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Trip Report My trip to Paris and Normandy June 2014

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Traveled to France June 2014. We landed in Paris midday and stayed at the Best Western Tour Notre Dame in the Latin Quarter. It was on a very quiet, non-touristy street a couple blocks from Boulevard Saint Germain. And literally right next door to the Cluny museum, which I highly recommend. I loved to this hotel, would absolutely stay there again. A short walk to the river and Notre Dame. The service was great and the cleanliness and size of the rooms met my expectations. Our group included myself, my husband, my mom, and my younger sister. I was the travel planner. I love planning trips and I speak French so it was a lot of fun. This was my third trip to Paris and first to Normandy (besides taking the train through to England).

We stayed in Paris for 4 nights. The first day, after checking into our hotel we headed over to see Notre Dame. no one except me wanted to go inside just been so we walked around the cathedral admiring it from the outside and walked around Ile de la Cite. Then we went to dinner a few blocks from the cathedral on a quiet street at Au Bougnat. It was just okay. We had some great wine though and felt revived. After another walk we headed back to our hotel for the evening as we were very tired.

Second day (Sunday) we went to the Opera Garnier and to the Eiffel Tower. Third day (Monday) we went to the Louvre. No one got up as early as I told them to ;) and consequently we didn't get there until past 11 and of course it was insanely crowded by that time. Guess they didn't believe me! It was also very hot that day so it made the Louvre very uncomfortable inside. It was a bit of an adventure for us. Fortunately, we had the Paris museum pass so we got to skip the long line. Totally worth it. We saw the Oath of Horatii, my husband's favorite painting, and the Crowning of Napoleon. We also saw the Venus de Milo and wandered around for a while. Never found the Winged Victory but I had seen it before. After some Greek and Roman sculpture, we were hungry and everyone was really cranky so we decided to go get some lunch. Almost everyone in Paris was so nice to us, probably because I spoke French to them. I don't know but I have always found the French people to be much nicer than the stereotype regardless.

Excuse the typos. I have some nerve damage in my hand so I have to dictate this to a software program. I should mention that no one besides me had ever been to France before, and my mom and sister had never been to Europe before at all.

the fourth day, Tuesday, was the day to go to Versailles.we got up early this morning and caught the train. We were still in a bit of a hurry so of course we got on the wrong RER train that was going to branch off before heading to Versailles. I knew that but wasn't paying attention. Fortunately I was able to ask someone on the train how to get on the right one and then everything was okay. It was somewhat cold, the opposite of the day before when we were at the Louvre. Of course we weren't dressed for the rain because we just had in our memory the heat of the day before, but we did bring umbrellas so even though we were cold we didn't get too wet. the security line to get into Versailles was very long. It was like a snake that had to bend all through the courtyard by the time we got there. However, since we got there by nine a.m it was better than the line when we left. My mom absolutely loved Versailles.

It was my third time going to Versailles. My husband and my sister were really sick of the crowds by this point. The kind of rushed ahead of us to get to the gardens. in fact by the time my mom and I got to the gardens, we found my sister easily but my husband was no longer inside and it took quite a while to find him. I also have nerve damage in my feet and was in a lot of pain this day so my mom offered to rent a golf cart for us. Best decision ever. I have been to Versailles 3 times but had never gotten to see the outlying buildings like the Petit Trianon and I didn't think I would be able to walk there. it was raining really hard so it's great to have the cover of the golf cart and get to see everything we wanted to see. I liked all of these outlying buildings even better than the pilots. They were amazing and I was so excited to see them. At the end of the day, we had so much fun driving the golf cart and we arrived back at our hotel soaking wet and tired but happy that we had a great day. One thing I love about going to Paris in June is the long days.. That Night we had one of the best meals of the whole trip at Bouillon Racine. Amazing escargot, best creme brulee I have ever had in my life. I absolutely recommend this restaurant. It was pretty close to our hotel, by the Sorbonne.

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