Prix de location de Vacances Parisiens - Parisian Vacation Rentals

Prix de location de Vacances Parisiens - Parisian Vacation Rentals


I am sitting at my mahogany wood desk that I found on a trip to Vermont one autumn weekend while we were antiquing, with my laptop at my fingertips, a plate of cheese and assorted fruits next to me and a glass of red poured…


Okay, really I am on the couch, in my pjs eating some chocolate chip cookies while I dangle my feet over my husband’s lap with the hope that he will give me a foot massage.  Because I want to talk about my experience in Europe many years ago, I thought the first description set the mood better! 


When I was 16 my auntie (on my father’s side) asked permission to travel abroad with their only, sweet and innocent teenage daughter.  She wanted to take me to Paris for 14 days!  14 days without parents?  14 days in a foreign country?  14 days to practice 4 years of French class.  Oui Oui!  Only, my parents were not as receptive.  Their response – why don’t we take a long weekend to Quebec or Montreal?  They speak French there, don’t they?  Really Mom?  Nothing like telling your friends that your Spring Break destination is Canada! 


After proving my AND my auntie’s maturity and ability to be responsible, six months later my parents caved and I was planning my trip to Europe!  My aunt has been to Europe before, twice to Paris, so her experience certainly helped shape our itinerary.  We had this grand plan of traveling through Ireland, England, France, Italy, and if there was any time left or money left, we would leave from Spain to come home.  On the flight my aunt had a surprise for me.  She found a flat in the heart of Paris for the whole 14 days!  Unfortunately her hope for immediate excitement was lost since I had no idea what a flat was.  Once she showed me the pictures that she pulled off the web, I realized a flat was the European term for apartment.  So… my aunt rented an apartment for us in Paris.  Awesome!  We would wake up for jogs along the Champs Elyse, walk along the Seine with our loaves of bread and cups of espresso, and dine at street cafes where the food was more than homemade.  We would be local Parisians for 14 days.  At first I was disappointed.  I had hoped to take in the sights all over Europe.  My best friends really wanted to know what the boys looked like in different countries, but since Paris is known as the city of love, I had figured I would be okay.  I remember sitting on the plane re-imagining the next 14 days.  Paris is home to the world’s best fashion houses so that wasn’t going to be so bad.  I do love shopping and it would not be the worst thing to come home with a new wardrobe.  Bonjour Paris!  (After a total of 6 years studying the French language and a year as French National Honor Society President, that’s all I got.  Pretty impressive, huh?).


The “flat” was great.  The vacation rental owner left us chocolates from a local chocolatier and a bottle of champagne from the region that made it famous.  Of course, I did not take one sip of it.  I may have been in Europe where the legal drinking age was exactly what I was at the time, but at home in the US, it was not allowed.  I drank the grape juice we got at the grocery store, instead!  Got that Mom!  I was a good girl! 


Over the next 8 days, my aunt and I experienced every museum in the guide book.  We stood on line for two hours to see the Mona Lisa, we posed next to “The Thinker” at the Rodin just like every other tourist, and we stood at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower in awe.  It was the stereotypical American tourist in Paris vacation… until my aunt decided to kick our trip up a notch.  This was her plan all along.  She did not rent an apartment in Paris for two weeks so we could museum hop or walk through the local farmers’ markets and flower shows, she wanted to give me enough material to share with my parents so they would never know about our last 6 days!  I knew she was my favorite auntie for a reason.  The rental was upstairs from a local Irish pub.  I had heard their music every night but had no idea where in the courtyard it was coming from.  Not so for my aunt.  Just when I thought it was time to get into our pjs for the night, she was slipping into her dancin’ clothes.  We headed to the pub!  Sorry Mom, I know we said we were asleep early every night so we did not sleep away the days and miss out on Paris.  I am not going to lie anymore.  This was not my first beer nor my second or third, but there was nothing like having a beer in an authentic Irish pub right in the middle of Paris!  One of our nights there we had Frenchmen sending over drinks to our table.  I would have liked to thank them but my extensive French studies were apparently not-so-extensive.  A wave of my hand while mouthing “merci” was just about all I could get out. 


Once my aunt kicked our trip up a notch, I saw Paris in a whole new light.  Wine tastings, champagne cocktails  ohh la la!  Paris was more than museums and landmarks, although the Arc de Triomphe was quite exquisite.  It was about an experience of a lifetime.  After the sun set over the Seine, we sat sipping Japanese beer at a café with the Louvre Pyramid amidst our sights, listening to a street musician’s accordion.  We climbed the 300 steps to Sacre Coeur in Montmartre, which was truly amazing.  Two great stories come from our excursion to Montmartre.  I personally was not about to walk 300 steps up to Sacre Coeur in the sun, carrying a gi-normous designer handbag so I sat on a bench next to the steps half way up.  Minding my own business, some Japanese tourists came over and sat around me while a stranger snapped some photos.  No one spoke my language so I had no idea what was going on.  Till this day I am not sure if they mistook me for a celebrity (which if that was the case, I sure hope it was Angelina Jolie or Heidi Klum), or if my photo became some giant billboard in Japan endorsing an energy drink.   When my aunt came back from paying her respects in the cathedral, she was interested to know who all of my new friends were.  I could not explain so we decided to shop instead!  That led us to story number two. 


Since it was towards the end of our time in Paris and I had not used my father’s credit card for one emergency yet, I decided it would be okay to purchase not one, but two dresses for my prom.  It was less than a month away and I could not decide on which dress would be best.  It was not like I could return it and get a different one so I bought both.  It seemed like an emergency situation to me.  Now that does not sound like much of a story, right?  At least not till I tell you how I never ended up going to my prom!  Two designer gowns from Paris and no prom date to show them off to!  Oh well.  As the French like to say in disappointment, c'est la vie!


I don’t like to say, “My trip to France.”  It seems more fitting to say, “My experience in France” because it truly is an experience when you go there.  And, traveling at such a coming-of-age time in my life with someone other than a parent made it even more life changing.  From that trip, I decided to start a new family tradition.  When my niece turns 17, I have decided to take her for a European vacation.  Since I do not have a sister, and my brother never leaves his island of Kauai, my sister in law has graciously volunteered to take my daughters to Europe as they approach adulthood.  Tante de merci. J'avais le meilleur voyage de ma vie!







This blog was written by Villa4vacation staff 3/15/2010 8:57 PM

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