This past weekend I found myself wandering the streets of Paris all by myself. You might be wondering how I, a mother of 3 young children, found myself all alone. It is because I have a very supportive husband who realized that I needed a little break. Last Monday, after a little bit of a break down, Jon told me that I had the weekend off. We didn't have any plans so he said I could just go. I have never just gone anywhere on short notice quite like that so I started researching my options. We have heard of Ryan Air, a discount airline that travels around Europe. We had driven by the airport in Rygge-Moss on a trip to Sweden a couple of weeks ago. Knowing where the airport was did help me feel more comfortable going with a new airline.
I looked into several options, London, Spain, Italy, and finally Paris. As I mentioned in my last post I am kind of obsessed with Paris, but we already have a couple of trips planned to Paris for the coming months. I realized that I didn't care that I was going to be there next month, I wanted to see Paris now.
I found a ticket that left Saturday morning and returned Sunday evening, PERFECT! I looked at hotels.com and found a place to stay. I didn't want anything too fancy or expensive, but as a woman traveling by herself safety was an issue.
By mid week I had everything booked and I was ready to go. I will say that I was nervous about the whole trip, but thanks to many prayers, everything went so well.
Saturday morning I woke up early, packed my backpack and headed out the door. It was an hour drive to Rygge-Moss airport from our house. Our flight took off right on time and we landed a little early at Paris-Beauvais. This is a smaller airport, but they have a great shuttle that leaves just after the flight lands and takes you right to Paris. It is 16 Euros each way and just over an hour of traveling. It is a great time to eat a little snack or catch a quick nap.
Then I was in Paris. I was dropped off at Porte Maillot. There is a Metro station right there and in minutes I was standing outside the Louvre. It was pretty surreal to be there after reading about and studying a place over the years to finally be there.
I didn't have plans to go into the Louvre, not this trip. I did walk around the area and then I headed off to do more exploring. I was trying to take everything in and I completely forgot about my camera until this point. I was headed down the sidewalk and I saw this sign. My sister's dog is named Mondovi, I knew I had to take a picture when I saw this.
And then I turned and I saw this, the Eiffel Tower.
The Obelisk in the Place de la Concorde.
The Assemblee Nationale Palais-Bourbon.And then I walked down the Champs Elysee with a foggy view of the Arc de Triomphe in the distance. I did go into the Banana Republic on the Champs Elysee. It is the biggest BR I have ever seen, 2 full stories and room after room of clothes. The best part was the sale they were having. The only thing I bought was a jacket. I hadn't brought my heavy jacket with me, and when I started to walk around Paris with the other weekend visitor, la neige/the snow, I realized I needed a little something more than I had brought with me. I felt silly coming to Paris and shopping at a very American store, but I don't live in the US any more so I didn't feel as bad.
|ibis Styles Paris Montmartre Nord . This was the carpet in the hotel room, the orange spot is the Basilique du Sacre-Couer.|
This was me all dressed and ready to go and get some dinner.
This was the raspberry tart that I ordered. It was amazing. I wish the bakery was open on Sunday because I would have gotten another one.
This is the chocolate shop I stopped into. I just got a couple of things to try. My favorite part here was when I asked the woman in the shop what her favorite chocolate was in my broken French. The look on her face was priceless. Her suggestion was delicious. I didn't get a picture of the chocolate before I ate it.