A Babymoon in Paris

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View from the top of the Arc de Triomphe. 

Paris is always a good idea. Especially when you’re five-going-on-six months pregnant. Last month, my husband spoiled me by taking me on a trip to Paris. We wanted to enjoy a fun trip together before our first baby arrives in March and debated endlessly on where to go. We visited Paris two years ago over Christmas and had a wonderful time. After some research, we found some great flight/hotel deals to Paris and decided to go for it (perks of traveling to Europe in November: off-season prices!)

We arrived on a Sunday morning after a direct flight from Cincinnati (highly recommend those Delta/ Air France flights). It was pouring rain but we managed to get our soaked selves to our hotel in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. This is my favorite neighborhood in Paris – classic French architecture, cute cafes, and tons of little boutiques to shop.

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View from our room at Hotel Villa d’Estrees. 

We stayed at Hotel Villa d’Estrees, a charming ten-room boutique hotel located in a narrow alley that is a stone’s throw from Notre Dame cathedral. On our previous trip, we stayed at Hotel Luxembourg Parc, another boutique hotel also located in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. I loved both hotels, but we chose to stay at Villa d’Estrees this time because they offer king beds in their rooms (a rarity in Paris). My growing pregnant belly is taking up more room these days, so a bigger bed was a huge plus!

We spent the majority of the week eating, seeing the sights, and then eating some more.  Dining in Paris is truly an experience. First off, the restaurants typically do not open until 7 pm. The nicer restaurants only offer one seating for the evening, which means they never rush you while you dine because they aren’t trying to turn tables. The menu is typically offered as a three or four course meal and is spaced out over two to three hours. As someone who usually scarfs down dinner in ten minutes, I enjoyed taking my time to really appreciate the wonderful food (and company, of course).

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Soufflé heaven at La Cuisine de Philipe. I had the pistachio, my husband had chocolate coffee. 

Our favorite restaurant in Paris is La Cuisine de Philipe in Saint-Germain-des-Pres. We ate dinner there on our last trip and knew we had to come back for their heavenly dessert soufflés. We also went back to La Maison du Jardin, another neighborhood favorite with consistently delicious meat entrees. Our favorite dining experience of the trip was at Les Papilles, where they only offer one set menu for the evening and you do not know what it is until you arrive. To avoid eating heavy dinners every night, we alternated each evening between going to a nice sit-down restaurant and a casual order-at-the-counter spot. We ended up eating dinner three times at Chez le Libanais, an amazing little Lebanese food counter right next to our hotel – it was that good!

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The prettiest eclairs I ever did see at L’Eclair de Genie.

Of course, the desserts in Paris cannot be missed. I went overboard and ate a chocolate almond croissant every morning, my favorite was from PAUL and Aux Désirs de Manon. We ate macaroons from Pierre Herme and Laduree, my favorite flavor at both is the pistachio. And we couldn’t miss the eclairs at L’Éclair de Génie, they were almost too pretty to eat (keyword: almost).

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The gorgeous stained glass windows at Sainte-Chapelle.

Outside of all the eating, we did quite a bit of sightseeing and exploring (we had to burn off all those food calories somehow!). We bought the Paris Museum Pass, which gives you admission to over fifty museums over a designated number of days. I’d highly recommend it, as having the pass allowed us to skip longer lines and visit some smaller museums we have not been before. My favorite churches include Sainte-Chapelle and Notre-Dame des Paris (I love the view from the top of the bell towers). We visited several art museums, including Musée d’Orsay, Musée de l’Orangerie, Centre PompidouMusée Rodin, and Musée Picasso.

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The famous Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles.

The Pass is also good at the Palace of Versailles, which is a quick 45-minute train ride plus 15 minute walk from the center of Paris. We spent an entire day here, as the palace is massive and the grounds are even bigger. Since it was November, there wasn’t much to see in the gardens besides hedges but it was still beautiful.

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The Queen’s Hamlet at the Palace of Versailles.
For me, one of the most interesting spots in the palace is the Queen’s Hamlet. Ordered to be built by Marie Antoinette, it has a rural English tudor cottage style that is a distinct contrast from the glitz of the main palace. I fell in love watching this tiny little lamb hop around the barn – she was only six days old. It inspired me to later buy my only souvenir from this trip – a stuffed little lamb for our future baby girl!
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View from the bell tower at Notre-Dame de Paris.

Overall, it was an amazing week and I’m so happy we decided to make our Paris trip happen. I was a little apprehensive about traveling so far while five plus months pregnant, but it ended up being fine! I did take some extra precautions, especially during the flights – wearing compression socks, drinking tons of water, and walking around the aisle when possible. My energy level during the trip was better than I expected, we walked around seven to eight miles everyday. Now that I’m nearing my third trimester, it would be much harder to travel now that it was last month. And I definitely would not have enjoyed myself if we made the trip during my first trimester with all that nausea. That second trimester is truly a sweet spot!

Have you been to Paris or thinking about going? Or considering a babymoon trip? Would love to hear!

 

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