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Celebrate Your Milestone Birthday in Paris

Jul 1, 2008
Are you turning 30,35,40,45, 50? Landmark or milestone birthdays are the perfect excuse for the ultimate Paris Friends Getaway. Tom used his wife's 30th birthday as the catalyst for a chic jaunt to Paris and to make it truly memorable, he invited her entire bridal party and their spouses! Here is a candid account of the magical week that marked Louise's 30th milestone birthday with her best friends in Paris.

The flight arrived at around 11:30 am at CDG and a driver was waiting for the group with a plaque with the family name. The group headed directly to the Marais where they they were welcomed into a 5 bedroom private house featuring an elevator and pool and best of all included a butler. The butler gave them a brief tour of their Paris home for the next week. Yes Tom, did his homework and found the Bauderlaire apartment on the Paris Luxe Apartments.

To some it may see like an extravagant getaway but when you consider ultra luxury accommodations in the heart of Paris able to cater to 10 guests for only $22,000, it comes out to less than $3,000,00 per person.

After the group settled, they walked approximately a half mile to Arc de Triomphe where they purchased tickets for the 2 day hop-on/hop-off bus tour of the city. The weather was warm and beautiful ideal for cruising on top and was the best way to experience the amazing sites.

The next stop was Notre Dame, as a massive, very impressive structure, but it was a bit dark and it's hard for amateur photographers to do justice to such a vast, impressive site. After that, the party walked around the Ile St-Louis and enjoyed lunch (croque monsMonday they spent 3.5 hours at the Louvre, which is amazing, but utterly overwhelming. they managed to see all the most famous pieces (Mona Lisa, Winged Victory of Samothrace, Venus de Milo, etc.) and also visited the old French crown (Louis XIV) and the recreation of Napoleon old house. They had lunch at Cafe Marly and walked around the area a bit and made way back to the Opera House and, naturally, arrived right at the time it was closing (4 PM). It was cocktail hour and they wre pretty tired so, fortunately, as they Harry's Bar where they popped in for a couple of Bloody Marys.

They went to Cafe de la Paix for dinner and had a very good meal and then they back to the townhouse and popped into the James Joyce pub where they sat at an outside table and were accosted by a total drunk patron.

On Tuesday , they took the metro to the Orsay in the morning and spent 2.5 hours. They raved about the Orsay , the building is amazing and the collection is unforgettable. They took the RER to the Tour Eiffel and walked around and took some photos. They had a long lunch at Jules Verne, which was totally delicious and quite an experience.

They walked from Eiffel Tower to Les Invalides and looked at the WWI and WWII exhibits and then visited Napoleon crypt. From there they walked to Rue de Cler and saw all the fruit and vegetable markets and had a drink at a local bar. They took the metro back to the townhouse and had a light snack at Chez Clement.

On Wednesday, they took the metro to Montmarte to visit Sacre Coeur, which all thought was way more interesting that Notre Dame. They walked over to Place de Tetre and walked around and looked at all the artist stalls. They had lunch at a fun restaurant called La Cremaillerie, which is right on the Square. Montmartre is a really interesting area with fun shops and nice gardens and interesting looking apartments.

They followed a walking tour and walked to Au Lapin Agile (which, disappointingly, is apparently closed during the day) and then continued on to the Moulin Rouge. They did have drinks on Boulevard Blanche (an area full of prostitutes!).

They took the metro to Place de Concorde which is a very impressive spot and then They walked up the Champs-Elysees and had dinner at a restaurant called Cafe Fouquet on the Champs-Elysees which is supposed to be the hot, hip place for locals. They were on the early side so they missed a lot of that but the food and wine was very nice.

On Thursday, they took the metro to St. Germaine, an area everyone loved. They kept saying that if they lived in Paris, this is the neighborhood to live in. They shopped on the main Boulevard and found a great shop, La Fragonard, and bought some beautiful soap and perfumes (both of us) and Louise bought some lovely salad plates.

The lady there was fantastic and gave us tons of free samples of perfumes and lotions and other beauty items. They went to the Swarovski shop and Louise bought a beautiful pendant.

They walked around and visited several other fun shops. They had lunch at Les Deux Magots even though it is famous, the food was average. They made way to the Latin Quarter where they walked around the main Square and also followed some of the guided walk. They walked past the Sorbonne and they to the Pantheon and saw some interesting old graves/crypts.

They walked down to Montparnasse, but many things were closed that day because of Victory in Europe day. They had some drinks at the Coupole de Lila and then took the train to the Trocadero where they took some nice photos of the Tour Eiffel. They walked a bit through the residential area (very posh) and headed for a restaurant called La Fontaine de Mars, a great local place which not touristy, and had a really good dinner.

On Friday, they woke up early to go to Versailles on a guided tour. Versailles is very interesting it has beautiful gardens and the interior of the palace is totally over the top. They got back to townhouse at around 1 PM and changed clothes and headed for the Opera House and took a tour. It is possibly the most magnificent thing they saw on the visit and the photos absolutely do not do it justice. It would be amazing to actually go to an opera there.

After, they all headed to Printemps for shopping and had a late snack at the bistro with the stained glass dome ceiling. They also visited Galleries Lafayette and other shops. They walked to Le Madeleine and visited Fauchon and other shops in that area. They walked down Rue Royale and had cocktails at Maxims and then on to dinner at Le Grand Colbert near Galeries Vivienne which was delicious (especially the smoked salmon on blinis).

They visited Ste. Chappelle, which is absolutely breathtaking and a truly fantastic site. It is another place where photos wil not do it justice, but they actually managed to get a few decent ones. They then headed on to Marais, Les Halles and Bastille and had lunch at Au Pied de Cochon. They walked around (partially following a suggested walk) and also visited Le Cochon, one of the authentic bistros noted in the book that John gave Ali. They walked to Place de Vosges (very impressive) and sat in the square under the trees.

They made their way back to the apartment. They rested and packed and had dinner at a local spot, Chez George, and then hopped over to Tour Eiffel since They wanted to get some nighttime photos. Ali bought George a fun glowy souvenier.
About the Author
Rita Borges is Managing Director Paris Luxury Vacation Apartment Rental agency in the USA, Paris Luxe Apartments, http://www.parisluxeapt.com
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