Is there really anything more beautiful than Paris in springtime or anytime for that matter? I've only been to Paris once, it was the spring of 2008 and our daughter was studying abroad in the south of France so we went over to spend a little over a week with her.
We spent four wonderful days along the Mediterranean and then we traveled north by train to Paris to spend the rest of our time touring the most visited city in the world. It was almost exactly two years ago this week that we were there, during Easter time.
I'm not a big travel planner, I don't make lists or know exactly where or what I want to see when I go someplace new. I do however have a running tally in my brain of things I've seen in magazines, heard from friends, or simply found online that make me take note and remind me that I "must" see something when I do visit one of the locations on my wish list.
For instance, I know that one day when I visit Fiji I will insist on staying in one of those hotels with huts built directly over the water or that the next time I'm in England I will take a train to Devon and Cornwall to try and find the castle where one of Mr. Tide's ancestors was born (she was supposedly the daughter of the castle's gardener!).
I do look online and get an overview of what is in a particular area, but I just don't have a "plan" per se where every waking moment is mapped out with times and destinations. I guess I never view anywhere we go as the "last" time we'll visit that place, but always as though it's the first time, and I'll be back again one day. That way I don't feel like I have to squeeze in every possible attraction while I'm visiting, and instead can just enjoy being in a place, just for the sake of being there. I want to experience it the way someone who has lived their all their lives experiences it. So we eat at restaurants recommended by locals and we skip most of the huge tourist attractions, we do see some of course, but those places are never at the top of our list.
Mr. Tide was much more of a planner when we first met, so it took a few years before he learned to love my style of travel, and no I didn't brow beat him into submission, he truly has embraced this more carefree, unscheduled approach.
So he wasn't surprised at all when just one week before we were due to leave for France that I didn't have a hotel reservation in one of the busiest cities in the world over Easter weekend no less! He trusted that, like they always do, things would work out and we wouldn't be sleeping along the Seine somewhere huddled together on a bench.
I had contacted Paris Perfect, a wonderful company that rents apartments in some of the most posh neighborhoods in Paris. Although that may sound like a very expensive way to stay in the city, it really is one of the most cost effective things you can do when visiting Paris. I also love that these apartments are in real Parisian neighborhoods, filled with the sights, smells, and sounds of everyday life in Paris!
Just a few days before we left I received an email from the wonderful folks at Paris Perfect saying that they would rent us one of their gorgeous apartments for less than the full week that they normally require. See, it does pay to procrastinate! And it was almost half of what we would have paid for 2 hotel rooms during a holiday weekend.
The apartment had a full kitchen, two baths, a bedroom, and then a wonderful sleeper sofa that converted into two single beds...perfect for a family of 4! The location was perfect....just as the company name indicates, and we had the most amazing view of the Eiffel Tower from the beautiful big french doors along one wall of the apartment!
We had such a wonderful time traveling around the city for those few days and I have very fond memories of spending time with my family in such a marvelous and beautiful city. So today when I stopped by French Kissed and saw a whole post on one of my favorite places to eat macaroons, Laduree, it was as though I was transported back 2 years for just a moment in time! I was sipping tea, eating raspberry macaroons, and soaking in all that is Paris in springtime!