I’ve never experience such a wonderful greeting an airport than this one. My mom was finally here, and what better place to meet than Paris! Mom, it had been way too long!
Our hotel in Paris was like a dream (awesome find Mom). The walls were covered in French toile fabric with matching curtains, and the ceiling had beautiful exposed wood from when the building was first built in 1480.
Off to brunch at the Louvre we went! And you can’t see the glass pyramid and not get at least one of the these pics…
We then went to my new favorite art museum, Musée de l'Orangerie, where we got to see Monet’s incredible Water-lily panoramas. Two oval rooms held 4 painting each that wrapped around the walls. This is a must-see in Paris!
Next stop had to be the original Ladurée. Macaroons and tea made for a perfect afternoon pick-me-up.
The next day we visited the Sainte-Chapelle, a chapel built by King Louis IX of France to hold his Passion Relics, including Jesus’s crown of thorns. It was amazing to think that the crown had been in the building where we were standing. The walls contain 15 gigantic stained glass window panels, each beautifully telling a story from the Bible. The windows are still undergoing restoration, so it was amazing to compare the old, dark windowpanes to those that have been restored that showed us the most beautiful light we’d ever seen.
Next up was Versailles. Beautiful is an understatement. Every single room displayed amazing historical paintings and furniture and the grandeur was overwhelming. I couldn’t believe that I was finally walking through that Hall of Mirrors that I had read so much about! As we explored the rooms we looked out the windows at the unbelievable gardens.
That evening we got to meet up with one of my sorority sisters who is doing a two-year abroad program in France! It’s an amazing feeling to meet up with old friends in beautiful European cities.
For our last day in Paris, we went on the best tour I have ever been on in the Palais Garnier, the opera house. We saw the famous Booth #5 where supposedly the Phantom of the Opera enjoyed the shows. The opera house was one of the most beautiful buildings I have even stepped inside, with its Grand Staircase, Grand Foyer, and beautiful artwork on the ceilings, including the auditorium ceiling that was painted by Chagall.
We said goodbye to Paris over a few nutella crepes and were soon on the train to Aix en Provence.
Aix was a dream come true. We wandered throughout the farmers market around the corner and bought the most beautiful produce, rich cheese, perfectly baked bread, and fresh fish that lasted us almost every dinner for the rest of our stay!
We went to the famous Santon workshop where we got to see the family artists creating the figure that my mom adores and collects. The detail in the crafted people and animals was amazing.
For one of our days we went on a village tour around Aix to four unique surrounding villages. The first stop was Cassis, which my mom and I are both determined to go back to. It was an amazing experience to see the bright blue Mediterranean Sea and the colorful boats that floated in the port.
We then drove through the beautiful countryside to Loumarin where we wandered outside of the castle and through the charming streets. Mom introduced me to my first Kir Royale and we relaxed in the sun, taking in the view of the beautiful streets.
The next stop was Roussillon, known as the Colorado of France. We walked along the Ochre Trail and were in awe of the red cliffs surrounding us.
On the way to our last stop, we stopped by the Abbey of Sénanque. The stone abbey was gorgeous and lavender fields surrounded it. Cistercian monks still live at the abbey and tend to the lavender fields and honey bees.
The last village on our tour was Gordes, where we entered the beautiful church and ate lavender cookies overlooking the valley.
For our last day we went wine tasting in the wine region of Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire and learned about the local grapes and wine making process. Between two different wineries, we got to taste nine different wines. My personal favorite was the rosé!
France was more than perfect, and I couldn’t think of anyone better to spend my time with there. Mom, thank you so much for one of the most amazing weeks of my life!