It’s a long story – but to keep it short, Zach and I were torn when we started planning this so called “babymoon”. Zach’s going through a quarter-life crisis and thinks that once this baby comes out of me that we will never, ever…ever travel again. His fears are justified. We’ve been so lucky to have had the opportunity to travel together over the last [almost] six years. Trips will be far and few between in the future, and even so, they will be completely different. So in an attempt to have a one last hurrah, we wanted to make this trip count. We went back and forth between Hawaii and New York forever. Totally last minute, we decided on Paris. Mark and Jeanene joined us in Paris and then would go their separate ways to Switzerland. We would stay in Paris for a bit longer before flying to New York before returning home. It was meant to be, I guess, because everything just fell into place rapidly.
Saturday we boarded our direct flight to Paris. I was a little hesitant to take an international flight being almost 7 and a half months pregnant – but I figured I would go into it with a good attitude and hope for the best. I was envious of Zach – he took a sleeping pill and was out within 5 minutes of reaching 10,000 feet.
With a stroke of luck, our row had an international outlet so I could charge my computer the entire flight. 45 minutes into the flight I decided I would try to sleep. I figured if I woke up, then I woke up. I had been asleep for about 30 minutes before I awoke to Zach battling with a bag of peanuts. I opened my eyes to see him smooshing a bag of peanuts very noisily.
I asked him “Zach, do you want me to help you open those?”
He just stared blankly at me.
Then he continued to crinkle the peanut package in my face. Words cannot express the annoyingness of this sound. Not only to me, but to our fellow passengers. I kept telling him, “Babe, that is really loud. Do you want me to help you get those open?” But to no avail. He was dead to the world – doped up on a sleeping pill, making as much noise as possible with what he had. Like flying with a five-year-old.
Needless to say I never got back to sleep. Luckily I got a ton of work done and felt super accomplished by the time we landed in Paris. Zach, on the other hand, has been permanently banned from ingesting a sleeping pill ever again considering he got sick in the last couple of hours in the air. No need to reminisce about our flight to Africa…there was puke involved, but at least he didn’t puke on himself this time! So it was a victory!
We took a taxi from CDG to the hotel and after ditching our bags we took a little nap. As soon as we had all rested a bit we set off to observe the neighborhood our hotel was in. This was the closest Zach and I had ever stayed to the Eiffel Tour. It was a fantastic location.
We roamed around the area and then had dinner at our local favorite – Pizza Amalfi. The manager recognizes me every time we dine there. He was elated to find out we were expecting a little girl and he told me to name her Lisa. We went back to the Eiffel Tour to see her sparkle and grab our first of many crepes of the trip.
The next morning I woke up to a zonked out Zach. He wasn’t going anywhere, so I went down to breakfast by myself. I brought some of it back up to our room in time to watch the sun rise. The view was amazing…
Our first full day we walked down to the Seine River to take a boat tour. Mark and Jeanene had never done the tour on the water, so we thought it would be fun. The weather was perfect.
We dined at a cafe near our hotel afterwards for a late lunch. Later we took a taxi to the Montmartre for dinner. We ate at a steak and seafood restaurant that didn’t mess around. Mark and Zach shared a giant slab of beef on a hot rock.
Jeanene and I got an incredibly moist fish baked in packed salt. The meal was awesome.
We walked up to the Sacré-Coeur and for the first time walked through it. We walked down the steps before taking a taxi back to the Eiffel Tour for another crepe.
Our second full day we took the RER to Versailles. We stopped just outside for a McDonald’s visit – mostly for decent bathrooms and sodas with ice. Once we arrived at the palace we were all stoked there wasn’t a wait. We went straight to lunch at one of the palace’s cafeterias. After our baguette sandwiches we went outside to the gardens.
We grabbed ourselves a golf cart (seriously, so worth every euro) and cruised around the entire place.
Mark’s favorite was Apollo’s water feature. This is also where we parked our golf cart and some Russian chick stole our directions off our golf cart. Luckily Jeanene and Zach were brave enough to call her out and get them back.
Our favorite was the Petit Trianon. I haven’t seen the gardens in bloom since my visit with Zach on our Study Abroad trip. I couldn’t believe how beautiful it all was.
We obviously had to pay a visit to the farm – where Zach heckled the goats.
Mark lead us on a search for the Grotto – Marie Antionette’s swimming hole. Zach was thoroughly enthused…
On our way out of the Petit we had some freshly squeezed juice made from the oranges from the orangerie. Mark loved it so much he made us do a drive-thru on the golf cart at the Grand Trianon – our next stop.
We ate dinner at a random restaurant before crashing for bed.
The next day the men set off on a biking adventure while Jeanene and I set off on our mission: to find a blessing dress for my baby girl. On a previous trip to Paris, Jeanene and my sister-in-law Gina found some blessing outfits for some of my nieces and nephews. She convinced me we could find something, and I was grateful for her patience. We tried several boutique stores, but had no luck. Since there are very few Parisians who know what a baby blessing is, we kept asking for anywhere we could find a “christening dress”. Turns out people go all out on Christenings in Paris. Hand made gowns made from antique lace were available, but unfortunately they needed a real baby to create one – completely custom. So we kept on searching. Meanwhile, the guys were riding their bikes through the Garden of the Tulleries, which is apparently not allowed. They were chased down by some French version of a mall cop.
We retired before it was time to head to our dinner reservation at Little Italy. It was my favorite meal of the trip. Something about the pesto pasta at the place, I am telling you. We walked around the neighborhood afterwards to look at the flower shops and saw the Pompidou all lit up at night.
The next day we had some time to kill before our night at the Louvre, so I made everyone stop at Ladureé for a pre-lunch snack. Since we were already on the Champ-Élyssé we did a little more baby shopping.
We had lunch at the Paris London Cafe – Mark’s favorite place in all of Paris (mostly because they give you tons of ice with your Coke Zero) and all of us dubbed it was the best lunch of the trip. Afterwards we walked through the Paris Opera House. It was Zach’s first time walking through – it was just as beautiful and ornate as one would imagine.
On our way out of the Opera House we spotted a gigantic mall. Jeanene and I did a little bit of shopping and the guys requested a stop at the indoor McDonald’s.
We then made our way over to the Louvre. Wednesday is one of the nights the museum is open late and we wanted Mark and Jeanene to experience it at night – just like Zach and I’s first date.
We took our obligatory photo – the one we have taken on our first date, 1st year anniversary, 4th year anniversary, and now…our last trip as a family of two.
The next morning we went our separate ways. M & J left for the airport to catch a flight to Switzerland and I drug Zach out of bed at 5:30 AM to get maternity pictures. I didn’t know it was happening until 2 days before that actual morning. Since we were originally planning to go to New York for our babymoon, I had contacted a photographer to take some maternity pictures. When our plans changed and we decided to head to Paris, I contacted everyone I could find (that spoke English) to take some maternity photos for us. It was very last minute and I didn’t have very good luck. It wasn’t until 48 hours before that I knew for sure we were going to do them. A sweet English-speaking photographer local in Paris (with four kids of her own) agreed to take our photos for us for a killer price. I still can’t believe how much she charged us, especially because the Euro is less than the dollar right now. I told her our first date was the Louvre and she agreed to meet us there and take us around a few other nearby spots. Her only stipulation was that we meet her at 7:00 AM so that she could take all the shots before all the tourists emerged. It was kind of a wild card, but I am excited to see how they turn out!
After our photos I made Zach go back to Ladureé – this time for a BOX of macarons in our favorite flavors: vanilla, chocolate, salted caramel, strawberry, raspberry, and lemon.
When then made our way back to the Les Halles area to have lunch at a little Italian place Zach found online. It was the best margherita pizza I have ever had – and I’ve had a lot of margherita pizza, sadly. Funny thing about Paris: all their margherita pizzas come with black olives. It’s so weird, but I can’t hate on a great thing…
We walked around the neighborhood, walking through the Pompidou for a bit, and then went back to our hotel to change into something a little warmer for the evening.
We had dinner at the same place we eat every single time we come to Paris. Zach loves their French onion soup. It was a delicious meal and we spent some time afterwards walking around a few stores nearby. Zach enjoyed staring at all the fancy sports cars in the ritzy area nearby where all the designer shopping boutiques are.
It was our last night in Paris. We couldn’t resist getting one last crepe [Zach got cinnamon and sugar every time and I got Nutella and banana] and walking back to our hotel.
The next morning we went straight to the airport for our flight to New York. We arrived in NYC late in the afternoon and went straight to dinner at Dos Caminos in SOHO a couple of blocks away from our hotel.
The next morning we did some shopping in SOHO. After walking up and down Broadway for a bit we made our way over to Shake Shack – my one request of the entire trip. Not only is it the only time I eat a cheeseburger, but their beloved crinkle fries are back. It was like heaven was shining right down on me…
We spent the rest of our afternoon roaming around – popping in and out of shops, relishing in any air conditioning possible, and then heading to dinner at Lombardi’s Pizza near Little Italy. We both were starved after all the walking in the crazy humidity.
Zach asked for Pinkberry afterwards and I couldn’t resist – besides, they had peanut butter flavor!
The next day we packed up all our bags and checked out of our hotel before taking the subway to Yankee Stadium. I’ve said it before and I know I will say it again, but my husband has incredible timing. We always seem to be in random locations where specific sporting events are taking place. Last time it was conveniently the Bruin’s ice hockey playoff game while we were in Boston. This time, Derek Jeter’s retirement game was scheduled for our last day in New York. I was happy to attend at Zach’s request. My only request was that our seats were in the shade. It had been hot and humid all weekend, but Sunday was slightly overcast and 10 degrees cooler.
The event was such a blast. All these special guests had shown up to celebrate Jeter – including Michael Jordan and Cal Ripken, Jr.
They also had clips between innings of other celebrities that had filmed their messages of congrats for Derek. It was so fun to experience and I am so glad we went.
29 weeks in Paris was an absolute dream. Baby girl feels like she has doubled in size over the last seven days. I don’t know if she had a growth spurt or if it was all the baguettes/crepes I consumed.
I’m so grateful to Mark, Jeanene, and Zach for letting a pregnant chick tag along with them on this amazing trip. Paris pregnant went a lot better than I expected. Even New York, with the wild humid temps, was really wonderful. Thank you to everyone who made this trip possible for us, we feel very lucky.