Our daughter is a great sleeper. A great sleeper as in goes to bed at 6 and sleeps until 7 or 7:30. I am almost afraid to write this down as we might get jinxed. This is awesome 99% of the time, but it is not awesome when traveling. The last time we traveled we got a simple hotel room, Ava went to bed early (she actually stayed up until 7:30- wild night!), and Dan and I struggled to figure out what to do with ourselves for the rest of the evening. This led to us sitting in the vestibule outside the bathroom with a bottle of wine while Ava slept. Dan and I decided on that trip that we would only stay in either a suite or an apartment until Ava starts going to bed later.
When we decided we would go with my parents to Paris, Dan got on Home Away and started the search for an apartment. We got so lucky to find this great place in the Latin Quarter (5th arrondissement) spending less per night than we would for a nice hotel room.
I don’t know about you, but this is exactly what I picture in my mind when I think about what a Paris apartment would look like.
I loved all the big windows and ornate fireplaces in each room. Every room also had at least one entire wall of bookshelves full of books. The owner had a ton of travel books, which I am kind of obsessed with. She also had a ton of art books, which was fun to look at after exploring art museums during the day.
The dining room/fourth bedroom if you need it.
The view from the kitchen.
Shower room with the crazy tub. The apartment had one other shower room.
Ava really enjoyed the tub. Ava, I hope you are not mad at me in 16 years for posting a picture of you in the bathtub (sorry future Ava).
My parents slept in this bedroom, which was in the back of the apartment so it was pretty quiet.
This is where Dan and I slept. This room faced the street so it was a little ‘noisy. I though I took a picture of Ava’s bedroom, but I guess I didn’t. She did have a room though, we didn’t make her sleep in the bathroom or anything.
Ava’s 2 favorite things to do on her vacation: look out the window and occasionally bang on it and crawl EVERYWHERE. That girl is fast!
The Latin Quarter is a great area to stay. We were 2 blocks away from Rue Mouffetard. Rue Mouffetard was originally a Roman road, but today it is a touristy area (not in a bad way) with a daily open-air market, restaurants, chocolate shops, bakeries, and cafes. We had a bakery a block away from our apartment on both sides, which was dangerous. We were also walking distance to the Metro and we even walked to Notre Dame and the Musee d’Orsay (albeit a very long walk). We also had a Starbucks down the street. I know, I know…I shouldn’t be excited about a Starbucks when there are local cafes everywhere, but I have been without Starbucks since moving to Belgium and I really miss my Caramel Macchiato.
A painting I found of Rue Mouffetard. It pretty much looks the same today, minus the ladies in long dresses.
Rue Mouffetard today
Since we were so close to the restaurants we decided to go out to dinner in shifts. My parents (who enjoy eating early) would go to dinner around 6 while we fed Ava and got her ready for bed. They would come back around 7:30-8 freeing Dan and me to go out after they returned. It was so nice to have 3 nights out without spending our entire meal keeping Ava entertained and preventing her from pulling the tablecloth off the table or throwing food around the restaurant.
I found this picture online - this is where Dan and I ate the last night. It is a wine bistro with a limited, but delicious menu and, as expected, a great wine list. Dan had duck and I had a salad with all kinds of yummies like fried egg, Fois Gras, potatoes, and cheese.
We ate here the first night. This restaurant was surprisingly great. We stopped here on a whim, but had one of the best meals we have ever had. I had duck and Dan had a Filet. We started with some Escargot that was still in the shell and some Foie Gras. I felt very “Pretty Woman” eating my escargot. I have had it many times before, but I have never had to pull it out of the shells with one of those clamp things.
I highly recommend staying in an apartment when traveling to a new city. Not only is the space great, but what better way to really immerse yourself in the life of a city. In case you are interested, here is a link to the apartment. Since we traveled off-peak it was a steal. I think it is a lot more expensive during peak travel times.
I will write another post about of adventures in Paris. Check back:)