The Ups and Downs of Traveling with My Sister to Paris

The Ups and Downs of Traveling with My Sister to Paris

I went to Paris a couple years ago with my husband, and wanted to experience it with my sister. So, I flew my younger sister Nicole to Paris with me for a short vacation (and to attend a trade show). As I get older I enjoy spending money on doing things rather than having things.

The last time I had seen Nicole, two years earlier, we hadn’t been able to spend quality time together because it was a stressful Christmas with our family. To ensure we had a good time in France, I did lots of research in advance, such as getting information about restaurants, boat rides on the Seine, spas, and museums. I saved places I thought would be worth checking out in the maps app on my phone.

As I get older I enjoy spending money on doing things rather than having things.

I got to play the big sister (I’m in my early forties, my sister in her thirties), giving Nicole advice on what to bring and how to handle the flight. She watched videos of American women in Paris and bought a portable phone charger and new cross-body purse. We grew excited as the trip approached.

I coordinated our flights so she would arrive two hours before me and wait at the airport so we could take a cab to our hotel together. Both our flights were on time, and since we both slept ok on our red eye flights, we felt refreshed and jazzed to begin our vacation.

I was surprised to see my sister wearing ripped jean shorts with her cowboy boots. Nicole encountered some unfriendly staff in Paris, shop girls here and there, and I think part of it was how she was dressed. (She even wore the ripped shorts later to the Louvre, despite my protests).

I knew the hotel did not have an elevator when I booked–but not that we would be on the sixth floor!

We made our way to our hotel near the Sorbonne and up six flights of a spiral staircase to our room. I knew the hotel did not have an elevator when I booked–but not that we would be on the sixth floor! I didn’t mind the challenge and joked that maybe it would encourage Nicole to quit smoking. We dined at a restaurant on the Ile de la Cite, behind Notre Dame, called Le St. Regis. It was a perfect start to our vacation.

The food and wine were delicious in this charming historic cafe, and my sister presented me with a gift: a necklace with a pendant she had made of silver with a boulder opal. It was engraved on the back to commemorate our trip. The gift was unexpected, personal, and so moving that I gave her a big kiss.

The entire trip was an adventure, but several moments stand out. The first was when we went to a Van Cleef & Arpels boutique. My sister is a jewelry appraiser. Earlier this year she had appraised a pair of earrings by Van Cleef & Arpels, so I took her to their original location at Place Vendome. When we walked through the door we were in an entryway facing another door.

The first door shut behind us and we waited inside the entryway for about thirty seconds before the door to the boutique opened. Inside, men and women dressed in suits offered to help us, but we said we just wanted to look around. It was like a museum for the most expensive jewelry in the world. Everything was in its own glass case, and we walked through several rooms like this. The cheapest item was a $10,000 necklace.

I was surprised to see my sister wearing ripped jean shorts with her cowboy boots while traveling to Paris. Nicole encountered some unfriendly staff in Paris, shop girls here and there, and I think part of it was how she was dressed.

The next day was all about Notre Dame. We climbed (more stairs!) up to the top and got to see the gargoyles up close. The view of the city and close encounters with the upper levels of Notre Dame were worth the climb. In the evening there was an organ recital inside the cathedral.

I had to drop some things off in our room between dinner and the organ recital. When I got to the top of the stairs I didn’t have my key, so had to come all the way down to borrow Nicole’s key. Up the stairs again. Then we were on our way to the recital when I realized I forgot our printed ticket. Up the stairs a third time.

I was getting anxious that we were running late. When I got downstairs we got into an argument. I think we were both tired and punchy. We enjoyed the recital, however, and were civil afterwards.

The next day we went to the hammam at the Grande Mosque, our second standout moment of adventure. The entrance to the hammam was through a cafe at the mosque, to the left behind a pastry case. Rather than a hot tub, as I had expected, there was only a cold water pool, located in a steam room. Still, it was soothing and felt great. We didn’t use the Turkish bath part of the hamman, which is where women lie on flat marble floors and sweat and scrub themselves.

The Ups and Downs of Traveling with My Sister to Paris

Nicole later told me that Paris was the best place I could have brought her. Indeed, it is a great city for sister bonding. It’s hard to be disagreeable when you’re surrounded by so much beauty and deliciousness! I

learned new things on this trip about my sister and myself, and we enjoyed some of the best experiences the city has to offer. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

The Ups and Downs of Traveling with My Sister to Paris

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Have you traveled to Paris, France? Have you traveled with your sister? Email us at editor@pinkpangea.com for information about sharing your experience and advice with the Pink Pangea community. We can’t wait to hear from you.

The Ups and Downs of Traveling with My Sister to Paris photo credit: unsplash.com

About Sarah Page

AvatarWhether for work or pleasure I love to travel. I also love to write, and combining these two passions is very gratifying. I enjoy meeting new people, trying different food, and taking in (and capturing in photographs) all the eye candy the world has to offer. I’m also a sucker for a good massage and other beauty and body treatments, and often seek out comforting experiences while traveling.

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