Passport to Paris

So after a ferry and a long bus ride we finally made it to France. We were dropped off at the Lille train station around 3 am. Ever heard of Lille? We hadn't either, but we were there for about 6 hours. 3 of which were spent on a bench before the train station opened. While waiting Beth and I, and 2 older ladies and an English student studying french were entertained by our husbands and their TSG challenges which included some slalom races around street poles, the long jump, arm wrestling and a bench balance gladiator dual. And it was very cold.

Finally we made it to Paris! It was absolutely amazing. After we found a place to stay we hit the streets to see the sites.

View from the hotel

Yes, we all shared a king size bed

I never knew just how big the Eiffel Tower really was! I was in absolute awe! My favorite part was right when it starts to get dark, the lights sparkle! It was so romantic!

One of the highlights of the trip was finally meeting my great-aunt Joyce. She is an amazing woman. Joyce is my grandpa's sister. She was born and raised in L.A. and in her teens she decided to leave the United States to Paris to become part of the film industry. She made movies for years. She loves literature, the fine craftsmanship of her bookcase (it was built with no nails or screws), she knows at least 3 languages, loves to travel, loves culture, history, Woody Allen and Obama. As a little girl my mom was a very loyal pen pal. When I was a little girl I became her pen pal too! She always sends her letters in pretty envelopes. For our wedding she sent me perfume. I was always so intrigued by her and her life. Finally I got to meet her at age 85. She took Ben and I to an amazing French cuisine cafe (Le Procope) for lunch, Diderot, Voltaire, George Sand, Victor Hugo, and Oscar Wilde have all eaten there, and Napoleon's hat is displayed inside. She lives in one of the most beautiful parts of Paris in the 6th Arrondissement, San Sulpice, where the best shopping and food is. She also took us to one of the most beautiful cathedrals we had ever seen.

It was a great visit. Then Ben and I walked from her house, across the Seine River to the Louvre to meet back up with Beth and Kris.

Saw the Mona Lisa

Then went out for some Nutella crepes on our way to Notre Dame

I most enjoyed just walking the streets and observing the culture.
Then again we hopped aboard a train to Italy! This one was a sleeper. The four of us shared a room with 2 random men. We never did figure out where they were from or what language they spoke. Charades didn't seem to work either when Kris was trying to tell the large foreigner that his friend Ben wanted to pull out a bed to sleep. He would just smile, laugh and nod his head. Maybe the funniest moment.


  1. Oh, Chelsea -- I can hardly handle this! I'm SO, SO, SOOOO happy you went to see Aunt Joyce! You did what I've always dreamed of doing. I absolutely am loving your commentary! Keep going!!!

  2. paris was the bomb.com! i loved that you got to meet your sweet great auntie on this trip. this pics are making me sad because A) i wish we were still in europe and B) i wish we were still sleeping in a king size bed with you guys. love you to pieces.

  3. Chels- i love your great aunt! she is so parisian and chic. wish i was there with you! ps..you look tinier than ever!

  4. so glad you got to experience the eiffel tower twinkling at night- it's the best ever! I love that you got to meet your great aunt, and you look adorable as ever!