Paris Trip: Part 1

If you follow along on Instagram you probably saw that Tom and I took a trip to Paris a few weeks ago.  It was initially booked before I found out I was pregnant, so once we found out I was expecting we decided to call it our “babymoon.”  We used a whole bunch of saved up SkyMiles to purchase our plane tickets (yay free stuff!), and we stayed in an Airbnb which also saved us money AND gave us a ton of space!  

We stayed in a wonderful flat in the 2nd Arrondissement, and it had the cutest balcony, beautiful old herringbone wood floors, a full kitchen, spacious living room, separate bedroom with a nice comfy bed, a washing machine and a dish washer (a rarity in Europe), wifi, and a wonderful host who made us feel right at home (although we only saw him when we checked in).  If you’re planning a trip to Paris I highly recommend this Airbnb listing.  You have to walk up 6 flights of stairs to get to it, but once you’re up there it’s amazing and oh so worth it.  It was a mere $131 a night, although it has since gone up to $174 (but that’s still a great price and it’s nothing compared to $500 a night at many hotels in the city).  There’s a fun street full of shops and restaurants just around the corner, as well as 2 different metro stops.  The area isn’t touristy at all, yet it’s only about a half mile from the Louvre.  Definitely a win-win in my book.  

View from the apartment balcony.

Morning coffee on balcony.  Tip: Bring a robe and slippers if you stay in an Airbnb to feel even more at home!

Gorgeous herringbone wood floors in the apartment, along with the awesome Smeg fridge!

Below are some of the highlights from the trip (all taken by iPhone).  I’m breaking it up into two separate posts so that it’s not so photo-heavy.  If you have any questions about our Paris please let me know and I’ll try to help!

Day 1

Arc de Triomphe.  So busy and touristy but definitely worth seeing.

I felt the baby move for the first time standing right here in front of the Louvre!!

Jet lag caught up to us so we had to take a break and rest in a park.  Bring a light blanket or scarf with you if you don’t want to sit in the grass.  Impromptu picnics and pitstops are popular in Paris.

Day 2

We stumbled upon this building on the way to the Eiffel Tower.  The wall is entirely made of plants.  So cool!

Picnic by the Eiffel Tower.  I think picnics are the way to go when traveling on a budget, especially if you choose great scenery!  Baguette, cheese, sliced meat like prosciutto, nuts and fruit are my go-tos for a Parisian picnic.

18 week baby bump.

View of Notre Dame from a sightseeing boat cruise.  Boat cruises are an affordable way to see the city from the water (and rest your feet).

Had to buy some macarons from Laduree on the Champs Elysees.

The line at Laduree is crazy long, but if you go to the bar in the back you can order all the same goodies (and a drink) with no wait.

Day 3

Latin Quarter in my black and white ensemble (trying to look like a chic Parisienne).

I’m a sucker for street food, especially if it’s sweet.  This was my first ever cronut (croissant donut) and it was yummy!  Chocolate covered, of course.

Download a book of walking tours if you’re into seeing where famous people lived and where they spent their time.  This was where Ernest Hemingway lived when he and his wife Hadley first moved to Paris.  (We used the book Forever Paris: 25 Walks in the Footsteps of Chanel, Hemingway, Picasso, and More and really enjoyed the two walks we did.)

The Luxembourg Garden was one of my favorite places this trip.  It was so peaceful and there are lots of chairs for resting achy pregnancy feet.  Hemingway walked through this park often to get to his favorite bar.

Supposedly Hemingway wrote The Sun Also Rises at this bar (one of my favorite books).  He also really liked daiquiris, so Tom ordered one at the bar where Hemingway often sat (there is a little plaque on the bar).

Gertrude Stein’s apartment.  This was part of the Hemingway walk as well.  Her book The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas was one of my favorite assigned readings while in college.

Tom and I both lived in Hawaii for 3 years, so we had to get a picture of this cafe (although there was absolutely nothing Hawaiian about it).

Notre Dame is just across the bridge from the Latin Quarter, so we hopped over here real quick before dinner (although we didn’t go through it this day).  Real men aren’t afraid to carry their wive’s purses when they get too heavy 🙂
Gelato stands are EVERYWHERE…which is dangerous if you love ice cream and gelato like I do. 

I’ll share photos from the rest of the trip soon.  Thanks for stopping by!

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Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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Leave a comment

  1. Susan
    June 25, 2015 / 8:27 pm

    Katie, What a lovely trip you had! My husband and I are hoping to go to Paris in 2 years for our 30th anniversary and I will definitely make use of your photos and tips! Thanks for sharing.

  2. June 26, 2015 / 3:53 pm

    I love the pics and your outfits! That AirBnb was quite the find! It sounds absolutely perfect! I can't wait for Part 2 🙂

  3. June 26, 2015 / 3:53 pm

    Looks like an amazing trip! Also, I am in love with your white coat!

  4. June 27, 2015 / 8:41 pm

    Looks like an awesome trip! We love Paris and hope to go back one day!

  5. December 7, 2016 / 4:28 pm

    Love it! What credit card do you have? We're planning a trip as well! Also, do you have tips for Airbnb ? I've been researching it & scams have been running rampant for guests… Thank you so much!!

  6. December 7, 2016 / 4:34 pm

    Hi Sally! We had Mastercard through USAA and just made sure to call the bank to let them know that we would be traveling. One big tip: make sure you know your pin for your cards with chips in them. You pretty much have to have chip cards over there and even for credit cards you'll need to know your chip pin sometimes. We ran into trouble in the Paris Airport when we were trying to buy train tickets. As for Airbnb, we had no issues at all and this was the first and only time we used it. My brother has used it a lot though and has been really happy with it. Choosing a place with lots of reviews is always a safe bet too, especially when you're in a foreign country. Hope that helps. Enjoy your trip!

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