Mother/Daughter Paris Trip. Perfection

Old Apr 17th, 2010, 07:09 PM
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Mother/Daughter Paris Trip. Perfection

I must say it was a Perfect trip in every way. She is 18 - it was Spring Break/Graduation present.
We flew Air France - when we landed it was a glorious, sunny day.

Day 1 - We checked in to the Paris Vendome Hotel on Rue Mont Thabor in the 1st.
It is a Renaissance hotel, therefor it was a bit Americanized. It is a small Boutique hotel that is a few blocks away form the tourists and hustle bustle. They upgraded us to a larger room with a courtyard view. The room was very nice and the bathroom had a great tub and a separate shower stall. It was SO quiet - we NEVER heard noise from outside or in.
The hotel staff was so nice and accomodating. I do speak passable French so that helped. The hotel has a great vibe and beautiful fresh Orchids in the lobby and restaurant. They had wonderful candy out for the guests as well.
By the time we checked in and freshened up it was close to 2:30. We walked to the Tuilleries and just soaked in Paris! Then We walked along The Seine until we found a boat operator that did tours. It was a relaxing way to start our journey and get reaquainted with the city.
We had a quiche and a coffee for lunch.
All guests who checked in this day were given an Invitation to attend the Opening Exhibit of the Arts and Design Paris- it was set up in a pavillon in the Tulleries. It was an amazing event with Champagne flowing and art and furniture from the finest galleries in Paris, London, NYC, etc..this was great because my daughter is going to Art School and this was intriging to her. It was a feast for the eyes.
We spent a couple of hours there and just were exhausted. We ordered room service for dinner and went to sleep.

Day 2 - I negotiated to have free breakfast at the Hotel. Eggs, pain du chocolate and coffee very good. Fruit - terrible. Cereal - blech. We ate there every morning in the interest of trying to save a litte $.
We walked to Il St Louis. it was another sunny day. On the way we stopped at Notre Dame. She and I had been several years ago so we mostly just made a quick spin through it.
My daughter like many her age are fascinated with Marie Antoinette. Therefor, we went to the Conciergerie - the prison where she spent the last days of her life and guillotined. It was very interesting. We then went to St Chappelle.- a fabulous example of Gothic architecture. The stained glass is gorgeous.
We enjoyed wondering around afterwards.
Lunch - Le Lutelia - I had the special which was a chicken dish with tumeric and other spices over rice and a glass of wine.
I wont go into detail of what DD ate as it was mostly Croque Madames or monsieurs!
We had a chocolate Ice cream from Berthillon - good but too rich ..IMO.
WE did a little shopping here as well.
ile St Louis has many boutique shops. some trendy, some unique and reasonable.
It has a "village" feeling and we really enjoyed spending a chunk of the day here.
We took the metro back to the Hotel to drop off our packages. She wanted to go to Champs -Elysees.. reluctanly i agreed. We walked there which took about an hour.
The sights along the way of course are amazing.
Once there we went into some stores - ie the LV store and a few others.
I livened up when I saw Laduree. We purchased a dozen assorted macaroons and savoured them the next couple of days! (of course the first the BEST as they were fresh)
We walked towards the end of the avenue to the Arc de Triumphe and took pictures of it as the sun was setting behind and it was being illuminated!
Tired, we skipped dinner and took the metro back to Hotel. We ate from the mini bar.

Day 3 - Versailles/ Fat Bike Tour
We decided to do this by bike as we heard you can see much more of the grounds this way. We met at The Fat Tire office in Paris, rode our bikes to the train station, carried them on the train and went to Versailles.
The staff at Fire Tire are Americans and are very freindly and helpful. Our tour guide, Andrew, was very efficient, entertaining and knowledgable.
Once at Versailles, we went to a Market to buy provision for a picnic. Our tour guide told us who had the best baguettes, best Chevre, best Wine merchant. we bought delicious Chevre covered in golden raisins, baguettes, wine, fresh apple/pear juice and many sweets and fruits. I brought an empty backpack. we then rode up into the property.
It did rain - Fat Tire provided ponchos just in case....
The grounds of the Palace are enormous!
Louis XIV - King of France reigned for 72 years and he commissioned ths Palace in 1668. Of course the history linking Marie Antoinette was pointed out at her estate here.
We saw the gardens and canals.It is at the canal where we had our picnic. The sun canme out and it was perfect! I drank most of a bottle of wine! I am not sure how I biked up some of the steeper roads to actually go to the Palace for the tour!!??
We tied the bikes up and spent a couple of hours in the palace. The Hall of Mirrors is mesmerizing!
we arrived back in paris around 6:30.
Dinner - Barlotti - Place du Marche - St Honore' - Italian. Great ambiance. the interior has an Arabic motif. It is very Chic and the Italian cusine was very good! There are Venetian Chandeliers that add a warm glow to the whole place.
WE both enjoyed Penne pastas and I let her order a Bellini.- she is of age there!
salads - very tasty. Desert - Raspberry sorbet with fresh berries and couli, fresh whipped cream!
Night cap at Hotel bar

to be continued.....
annesherrod is offline  
Old Apr 17th, 2010, 07:42 PM
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Sounds like you had a busy,fun trip. Looking forward to sequel..
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Old Apr 17th, 2010, 07:46 PM
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I remember your planning and I am looking forward to the rest of your report.
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Old Apr 17th, 2010, 08:05 PM
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looking forward to more~ I hope to be Rome-bound this coming Tuesday, with my own daughter. (winds and GOd willing!)
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Old Apr 17th, 2010, 08:20 PM
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I also remember your planning and it sounds like you had a memorable trip.

Since we always stay on Ile St. Louis, it was great reading your report---next time try Amorino, we like it much better than Berthillon, not as rich, my favorites are pistachio and coconut.

Your trip to Versailles on a Fat tire bike tour sounds delightful. It is one of our favorite places. Last Sept. we went there at night to see a Cyrano de Bergerac fireworks display and it was outstanding. On previous trips we have just gone there on our own----now the Fat tire bike tour,that's new!

Looking forward to the rest of your trip report.

Everyone asks us why we go to Paris every year and we say that it's the way we "feel" in Paris.
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Old Apr 17th, 2010, 11:46 PM
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I enjoyed reading your report, thanks!!
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 06:56 AM
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WAiting for more! I took DD to Paris last summer for a graduation trip, so your report is bringing back fond memories
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 08:25 AM
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anne: Am enjoying your trip report. We will be visiting Paris in June, and your report couldn't be more timely! My daughter is 17, graduating from high school in just over a month. I would also love to hear about the highlights of your trip from your daughter's perspective. Thank you for sharing - I can't wait to read the next installment!
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 08:58 AM
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So glad I found your trip report...Can't wait to hear more!
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 09:36 AM
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Day 4 - We slept in so we did not make it to the Louvre early to avoid the lines and we did not take the wise advice to purchase tickets early.
side note - My daughter was admitted FREE to most museums since it is free for 17 and under. She just turned 18 so we fudged.( I am a little embarrased to admit that) they never asked for ID and most just assumed she was under 17.
WE spent all morning here and we hit the highlights. She enjoyed seeing the Mona Lisa for the first time as well as other gems.
Lunch- Richielu Cafe at the Museum. The terrace was not opened yet. It was very expensive and the service was bad and the food worse! The Croque Madame was an unedible mess.
We ended up eating a second lunch at a cafe near hotel.
The Coke products at the cafes could run up to $12 a glass - Beware moms who are going soon! I would drink tap water or a glass of wine which was significantly less than soft drinks!
Out hotel was near wonderful boutiques and high end Couture stores that we window shopped.
She did buy a purse at the Marc Jacobs store there. I bought a ring at a little boutique called Tous. I found the jewelry was one of the few things that was a "good deal". There are several vintage Jewelry stores with exquisite rings, bracelets etc that would make a great graduation gift. I have the name of one where I am going to order on line for my daughter - I will post the name later when I find the business card.
Dinner - Latin Quarter. We walked around Rue Mouffetard - the winding market street with great aromas! We picked up some chestnuts and other nuts. I accomodated her wish for Pizza and we ate at Cafe de New York on 68 Rue Mouffetard. The Most delicious pizza, salad, chianti and dessert of Chocolate Mousse - to feed us both was only 35 Euros- bargain!
We wondered around the Sorbonne and Pantheon.
WE were able to go the Musee Cluny for a bit to enjoy tapestries, etc.. short called - Musee National du Moyen-Age.
Day 5 - started at the Musee L'Orangerie - One of my favorites! Located at the end of the Tulleries. We were there when it opened - No Line! I loved the curved galleries with Monets' Water Lillies. There is a small collection of other artists as well. Very lovely.
Eiffel Tower - Long Lines - again one should buy tickets ahead of time. It was a clear day so we could see far. We had some hot tea and pastry up there.
lunch - Brasserie de La Tour Eiffel - Very pricy, very touristy, but the food was very good. On a corner for good people watching!
Rodin Museum next. The sculpture garden was our favorite. It seems to me I saw more Rodin sculptures at the NYC Met!!

We then went to Montmarte.
There were so many people that we did not spend much time at Sacre Coeur.We took the funicular up to the top since we were tired from the long day. It was the cost of a Metro ticket.

We went to Musee de Montmartre - This was a studio home for painters in Paris.Renoir lived here for a bit too. I loved the Toulouse-Lautrec posters! It is a very small , cute museum!
dinner - Le Botak - I had a salmon dish with pesto.

This was the Longest day and very tiring but a great day!!
We went back home to our room to plan which Open Markets to hit the next day.... Sunday - oh the selections - !!

to be continued.....
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 09:51 AM
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Wonderful trip report. I especially like the fact that you did't feel you had to see/do everything. You and your daughter actually experienced Paris rather than knocked off a bunch of must sees. Excellent! And, please don't forget to mention the name/location of the jewelery shop. Looking forward to hearing more.
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 10:03 AM
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Great report; I imagine taking your daughter to Paris would be magical. Be sure to enjoy all these special moments; time flies ...

I spent weekends in SF with my daughter quite a bit; renting a small hotel room and just roaming about during her teens. 20some years later I have never forgotten how special those times were. I wish I could have taken her to Paris; I can just imagine it through your report!

Thanks for sharing,

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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 11:30 AM
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It has been my pleasure to share my trip report!!

Before I foget, I have the name of the Vintage jeweler...

Per lei Bijoux
7 rue Gomboust
01 42 96 46 89

Metro - Pyramides.

The shop owner is so very nice! It is a tiny shop!!

There really are very many vintage jewelry stores in Paris with high quality and unusual items.

rest of trip report tonight...
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 11:53 AM
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Sounds like you had a wonderful time with your DD!
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 01:18 PM
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I have been following your planning. I am so glad you had a great time! I can't wait to go with my mother!
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 01:47 PM
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Anne and DD-what a wonderful trip you had!!Thank you for your continuing trip report-I look forward to it. And-thanks for the link to the jewelry link-I made note of it for our upcoming trip.
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Old Apr 18th, 2010, 06:47 PM
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Day 6 - We decided to go to the Open Market at Bastille.
It was a "feast for the eyes" and nose! I wanted a rotisserie chicken so badly, but where would I eat it!? There were so many vendors, so many choices.We walked up and down and admired the fresh flowers and fruits,etc...
We chose some Spinach Pitas, several kinds of cheese, Chevre that was so creamy, big Strawberries, bread and foi Gras.... We had a picnic nearby - on a ledge overlooking the Seine.

Next, Muse D'Orsay, on the left back across from the Tulleries - this was my daughters favorite. It is an incredible light and airy space. The renovation from a train station to Museum is spectacular. The building itself is wonderful. We love the large gold clock in the middle! The collection is fabulous.

Night time was very Interesting!! She wanted to go to a club, Mom was a bit skeptical... i decided to see what was in the 1st.. She read in the Fodors guide book that Celebs sometimes go to Hotel Costes. First, we went to Hotel Crillon. It was recetnly redesigned by Sonia Rykiel ..- the gilded bar and lush fabrics were gorgeous. The drinks very expensive ($25/peice... on the cheaper end)- I agreed she could have a glass of wine. The bar tender was so cute, when I turned around to get my credit card he poured us each another drink ...on the house!!

Next - Hotel Costes - Located in 239 rue St-Honore. The guide books say "Dressing to Kill is advised" or they may not let you in. We each brought one really dressy outfit and wore it that evening. Black dress and boots. Well, it seemed there were 3 check points.. we passed each one.! WE did not see any celebs. It has a great vibe, kind of vampy and elegant at the same time! Again, very expensive - but a great treat that evening.
It was a memorable evening. We giggled at some of the outrageous outfits. We walked back to our Hotel and fell into bed.
Day 7 - A day with no plan.
We went to the Tuilleries - sat in the chairs next to the pond. We watched little children play with the Sailboats. The sun warmed us. We walked and walked. We went to the Grand palace and the Modern Museum of ARt.
Lunch was at a cafe on Champs Elysees - great bakery bread sandwich and a coffee. Fast and tasty.
WE shopped a bit again. She got some little trinkets and cheap baubles!
dinner - Chez Flatte - this is a brasserie that is good, not great. It is simple fare and friendly staff. Creative concoctions.
Back at the Hotel I had a Pastis and DD a lemonade.
I suggested we go for a little walk on our last night. We walked through the Tuilleris towards the Eiffel Tower. We took some pictures and then all of a sudden the Lights started sparkling and twinkling - it was magical! We were ready to say Good bye to this special city.
Every night DD would go through her photos and edit them, sort them, etc..She took some fabulous photos.

Day 8 - Our last day. Aside from packing and arranging our taxi we walked to a little cafe and ordered a coffee and pastry and soaked in some more paris!
The taxi was prompt and we made it to the airpot with no traffic. The check in was swift and painless.
It was the Perfect trip! Mother/daughter trip was a Success!!
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Old Apr 19th, 2010, 06:09 AM
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If I don't get to Paris on May 5 I will just re-read your report; I loved it - esp. the club night; nothing like going out to a club with your everyone thought you two were sisters!

Great trip!
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Old Apr 19th, 2010, 02:14 PM
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Thanks moneyburns! I hope you get to go on your trip!!
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Old Apr 20th, 2010, 07:47 AM
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Thank you for the lovely report. How was the weather? I'm arriving the end of May and hoping for sunny warm weather.
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