The d'Arabians in France: A Family Vacation Scrapbook

Browse through Melissa d'Arabian's most-recent family trip photos from Paris.

Photo By: David Lang ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

I met and married my husband, Philippe, who is from a small village in the South of France, while we were both living and working in Paris. We enjoy traveling to France not just to visit Philippe's family, but also to spend time in Paris, where Philippe and I started our lives together. Here my family is in downtown Aix-en-Provence, walking around and enjoying the quaint city.

On our “Mom and Dad before kids” tour, we took the girls to the hotel in Aix-en-Provence where I stayed the night before our wedding. I walked down these stairs as a bride back in 2003, so the girls practiced walking down the stairs as brides, too.

We took the girls to the stone church where we were married in a tiny village; the girls, of course, pretended they were brides and practiced walking down the aisle. (This love of weddings will one day be very expensive, I imagine.)

Posing outside in front of the village church

Valentine gives me a huge hug!

Charlotte walks the very stairs that I walked as a bride.

Our standard cheese platter — always served at the end of a meal (I love cheese, so you can see why I loved living in France!).

Mont-d’Or Vacherin is my favorite cheese of all time. It’s a seasonal cheese, though, and available only in winter.

At my in-laws’ house, the table is decorated with the exact same tablecloth that was used 30 years ago (we saw the photos that proved it).

Margaux, Oceane and Charlotte put on a show. I have no idea where they get the performance bug (ha ha).

Valentine loves Vacherin cheese as much as I do. “Cheese” was her first word as a baby — even before “Mama.”

My father-in-law is famous for making huge paellas for family gatherings, and we served paella at our rehearsal dinner years ago.

Seeing Valentine spend sweet moments with her great-grandmother made the 22-hour trip completely worth it.

Oceane and her cousin Arthur digging into massive lollipops from the open-air market in Nice

Two kinds of King Cake

The Provence version of King Cake is based on marzipan in a flaky pastry — it’s my favorite!

Our family in France

We take the four girls on the Metro in Paris — always a sardine-like experience!

This is a must-do pose for anyone going to Paris (get off the Metro at Trocadero to re-create this pose).

Unbelievable pastry at Angelina’s on Rue de Rivoli — not only a Paris legend, but also where I had my bridal luncheon a week before my wedding.

Oceane enjoying the best hot chocolate on Earth at Angelina’s

Margaux’s middle name is Capucine, so a trip to her namesake street in the 9th arrondisement of Paris was a trip highlight for her.

Hugs outside the famed Opera Garnier in the 9th arrondissement

Breakfast in our Paris apartment (carbs don’t count when in France, I’ve decided)

Here’s a shot of the girls with me at the bottom of the stairs inside the Eiffel Tower. We climbed more than 700 stairs that day!

We took the girls to the exact spot where Philippe and I had our first kiss 12 years ago. They insisted we re-create it. And then each girl wanted to give her dad a smooch there, too.

I snapped a photo of the girls running around and playing in the Marais (4th arrondissement of Paris), right outside the apartment where Philippe and I lived when we were newlyweds.

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