ABC's Maeva Bambuck reports from London:
Like any VIP’s wife, Michelle Obama knows how to make the most out of her husband’s business trips. As President Obama travelled to France for the 65th commemoration of D-Day last weekend, his wife Michelle took their daughters Sasha and Malia, as well as her mother and her daughters godmother to Paris for a leisure holiday.
The five were spotted in the City of Lights on Friday, even before the President landed in Paris from Ramstein airbase in Germany. They arrived at the Eiffel Tower where they were greeted by the mayor of Paris. Whether they made the vertiginous trip all the way to the top is will remain a state secret, but Michelle had time to display chill chic to the few cameras who managed to snap stills on the fly: glamorous scarf over sporty black trousers. Tourists called out to Michelle and les petites Obamas, but they were quickly whisked away in a waiting black SUV.
On Saturday night, the power couple visited Notre-Dame Cathedral and enjoyed a quiet dinner with Malia and two friends in La Fontaine de Mars, a gastronomic bistrot on the West Bank. The restaurateur, Jacques Boudon, was delighted to serve them. “I saw God before me," he told AP, "because I saw this smile that a million people have seen around the world. I saw her (Michelle) radiant. ... It's idiotic, but it's like that." According to AP, the reservation had been made 10 days in advance, but Bourdon didn’t find out he would host the first couple of the United States until that morning.
After viewing the Beaubourg museum’s contemporary art collection with his wife and daughters, President Obama flew back to Washington on Sunday to attend to the country, while the rest of the family celebrated French Mother’s Day at the Elysée Palace – the equivalent of the White House. Whisked in by a back entrance to avoid the paparazzi amassed at the gate, the Obamas were greeted by President Nicolas Sarkozy, his wife Carla, Sarkozy’s son, Louis, and Carla’s mother who had been invited for Mother’s Day.
Later Michelle and the girls stopped at Bonpoint, the children couture designer, and were granted a private visit of the Louvres museum.
This glamorous visit of Paris is any girl’s dream, and probably made little Sasha, who turns eight on Wednesday, a very happy one. The French certainly treated the Obama girls like VIPs. On Monday morning, the French press announced Michelle Obama et ses filles ont quitté la France (“Michelle Obama and her daughters have left France”), quoting an airport source saying their plane took off at 11h14 precisely.
Observing complete secrecy as to their whereabouts throughout the weekend, the Obamas gave the press one last surprise by emerging in London, where they visited Big Ben. According to Downing Street, Michelle had lunch with the Prime Minister’s wife, Sarah Brown.