our trip to france {part 1}


a little less than a month ago, sean and i were blessed to go on a vacation together for 9 days!  his mom stayed with the kids for the first half, my parents for the second half.

our trip was rewarded to us by hunter douglas, the window coverings company.  sean’s company onesource is a hunter douglas dealer and one of the great perks of that is these amazing trips that are rewarded!  this is only our second hunter douglas trip (a few years ago we went on a mediterranean cruise), because we share the trips between partners, managers and sales people as well.  no complaining on the wait here – 3 years in between all-expenses paid vacations is fine with me!  all that to say, i am a big hunter douglas fan!


(clockwise from top left: paris metro, grate in a cathedral in conflans, just outside van gogh’s house in auvers-sur-oise, in monet’s kitchen in giverny, in our room on our boat, at la couronne in rouen, on the beaches of normandy, at the normandy memorial and cemetery, under the arc de triomphe in paris)

this year’s trip was a seine river cruise in france!  we started in paris, then conflans, vernon, rouen, les andelys, then back to paris.  i’ll be honest with you – the only places on the trip i had heard of before were paris and vernon (where monet lived and painted his famous waterlily series).  but we love an adventure and were up for anything!  this trip was also different for us because all of the guided tours were included.  since we’re cheap, we usually opt out of guided tours because of the added expense.  and because we didn’t want to be on a hot bus for hours with a huge group of people.  but because these were free we decided to try the tours out.  i am so glad we did because some of them were the highlights of our trip!  and thankfully, our tour groups were relatively small and the few bus rides we did have to take were short (other than the couple hours to normandy).


so, our river cruise… the mediterranean cruise was the first we had been on and it was a huge ship!  our boat was much smaller this time.  despite its small size, it was really nice!  it was a pretty new boat and our room was great – best bed i’ve ever slept in!  the biggest difference about this boat compared with the ship we were on is that this boat is small.  the living spaces consisted of a small coffee lounge, a larger cocktail lounge, the dining room, and the roof deck.  on a big cruise ship there are tons of activities: casinos, pools, shopping, mini golf, rock climbing.  since this boat didn’t have any of that, it left us to do a lot of relaxing.  sean and i rarely slow down, almost never do nothing, so this was great for us.  in order for us to slow down, we literally had to be forced to!

we got into paris early our first day, but since we were on a time schedule of a fairly large group, we didn’t end up getting into the city until almost noon.  we immediately went out on our own, starting in the tuileries garden.  it was fun walking through there, remembering when we had gone there with our girls when they were just nearly 1 and 3 1/2.  actually, a ton of fun memories with the kids filled that day and made me miss the kids so much right off the bat!
our big plan for the trip was to rent bikes wherever we could.  fun, right?  well, if we were actually able to do it it would’ve been way more fun.  turns out, you need a special microchip in your credit card in order to rent from the machine, a microchip none of our cards had.  big bummer.
so we walked, and walked and walked!   paris is such a beautiful city!
our first stop was to the arc de triomphe, where the lift (elevator) was out of service, so we took the stairs.  apparently, the lift is always out of service!  walking back down these stairs made me very very dizzy!
the view from the top of the arc de triomphe is pretty amazing.  i love love love getting one-on-one time with sean!  he’s my favorite ;)
from the arc we walked a couple miles to the eiffel tour.
my daily goal was to have a croissant, baguette and a crepe.  i think i ate about 3 croissants that morning and was grabbing a baguette sandwich and a lemon crepe here – mmmmmmm!
after touring paris for a few hours, we were taken to our boat.  after getting settled, and changed, we headed to our first of many super yummy dinners.  and as you can see from the pics above, we ate really well!  3-5 course meals every night (dinners lasted for at least 3 hours each night!).
*ok, i thought i’d be able to compact this 9 day trip into 2 posts, but this has taken me hours so far, so this will turn into a longer series!*



  1. 1

    What a beautiful trip!

    You look like you fit in perfectly in Paris.

  2. 2

    This makes me want to visit so bad now. France looks so pretty and yummy too :-)

  3. 3

    What a lovely trip! I can’t wait for the other posts. =]

  4. 4

    Your pictures are amazing! It looks like you had a really fun trip! I love the foot picture collage, what a great way to document where you went. I look forward to reading and seeing more of your trip! (:

  5. 5

    The boat looks charming! What a fantastic way to see northern France.

  6. 6

    What fun! I’m totally stealing your idea to take photos of your feet in different places.

    The hubby & I have a house swap to the Netherlands in August and we are staying in Paris for 3 days since it is a short drive away.

  7. 7

    Yay! So excited to see these pictures! One-on-one times with husbands is THE BEST, but I’m sure Paris could make it even a little “bester!” = ) Can’t wait for more!

  8. 8

    Looks like you and your hubby had a wonderful time! Nice to see the pics!
    I went for a weekend to Paris (while visiting family in Europe), when I was 16, and I think I’d have a whole new appreciation for it now. I’d definitely make a stop at Laduree, that’s for sure. ;-)

  9. 9

    Oh I love your photos, and miss Paris. The hubby and I went 2 years ago and it was glorious. We spent a few days in Spain (Barcelona and Madrid), and then 4 days in Paris. SO much walking, good food and wine. I can’t wait to go back. Thanks for sharing your trip :)

  10. 10

    Hi, It truly was an incredibly experience and I think I made some lifelong friends! Being an ecampus student makes me feel a little isolated sometimes so it was great to spend time with like-minded individuals.

  11. 11

    Last Friday I had to make an unplanned trip to Cape Cod. So I woke my 17 year old up at 6:15am and told her if she wanted to visit the ocean she had 15 minutes to get ready! She has been begging to go to the ocean, so she was out of bed and dressed in record time.

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