A Weekend in Paris

I truly love Paris. I know it's a bit of a cliche, but the city has so much to offer and is so charming in its own ways, I can't resist it. I have been there a few times now but still get super excited when we plan another trip or layover in Paris. Some would say that doing a weekend in Paris is a bit crazy (and they are probably right), especially given that it's an 8 hour flight from Chicago. But it was still totally worth it. The weird thing is when we're out of town on the weekend, it feels like we can slow down time a little bit and that we're actually gone 3-4 days instead of just 2.

We took an overnight flight from the U.S. to Paris and arrived at 9am, supposedly ready to start our weekend in Paris and to explore the city all day. The reality looked a bit different. We both worked on the flight and at best got 2-3 hours of sleep so we needed a lot of coffee to get us through the day. We stayed at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme which was a dream. After we had successfully surprised my parents (read the exciting story and watch the reveal video here) we were off exploring the city on this beautiful spring day.

 

A weekend in Paris - Walking around Place Vendome

 

A weekend in Paris - Bettina and her mom

 

We strolled through parks...

 

Walking through a park in Paris - after the surprise in Paris

 

A weekend in Paris - Strolling through parks

 

A weekend in Paris - strolling through parks

 

Enjoyed the beautiful flowers blooming everywhere...

 

A weekend in Paris - Blossoms and spring fashion

 

Shop My Look

 

I picked up this adorable purse in Venice earlier this year but flower prints are all in trend right now. I link a few options here.

 

Shop Floral Purses

 

And stopped by the Louvre.

 

Exploring the Louvre in Paris during our surprise in Paris

 

A weekend in Paris - exploring the Louvre

 

A weekend in Paris - Lantern by the Louvre

 

I couldn't resist grabbing some crêpes on the way. I don't really have a sweet tooth but I knew if I got one that Kyle would happily eat the rest! 🙂

 

A weekend in Paris - Eating Crepes

 

After our snack, we continued our self-created walking tour to Palais Royal for some mandatory snaps.

 

A weekend in Paris - Photo by Palais Royale

 

A weekend in Paris - Palais Royale

 

Exhausted from all the walking, we took a real break and sat down for an apéro - wine, cheese, cured meats, grissini, and escargots. (I remembered eating escargots as a kid and not liking them so I cautiously tried them and was surprised by how much I like them now! It's weird how your taste buds change over the years.)

 

A weekend in Paris - Bettina and her mom enjoying an apero

 

I was in heaven with this great selection of cheeses.

 

A weekend in Paris - cured meats and cheese apero

 

A weekend in Paris - wine and escargots

 

Because no trip to Paris would be complete without seeing the Notre-Dame, we continued our tour towards Ile de la Cité.

 

A weekend in Paris - Ile de la cite

 

A weekend in Paris - Eiffel tower

 

A weekend in Paris - Notre-Dame Cathedral

 

 

Saturday evening, we grabbed an Uber and headed to Montmartre, a part of town in the 18th arrondissement, for dinner, enjoying the sights along the way.

 

A weekend in Paris - Sunset by the Opera

 

If you're ever in Paris, you have to stop by Le Relais Gascon. It's a cute little restaurant very close to Sacré-Coeur. With little, I mean a lot of tables crammed into a small space - very European style. They have two locations, although I like this one better because of the ambiance.

 

A weekend in Paris - Dinner at le Relais Gascon

 

They are known for their incredible salads. I know what you're thinking - you don't go to Paris to eat salads. Trust me, you don't want to skip out on these.

 

A weekend in Paris - Salad at le Relais Gascon

 

The salads are all covered with home-made potato slices which are similar to chips, and come with melted goat cheese, bacon, and other great toppings. It's anything but your typical salad and it's so delicious! The portion is very large and I've rarely seen anyone finish it. If you're not in the mood for salad, their other creations are also outstanding.

Exhausted after a very long day (Kyle and I hadn't really slept since we left Chicago) and stuffed with salad (didn't think I would ever be able to honestly say that), we headed back to the hotel and to bed.

We started our Sunday with a typical French breakfast - pain au chocolat and coffee...

 

A weekend in Paris - French breakfast

 

Followed by some window shopping...

 

A weekend in Paris - Window shopping at Guerlain

 

A weekend in Paris - Window shopping at Guerlain

 

And some real shopping (no, not for me, we shopped for Kyle) later on.

Although our flight home was at 6pm, which is relatively late for a flight from Europe to the U.S., we wanted to get to the airport early as the line-ups at Charles de Gaulle Airport can be very long and we weren't able to check in online. Sad to say goodbye, my parents left to drive back to Switzerland and we were headed home.

A weekend in Paris - Aerial view of Chicago

 

It was a truly successful weekend in our books. Would you do a weekend in Paris even if it was an 8 hour flight? What was your shortest trip? Let us know in the comments below.

 


 

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A Surprise in Paris

For my parents' birthdays this year, Kyle and I decided to treat them to a weekend in Paris. After all, it's only a 4 hour train ride from Switzerland, and who could say no to such a romantic get-away? What we didn't tell them is that we were going to fly across the pond and join their romantic weekend in Paris, so to say, a surprise in Paris.

I'm so happy to share this experience with all of you and I'm still tingling with excitement writing this post and thinking back to that weekend!

 

Exploring the Louvre in Paris during our surprise in Paris

 

It all started with an offer from Hyatt to redeem 2 hotel nights at any Hyatt in the world (it was part of their Hyatt credit card sign-up bonus, check out all benefits here). Given its location, impeccable service, and perfect location, the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme seemed to be a great choice. Because Kyle and I would only use one of the free nights for a weekend, we decided to gift the other night to my parents. We quickly bought train tickets for them to get there and Kyle found flights with great timing for us.

After what felt like an eternity of keeping it a secret,  the surprise in Paris was finally getting real as we were off to Europe with my parents still being in the unknown. Because the French train service staff was on strike,  no trains were running and so my parents decided to drive the 6 hours from Switzerland to Paris. Not knowing when exactly they would arrive, I informed the staff at the Park Hyatt of our plan. They could not have been more helpful! We were able to check in early to freshen up and they promised to call us as soon as my parents arrived so we could surprise them in the lobby.

Our hotel room was super cozy and was outfitted with a walk-in closet (I wanted to move in right away), a view of the street, and a well-needed Nespresso machine.

 

 

Full disclosure, we had just gotten off an overnight flight which left the U.S. at 7pm and had gotten only a few hours of sleep on the plane. We knew that if we would nap, you couldn't wake us up again so we tried to stay awake which seemed nearly impossible while sitting around and waiting.

 

Hotel room at Park Hyatt Paris Vendome

 

Hotel room at Park Hyatt Paris Vendome

 

Hotel room at Park Hyatt Paris Vendome

 

Hotel room at Park Hyatt Paris Vendome

 

A few hours later, the phone rang as promised, and we were informed that they were currently checking my parents in at the front desk, but that they would keep them in the lobby by telling them that their room wasn't ready yet. We went downstairs and were greeted at the elevator with instructions on my parents' exact location in the cafe.

Extremely nervous (not sure why I was nervous) and video recording in hand, we walked up to them, prepared to see two very surprised faces. As soon as they saw us, both my mom and dad jumped up to greet us in disbelief! I don't think I have ever seen them both this surprised and this happy to see us.

It was the perfect surprise in Paris!! The Park Hyatt treated us to champagne and macarons to celebrate our little surprise reunion which was a wonderfully sweet gesture from them.

 

Champagne and macarons at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome - during our surprise in Paris

 

Full of adrenaline and running a sugar high from the macarons, we set off to enjoy a beautiful spring day in Paris - together. Read all about it here.

 

Walking through a park in Paris - after the surprise in Paris

 

What was your biggest surprise? Would you do a surprise in Paris? Let me know in the comments below!


 

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