We took a family vacation to Europe this summer and it was amazing! I wanted to share our adventures with you.
We flew from Canada to London overnight, then took the Eurostar directly to Paris. This was my second time visiting Paris. I had first gone when I was a teenager and absolutely loved it and couldn’t wait to go back. This time I got to take my family with me and share with them my excitement for this beautiful city.
The Eurostar was a great way of travelling. It was only a few hours from point to point.
We arrived quite late at Gare du Nord. We walked across the street and found a friendly restaurant and had a quick dinner before heading to our hotel.
We stayed at the delightful Hotel de L’Empereur. It is located on a quiet street within a 15 minute walk of the Eiffel Tower. The hotel had a beautiful view of the Dome of Les Invalides.
The next morning we had a lovely breakfast in the hotel. The dining room had a side room where the breakfast was laid out. There was also a machine which squeezed orange halves to make fresh orange juice. My husband and I had two glasses each because it was so delicious!
The girls decided to eat their breakfast at the outdoor garden.
After breakfast we went to explore Paris. Rue Cler was first on our list. This is a lovely street filled with restaurants and various vendors.
From there we walked down the Seine to the Place de la Concorde. It was a pretty walk.
The square and surrounding areas were quite busy as there was a car show on.
We walked through the Tuileries Gardens and had a sit down in the deck chairs by the pond.
This was our view as we arrived behind the Louvre.
The girls enjoyed seeing the inverted pyramid at the Louvre (underground at the Carrousel entrance on Rue de Rivoli).
The afternoon was spent exploring the Louvre. What an absolutely beautiful museum. We spent quite a few hours here and only saw one wing. It is huge!
The Louvre was busy but not uncomfortably so. I was worried about crowds and a long wait to see the Mona Lisa, but we walked into the room and only had to wait a couple of minutes before we were at the front. I knew the picture would be small as I had read a lot of information about the Louvre before we went. I must say that I was quite underwhelmed by her. It was certainly a great experience and I’d love to see more of the Louvre. I wanted to see Napoleon III’s apartments, but that wing was closed while we were there. It will go on my bucket list for a future trip!
We came upon this gentleman on our walk to Notre Dame. Miss C was quite taken with him.
It was a beautiful day, so of course we had to stop for ice cream on the way.
Notre Dame is beautiful. We did not want to go in on this particular trip (maybe a future one).
The girls liked Notre Dame, but they had more fun chasing the pigeons.
We took a quick peek at Shakespeare and Company book store before taking a cab back to the hotel to rest before dinner.
I had spent weeks researching where to eat in Paris. We were travelling in late July/August when a lot of the restaurants are closed for vacation and I wanted to have an authentic meal. I finally found a jewel of a place called Au Petit Tonneau.
We were a few minutes early for our reservation, but we were warmly welcomed. The food was delicious and the staff were friendly.
The girls both had roasted lamb chops, my husband enjoyed the chateaubriand with green pepper sauce and I had the special of the day – a crusted chicken which was fabulous.
After dinner, we took a nice stroll back to the hotel and went to bed.
More to follow …
Have you ever visited Paris?