeeeever to take another elevator to the top.  Totally worth it though.

Second stage too.  The big glowy thing above my left ear is the Paris Wheel (that joke will never get old).

Second stage too. The big glowy thing above my left ear is the Paris Wheel (that joke will never get old).

Family pic from the very tippy top.  The elevator to get up there was kinda scary, since the walls were glass and you could see all the way down, but it wasn’t bad once we got to the top!  Just windy.

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Everything was so small from the very top, but you could still tell what it was.

The Arc de Triomphe and the spotlight thing that shines from the top of the Tower.

The Arc de Triomphe and the spotlight thing that shines from the top of the Tower.

After we were sufficiently cold and windblown, we headed back down; again, it took awhile!  But we all LOVED going to the top; I’m so glad I decided to get tickets.  It was definitely in the top 2 favorite things we did for all three of us.

One more family pic from the bottom.  Thanks for being a good sport with my selfies, guys.

One more family pic from the bottom. Thanks for being a good sport with my selfies, guys.

After we got down, we ate some dinner at a little outdoor place near the Eiffel Tower; we could actually see it from where we were eating!  It was then that I realized that I COMPLETELY forgot to take any pictures of Emmy while we were up there; she was even in my bag the whole time!!  I apologized to her and told her we would come back with Nick 🙂

Luckily, she forgave me.

Luckily, she forgave me.

After that, we headed back to the hostel to get some sleep.  The following morning, we saw a few more things around Paris before leaving for London.  We went and saw the Bastille (big column that’s a war memorial), la Place des Vosges (a park), le Marais (fashion district), Notre Dame (big church), and the Hotel de Ville (town hall).  I didn’t really take any pictures of these places since I had been there before.  With all the things we did, we didn’t make it to the train station in time to catch our Eurostar train (using the Chunnel) to London!  As I mentioned here, you really do have to get there half an hour ahead of time, unlike other trains when they tell you to be there two minutes ahead of time, in order to go through security and customs and all that.  But it turned out to be okay; we didn’t have anything to be in London for that afternoon, so we just caught the next train there.  Learning experience, at least!  But I’ll get into the train ride and our time in London a bit later, after the post on Normandy, which will be next!

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Categories: Travels | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Parental Visit: Paris

  1. Dad

    A whirlwind trip!

  2. Clarette

    So much to take in. How wonderful it must be to see it all in person. I really like the family pic with you all standing at the base and that gorgous blue sky is in the background.

  3. Gloria

    Like like like!!!! How wonderful to share all of this with your parents!!!!

  4. Sacre Coeur is one of my favorite places: it has been the site of continual prayer 24/7 for over 50 years, and is one of the few churches / cathedrals where it feels like a place of worship, not a tourist attraction. If you happen to get into Notre Dame during choir practice, it also is a reverent experience. Very cool. The locks are a really new thing, and the city is considering cutting them all down… but I think it is wonderful!

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