We took the red-eye on Thursday night and arrived in the City of Lights early Friday morning. Did we get business-class upgrades?? Yes!!! Makes a red-eye a teeny bit exciting and ALLLL of the traveling Brian does seem okay for just those few cushy hours up in the air. I could totally (but won't ever get the chance in this life) get used to flying like that. ;) . Our friend, Dallin had a room at the Marriott by the Champs Elysees, where we unloaded our luggage and grabbed a quick breakfast before he and Brian headed out for work meetings together. I snuck in a quick nap and shower and then headed out to explore by myself for the day. Naturally, I did some things that I could never do when we traveled here with our kids....museum hopping! I visited the Musee de l'Orangerie to see Monet's famous Water Lilies first. Stunning. I loved sitting quietly and soaking in the massive impressionist panels in the rooms dedicated solely to this work. I loved walking all over the Tuilerie Gardens and seeing the famous Louvre, which I passed on this time, having seen it when we visited a couple of years ago. I snuck in a few shops and even took a few minutes to sit down and enjoy an almond croissant, my favorite! Then I wandered back to meet Brian as he finished up his meetings.
And, that is why you will see actual photos of what we did next. Wishing I was a talented photographer is just that, a wish. So, until Brian tags along, there will not be many pictures of what I did before we met up. We walked through the Tuileries again and along the Seine River and over to the Latin Quarter, where we ate a traditional French dinner in the most cozy and charming corner. I totally fell in love with French architecture on this trip. I don't know why I wasn't so enamored with it when we've gone here before, but on this trip I simply could not get enough! I love this city so so so much.
Quick walk-by of Notre Dame- still can't get over how beautiful and HUGE this church is. Love the pop-up shops (the original pop-ups!) all along the Seine.
We slept in way too late the next morning, but still managed to sneak in a run through the streets and gardens where we stayed, near the Place de la Concorde. The weather on this trip was something else- perfection that just solidified my new-found love for this city. We showered, grabbed a quick lunch and headed to a macaron class in Montmarte that we were able to get reservations in by the "skin of our teeth", as my mom would say :). The pictures above, are from our walk around Montmarte and we happened to run into this wall (which appeared to be insta-famous because there were TONS of people there) which has "I Love You" written in every language.
Back to that macaron class...this was seriously the best!! I love baking, so to be able to do it in Paris whilst making their specialty macarons=highlight of the trip! It was a small class and we learned a ton and were able to make and take home 3 kinds of flavored chocolate varieties as well as the almond cookies that adorn the tops and bottoms of those sugary delicacies. It was the coolest thing and I hope I can recreate it some day. Lauren is way into macarons right now and was so excited to see what we had done, especially when some of our leftovers actually made it home to the USA!
It was such an intense and delicate process. Our chef was amazing and helped us perfect what we'd made- so all of our little cookies grew their "feet" and none cracked in the oven! Brian and I chose purple for our color and they turned out so beautiful!
On our last night in Paris, we stayed in a hotel near the Eiffel Tower. I didn't think I would enjoy switching hotels every night as much as I did on this trip. It was so cool to see a different part of the city every time we moved because there are just so many awesome areas- I left feeling like we only saw a small sliver of what there is to explore here (and thats after having visited 4 times!)
We walked all over on our last night- seeing the Eiffel Tower up close as well as the streets near our hotel. We looked up some delicious Michelin-starred restaurants for our final dinner and ate at the most delicious cafe. I had melt-in-your-mouth pasta that I'm still honestly wondering how they made it so flavorful. We gathered some souvenirs (in the form of sugar) for the kids and got ready to head home early the next morning. This weekend in Paris was just what we needed after having spent so little time together in the last few months...everything about it was perfect!