Some of my fondest life memories are from trips I have taken with my mother. She started taking me to faraway places when I was very young. Now I am in my forties and we still love to travel together.
I want to give the gift of special travel memories to my own daughter, so a few years ago I began the tradition of Mother-Daughter trips. With three brothers in the house, we both find that a little girl time now and then is a much needed break from all the testosterone.
This summer we took a dreamy Mother-Daughter trip to Paris and London. We spent three days in Paris with another mother-daughter duo before flying to London for a few more days on our own.
Now that we have been together to both of these great European cities, we keep a healthy rivalry going at our house in the time-honored debate of Paris vs. London.
Paris stole my daughter's heart flat out. She would like to move there tomorrow please. When I ask her why, she can't say for certain, but it has something to do with the river. Sitting, walking and biking along the Seine was her favorite Paris activity. She's one of many people throughout history who have fallen in love with the Je ne sais quoi of Paris. It seems like people either love it or hate it, but if the City of Light captures your fancy, you can't always explain why.
We found ourselves in Paris on longer June days filled with sunshine, making the most every minute, sitting in cafes long into the evening, laughing as we tried to order in French. Most of our waiters in Paris very kindly replied to us in English.
Besides the usual sights in the center of Paris, we also spent a day exploring Montmartre, which we loved. We walked up the steps to Sacre Coeur, ate crepes in a cafe, found Van Gogh's home and took photos of the Moulin Rouge.
In London, we focused our visit primarily on all the trendy markets.
Since I knew that my girl would love soaking up the vibe of the different markets in London, I booked an apartment that was in East London near many of my favorite funky London markets. We managed to hit Spitalfields Market, Brick Lane, Camden Market, Covent Gardens and even the Columbia Road Flower Market that only happens on Sundays.
I also made sure that we took in some of the street art, ethnic food and many colored buildings of East London. My daughter loved Camden the most, where she bought a darling dress (pictured above in front of our apartment) and in a twist of irony, a necklace with an Eiffel Tower charm.
I was amazed at how much we could fit in a day with just the two of us. With three gorgeous days in a row, we rented bikes and road all over London. We road from our apartment to St Paul's Cathedral and then we walked along the Thames crossing the different London bridges. I fell in love with biking in cities this year as a way of sightseeing and I love the ease with which we could rent a bike outside our apartment and then drop it off almost anywhere else in London. It's such a great way to see a lot of the city.
Some of the other fun moments in London were attending a service at Westminster and watching live theater in Trafalgar Square. I find that the key to enjoying any summer trip with children is to just add ice cream. Lots of ice cream. And gelato.
We also got takeout late at night in our apartment when we were still hungry from a long day of sightseeing.
On our last morning in London, before catching our train home, we finished our Mother-Daughter trip by riding the London Eye for the striking views from up above the city.
We made lots of memories together this summer, my girl and me, ones I hope she will hold in her heart for many years to come.
If you take your own Mother/Daughter trip to Europe, feel free tell me about it or ask me questions on Twitter! Happy Travels!
Disclosure: I received our apartment stays free from GowithOh. All opinions are my own.