I want to Paris with my Mom and sister to celebrate my Mom’s 60th birthday. Her father is ½ French and ½ Belgium. His father came to American in 1902 when he was just 14 years old with a few of his family members to look for work. My sister visited France in 1988 while on a vacation with my grandparents but neither my Mom nor I had ever been. We surprised her with a trip of a lifetime!
We choose to stay in the 5th Arrondissement or Latin Quarter in a quaint boutique hotel called the Hotel du Levant. The room was cozy and charming and located on the top floor of the hotel. Luckily there was a teeny, tiny elevator that could hold one occupant and a suitcase. The room had a nice view of Notre Dame but the toilet was located in the closet in the bedroom. It suited our needs for the week since we were only there to sleep and shower.
Before heading to France we decided we would purchase the Paris Museum pass. I highly recommend this! I am not sure if we broke even or not, but the added advantage to this is skipping most lines which could save you hours. We bought ours at Versailles the morning of our first full day. You can choose between 2, 3, and 5 day passes but they must be used on sequential days. Most museums are included in the pass, but a few are not. Also, most of the museums take one day off so be sure to verify that the museum you want to see will be open on the day you need it to be. My sister and I made a spreadsheet to help us plan which tourist sites to see on which days. Our trip was a little more complicated because during the middle of the trip was a holiday where most of the museums were not open.
While in Paris we saw Versailles, The Louvre, Musee de Orsay, Eiffle Tower although we didn’t go up, Arc de Triomphe where we did go up, Monmartre and Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame, and a few other local sites.
On the holiday we took a bus tour to Giverny to visit the home of Claude Monet. We toured the beautiful gardens that inspired so many of his paintings as well as his home. It was also nice to get out of the city and see a little of the countryside.
As for transportation, we chose to ride the subway as much as we could. The price was rather cheap and it was easy to navigate. A few times we chose a cab to get us home quickly but my favorite was the Batobus. It’s the water taxi that makes a loop from one end of the Seine to the next and back.
The food was all that we had hoped for. From crepes to chocolate croissants and everything in between we enjoyed it. We were a little disappointed in their French fries so I guess us Americans improved upon that one.
Our week in Paris was very enjoyable from the food and friendliness to the beautiful scenery and historic landmarks. I will definitely plan another trip someday but this time I will take my husband.