My mamma and I headed to Paris for a couple of nights earlier this month to celebrate her birthday in style.
It was indeed a bon anniversaire as we had the most wonderful time taking in the sights, soaking up the sunshine and indulging in a fair amount of wine and cheese...
The last time I went to gay Pareeeeeeeeee was around 5 or 6 years ago, and for my mum it had been even longer, so we were well overdue a visit. I have always said that Paris is a city I could see myself living in, and after this trip, I would definitely stand by that sentiment - I simply love the city of love.
Along with seeing at least 25 newlyweds posing by famous landmarks in their wedding gear over the course of the trip, everywhere we went, we were surrounded by smoochie couples! As this was a mother-daughter jaunt, and my sweetheart is on the other side of the world, the nearest I got to smooching in the city of love was with a macaroon....it was absolutely divine, although the nearest it came to passionate was the passion fruit and chocolate flavouring.
We walked so much and slept very little the entire time. Even using the metro was pretty tiring, as getting from train to train requires a lot of walking through tunnels and going up and down endless sets of stairs! The metro system is really useful though, as it is so quick and easy to get around, and with pretty short stops, we never had to worry about stumbling across a station if we found ourselves a bit lost. It also provided the soundtrack to our weekend, as every metro ride featured a different busker entertaining us with their melodies.
The hotel Monterosa, where we stayed, was absolutely fantastic. It was quite recently remodeled, so it is very clean, modern and comfortable. Our room was a good size with a small balcony, the bathroom was great and above all, the staff were extremely helpful and friendly. The complimentary buffet breakfasts were delicious and plentiful (my croissant craving was very well satisfied) and the free soft drinks and nibbles in the afternoons and evenings were a very welcome addition when arriving back to the hotel after a long day of sightseeing.
As well as seeing all the usuals (the Louvre, Tour Eiffel, Sacré-Cœur, Notre Dame, Moulin Rouge, Arc de Triomphe, cruise on the Seine....) we really enjoyed wandering around the beautiful Père Lachaise Cemetery, where Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde and Chopin, among many others, are buried. It's huge, and so many of the tombs look like miniature churches.
The Jardin du Luxembourg was one of my favourite places that we visited. Neither of us had ever been there before, and we were amazed at what a wonderful, well-manicured and versatile public space it is. There really is something for everyone with beautiful flower gardens, Luxembourg Palace, a pond where children can use sticks to push little toy sail boats around the water, a go-kart area, a bowls lawn, a little theatre, a humongous playground (which made me wish I was a child again!), cafés, beehives, a vintage carousel....and the list goes on. The great thing was that there were thousands of moveable chairs dotted about the whole park so you could sit comfortably wherever you liked. Great idea, and I think it's one that our parks in London should adopt.
I loved stumbling across a bridge covered in padlocks and ribbons near the Notre Dame. I had not heard about it before, but people from all over the world go there with their sweethearts and attach locks with their names on them, on to the wire on the bridge. It's quite a spectacle to behold, and we met a couple who were just attaching their own lock of love onto the bridge for prosperity. Awwwwwww!
All in all a fabulous weekend with the birthday girl, which provided countless wonderful memories to chatter about as we travelled home with a picnic on the Eurostar.