It was our second time in Paris, first time with our little one (who was turning 5 during the trip) and we had a jam-packed agenda. We would have one full day for Paris and one full day for Disneyland Paris, we would arrive in Paris at about 5-6pm which would give us plenty of time to rest to enjoy the next 2 full days… but that was not exactly how it happened.
My plan was the following for the trip:
Saturday: arrive in London Heathrow from Toronto at 10am, hop on Heathrow Express to Paddington, take the subway to St. Pancra’s, board the Eurostar at 2pm, arrive in Paris at Gare du Nord and take a taxi to our hotel. Check in at around 6pm, grab some snacks at Monoprix and walk up the Arc de Triomphe; have a light dinner and go to bed at around 10pm.
Sunday: wake up at 8:30am, leave by 9am to the l’Orangerie, then off to Montmartre and have lunch there, come back to the hotel for a shower and go to the Eiffel Tower for the sunset and twinkling lights.
Monday: wake up at 8am and go to Disneyland Paris for the 12pm character lunch at Auberge de Cendrillon and enjoy the rest of the day there.
Tuesday: sleep in and go to the airport for our flight to Prague at 12pm.
What actually happened
The plan was not overly ambitious if you consider our travel style which is “walk till you drop”, but we did not plan for one thing: jet lag. See what happened…
Saturday: arrived in London Heathrow from Toronto at 10am, hopped on Heathrow Express to Paddington, however, there was a problem with the subway and we took a classic English black cab.
Arrived at St. Pancra’s 10-15 minutes later; since it was around 12pm and our train was not until 2pm, we tried to board the Eurostar earlier, however our fare (the cheapest) would not allow us to make any changes without paying more, so we decided to hang out at St. Pancra’s until it was time.
Boarded Eurostar, my daughter and and my husband crashed but I was awake the whole time (even though my husband claims I took a nap!) and arrived in Paris at Gare du Nord 2 hours later.
Waited forever at the taxi stand and to our surprise, the driver was a woman and she asked us (in French) if we wouldn’t mind her friend riding in the front seat… it was weird but sure, why not?! The drive to our hotel was very scenic, she drove by Galeries Lafayette and talked about some other places en route (which I didn’t fully understand), and after 10 minutes drive we got to our hotel.
Checked in at around 6pm, walked to Champs Elysees to grab some snacks at Monoprix and walked to the Arc de Triomphe. We decided not to walk up the Arc because we were a) tired and b) our feet were sore. We skipped dinner and had our light snacks for dinner and were ready to bed by 10:30pm.
I was going to setup the alarm clock to 8-8:30am but my husband said “Why do that? Our little one always wakes up early and so do we!”… Alright then. 🙂
Sunday: I opened my eyes and saw the time: 8:30am and decided to close my eyes for 5 minutes before “officialy” waking up. My five minutes turned out to be 3 hours!!!
Woke up at 11:37am, started to panic and my husband just reminds me we are on vacation and not to worry, we will come back to Paris again. At that point I confess I was lost and tried to come up with some other itinerary on the spot. Decided the best thing would be to go to the Luxembourg Gardens first, by walking by the Sorbonne. When we got there, my little one complained her foot was hurting and I didn’t have any bandaids. Went to a few small stores but couldn’t find a sandal her size, until we spotted a Gap store at the Sorbonne Square. Sore little feet problem solved, we walked into the Pantheon and decided to check it out (since we had never been). To me this is the most under-rated attraction in town; no lines and some beautiful paintings and the pendulum and the crypt. All of us liked it and would have spent a few more hours there if it we were not that hungry.
Stopped at Le Cercle for lunch just across from one of the Luxembourg Gardens entrances; had our lunch at 3pm and rented one of the little boats – my kid(s) had fun! From there we went to the l’Orangerie, but it was so hot and the wait for 45 minutes in the hot sun with our little one was not something we wanted to do.
From there we walked aimlessly towards the Seine and saw the Batobus sign! Bought our day passes, waited for 10 minutes and hopped on the boat towards the Eiffel Tower. It was so good to just sit down and enjoy the sights! Upon arrival at the Eiffel Tower, we thought the lines would be awful and long and stressful… but they were not! Half an hour wait and up we went; we just couldn’t go to the very top due to crowding but that was not a problem, it was perfect!
Once we took pictures, enjoyed the views of Paris we took our Batobus towards Ile St. Louis to go get some ice cream.
We arrived there around 8pm and only Amorino was opened and there we got our fantastic ice creams! We sat down at Pont St. Louis to have our treats and in the meantime a street performer was setting up his show. My daughter loves street performances, so we just sat there, with the Notre Dame Cathedral and the sunset in the background.
It was the best day I could have wishe for in Paris, even though my plans did not go as expected. Thank you, jet lag!
Monday: woke up at 8am and went to Disneyland Paris for the 12pm character lunch at Auberge de Cendrillon and enjoyed the rest of the day there.
Tuesday: decided to wake up early and go to La Defense to see the arch. Arrived back at the hotel to check out before 9am and went to the airport for our flight to Prague at 12pm.
I can say that I did not see or do everything I planned for that Sunday in Paris, but I do know I would not change that day because it was perfect in its “imperfection”. And always looking on the plus side: now I “have to” go back to Paris to visit those places I didn’t have the chance to! 😉
Vive le jet lag!