Remember that time I got my parents to fly all the way across the ocean to see me get married and visit Paris? I know that was 3 weeks ago and it seems like I forgot but I swear I didn’t.
It was a crazy, full, busy week but it was so much fun!
Let me set the scene: my mother, a big European traveler in her day and, honestly, the reason my brain has been full of travel dreams since I was about 10 years old, hadn’t been to France in over 40 years. My father, on the other hand, had a brand-spanking new passport in hand, having never flown so far before in his life. Things were about to get very exciting.
The day we arrived was, unfortunately, a miserable deluge of pouring rain, immediately squashing my plans of taking my parents on a quick “walk around the neighborhood” to surprise them with -SUDDENLY, EIFFEL TOWER- around the corner. The cherry on top was the fact that a complete transportation strike was planned for that very day, landing us with a slightly delayed flight and a miserable, extra-long and crowded ride on the Roissy Bus from the airport. It worked out fine, though, because that afternoon was the worst we experienced all week and it was all up from there!
For their first full day in Paris, I decided to take my parents on a whistle-stop tour of the heart of the city. Starting from the Arc de Triomphe, we walked all the way down the Champs Elysées to Place de la Concorde, through the Tuileries gardens and to the Louvre. We even had time (and energy) to go a bit further, and made it to Palais Royal and les passages. It was a bit of a Greatest Hits Tour, and it was the perfect start to their week. For my Dad, who had never imagined he would go somewhere like Paris, it was so much fun to see him seeing these monuments that he had only seen in movies. And for my mom, it was a beautiful, emotional moment when we came up out of the metro and took our first look at the Arc de Triomphe, over 4 decades since the last time she saw it.
For the remainder of their week, we went all over Paris covering the city up, down, and sideways. I had a full itinerary planned with all the major sites, lots of sunny walks, and – of course – tons of good food. Over the next few days we covered:
- Seeing the Eiffel Tower at night, lit up and sparkling
- Going up the Tour Eiffel (even if just to the middle level)
- Notre Dame
- Sainte Chapelle
- Steak frites (seriously, this was a planned event)
- Jardin du Luxembourg
- Bateau Mouche
- Sacre Cœur and Montmartre
- Invalides (Napoleon’s Tomb)
- the Marais and Place des Vosges
- Crêpes, pastries, plenty of cafe-sitting, and wine
And of course, squeezed in between all of that was an incredible meal at Frenchparents’ house and…. my wedding!
It was such a privilege to be there and help them have this amazing trip. I’m so proud that I was the reason they came to Paris to have this experience. I miss them already!