Oui Oui! This post has been a long time in the making but I am finally coming up for air after the holidays! If you missed it on Instagram, Lily Caroline and I went on the trip of a lifetime to Paris before Christmas. We joined Open Invite Trips for a Mother/Daughter trip that was one of the times of my life! I wanted to share our itinerary for those of you who may be looking to go to Paris! Open Invite Trips planned all the details and we just showed up! The extra special thing was that we met other moms and daughters from all over the US and came home with lifelong friends. Open Invite has lots of trips coming up this year, including another Mother/Daughter option!
Day 1: Arrive to Paris, Tea and Louvre
After an overnight flight, we arrived in Paris on Saturday morning! We had the friendliest driver meet us as the airport and drive us to our cozy hotel, Hotel des Grands Boulevards! He really was the best, had everything we needed and gave lots of recommendations! Our room wasn’t ready yet, so we decided to explored the area! We made our way to Galleries Lafayette. Galleries Lafayette is an over the top mall with designer shops and they had the most beautiful Christmas decorations, especially this tree!
Saturday afternoon, we changed in the hotel bathroom with tired eyes and got ready for Afternoon Tea at Le Bristol Paris. Macarons, tea and sweets were the perfect way to wake us up!
Next up, we taxied over to Louvre to explore all the beautiful and historic artwork, including the Mona Lisa.
We ended up skipping our dinner that evening as we were exhausted. We ordered room service and literally fell asleep as soon as we hit the pillow!
Day 2: Versailles and the Top of The Eiffel Tower
After breakfast at the hotel (they had such a sweet buffet with eggs, pastries, fruit), we boarded a private car to Versailles. Lily Caroline was most excited to wear the headphones and followed the tour guide very closely. We strolled through the private apartments of King Louis and Marie Antionette. I was intrigued by the private hallway between the apartments and seeing their antique furniture. I wish that I would’ve brushed up on my French history before visiting. The Hall of Mirrors was my favorite room at Versailles.
We had lunch at Angelinas onsite with our new friends! It was such a treat!
When we got back to the hotel, we got some fresh air on the rooftop, it felt oh so Parisian!
Dinner was at Cafe Beaubourg where every dish we tried was delicious! We then headed over to the Eiffel Tower and rode our way to the top! If you’re afraid of heights, this may be a little out of your comfort zone but the view was definitely worth it! Lily Caroline said that this was her favorite part of the trip! It was very windy up top but those twinkling lights will be a core memory for us!
Day 3: Monet and Christmas Shopping
The first item on the agenda was Museum Orangerie to see Monet’s Water Lillies and then over to Pepite Paris with Away Therapy to create our own masterpieces. I absolutely loved the quaint atmosphere of this art school. We sipped tea, listened to music, chatted and the girls modge podged their little hearts out!
Lindsey from Pic Tours Paris stopped by and we snapped some photos (because you need some good photos when you’re in Paris!). Not going to lie, I was a little stressed trying to coordinate outfits but Lindsey made us feel so comfortable and we had fun taking these!
After art class, we wandered the streets, stopped into boutiques and shops (I hope Owen always remembers that I specifically went to both Nike and NBA stores just for him!). We found a little cafe for lunch with our best trip buddies. I could’ve walked around and just looked at the fascades and doors.
One of my favorite parts of the trip was the Tullieries Christmas Market! I have always dreamed of attending a European Christmas market and this one didn’t disappoint! We rode the ferris wheel, carnival rides, shopped the vendors and ate warm churros!
Dinner this night was a blast! We went to Pink Mamma which had the most fun atmosphere and a family style Italian dinner! You can tell that LC was more than happy to have her first slice of pizza in France! If you’re ever in Paris, I highly recommend for Pink Mamma!
Day 4: Macaron Class, Montmarte and Farewell Cruise along the Seine
What a dream to take a French macaron class! We had the best experience at La Cuisine Paris, our chef was very patient and helped out delicate cookies turn out just right! LC especially loved being able to bang the pan around multiple times to get the air bubbles out! I’m sharing the recipe with you below!
After the class, we headed to Montmarte! This area was one of our favorites, taking in the views, seeing the historic Sacre Couer and shopping the local artists! We got quite a kick out of LC’s portrait that doesn’t look anything like her!
Riding the carousel was so much fun and just the perfect way to spend the afternoon.
Our last evening we had dinner at Mirago and then a river cruise along the Seine. It was such a wonderful way to end this trip. I get tearful just thinking about how special it was, especially to spend with Lily Caroline. I hope that we will get to have many more trips together. Adventures are my favorite and I am so thankful for this one!
Macaron Recipe from La Cuisine Paris
Things I Wish I Would’ve Known
- I didn’t need to pack HALF of the things I did because I didn’t wear the majority of them! And lugging two suitcases around the airport is no fun!
- To make sure to have Euros out. While most places took cards, some of the taxi drivers requested Euros
- Give yourself more time with travel as it was more difficult than I thought it would be getting Ubers/Taxis (It’s the same Uber app as the US)
- To be prepared to be ready to go full force as soon as we arrived and didn’t have a chance to check into our room.
- Everyone was friendlier than what I had been told
- I wish I would’ve brushed up on my French (language) and history before going