When my mom rolls into town we waste no time. Sure we have our moments of relaxing and strolling but there were so many moments that we wanted to share this trip so when she arrived early one Thursday morning we immediately embarked on our itinerary. It was also my last day of classes so I had a difficult time focusing for several reasons. One of our stops was the Hermes location in the Left Bank. It’s even more stunning and spread out that the one on Saint-Honore and I prefer it for several reasons, one of which is that its lay out makes appreciating the selection a more pleasant experience.
To celebrate the end of the semester my mom took Nicole and me for dinner and drinks at the Ritz. I could not get over the ornate and opulent detailing that seemed to fill the hotel.
Awww, how precious, right?
After returning to Paris, after our weekend in Marseille, we made a quick stop at Brownies & Bagels before heading over to school so I could take my final and really be done with school work. These bagels are pretty delicious but only made me miss the ones from home even more, though it’s not like I sit around thinking about bagels all day long.
We walked around the 6th for a little while and you know that it wouldn’t be a proper stroll without making a pit stop at Bon Marche. I love how decadent and old fashioned this department store is, whenever I visit I always feel like I’ve stepped back in time. There’s a perfume that my mom wanted from there so if I’ve got space in my suitcase I’m certainly going to search for it!
After spending six days traveling it was really nice to return home. Wow, it sounds so weird to say that but it’s true. Though Paris and I often find ourselves in disagreement, I’ve really grown to appreciate the city and coming back was in fact like coming home. I took my mom on one of my favorite walks, which coincidentally ends at Breakfast in America. We strolled down some of the narrowest cobblestone streets I’ve seen in Paris but it’s beyond charming and allows you to gawk at the Pantheon and take note of the Latin Quarter’s many tiny restaurants.
Afterwards we walked around Belleville for a little while and spent some time at the park for the flowers and sunshine, which is always welcomed. My mom and I say that we don’t really care what we’re doing, so long as we’re together and that’s really true. This was one of my favorite stops that we made as it brought us to this amazing street full of colorful street art.
Most things we wanted to see were closed Monday because businesses made a long weekend, with the First of May being that Tuesday. We accordingly adjusted out Voltaire/Oberkamp plans to include the Marais-area and luckily we found more things that were open in this area. Before we knew it dinner time has arrived and it was time to meet up with Gordon! Of course our dinner spot was also closed but we ended up having a delightful Indian meal instead. You know I could just keep eating that stuff until I passed out, right?
Tuesday was magnificent. Another sunny and warm day in this metropolis and though most things were closed for the First of May, my mom and I managed to have no trouble whatsoever finding fun, new things to do. We finally go to the mosque and I’m really glad that we did. It’s the biggest in France and the second largest in Europe and I can see why people admire it so much. I’ve always enjoyed visiting mosques because I find that they have this humble ornateness that is completely unmatched by anything else. I was transfixed by this garden and cannot wait to grab a nosh and some tea at their cafe.
After visiting the mosque we took the loveliest walk through the plant garden. This is what my mom sweetly referred to as “the hot house” so I had to take a photo. The palm trees mixed with the architecture reminded me of 1920s Miami for some reason, am I crazy?
I don’t really know if you consider what we did next a “stroll” because it felt much more like a hike. Though we weren’t looking for it, my mom and I happened upon Berthillon and got the perfect afternoon snack. This afternoon could not have been any more perfect, especially considering what came next…
Just as we were leaving the ice cream stand my mom and I noticed a familiar tune, but where was it coming from? The bridge of course! And which song was it? “Si tu voi ma mere” of course! Everything about this moment was just right.
I don’t know who that lady is standing next to my mom but this is us on the famous bridge in Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny. We spent a few lovely hours there and I was so glad that my mom had made this suggestion, how good is she? Everything smelled so good here and the frogs were making the most hysterical noises. It sounded like they were laughing, though I don’t think that’s really what it was.
For your viewing pleasure, some eye candy from the gardens.
Lots and lots of purples and pinks.
This particular arrangement gave my mom a special dose of inspiration for what we’re looking to do with our new landscaping plan– how exciting!
The First of May in France (and I think in several other European countries) is more or less the equivalent to the American Labor Day, however, with less shopping and sales. One of the major displays of protest began nearly right outside of my apartment and marched all the way to Bastille, which is quite a distance. Upon arriving from Giverny our driver had to plop us by Saint Germain because so many roads were closed off to vehicles. It took some fancy footwork but eventually we made it back to the hotel. We took a pit stop to people watch at Luxembourg before attempting to cross Saint Michel, which was not easy at all.
It was really weird to see people walking freely on Saint Michel because I think of this as a very busy boulevard that’s hard to cross on an average day. Within a few hours of the demonstrating the roads were more or less completely cleaned and it’s as if no one had been there in the first place.
On our last day together my mom and I grabbed some baguettes and enjoyed them in the Tuileries. It was something that we both wanted to do and it was a lot of fun. I wish I could have shown you just how big this baguette was because it was HUGE, seriously. This is my “Foux Du Fafa” impersonation and I love how it makes my mom laugh! Isn’t being silly and having a good time just the best?
We walked around the upper Marais for a while before eventually heading back to the hotel for the big send-off. I am so fortunate to have spent this special time with my mom, especially in addition to the wonderful family visit that I had in March. I feel like such a lucky girl for so many reasons and maybe I’ve given you a glimpse into why this is. We’ll always have Paris but right now I’m really excited to get home and see my boys! Can you blame me? I’ll be spending the next week (to be exact) heading to plenty of museums as the weather is slated to be pretty crummy. Though I’m always excited by the idea of sitting in one of my favorite gardens or sipping endless espressos while people watching. What ever your delight is, you can satisfy it in Paris.