Friday, 8 July 2016

Gay Paris

I have recently had a special birthday and some of you may know my hubby took me and my family for a weekend away to Paris. He knew that all I wanted to do was spend some time with my sons and partners as we rarely get time together as a family.  The venue was meant to be a surprise but I did know he would do his best to get us all together and he surpassed himself so the fact that he let the location slip on more than one occasion I forgive him!!

We set off last Friday afternoon with little puppy happily ensconced at his dog trainer and caught the train to Manchester Airport. Really quick flight just one hour and five minutes then a taxi to our hotel which was in the St Georges region, North of the city and not far from the Sacre Coeur. My son in Switzerland caught the train and arrived about 8.30 and we then went to have dinner in a lovely restaurant where we had a sort of French type Tapas where each course was a surprise. My other son had to catch a later flight due to work commitments but they joined us about 11.00pm where he finished off the left overs!!

Saturday morning was an early start and we headed up to Mont Matre and Sacre Coeur. Now I don't know how many of you have actually been there and braved the steps but as we approached them I simply prayed the two girls would see sense and head for the lift and I could then swiftly follow but noooo they just marched up to the steps and almost galloped up!! I could hardly then be the only one to take the lift so I gritted my teeth and hoped for the best! The men in my life are all quite fit and chatted happily and without effort as I gasped for breath and at times dear life and eventually had to hold on to the rail. As we approached what I thought was the top I thought it hadn't been too bad only to realise we were only half way up!!

Anyway it is really was worth every step as the Church is truly beautiful and the views spectacular

Am really hoping I have some paintable images from the photos I took. The whole city is an artist's dream with so many magnificent buildings....I am hoping to be spoiled for choice when I finally get round to looking at them all properly.

We then walked down towards the Seine passing the Moulin Rouge on the way. My daughter in laws' parents had bought us bus tour tickets for my birthday so we picked it up at the opera house, another wonderful building.

The weather was really pleasant especially in the morning and we were able to sit upstairs and take in the views of the city. Though we have visited quite a few European cities I have no idea why we have never been to Paris... I had been twice as a young girl but don't remember much and am not sure why we have never made it before as I absolutely loved it almost as soon as I set foot there. We passed the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Grand Palace and then a trip up the Champs Elysee to the Arc de Triumphe. We decided to stop North of the Eiffel Tower and found a lovely restaurant where we had French Onion Soup which was delicious washed down with the obligatory glass of wine and coffee.

We then walked down to the Eiffel Tower where we stumbled upon the "Fan Zone" for Euro 2016... well I think stumbled is stretching the truth a little. I think I would describe it as guided there particularly by my older son who seemed very interested in walking all the way round all the cordoned off areas to the point where we could actually gain access to this area. He sheepishly said no it didn't matter, he didn't want to go in,  after all it was my birthday and we had to do what I wanted, but as we were so close it didn't seem fair to deny him the experience so we all went in and as he said, the last person he thought he would experience Euro 2016 was his Mum and the last thing I expected to do on my birthday was watch a football match in the Fan Zone!!

The rains came while we were there so we headed back to the hotel to get ready for their Birthday Treat which turned out to be an amazing restaurant not too far from where we were staying. It was a secret and I was given all sorts of red herrings but we arrived for dinner at 8.00 at Restaurant Kei a lovely French/ Japanese Infusion restaurant. The food was really special and we and my younger son though it was the best food we had ever eaten. My older son and wife have been to a restaurant in Cartmel called L'Enclume which they felt was as good if not marginally better but it was a wonderful experience and a real treat for us all.

The following day we walked both to the Louvre and Notre Dame. Though I would obviously have enjoyed visiting the Louvre, we didn't have enough time to do it justice and I'm not sure my family would have relished the thought of spending several hours there checking out the paintings. I also wanted to spend my time with them so I'm sure we will take another trip in the future and perhaps spend a bit more time visiting the sights. We stopped for coffees and beers on the way round and sat in the lovely sunshine watching the Parisien world pass by

All too soon we had to make our way to the airport for our flight back to the Uk which actually arrived early!! I had the most wonderful time with my lovely family and can't thank them all enough for making this birthday such a special and memorable one!!

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