8/17/15

Places to Go (Vacation) - PARIS (Days 1 & 2) - Dragging Our Kids Through Europe, Part II

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As I mentioned on Friday, here are some photos from our Paris trip.

I had hoped everyone would sleep on the overnight flight, but the plane's air conditioning malfunctioned, causing the back of the cabin to become crazy cold. I watched a passenger in front of us put on a jacket, a stocking hat, and finally (around 2 am) gloves, the fuzzy kind. The stewardess kept apologizing, but it made for a long night.

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Anyways, when we arrived at our rental apartment, on Rue Montmartre, in the Grand Boulevards neighborhood (click here for the link, I'm completely enamored with airbnb after this trip), we existed in some odd middle-land between exhilaration and exhaustion. So Dan grocery shopped while I tried to convince the kids to nap. After about four hours of failed attempts at sleep, we wandered out and see the city. First stop - the Eiffel Tower (of course), about a 2.5 mile walk.

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At first, everything amazed us - the old old buildings, the signs in a different language, the bakeries, the cafes with their black and yellow wicker chairs, etc. So much wonder. I've visited Paris twice before, but this time felt totally different, seeing everything through the kids eyes.

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I assumed that once we reached the Eiffel Tower the girls would want to climb to the top (T's afraid of heights), but exhaustion finally set in, so we admired the view from the sidelines and then began the long(ish) walk back home. We hadn't realized that in Paris, dark doesn't set in until 10:30, so we all felt a little bummed that we didn't see the Tower light up for the night.

Oh, well, I assure you, on our first night, we slept. And slept. And slept.

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On Day 2, we began the morning by walking to the Louvre, stopping along the way in various super cheesy souvenir shops so the girls could buy their friends a rainbow of mini-Eiffel Towers. T, on the other hand, purchased a super generic pocket watch, which he then proceeded to check every five minutes.

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We spent the morning wandering around the Louvre's grounds, hence spotting the carnival that would become the bain of my existence on Day 3 (actually, it was sort of cute for awhile).

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In the afternoon, we booked a family friendly private tour of the Louvre through Context Tours and I cannot say enough good things about Isabel, our guide. The Louvre was huge, crowded, and somewhat intimidating, but she managed to make the tour special both for the kids and us - exploring a medieval underground castle (the original Louvre), checking out the Botticelli fresco, watching Mona Lisa's eyes following us throughout the room, and seeing the crown jewels - we learned a lot and had a fantastic time.

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Our first cafe crepes in Paris. Yum.

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I love that Paris's public bikes come with baskets.

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Of course, we NEEDED to stop at the bakery on the way home.

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Some much needed downtime before we began our walk to Sacre Coeur.

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Once we reached the top, the view terrified T. Luckily a super cheesy light-up Eiffel Tower made everything better (I learned this trip that almost all my children's woes can be solved with ice cream and/or crap souvenirs).

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HAPPY MONDAY EVERYONE!! I'll post more photos from Paris on Wednesday, I hope you all had a great weekend! I've had a lot of work lately (which is awesome, but exhausting), so I'm not quite back in the swing of things post-Europe. The kids still have THREE WEEKS LEFT before school starts and I'm ready for summer to wind down.

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