For mother's day, Joey arranged a trip to Paris!
(Yes, I know Mother's Day was months ago........ don't judge me!
Summer has flown by, and I'm a little behind.)
Anyway - PARIS!!!
We grabbed a taxi from De Gaulle. It took almost an hour to get to our hotel from the airport -
But the scenery was amazing!
Our hotel was fantastic. Just a short walk from the Eiffel Tower.
Shelby liked the signs...
For those of you who were asking, you can find HOTEL ARES HERE.
It's in the seventh arrondissement, and only a block from the Champ de Mars!
The rooms were great, the staff extremely friendly, and the prices on par.
The girls immediately checked out the terrace and tower view.
I lost it, though, when one of them said, "Hey, mom! Ugly naked guy tanning on his terrace!"
(You "Friends" fans will totally get that reference.)
Luckily, there was a strategically placed flower box to keep the girls from permanent scarring.
Paris had been Shelby's dream for years. When we finally set out for the tower, she was ecstatic!
She took a pic every few feet! (Don't worry. I won't show them all.)
We visited the Louvre, of course.
It did not disappoint!
Huge museum with a vast amount of ancient artifacts and
some of the most famous paintings and statuary in the world.
Hard to get a pic of Mona without a glare,
but Shelby did a pretty good job!
And my personal fav,
"Winged Victory of Samothrace". Just...wow.
We also toured the Musee d'Orsay, my new favorite!
It's located in an old railway station across the Seine from the Louvre.
The building itself was a work of art!
The top floor gallery houses an incredible collection of Impressionist paintings.
Monet, Cezanne, Sisley, Degas, Van Gogh, Renoir, Manet, Pissarro ....... love them!!!
I think my favorite collection, though, was in the Realism wing.
I could stare at his work for hours.
(As long as there's no flash, they allow you to photograph the paintings!)
Then there was Notre Dame on the Ile de la Cite in the fourth arrondissement.
(Hard to take pics with such low light inside, but it really was beautiful!)
On Mother's Day we had fresh macaroons and coffee. Best breakfast ever!
We walked through a farmers market.
Joe bought me roses!
And that evening we attended a violin concert at Sainte Chapelle.
Stained glass, setting sun, candle light, beautiful music - it was a perfect evening!
Sunset from Ile de la Cite with Pont Neuf in the background.
Shelby LOVED the tower after dark!
Monday we took a Seine River cruise.
So many bridges! And every one was unique.
And a great view of Notre Dame.
We enjoyed the little shops, sidewalk cafes, and street performers.
We had five days to take in as much as possible.
I'll admit I was a little nervous at first. We'd heard so many horror stories about the French!
They're rude, they're stinky, the city is filthy, everything is overpriced, queues are unbearable, cabbies are thieves.... you know, basically all the things we were told about Rome.
I hate to admit it, but my initial feelings were to get there, get it done, mark it off and forget it.
Crazy talk! Seriously!
I know people have different experiences in different places, but honestly our trip couldn't have gone better. Even the weather cooperated! A slight drizzle one night, the rest was perfect.
We stayed mostly in arrondissements 1,4,6 and 7.
We hope to go back and see more of the city and visit Versailles.