Flashback: Paris Whirlwind

We visited the City of Lights to celebrate my 30th Birthday and our 5th Wedding anniversary. The trip was short (if you haven't noticed, that is our modus operandi) but luxe. We had amazing weather. We stayed in a gorgeous hotel. The whole experience was a dream. We were right in the middle of renovating at the time and stress levels were INCREDIBLY high so it was a great respite from dealing with permits and contractors and sewer pipes and joint compound.
Without further ado, lets get to the photos. GeorgeVRelaxRoomBW
We stayed at the Four Seasons which is an absolute dream hotel. I've been lucky enough to stay in 2 other Four Season hotels but nothing compares to this particular one. We got there early in the day before regular check in time. Instead of making us wait in the lobby like most hotels do, this place whisks you off to a "relaxation room" that has soft feathery beds and candles burning for you to chill out in. Impressive.

The murals on the walls alone made me swoon! As soon as the bellhop left us alone, we were oohing and ahhing over everything - acting like a couple of kids in a candy store. Not long afterward there was a knock on the door. We quickly composed ourselves to act like we were used to all of this luxury everyday and let them show us to our room. It was huge!! These photos don't do this room justice b/c it looks a little bit grandma here but it really was lovely. Perfectly french, at least from a tourist perspective.
Waiting for us on the coffee table was a little surprise from the conceirge. Let me tell you this was the most out of this world pastry I've ever had. We practically ate the plate. I have no idea what you'd call this but it’s a good thing its thousands of miles from me or you'd have to wheel me around in a handtruck.
On a weird note, I'm not quite sure why but there was a photograph of Audrey Hepburn on the nighstand.
Hey, I like Ms. Audrey as much as the next person but I don't need her to be staring at me while I sleep. Is this some strange misconception that the French have about people from other countries? Not that I'm complaining - at least I wasn't in the Jerry Lewis suite.
Ok, I know you're thinking 'Enough about the hotel already!! Go outside!" Righto! So off we went to see the sights.
I don't remember the exact order of how we saw everything but we did a city tour to get the lay of the land.
We went to the sprawling Clingacourt flea market at the city's edge and found the sconces for our dining room
Had lots of good coffee
We lucked out and stumbled upon a food festival in Montmarte.
Had a weird redition of me done by a street artist
Took the metro all around
MontemarteMetroDid a lot of walking and window shopping. Also got yelled at a lot for taking photos where I'm not supposed to
On my birthday proper, we got dressed up and had an extremely overhyped meal.
On our final night, took a late night stroll over to see the lights of the tower. I know its cheesy but I have a soft spot for sparkly!
Our last stop before heading to the airport was Versailles. The crowds were much larger than I imagined but it certainly lives up to its reputation.
And then poof, our fabulous trip was over. We had to say goodbye to our lovely room as well as my 20s. Sniff, sniff.

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  1. I love Paris...

    What beautiful pictures! It looks like it was an AMAZING birthday!

  2. I know that you were recently in London. How do the two compare...or which do you prefer?

  3. You are so lucky to have had celebrated your 30th b-day in Paris. That dessert looks super yummy! What an amazing trip.

  4. Wow, now THAT'S a 30th birthday done up right! I'm really embarrassed to say I went to Vegas for mine to ride the Big Shot ;) Now you have me planning much grander things for my impending 40th!


  5. K - They are really very different. Paris is a little bit more of an adventure because the language and cultural differences are more obvious. So depending upon your mood, one is better than the other. Both are beautiful cities with all you could ever ask for in terms of variety, architecture, history, etc.. In terms of cost, I found Paris to be much more expensive so that is definitely a con. But I've heard people say the opposite. The weather is usually better in Paris.

  6. Anonymous3:51 PM

    Beautiful pics! And sounds like a fabulous vacation!

    I was wondering if you could tell us how you got the effects in the first few photos of the hotel rooms. I can't even think of the word for it, but I'm sure you'll know what I mean. Thanks for any tips!

  7. WOW!! Looks like that was a wonderful trip! I've always wanted to take a trip to Paris and hopefully it will happen within the next two years! LOL!! Thanks for this flashback.

  8. The coffee table in your room in the Four Seasons looks very similar to those you've been looking at (and the one you ended up selecting) for your living room

  9. Anonymous4:05 PM

    Mrs. L - what amazing pics of what looks to have been a fantastic trip! You did Paris right. We spent 3 weeks in France last summer - a week in Paris, a week in Provence, and a week in the Loire Valley - and definitely did it on the cheap, slumming it in some not so nice "hotels". Although I cherished every minute there, I think you had the right idea of hitting the highlights, staying in a posh hotel, and eating well. My one regret was not making it to the flea market! Makes we want to go back!!!! Thanks SO much sharing.

    Do you plan to go back? Or do you prefer to hit a plethora of places instead of re-visiting?

  10. I love the pics- did you take them all yourself? You're quite good! Thanks for taking me to Paris this afternoon- I needed the mental break.

    And you gave me an idea of what to do for my 30th birthday in 5 1/2 years.


  11. Amazing photos! I was just going to say that you were so lucky not to get a Jerry Lewis portrait! HeHe! :)

  12. I SOOOOOOOOOOO want to go to Paris! Your vacation does look like a DREAM! My fiance and I want to go to Europe after a fews years of marriage. But it is totally on the list. Except I HATE flying!

  13. What a fun trip for you! My 30's were the best, so don't mourn the 20! Now I am 52 and what I would do to be 30 again! Congratulations on the anniversary and the b'day!

  14. Anon - For the photos that have rounded/distorted edges, I'm using a fisheye lens. Its not done on the computer after the fact.

    inthetweeds - I totally plan on going back although I don't know when. Its close enough that we could do a weekend there which is nice.

    Monica - Yes, the photos are all mine - warts and all. But thanks for the compliment.

  15. I have never been to France because I don't speak the language but some day. I think a fast weekend would be the best way to go. By the way love the houndstooth jacket/shirt you have on in the one picture. MB

  16. paris has never really been on my list of places to visit but this post (along with other peeps into paris by various things i've read) is really making me reconsider. the architecture is fab! and your photos are great :)

  17. Your photographic style makes me swoon. Just in case I never make it to France, thanks for the little mini vacation in the middle of a very hot afternoon.

  18. Hey! So glad you decided to post some more travel pics!! I looove Paris! We do short quick trips all over the place too - but its better than never getting there at all:)

    Lol at the weird portrait in Montmartre. I had one done there too - everyone else's that I was with was spot on, and then the guy that did mine sucked. It looked nothing like me:(

    Gorgeous photos, thanks for sharing with us! What an awesome birthday!

  19. great pictures. look like you had a great time. Hope to visiting Paris soon

  20. What a perfect way to spend your 30th birthday & 5th wedding anniversary! That flea market looks amazing.

  21. I've been to Paris a million and twelve times and it never ceases to make my heart skip a beat when I see a particularly Parisian picture. What is it about that city? Though I went to Versailles when I was 17 and decided that was plenty. When we were there last summer I sent K on his own.

  22. You are such a gifted photographer. I love your work. Especially the fish-eye lense photos (I've wanted one for a while now) and the "Quiet Please" door sign.

    Thanks for sharing these with us!

  23. beautiful photos...i cant wait to go someday...

  24. now i'm going to have to go to paris just to find that shop with the green glass bottles hanging from the ceiling! love those! pam

  25. What a cute story. I am so going to Paris on my 40th.

  26. Great pictures! I love your travel pics.

  27. Anonymous1:14 AM

    Yes! I needed that! I can't wait to live vicari... uh, I mean see some more of your vacation photos.

  28. Gorgeous pics as always! I love the fisheye ones. Has me dreaming of a fisheye lens for my new camera :)

  29. French food, French fleamarkets and that certain je ne sais quoi. Not to mention French healthcare... I think I'd better move on before I crack

  30. Ah, the Georges V! It really is lovely. We're huge Four Seasons fans. The first time my (now-) husband came to Paris with me was for New Year's way back when we were 22 and 24, and we stayed there thanks to a sweet corporate discount. Due to a misunderstanding they moved us the second night (we were there a week)...to one of the 2000+/euro/night Presidential Suites. I've never seen anything like it; the suites was on two levels, with an entry/study/half-bath/living/dining/kitchenette, then a spiral staircase to the enormous bedroom suite upstairs. All the windows had little balconies from which we could see the Eiffel tower. It was ridiculous, and ever since I've just rented apartments in Paris because why bother even trying hotels once you've had that experience? (There was something in the air on that trip--we got bumped to business class both ways. ???!!?)

  31. Wow... just wow! How fun!

  32. I went to Paris on my honeymoon last year & now I am so sick for the City of Lights. I need to go back. I find myself logging onto Travelocity, Delta, etc.all the time just to see how much flights are. Lovely pics :)

  33. It has always been a dream of mine to visit Paris and put my 5 yrs of French class to use. This post of yours just made me go, what the hell am I waiting for, just do it!

    My favorite is the one of the storefront with petals strewn all over. And you my dear, look absolutely gorge. =]

  34. Lovely photos- looks like you both had a great time! I am making a mental note to make sure I mention that hotel to my DH. Might not have happened for our 5 year, but just might for our 10 year anniversary. ;-)

  35. Just look at you sparkle! I love Audrey for her ageless, timeless appeal...and look at you! You are tres chic,in Paris and at home!

  36. Wow! Thanks for taking us along on your trip. I love the image of the pastry at the four seasons! I need to stay there just for that.

  37. What an amazing trip and a wonderful way to spend your 30th birthday AND your 5th anniversary!

    The hotel looks divine- and I hope to stay there one day too, you just convinced me :)

  38. Wow! I love your photos and your blog... found you on blogrankings. My husband's company is based in Paris, so I'm hoping to go over one day with him... your pictures give me ideas of where to go!

  39. OH.MY.GOSH/D. I can't stand it. I haven't been to Paris in over five years, and you just transported me. I love love love your pics. Tres jolie.

    That looks like such a fabulous time. Happy 30th Birthday !

  40. Ahh- I love Paris.. each visit is different and perfect! I have never been to the place where they have all of the demijon bottles hanging from the ceiling. Do you mind sharing that? I am jealous that it is so close to you it is an 11 hour flight min. from Ca.

    Love the pics!

  41. What incredible pictures. I want to go NOW!!

  42. You have an amazing eye for photography - ever think about selling prints?

  43. love this post! My hubby and I are planning on spending our 5 year anniversary in Paris ... and after reading your post I realized that it will be around my 30th birthday as well. More reason to celebrate in paris :-)

  44. Gorgeous photos and a very nostalgic tour - I am craving another trip and just spent 2 weeks there last Sept. You made me almost weep at the luxury of your hotel. Definitely worth every penny, i bet.

    Gorgeous pics!!

  45. my favorite pic is the blown glass bottles hanging from the ceiling. was this an antique shop. i love it.

  46. I'm going to Paris in just 6 short weeks for the first time with my friend Heather (habitually chic) and we plan on doing a lot of these same things! crazy! Thanks for sharing - love your photos!

  47. Your pictures are fabulous! They bring back so many memories for me. I am glad you had such a wonderful trip!

  48. I'd buy your guidebook in a heartbeat if all the pics were so magnifique! J'aime Paris; lived there for a year in college. Your pictures captured the city's magic.

  49. That must have been real heaven... I've nerver been to Paris, but it was nice to visit a little bit with you. :)

  50. Really wonderful photos :) I wanna go!!!

  51. Your pictures really make me want my camera right now. I cant wait to get it...buy me a dummies handbook, enroll in class, and get at it!

  52. Mrs. L-
    This is probably the 3rd time I've read this post! You did a beautiful job of telling a story about your time in this beautiful city! I'm so glad you take pics of all the little details...that's what makes a place like Paris so amazing! Great houndstooth dress/jacket/top, by the way. I'm a houndstooth junkie, myself!

  53. Awesome photos Mrs. L. Looks like you had a GREAT time.

  54. Wow!
    What a great treat to yourself! You take such gorgeous photos...
    I'll be 30 in December. This October, I'm flying to visit some friends in Toronto, then ducking down to New York for a couple of days.
    I'll get to Paris one day :D

  55. What is the advantage of a writer writing a novel in flashback form?

  56. LOVE your trip details! We're hoping to go back to Europe next year and Paris is on my list of places to go first!

  57. Amalia7:13 PM

    Marybeth, before visiting France, you can learn the basics the French use daily (goodmorning, madam/mssr; thank you, please, goodbye), then apologise you don't speak French and they will listen to you; if you show respect for their culture and language they will respect you.  The young people in beautiful France learn English and other languages, besides there are young people from all the corners of this world.

  58. so would you say lugging the dslr is worth it? I bought mine for our Alaska adventure this past summer, and it was absolutely worth it for the animals. but I'm not sure about taking it to paris...what do you think?

    1. Oh definitely. Personally I found Paris to be even more photogenic than Alaska (not that Alaska isn't gorgeous but there are only so many photos of ice, trees and water I can take). Here is another post on Paris: http://www.brooklynlimestone.com/2012/10/bonjour-paris.html


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