Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas in Paris

Tuesday night we opened up a few gifts and had our fake Christmas morning before we left.

Wednesday after the kids got home from school we packed and met Keith at the train station at 4:00.  It was rainy and I was glad to be headed somewhere that was a little warmer.  We took a two hour train to Geneva and then a 45 minute flight to Paris.  Because it was close to 10:00 when we got to Paris, we stayed at a hotel by the airport and were all happy to fall into bed as soon as we checked in.

Our hotel by the airport

Thursday we had a great breakfast in the hotel and then took  the metro into town.  Keith is amazing at figuring out where things are and we got right off and walked directly to our hotel.  When we were on the metro, a guy gets on and starts playing Autumn Leaves on his accordion, like a movie soundtrack as we looked out the window and saw the Eiffel Tower.  Our hotel was so charming and was just a few minutes walk from the Eiffel Tower.  We unpacked and rested for a few minutes, but were anxious to get out and see the sights.  We headed straight to the Tower where we took an elevator up to the top.  When we were at the top we realized we were all starving so we grabbed a few drinks and sandwiches and ate them as we enjoyed the incredible view.  We stopped for pastries that afternoon, went back to our room for another short rest, then at night walked around the city, saw Notre Dame, and Hotel de Ville.

The lobby of our cute hotel
Keith and I felt like Louix XVI and Marie Antoinette (before the revolution).   
Santas on bikes  
Kelly getting a new perspective. 

View from the top

Typical apartment building,  so beautiful.  
The Czech Embassy, with a memorial to Vaclav Havel who died 18 Dec. 
The pastry shop right by our hotel.
We were soon on a first name basis.

Our hotel 

Notre Dame 

Hotel de Ville
Shopping Center

Friday was spent at Versailles and seeing a little more of Paris at night.

Louis XIV, and some peasants. 

Saturday was Christmas Eve.  We had a quick breakfast then headed to the Seine to take a boat ride.  We got a ticket that allowed us to get on and off the boat all day.  Our first stop was Musee d'Orsay.  It was my favorite place and the kids were actually excited to see famous works of Monet, Seurat, and Van Gogh.  We then hopped back on the boat and took it to the Louvre where we walked around that part of town and had lunch.  We continued to walk the streets of Paris until we could take the last boat ride of the day.  We wanted to experience all the places we had seen earlier, after dark.  We had our Christmas Eve dinner on the Champs Elysee and walked to the Arc de Triomphe.  
Pont Alexandre III

In the Musee d'Orsay  
View of Notre Dame from the boat.
Lunch on the Rue Faubourg St Honore 

Nighttime boat ride
l'Arc de Triomphe
Christmas morning, Santa brought enough junk food that we could have milanos and m&m's for breakfast.  Josh woke up with hives all over his face and legs. We stayed in most of the morning and then found a pharmacy and some much needed medicine. That afternoon we went to Sacre Coeur and had dinner on the Champs Elysee. I was amazed at how crowded both places were.  Josh went to bed early and Kelly was happy to relax in the hotel room.  Keith and I took a long walk and stopped for hot chocolate at a cafe that faced the Eiffel Tower.

There were a lot of street performers.

Kelly's new beret

The view as we sipped hot chocolate
Our last day was kind of a disaster.  Josh was still suffering from the hives and we had seen about all we could handle, but we had one last place to go: The Louvre. It must have been the most crowded day of the year.  It had been closed on Christmas and is always closed on Tuesdays, so all Christmastime tourists, including us, were squeezing it into our itineraries on the 26th.  We saw the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and I think we saw a lot of other stuff - but at that point  I didn't really care.  We then spent an hour looking for a KFC that Kelly was craving since seeing advertisements in the metro and we haven't seen KFC in Switzerland. Again, so crowded, and really, KFC when you have all these fabulous restaurants to choose from? We visited the Luxemourg Gardens and the Saint Sulpice church. We spent our last night enjoying the Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero center, which really is quite spectacular at night.  

Three Masterpieces
Tour Saint-Jacques 
KFC - Really? 

Le Senat 

Saint Sulpice 
 If you can't be home, Paris is a great place to be for Christmas, but the truth is, we all missed being with those we love and being home for Christmas.  Nothing can replace that.


  1. The grass is always greener... I said to Kira "Josh and Kelly are in Paris on Christmas" and she said "LUCKY!!!" Thanks for sharing pictures. We will miss you at Fat Cats and the Ellis' on New Years! Maybe we can skype at midnight!

  2. Paris looks so wonderful! You will never forget the christmas that you spent in Paris. How cool for your kids! Miss you!

  3. I read your entire post in a french accent in my mind. I am so jealous! This took me back to when I went when I was 17 and got to go to Switzerland and France. I so need to go back with my sweet heart now! Josh and Kelly look so cute, btw! What an awesome Christmas, never to be forgotten. Love you all! xoxo

  4. Wow! If you can't be with family and friends, Paris is second best! Looks very fun!

  5. We haven't spent a Christmas in Paris, but a few other memorable holidays...looks like you had a wonderful time and a Christmas you'll never forget! Happy New Year!