Staying in a French Chateau & Antique Shopping in Paris : European Dream Vacation (part 2)

Welcome back to the blog!

The second half of our our European Dream Vacation continued with even more adventures including shopping in Paris, touring chateaus, visiting  Le Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, antique shopping in France and staying in a 900AD Chateau.

This part of our trip was even more amazing that the first half! We didn’t tell our daughter or my mom that we would be staying at Chateau Eromondville until we pulled right up to the front of it.  I will never forget the excitement on their faces!



Château de Ermondville

We stayed at Château de Ermondville for the last few days of our trip. We wanted accommodations in the countryside, something rural and near a charming French town…this beautiful 10th century Chateau surrounded by a moat was just what we were looking for.



Chateau De Ermondville


Eromondville is roughly 20 minutes from Charles de Gaulle Airport and only 40 minutes from Paris making it a great location if you want to relax in the countryside but not be too far from Paris or the airport. The rooms are small, but charming.



Chateau De Ermondville


Some of the rooms in the chateau were under extensive renovations preparing for all the tourists coming for the olympic games this summer, but we didn’t mind that…it was actually quite fun looking around at all the rooms undergoing renovations. I have such an appreciation for those who really care for these historic buildings all over Europe. Preserving the history is so important!



The chateau is the perfect place to stay if you’re looking to feel like you’ve stepped back in time while enjoying a beautiful, quiet area. The property and surroundings are everything you’d dream a 900 AD country chateau would be! The town is within walking distance, has trails, small rivers and waterfalls, a few small family owned restaurants and a nearby pâtisserie. 


Eiffel Tower & Walking around Paris

The streets of Paris were just like I’d imagined…gorgeous buildings everywhere with little shops and boutique stores intertwined with all the high fashion shops you’d expect. It was late February/early March (not a super popular time to visit Paris) making the streets less crowded than the busy seasons.


Eiffel tower, Paris France


Aaron and I spent an entire day walking around in the rain and exploring while drinking coffee and soaking up the sights! We had a wonderful time taking the long way around the city and ended up walking over 20K steps that day without even realizing how far we’d walked! If you have the time…walk as much as you possibly can in the city! The Metro is great and can get you to where you want to go quickly, but you miss so much of the experience if you don’t walk! No matter what time of year you’re traveling, if you plan for the weather, walking is the way to go!


Shopping The Paris Covered Passages


The passages were built in the 18th and 19th century and are currently full of small shops, bookstores, boutiques, jewelers, eateries and more! At 190 meters, Passage Choiseul is the longest covered passage in Paris. The passages are the perfect place for strolling, even if you’re only window shopping, and grabbing a flaky, buttery croissant or a coffee to enjoy!

Staying in a French Chateau & Antique Shopping in Paris : European Dream Vacation (part 2)


I had heard a lot about shopping in the covered passages in Paris and since it was raining we spent quite a bit of time strolling through the various passages. If you’re not really into shopping designer and prefer supporting local makers and artisans (like we do), I recommend checking out any of the roughly 25 passages (of the 180 passages that once were in Paris). The remaining passages are STUNNING and each on has it’s own unique vibe!


Eiffel tower, Paris France

Eiffel tower, Paris France


Le Louvre 

Louvre Museum is one of the largest museums in the world! It’s located in the center of Paris (the 1st district). Over 30,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are on display there (including the Mona Lisa) and when I tell you this is a MUST see…it is for sure a must see. You’ll want to carve out an entire day (or more) if you want to see even a fraction of everything le Louvre has on display! It’s unreal!


Staying in a French Chateau & Antique Shopping in Paris : European Dream Vacation (part 2)


Visiting le Louvre was a once in a lifetime experience and is kind of like heaven on earth for a lifelong artist like my mother…she was completely mesmerized by some paintings by her favorite artists (Rembrandt and Leonardo da Vinci)  and studied them so carefully looking for brush strokes! We got so much joy from watching her face light up every time she came across another painting she loved!


Paris France Le Louvre


There is a lot of talk about the Mona Lisa and whether or not it’s worth standing in line to see up close. They say it’s small and not worth your time. I disagree! Its beautiful! This picture from my phone (of course) does not do it justice whatsoever, but we were all very surprised at how much we loved the Mona Lisa!

The day we went was not too busy and when I walked around the corner, there she was in all her glory! There were only a few people standing in line and I could see it very easily without even waiting in the line. I was shocked at how incredible it was!




I enjoyed the all of the paintings tremendously but as beautiful as they all were, I actually got a little carried away admiring the building itself just as much as the artwork! The flooring, the ceilings, the scale of each painting and all the intricate and ornate frames where like nothing I’d ever seen! I’m pretty sure I took more photos of flooring and hand carved doors than of the artwork itself!

This floor below is just one of hundreds of floor photos I took to use for inspiration when laying our hardwood and tile flooring in our DIY Dream Home! 


I gained more inspiration than I could have imagined on this trip! My mind has been busy dreaming up all kinds of ways to add historic charm to our “new build” house! I can’t wait to bring in some old world charm by implement interesting and unique tile, wood floor patterns, detailed wall moldings, hardware and maybe even some custom lighting into our home.



Le Louvre


Antique Shopping

If you love antique shops, there is NOTHING that compares to shopping vintage in Paris! What a dream come true! We spent quite a bit of our time in France driving around, popping in and out of little corner shops full of antiques that were just packed full of things you’d only dream of finding back home in the states.



We could not believe how many large items we wanted to buy (especially things like lighting, hand carved armoires for $500-700 ea. and beautiful  Persian rugs), but we didn’t purchase anything large because of shipping costs. I have a feeling I’ll be returning to the Paris flea market once our home build is completed! I honestly would love to go back just for the purpose of finding one of a kind pieces for our home (but first, I need to actually get the house finished…lol)!


shopping in paris france


I found that the vintage/antiques were about half if not 1/3 of what they are priced at in the US and if we would have had an affordable way to ship things home…we would have come home with a treasure trove of antiques for the new home!  I’ll have to do some research on shipping before our next trip to Paris for sure!

Château de Chantilly

We definitely saved the very BEST chateau tour for last! Chateau de Chantilly was hands down our favorite tour of the entire trip! The chateau is set on the most picturesque park like setting you could imagine and boasts art galleries, great halls, elaborate walls and ceilings, the largest princely stables in Europe, and one of the most extensive libraries France.


Antique shopping in France and staying in a 900AD Chateau!


While the chateau was immensely over the top and opulent…it somehow had a really cozy feel to it (unlike all the other chateaus we toured).This was a country estate and you could tell this chateau was much more of a “home” than a castle. It had a warmth to it that all the other chateaus didn’t have.





Almost 1,500 manuscripts are on display at Chateau de Chantilly making the collection the second largest in France (after that of the National Library of France). In all, more than 60,000 volumes, 80,000 letters, 8,000 maps and plans, and 3,000 boxes and registers of archives are contained in the various parts of the château. I spent a lot of time looking at many of the Bibles (under glass) that they had in the collection. I kept thinking of my father, who would have loved (who is a many times over published author) to be able to see this in person!





Chantilly is  known as the “Capitol of Horses” and the stables are nearly as incredible as the chateau itself. Even though it was raining, we spent the entire day exploring the grounds and horse stables and a small portion of the estates surrounding 284 acres.




The photo above are just a few of many horse stalls in the stable. The photo below is one of the massive horse arenas! The smile on Aarons face says it all…we were all blown away by the scale and beauty of these great stable at Chateau Chantilly.





The Medieval Town of Senlis

We spent our last day exploring a nearby town of Senlis located near Chantilly, Ermenonville and d’Halatte. Senlis is a very beautiful, very old town with cobbled streets, history from two world wars, roman ruins and an ancient gothic cathedral (you can see just behind my mom and daughter in the photo below).


Staying in a French Chateau & Antique Shopping in Paris : European Dream Vacation (part 2)


We added this to our schedule last minute because we wanted to explore a medieval town and we read that Senlis is one of the oldest medieval towns around. They began constructing the gothic cathedral in 1151 and completed it close to 1500. We did a lot of walking that day as well and even walked around ancient roman walls dating back nearly 2000 years!


Senlis, France

Senlis, France


It really was such a gift to be able to spend quality with my husband, our daughter and my mom! We made memories that will last a lifetime, we laughed until we cried nearly every day and enjoyed more decadent pastries than anyone ever should! This trip was such a dream come true!


Staying in a French Chateau & Antique Shopping in Paris : European Dream Vacation (part 2)


We returned home  feeling extremely blessed, inspired (and yes, a bit overwhelmed by the opulence) …but more than that, we came home tremendously grateful for the beautiful simplistic life we live here at Fletcher Creek Cottage! Travel has a way of putting things into perspective…I always return home more grateful and appreciative of the life we live and the blessings we have.


If you missed part 1 of our Dream European Vacation be sure to checkout the first half of our trip Part 1 of our Trip To Paris, France  


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