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My Paris Birthday Trip Report

My husband & I were both sick up until less than a week before our trip to Paris for my birthday, but with some good meds & rest we were able to take my dream trip. We departed via United Airlines out of Detroit, flying to Newark then from there to Paris. That portion of the trip was uneventful, which is good when you're talking flights. We had a good meal on the way to CDG and rested but didn't sleep on the way, which is typical for us. We landed in Paris early Thursday morning, collected our luggage & met our Interservice Prestige driver, who was waiting for us. Then it was off to the Crown Plaza Paris Republique. We arrived at the hotel a little before 10am but as luck would have it, they had a room ready for us to check in. We upgraded to a Club Room for an extra 30 euros per night, which gave us a larger room & breakfast in the morning. The room was very nice & quite spacious for Paris. We unpacked our things, rested up for an hour or two then we were on our way to start our adventure in Paris!

Thursday - First up was find a place for lunch so we wandered around the square and found a small creperie on one of the side streets. We shared a ham, cheese & egg crepe, which was very delicious. After we charged our Navigo cards, we spent the day exploring Montmartre, which is one of our favorite parts of Paris. Since this was my 4th trip to Paris & my husband's 3rd trip, we wanted to try to see some of the things we hadn't seen before so first up we went to St Pierre de Montmartre church, a 12th century church right next door to Sacre Coeur. It was very beautiful inside, lots of candles lit and the altar was so pretty. I did get a few tears in my eyes, thinking of my Mom who recently passed away. After the church we walked around the Place de Tertre & asked about an artist who had done our portrait in 2014 but he wasn't there. Actually not many artists or people in the square at all. Very different from the spring when we normally travel.

Next we found the Musee de Montmartre and spend a wonderful hour exploring the gardens, Renoir's studio & the movie exhibit that was being presented there. Since Renoir is my absolute favorite painter, it was very moving to be in his studio where he painted some of his wonderful masterpieces. This time tears of joy. After that, we bought a mulled wine from a street vendor then walked until we found the two windmills in Montmartre & took a few pics then walked down the hill to Cafe Les Deux Moulins, where the movie Amelie was filmed. Love that movie. We went inside and enjoyed an order of snails, with a wine for me and a beer for my husband. A young lady came in & sat next to our table so we chatted with her awhile. She was from Catalonia but lived in Brussels & was visiting Paris for the day. We enjoyed talking to her then headed back to our hotel, just in time for their Happy Hour which included beer, wine and light sandwiches, chips & snacks. That ended up being our supper that night since we were just too tired to bother going to a restaurant. It was a wonderful first day in Paris.

Friday started out with a wonderful breakfast in our hotel. Lots of pastries, fruit, yogurt, hot & cold foods too plus delicious cafe creme! That's my way to start the day. LOL First up, we went to Musee d'Orsay. This is one of the few places we had already been to but it was so crowded the first time we went that we could hardly get close enough to the paintings to see them let alone get any good pictures. But this time, in mid January, that was no problem. The crowds were pretty light and I was in Impressionist Heaven for about 2 hours. It was wonderful. I was again in tears in the room with all the Renoir paintings. I just love his paintings so much. Also the Monets and the other Impressionists too. We spent a wonderful couple of hours there & I got my fix of Impressionist paintings. Bought a few things at the gift shop too so win, win. LOL

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8810 posts

Diana, I’m enjoying reading this and look forward to more! Paris is my favorite place and this makes me feel like I’m there now... : )

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702 posts

I forgot on Thursday we also went to Musee Gustave Moreau, which was beautiful. Over 800 paintings there & plus it was his home so some of the rooms are restored to what they were like when he lived there. There's also a beautiful wooden spiral staircase, which lends itself nicely to pictures.

Friday - continued... We did notice a bit of flooding on the Seine and hoped we'd still be able to do our cruise we had planned for one of the nights. We walked to the nearest Metro and headed to Saint Germain des Pres, another favorite part of town. We visited St Germain des Pres church, which was very beautiful then walked to Cafe de Flore. Tried to get a table but they were so busy we decided to try a cafe across the street for lunch, Cafe Louise. It was very nice. We shared a Croque Monsoir with frites, plus wine & beer. It was so delicious & the frites possibly the best I've ever eaten. After lunch we found Musee Delacroix, which was a trick to find but my phone's navigation helped us find it. A very nice museum, especially the beautiful garden in back. Next up was the Cluny museum, with the tapestries & ruins from Notre Dame. Also very nice. We enjoyed it very much.

We then walked to the Pantheon. Outside of the Pantheon was a square where there were at least a dozen pretty Christmas trees with lights. I was surprised and pleased to see so many of the holiday decorations still around at many places. We took lots of pictures of these as well. The Pantheon was beautiful both inside & out. My husband went down to Marie Curie's tomb but I didn't. I sat outside & enjoyed the beautiful view instead. Next we went to St Etienne du Mont church, featured in Midnight in Paris. We found the steps first & knew we were in the right place because there was a small walking tour group there. Took pics then went inside to see the beautiful church. After that, it was back to the hotel for drinks & a few snacks and a short rest then we headed to the Louvre since it was open late & since our 2 day Museum Pass ended that day. I made the mistake of changing into dressier boots and by the time we were done there, my feet were screaming in pain at me. But we did a quick tour, seeing the Winged Victory, Mona Lisa, Cupid & Psyche and a few other of my favorites.

Then back to the hotel to find some dinner. By this time it getting pretty late so we ended up going to the restaurant across the street from our hotel, Leon de Bruxells. We had drinks, an appetizer of calamari and split an order of fish & chips. It was very good.

Saturday, my birthday - After breakfast we headed to Musee Jacquemart-Andre. It was amazing! It was the beautiful home of a wealthy family in Paris. I want to be their granddaughter & live there. After Palais Garnier, which I think is the most beautiful building in Paris, this beautiful home comes in as 2nd most beautiful. Seriously, if you haven't went there, you need to. Its gorgeous!

Went to La Madeline church next, very pretty then to Galleries Lafayette. I always buy my chocolates to take home there (Maxims des Paris chocolates, so good). We had a late lunch in the Cafeteria there. My husband had what looked like Bangers & Mash and I had a wonderful pork and potatoes casserole, along with wine of course and a lemon tarte. It was amazing. Went up to the rooftop to take pictures of the gorgeous view then went to C&A across the street where I could actually afford to shop. By then we were getting tired, so we headed back to the hotel to rest before the 9pm show at the Lido on Champs Elysees.

When we got back I remembered Fragonards! I love their perfumes and was planning on getting some for myself and our daughters. Looked them up & it said they were open until 8 so we headed back out. By the time we found where they were, it was a little after 7pm and they were closed. So no perfume. Bummer. (I did send them an email & they will give me free shipping & a gift when I order online.)

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Saturday, continued - So back to the hotel to change for the show at the Lido. We made it there just in time & got seated and got our glass of champagne then the show started. We did balcony seating & champagne since we did Moulin Rouge with the meal a few years ago and was disappointed in the food. The show was great but our seats not so much. We were in the last balcony row, which is a round booth and there were people in front of us that partially blocked our view. But we did enjoy the show very much. My husband liked it better than the Moulin show but I liked the Moulin show better, probably because we had much better seats at that show. But all things considered, it was a great way to spend my birthday!

Sunday - our last day in Paris. After another great breakfast and a little pre-packing, we headed to the Hotel de Ville. I was hoping to see an exhibit there but we found out they are closed on Sunday. We did wander around the back and found a little garden area so we walked around it, relaxed in the little chairs then found an area with some chickens & rabbits before we left for Notre Dame. My husband spent 2 euros and fed the birds there then we went into the church where a mass had just started. We sat and listed to the priests, watched as communion was offered & then the final organ playing. It was pretty amazing. So blessed we could be there for that. They also had some Christmas decorations still up, wreaths lit up in blue & gold and a beautiful lighted star over the altar.

After that we split a crepe for lunch, did a little shopping for our grandsons then went to BHV and did more birthday shopping for me. LOL Walked to Tour St Jacques but it was also closed so we couldn't go in. We went back to the hotel & went to Monoprix and got some things we like to take home with us (moutard, cacahuetes, cookies for the grands & some candy for them too) then that evening we did a river cruise on the Seine. It was so nice. Because the water was high, we couldn't go by Notre Dame but instead they took us by the mini Statue of Liberty which I had never seen before. Our tour guide was funny & entertaining too. A nice finish to our trip to Paris. We had a late dinner that night near our hotel at Pizza Pino. We shared a very delicious Italian style pizza and an appetizer of shrimp in a creme sauce in an avocado. The next morning we were up early for our flight back home. It was a really wonderful trip, short but sweet as they say.

Posted by
5891 posts

Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us. What a lot of fun and enjoyment in just a few days! What was the weather like? Did it slow you down? Happy Birthday!

Posted by
2643 posts

Happy Birthday and thanks for sharing! Two years ago we were with our daughter on our third trip to Paris. Wandering the first day, soaking it in, she turns to me and says "Ah Paris, it just never gets old!" So true!! Can't wait to return with your post as our guide!

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311 posts

Happy birthday! I really enjoyed reading your trip report and appreciate you posting it.

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984 posts

What a wonderful birthday celebration! Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

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8810 posts

Happy Birthday and glad you had fun!

Posted by
3551 posts

Wow, such a great way to spend a birthday!
Sounds like u had a wonderful time.

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702 posts

The weather was very good. No rain, low to mid 40's, mostly cloudy but sunshine the last day. Can't complain about that.

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8621 posts

Glad you enjoyed your Paris birthday!! You packed a lot in -- what a day you had, even on arrival day!

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2216 posts

Fun to read this. As I will be there in early May, I took particular note of a couple of places you mention I haven't visited before. Many thanks for posting your report and I'm adding mine to the many birthday wishes. Lucky you; it sounds like it was a terrific one!

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702 posts

I forgot to mention that on Saturday, my birthday, when we returned to our room, the hotel staff had put 6 macarons plus a lovely birthday message to me. We enjoyed most of these over the next two days. I put the last two in a plastic baggie & tried to bring them home but alas, they were crushed pretty badly when we finally got home. My husband did eat them. LOL

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2020 posts

Very nice report, you did many wonderful things. I and a friend are at a CDG.hotel right now wondering if and when we will be able to get to Paris. Virtually all transportation into the city shut down. Been to Paris many times, and though everything at the airport is white & snow covered but would love to see more than this!

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702 posts

Oh no, I hope this is resolved soon for you. I am so happy that we had the weather we did when we went. Enjoy Paris, when you do finally get there.

Posted by
366 posts

I really enjoyed your trip report, and am glad you had such a memorable birthday celebration there!

Thanks for sharing your adventures!

Laurie

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14 posts

I, too, greatly enjoyed your report. I was not familiar with the Musee Jacquemart-Andre, but looked it up after reading your report. It is now on the "must do" list for our trip this May. I was excited to see that they will be having a special exhibit of Mary Cassatt's work while we are there. Thanks again!

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440 posts

Thanks for sharing a great report. Everything certainly fell in to place for you on this trip.