June 25, 2012

Oh the Places We Went- Paris

 (Our first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower)

I've been keeping a secret from you. We left 2 weeks ago today for our trip to Paris and London. We got back this past Wednesday around midnight. It took me until Sunday to shake off the jet lag induced fog.

(The view from our apartment)

I've struggled with how to tell you the story of our trip. I could very well start this post with: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Fortunately there was much more best than worst and now that it is behind us we are able to (mostly) laugh at the worst. I've decided to share the Paris part of our trip with you today and the London post next.

 (I loved the architectural detail in our apartment)

I could use hundreds of words to describe the day we left on our adventure but let me instead, give you the summary in bullet point format:

(Emma enjoying the view in her new Paris jammies)
  • Maddie races to doctor last minute to deal with ongoing stomach virus that won't let up.
  • Emma passes out from apparent dehydration/electrolyte issue while taking a shower and hits her head and must be watched for signs of a concussion
  • Have to take two trips to drugstore thanks to being called home for hysterical, passing out child and still manage to forget about half the things on my list.
  • Get to airport and find out my hubby has been upgraded to 1st class for our initial leg of the trip while the rest of us sit in coach.
  • See Jeff Saturday (beloved Colts player) and realize he is on our flight and think it's a good omen. Finally.
  • Find out our flight is delayed and start to stress about making our tight connection for our flight to London.
  • Get snippy with husband because flights were scheduled so close together
  • Get to Chicago and make a run for our gate only to realize that our London flight has been delayed. Until 8am the next morning.
  • Wait in line forever to be told there is nothing that can be done for us and are given food vouchers that are no good since by this time all the restaurants are closed.
  • Stay calm until it dawns on me that this delay is going to cost us $2,000 and a day of our vacation and then have nervous breakdown at O'hare Gate C16.
  • Have pity taken on us by 2 United supervisors who get us booked onto a early morning flight to Houston and a connection that takes us straight to Paris and then book us into the Airport Hilton where we get a room with a double bed, a loveseat, a chair and a conference table for the 4 of us to sleep in for the 4 hours we have until we have to be back at the airport.
I am happy to say that after this auspicious beginning, once we got to Paris it was all wonderful. Sadly the time flew by and  it was hard to fit everything in. The food was amazing. Our apartment was well located and charming.

We loved riding the metro. Even my little country mouse Emma was not intimated by it and we loved the musicians that hang out on the trains and in the tunnels serenading the riders.

We also loved the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, riding on the water boat tour and getting off to explore the city. The city was just beautiful. There was so much to take in.

We loved the people too. I still can't get this Madame out of my mind. Doesn't her face tell a story? I wish I knew what exactly that story is. Since I don't, I've made one up for her. Don't worry. It has a happy ending.

 (Dinner on our first night in Paris)

For Emma things have a tendency to not live up to her expectation of them. This was not the case in Paris. She took to it like a duck to water, and I have to say, the city took to her too. She charmed them every where she went with her natural Parisian style and her Bonjour's and Merci's. They were helpless to resist her. She is normally our little shy one who doesn't like to talk to strangers (or sit next to them) and who we can barely get to order her own meal at a restaurant. This was not the case on the trip. She fit right in and she knew it. These were her people and she was happy to get in line to pay for things herself and spoke to every shopkeeper like a pro. What she lacked in language skills she made up for with smiles and piggy braids.

(Dinner on our first night in Paris)

Maddie took to Paris like a teenager who is legally allowed to have a drink. I never did adjust to that and just looking at this picture has me feeling uncomfortable. She loved the city too and I think it sparked in her a realization that she can spread her wings and fly anywhere she wants to in this big wide world. I hope she goes out and sees as much as she can.

 (Dinner by the Eiffel Tower on our last night)

The girls got along so beautifully on this vacation. There was a whole lot of family togetherness going on and it could have turned ugly but it didn't.

 (Exhausted on the water bus)

I think before I post about London I will come back and post some of my Instagram pics from Paris as they are some of my favorites. So for now, Au revoir!

 (Courtyard on the walk from the metro to our apartment)


  1. Thanks for sharing and letting those of not going on a big vacation this summer vicariously live through yours! Too bad about the rocky start, but sounds like you had a marvelous time once you got there. Having a shy daughter myself, I felt your joy at having your little one take like a fish to water in Paris. Looking forward to London.

  2. Aw, I LOVE this! Your sweet little family in Paris. If I were to give an award to "Most Parisian Family" I would give it to you.

    I can't wait to hear more.

    Sorry about the crazy airport stuff. If I didn't know better, I'd swear I was with you for that part. (Have I ever shared my horrific travel luck with you?)

  3. ahhh ... so lovely! (minus actually getting out of the country.) you all look like the city fit like a glove! selfishly, i'm glad you're back so you can tell us the stories! (and restart our words game. what the heck?! lol not sure where that went ...)

  4. Bonjour Jen! Travel can be such a nightmare, but happily once you get to Paris....it all goes away. I am glad you had a lovely time in France. Your pictures brought back some great memories for me.

  5. What a wonderful trip ... after the initial stresses. Isn't that the way it always seems to go. Love your pictures, looking forward to seeing more of your trip.

  6. :) So glad it was mostly good and that you are now sharing with us!!

  7. Oh how wonderful! I just knew that you would all love it. And when you wrote, "I think it sparked in her a realization that she can spread her wings and fly anywhere she wants to in this big wide world", I literally thought "Yes! That is is why travel is so important! Yay for Jen for giving this to her kids!"

  8. YAY I am so totally happy for you getting to live out this dream and so happy it was wonderful. Every single pic is fabulous can't wait to see the rest.

  9. Oh I'm so glad you had such a good time after the less than auspicious beginning!

  10. Beautiful pictures. Sounds like you had a wonderful time.

  11. I love your blog! It's like visiting a friend, although we have never met! Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts, pictures and family with us. Glad you had an amazing trip!
    Arlington, Wa

  12. Yikes!!! Glad it all turned out ok!
    Look forward to more lovely photos..

    Linda :o)

  13. Sitting at the airport laughing and smiling...life is crazy fun. Love your pics too.

  14. Oh what a time you had to get there! But your trip looked wonderful...did you make it to Monets garden? I need to get back someday to visit and see everything I missed. Please share more of everything you did with pictures please, we all love it.

  15. So happy that it all turned out for you. I think we all have stories of crazy delays and layovers, but usually it all ends up great. I had to laugh at the part about your daughter having a drink. It brought back a memory of a trip to Europe with my daughter and a visit to the Heinekin Brewery. Your family will have so many wonderful memories to share.

  16. Oh, your trip looks so dreamy (after the nightmare beginning!) and the girls look so French and Adorable. Your photos are beautiful and I can't wait to see more! xx

  17. Isn't travel amazing I have two sons and living in the uk they have been to Paris,my eldest son is just back from the states, he visited New Jersey, New York and Washington loving all the museums. Loved reading your blog and your pics are great gld you all had a happy family holiday :-)

  18. Jen, It looks amazing. Your girls are beautiful and you look radiant! So glad you got to go, I know it has been in your heart for a long time!

  19. YOU DID IT! YOU WENT! i am so happy for you and proud of you. it sounds like the beginning would be enough to make anyone cry and so typical in some ways, too. glad you all got through that bumpy beginning and had a fabulous time!!!

    you went to paris! you went to london! !!!

    happy that you are safe and sound and ready to share more!


  20. your photos are heavenly. someday. sorry you had to endure the bad but it looks like the good was well worth it!!

  21. First of all, bon voyage! And secondly, welcome home! Glad you went and did and returned safely. The pictures are wonderful and you will love revisiting through them for years to come.

    You have just made another one of your dreams come true. You are really good at this!

    xoxo, julia

  22. I still can't believe you were actually there! I'm so happy for you and the girls and the hubs for that amazing experience. What an amazing life changing experience!!!

  23. oh, jen...i'm sorry the trip began as it did...but it looks like your Parisian adventure was wonderful. i am sure that those memories will be precious ones that you and your girls will always remember fondly.

    i'm looking forward to hearing about london...great britain is my next "dream trip" abroad, so i'll be taking notes from you :)

  24. Jen, I would have just DIED if our trip got off to that start! Mon Dieu!
    continuing to read...xo, Cheryl


Thank you for taking the time to say hello today! I always love to hear what you have to say.