The train to Paris was at a nice leisurely time so that meant that we could sleep in while the rest of the family explored the alleyways that were used for the silk traders and during the French resistance. Mum loved the doors. The train ride was through lovely French countryside and we arrived at our airbnb accommodation in Montmartre around the middle of the afternoon. We headed off the check out some shops while the rest of the family explored around the Sacre Coeur.
Wednesday 31 December - the last day of 2014! Greta and I started the day with a brief run around the Sacre Coeur which made me feel fat and unfit but it was a good start to the day. We then headed to a vintage fashion flea market and to have a coffee that Keith thought was terrible and proceeded to express his displeasure to the waiter. The rest of us found this highly embarrassing, but it provided good material for the next few days. Versailles was the next stop and this was where all of the tourists were for the day. It was so packed! Very nice hunting lodge though and amazing gardens. Memorable bits were the palatial gardens and the waiter that remembered everyone's coffee and tea orders without writing anything down. Some champagne began to flow when we got home and duck was on the dinner menu at home with enough foe gras and cheese to keep Matt happy. We then made our way to the Champs-Élysées for the countdown to 2015 and a light show on the Arc de triomphe before walking home.
For the first day of 2015 we started the year with tea and macaroons at Laduree on the Champs-Élysées and stuck around for lunch and to see the parade (which wasn't really worth it). We then set off for the ice skating rink outside the Hotel de Ville, but we all opted out of that as it didn't really look like a beginner's paradise with many spectators and many people skating. We wondered through the Latin Quarter finishing up at Luxembourg Gardens and heading home.
Friday 2 January was set aside for the Louvre, lunch at the Eiffel Tower, some shopping and then dinner in the Latin Quarter at la Petite Périgourdine. We arrived early at the Louvre and did not regret that or pre-booking tickets. The queues got huge before we even got in and they only got bigger while we were in there. We made a mad dash to see with Mona Lisa with everyone else and then wondered around for the next few hours. You would probably need a whole weekend to see everything and then a week to actually take everything in! Our next stop was the Eiffel Tower for a delicious lunch and then it was a relaxed afternoon for Matt, a haircut for Van and shopping for the rest of the family. A great dinner at la Petite Périgourdine finished off the day and Matt's highlight was the aligot for dinner. Yum!
The last day full day in Paris started at Galeries Lafayette and then we parted ways for shopping. We all got home around mid afternoon and Matt prepared some homemade escargot which was good but not as good as the stuff in the restaurants. We celebrated Ingrid's graduation at Chez la Mère Catherine and is one of the oldest restaurants in Paris having been founded in 1793. Needless to say, it was pretty damn good. Even the frog's legs were tastey! There was no time for dessert as we had the Moulin Rouge to go to. Three bottles of champagne and a fantastic show was an awesome way to finish a great holiday. Highlights were the costumes, the crazy skaters and the boobs (that one was limited to Matt and Keith). On the way home we popped into the Amelie café for a coffee and dessert.
Last day of the holiday was a travel day. Until next time France!