Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Birthday plans

As I mentioned in Monday's post, my birthday is coming up in 2 weeks on Dec 7.  This will be my 50th birthday, a milestone birthday indeed.

My husband told me a few weeks ago that my 50th birthday present was going to be a trip to Paris!  

I'm so excited!!

I've always wanted to go to Paris.  The idea of drinking coffee and nibbling on croissants in an open-air cafe, walking the cobblestone streets, perusing the famous Paris Flea Market, the many museums, the Seine, the Eiffel Tower - all of it just sounds so lovely and romantic.  So Spouse contacted the travel agent who helped him plan my 40th birthday trip to Las Vegas and she helped him put together this trip.

We'll be flying out of Dulles International Airport (not far from where our family lives) on a non-stop to Paris on the evening of Thurs Dec 5.  We arrive early in the morning on Fri Dec 6.  We're staying at the Hotel Concorde Montparnasse which has American-style bathrooms, views of the Eiffel Tower, and is very close to the subway.  

We also have 2 day passes for the Hop On/Hop Off Tour Bus which should give us an
excellent overview of the city and help us decide where we want to spend more time.

On my actual birthday, Sat Dec 7, we are going on a Seine river cruise and also having dinner at one of the Eiffel Tower restaurants.

Sun Dec 8 is our last full day.  I know there are loads of amazing museums but to be perfectly honest, a little of that goes a long way for me.  So while we may spend a few hours doing that, I want to have lots of time to see Paris.  Of course we've looked at some websites, but if you've been to Paris, I'd love to know your favorite places, or places you think would be of interest to me, someone who has never been there before.  We leave in the morning on Mon Dec 9 and because of the time difference arrive back at Dulles in the early afternoon, giving us plenty of time to drive back to DE.

I've already ordered and received my laminated, foldable Paris map, downloaded a translator app on my iPhone, and set up a special plan with my carrier to be able to use my iPhone in Paris.

Spouse has decided his "color story" for the trip is going to be black, grey, and beige.  LOL!!  I have no idea what clothes I'll be taking but I DO know that I will be wearing comfortable walking shoes.  And I'm bringing scarves, because it just seems like one should be wearing a scarf in Paris.

This is going to be AMAZING!!!


anne marie in philly said...

OMB, how WONDERFULLY FABULOUS! and 50; eh, you don't look a day over 40.

paris is indeed a lovely city. place de la concorde - the american embassy is there PLUS the fountain that gene kelly and leslie caron danced in (not literally) from "an american in paris". the louvre. les bateau mouche (the seine river cruise boats). the left bank. notre dame cathedral. les invalides (napoleon's tomb). palais de versailles. le metro (subway).

bonne vacances et voyage!

SEAN (The Jeep Guy) said...

Happy Birthday! and what a way to commemorate and celebrate! Can't wait for the recap! and pics.

the cajun said...

Comfortable shoes! Smart man. Paris, like NYC, is a walking city.

Such a short trip I would suggest finding places you'd like to spend more time visiting on the next longer holiday. Museums can take days and if you're not into all that, why bother.

Use the Metro as much as possible to get to places farther away. Walk around Montparnasse for shopping and bistros (strong coffee!).

Pere Lachaise Cemetery - Piaf, Bizet, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Jim Morrison, Proust, Oscar Wilde, and many others are buried there.

If time allows (and you're interested is such) a bus trip and walking tour of Versailles is amazing, too. Especially for the first time visitor.

No matter what, you'll be celebrating your Birthday in style in Paris. "But, of course!"


Howard in CT said...

My Mister and I are not big museum buffs either, but we loved The Louvre. If you are pressed for time there, at least see the MonaLisa, and take a pic of all 3 of you. One of our favorites in our Paris albums.
I never thought I would enjoy a cemetery visit as much as Pere Lachaise Cemetery. Just Google it and see all the famous names, including Jim Morrison of the Doors.
The moonlight cruise on the Seine is one of the most romantic memories of our trip to Paris.
Happy Birthday! Enjoy Paree!!!

Howard in CT said...

more suggestions/tips:
Parisians love any effort you make to speak French. 1. Say Bonjour to anyone you interact with. In the evening, it's Bonsoir. Thank you is s'il vous plait. Merci is Thank you. And Pardon works for Excuse me. You can Google for pronunciation, or ask the concierge when you arrive. They will be overjoyed to help you, seriously.

2. Never wear a baseball cap. This will peg you as the brash, arrogant American. Not everyone loves Americans over there.

Hope this helps!

cb said...

Ooo I'm jealous! Naturally you need to see all the major things (Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Arc, Notre Dame, etc). But I recommend the Pompidou Center museum and especially Musee d'Orsay!!! the latter is WAY better than the Louvre!

Also, St. Chapelle cathedral (?) the one with the blue stained glass…

Also shop the men's side of Galleries Lafayette. It's to die for! But see the stained glass dome.

And when you do Notre Dame, do the tower tour where you climb the stairs and see gargoyles.

cb said...

OH! And do NOT carry a backpack. Use a messenger bag instead. And don't wear tennis shoes, wear comfortable, but not necessarily sneaker type shoes.