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Joyeux jour de

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. If you want a few St. Patty’s Day recipes you might want to look HERE, HERE, or HERE.

But if you’d rather hear about our weekend in Paris… yes, Paris!!! … then keep reading.


On Friday at 5 AM our adventure began. We took the Barcelona metro, with a transfer, to the Placa Cataluña to catch the aerobus to the airport. It was less than 2 hours in the air to Paris Charles de Gaulle. From there, we got on the RER train and then onto the metro and finally to our hotel – just a couple of streets off the Champs-Elysees. The Helzear Hotel was within sight of the Arc de Triomphe.

jardin 1

After we checked into our modern Paris apartment and had a few minutes to refresh ourselves, I led the girls on a wild goose chase in search of Jardin de Tuileries. We got off track and wound up taking the loooong route.

afternoon in jardin

We stopped at a corner café for lunch and then finally found the Jardin.


We then walked the full length of the park up to Musée du Louvre.


After spending a couple of hours seeing such works as Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Michelangelo’s Captive, and The Wedding  Feast at Cana by Veronese, we’d about worn ourselves out.

pyramid at night

We walked a few blocks and had dinner before heading back to our apartment to crash.


The next morning, Saturday, we hit the ground running! We decided to tour the Arc de Triomphe first. Problem was, we could not find the place where you cross the street! I am not kidding when I tell you that we went down into the metro, trying to find the darn place FOUR times! We’d go down, go in a circle, wind up at the same spot, ask for directions and do it all over again. No matter who we asked, they would say, “Go up and then go down.” We tried one a set of metro steps on each corner and just go in circles. It was the most frustrating thing EVER! I don’t know how, but we finally found the correct set of “down” stairs – which have nothing to do with the metro – and crossed the damn street underground to the Arc.

top of the arc

Lorraine and Natalie went up to the top of the Arc. Peggy didn’t want to and even though I love going up, after all that traipsing around, I really just needed to find a toilette.

Notre Dame

Once we all joined up together again, we got back on the metro and went to Notre Dame, one of my favorite places in Paris!

ND Stained Glass 2

Oh, I forgot to mention, there was an air-quality alert, so all the ERE and Metro rides were free all weekend long.

ND Stained Glass 3

With all that we did, we probably saved over 25 euro each in transportation fees, which was awesome. Yeah to bad air!

ND Stained Glass

On the downside, besides breathing in the pollution, the steps to the top of Notre Dame were closed. That was a bummer!

esmeralda of notre dame

After touring the cathedral, we had an awesome lunch at a little place behind the church called Esmeralda. (Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame, anyone?)


We stopped for some of the best ice cream in the world at Berthillon. Berthillon is French luxury ice cream and sorbet. The ice cream can be found at various locations throughout Paris, but the primary store is on Île Saint-Louis, which is the island that Notre Dame sits on.


We did a little shopping in the charming stores on Île Saint-Louis and then loaded our tired bodies back onto the metro and headed out to the Eiffel Tower. The line for the lift was very long. Since I’ve been there many times before, I stood in line while the girls went out into the grass and took photos. We rode the lift to the top, reveled in the beauty of Paris at night and then took the lift down just in time to see the Tower light up with its sparkling lights as it does for 10 minutes on the top of each hour.

from the top

There is nothing that makes me love Paris more than watching that beautiful sight!

sparkling eiffel

On Sunday, Lorraine and I got up early and went to mass at Notre Dame. We stopped for cappuccino, mimosa and Grand Mariner crepes before meeting Natalie and Peggy back at the apartment. We gathered our luggage together and took the metro and RER back to the airport and landed in Barcelona around 3PM.

Paris was an unexpected but wonder side trip to our Spanish adventure. I hope each of you had a wonderful weekend too! xoox

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1 Pat { 03.17.14 at 8:55 AM }

Wonderful picture & descriptions of you adventures in Paris. It doesn’t sound like the broken (?) toe is hindering you at all.

Love & Happy St. Pat’s Day to you, Mom

2 Marissa { 03.17.14 at 8:56 AM }

Hope you don’t mind going back again soon with me!

3 Linda Hopkins { 03.17.14 at 12:36 PM }

Mom, the toe swells up during the day, I ice and elevate it at night, then it aches and I soak it in hot water. Whatever…. I’m on vacation, it will heal when it is ready. Marissa… you get off the time and we will plan it! Seriously wish that you were HERE! xoxo

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