The boys had a week off of school for Thanksgiving so I wanted to plan a trip since it’s so hard for us to find time for travel during the school year with everything going on. We were originally going to go to Canada or Northern California to go skiing (I’m really not much of a skier but the boys love it so I will suffer through it for them. Haha. I would rather go ice skating or sledding or build a snowman or pretty much anything else) but I found tickets to Paris for a really good price so I figured why not? Paris is always a good idea right? 😉
We got a straight flight from Ft. Lauderdale and it was a red eye which I actually prefer when it’s such a long flight and we are changing time zones. I never sleep on planes but the boys do so it’s easier for them if we get on a plane and they sleep and wake up in Paris and I just have a lot of Starbucks. Haha. And I have to say that Charles Du Gaulle airport is one of the cleanest nicest airports I have ever been in and everyone there was so pleasant and helpful and the bathrooms were just SO clean for airport bathrooms. I was amazed!
Our trip ended up only being 4 full days since we left Sunday night and got to Paris around noon on Monday with the time difference and then had to leave early that Friday to go back to the airport to go home. I really wish we could’ve stayed longer because there are still a few things I wanted to do but that is just a good reason for us to go back soon!
The day we arrived we were all pretty exhausted even though the boys slept on our flight so we got settled into our hotel, grabbed some food, explored for a little while, and then got macarons from Laduree (the strawberry vanilla is my favorite but they are all so good) and got an Uber to go see the Eiffel Tower lights. It gets dark pretty early in November so we didn’t have much time to do anything else but I did manage get a few pics of the tower all lit up and it was so pretty!
On our second day we tried to go to the Louvre but when we got there we found out it’s closed on Tuesdays so we snapped a few pics and headed to Musee d’Orsay and it did not disappoint! (And of course we went back to The Louvre the following day…. you can’t go to Paris without going to one of the best museums in the world.)
The line for Musee d’Orsay was SOOOO long but this was our only shot so we waited in the freezing cold and rain and I thought my toes were going to freeze off by the time we got inside but it was definitely worth it! The Picasso exhibit was AMAZING and all of our favorite. I think the line was so long because the Louvre was closed that day and we got right into The Louvre the following day with no wait. My boys love art almost as much as their momma so they were pretty excited to see the Mona Lisa.
After the museums we just wandered around for a bit and ended up back at the Eiffel Tower eating Nutella stuffed crepes and drinking hot chocolate. We ate street food almost the entire time we were there because we had a huge late breakfast at our hotel every morning so we usually weren’t that hungry the rest of the day. The Nutella crepes were all of our favorite. I had actually never tried Nutella until this trip because I hate hazelnuts but it is SO good and I totally regret not trying it sooner. I really could just walk around Paris all day everyday admiring the beautiful architecture.
The boys were begging us for those light up Eiffel Towers so we finally caved and got them each one. And of course we had to make a stop at the Lego Store while we were walking around (it is at a mall called Forum Des Halles and we were told by some locals that is one of the best places to shop if you don’t want to spend a ton of money on designer stuff).
That photo with the giant Nutcracker was taken right across the street from our hotel the at best Christmas market / fair I have ever seen. If you are looking for a good centrally located hotel in Paris I definitely recommend Hotel Brighton. Everyone was so nice and helpful and they gave my boys extra little jars of Nutella at breakfast which totally made their day. The hotel is within walking distance of a lot of the museums (it’s very close to the Louvre) and close to lots of restaurants and shops.
If you are looking for this spot to take photos it’s around the back of the Eiffel tower (you will go past the carousel and the tower before you come across this little side street). There are not many people there since it isn’t as popular as a lot of the other spots but there are cars driving up and down and parking there. It’s really beautiful at night too. I love the color of the leaves in this picture ( I have a few more at this spot but I have so many from this trip I’m not sure if I will post them all here since I already feel like this post is total picture overload. Haha) and I totally did not plan to match so that was an extra bonus.
On Days 3 and 4 we went to see the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, and did some more wandering around and ate more Nutella Crepes. We were all just in awe at Notre Dame…..so beautiful. I didn’t get as many pictures that day because it was so cold and our hands kept freezing off trying to take them.
These are not even half of our pictures but the spot by the carousel near the Eiffel tower and that little side street are two of my favorite spots. There are still so many places we didn’t get to explore on this trip so we will definitely be going back again soon. You probably noticed that my hair is straight in most of these pics and that is because my curling wand basically just went crazy the day we got there. I checked to make sure it was dual voltage and got an adapter and everything but it still got fried (and unfortunately so did my hair). The adapter for our phones and laptops and everything else worked perfect though and you can find that here . I would just suggest buying a cheap curling iron when you get there if you absolutely have to have one because I have heard that a lot of people have this problem.
I also wore dresses and skirts almost the entire time we were there and it was mostly in the 30s. I layered OTK socks over my tights and wore my OTK boots that don’t have much of a heel so they are comfy to walk in and kept me super warm. I also layered tights under my jeans when I did wear them on this trip and on our New York trip and that helps a lot too because jeans really aren’t that warm in my opinion anyway. And I wore a lot of jumpers with sweaters over them (and had 2 shirts under) so that helps too.
If you don’t speak any French, most people in Paris do speak English but it really helps if you at least try to learn the basics so you can order food and ask where the restrooms are. Even after brushing up on my French with 2 audio books before we went I still found it hard to keep up. Google translate isn’t much help either. I knew how to order my salad but I wanted to ask for the dressing on the side and I couldn’t remember the word for dressing so I tried google translate and after the waiter looked at me funny I realized I told him I was “getting dressed on the side”. If you are looking for a good audio book to learn the basics I used this one and this one. Thanks for reading and have great weekend!