Archive for November, 2010

Paris…Sans “a Plan”

November 4, 2010

My trip to Paris last month had some unexpected additions: 1) my mom and aunt and 2) an elevated terror threat after several bomb scares evacuated the Eiffel Tower a few days before we arrived (sigh).  Other elements included daily fresh baguettes, stinky cheese (in a good way), buckets of sancerre, champagne, and several croque monsieurs.

This trip was unlike any other I have taken before, with no real “plans” to do anything in particular except enjoy the city and Parisian culture.  And I would say it was a success!

First purchase: fresh baguette and fromage

Rewinding just a bit – how did my mom and aunt get involved?  Well, I was telling my mom the details of my planned long weekend in Paris and she sounded wistful as I described plans to stroll the cobblestone streets, take photos in sepia, sit at cafes and peoplewatch, and just soak it all in.  She was lamenting about how she and my aunt got screwed (for lack of a better word) out of their trip to Europe this spring when the whole Iceland volcano situation happened. They never rescheduled their trip and she was pining for Paris (she’s been a few times). I was shocked when she initially invited herself onto the trip because she isn’t known for spontaneity or for spending $800+ on a plane ticket for – essentially – a 3-day trip. But, I was thrilled she was even remotely interested and immediately started looking for a bigger vacation apartment that would work for the four of us.

I searched several vacation rental sites for our Paris abode, and came to the rescue again.  We rented a massive 2-BR flat in St. Germain des Pres (6th arrondissement), which is known for two famous cafes, Les Deux Magots and Cafe de Flore, and fabulous shopping (our apartment was above Ferragamo and across from Prada).  It was the perfect home base, despite the 5 floor walk-up (and lugging my own, my mom’s, and my aunt’s suitcases up and down said staircase).  We were able to easily walk to the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, Louvre – you name it, all the tourist attractions you could want that we weren’t actually planning on going into.

We were also lucky to have amazing, warm weather, so we walked the entire city for 3 days and explored some unexpected corners.  I’ll share some more tips on Paris soon, but here are some favorite shots of the city from this trip: