My dad flew into Paris with his girlfriend to visit me the day after Easter. I had promised to meet them at the airport bright and early but it figures that would be the one day in my life I slept through my alarm. They were able to navigate their way from the airport to their apartment without me and I met up with them after class.
My dad’s girlfriend, Karen, has some connections in Paris from having visited over the years and was able to find them an amazing apartment to live in for the week of their visit. The apartment was on Rue Franklin D. Roosevelt, just off the Champs Élysées, and directly across the street from the Grand Palais. For my readers who aren’t familiar with Parisian geography, this is prime real estate. In fact, the hôtel particulier (type of Parsian/French lodging for wealthy families including a courtyard as well as many spacious rooms and apartments) in which they stayed was allegedly built by Napoleon for one of his mistresses. After having visited the apartment, I do not doubt this story! While most apartments are surprisingly old, no apartment in Paris is “large” by American standards. However, my dad’s apartment was definitely the biggest I have yet to see in this city.
My dad and Karen were my first visitors in Paris and it was difficult to balance school work, my social life, and my guests. Somehow I was able to go to class each day, show my visitors around and dine with them, and see my friends each night. By the time they left I was pretty exhausted! Luckily, we spent a lot of time in Parisian cafés drinking espresso, which was a nice treat. We did a lot of other fun things too and I tried some new restaurants in Paris. We visited the Musée Rodin and we ate dinner at Café Hugo (named for Victor Hugo, French poet and literary genius, author of Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame), located at Place des Vosges, where Victor Hugo lived for many years. The food was amazing and my dad was nice enough to bring my good friend Ali out, too 🙂 On my dad’s last morning we ate breakfast at Ladurée on the Champs Élysées, a French pâtisserie (pâtisserie is an understatement) founded in 1862 known for its amazing macarons. I had real-life French toast, or pain perdu, (called “lost bread” because they used to use stale bread to make French toast!) and it was unlike any French toast I have ever had or will probably ever have again…unless of course I go back to Ladurée, which I hope to do.
The hands-down coolest thing I did with my dad was take a private tour of the Eiffel Tower underground. One of Karen’s connections was able to arrange a tour with the Chief Operations Manager of the Eiffel Tower. We didn’t have to stand in line at all and we were able to see some really cool things that most tourists never get to see, such as the hydraulics system which powers the elevators that take people to the very top of the tower. Here are some photos from our VIP tour:
Here are a few other photos from the visit with my dad:
I had a great time with my dad and I am so happy he got the chance to see Paris. It was an incredible week and I think he appreciated the vacation 🙂 The same week my dad came to visit, I went on a group excursion with CEA to Chateau de Chantilly, the supposed birthplace of whipped cream, and to Auvers-sur-Oise, a small French town where artist Vincent Van Gogh spent his last few months. Here are a few photos from the day trip:
More photos from Chantilly, Auvers-sur-Oise, and my dad’s visit can be viewed at the following URL: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4854688520144.1073741826.1084980122&type=1&l=b6c5b46fc4
Thanks for reading and I will catch you all up on my other adventures soon!