Places to Go (Vacation) - PARIS (Days 3 & 4) - Dragging Our Kids Through Europe, Part III
By our second morning in Paris, we had perfected a breakfast routine that would stay with us for the rest of the vacation. Dan woke up early to go to the bakery across the street, then came home and made eggs and cut up some fruit; while T poured beverages in shot glasses (he was quite enamored with the apartment's "cute, little, glasses."). After consuming more carbs then I usually eat in an entire week, we ventured out. . .
We promised the kids that we'd spend the morning at Jardin des Tuileries' summer carnival, which proved even more expensive than an American carnival. T "won" a dart gun, which he proceeded to shoot us with for the next three days until finally all darts were lost (yay!! to lost darts). After we literally ran out of money, we walked down the Champs Elysee to the Arc De Triumph. I wish I had something nice to say about this world-famous boulevard, but the afternoon was hot and people were everywhere. And most of the stores are the same stores that we have in the US; it just felt like a really crowded, over-priced shopping mall.
We hoped that T would overcome his fear of heights and join us at the top of the Arc De Triumph, but he freaked out on the spiral staircase up, so Dan needed to leave and bring him back to the base, where he proceeded to shoot strangers with his dart gun. Everyone looked at us like, "Americans and their weapons" and I wanted to scream, "but he won it here!"
After this we all were hot, tired, and somewhat cranky, so we decided to take a cab back to the apartment. And, this is when we learned that it's virtually impossible to find a cab that will take five people in Europe, so we eventually became experts at public transportation (okay, so "expert" is a bit of a misnomer, but we tried).
A much needed afternoon nap.
The kids asked to return to the carnival in the evening, so we said yes, as long as we could walk there.
How can you differentiate between a Parisian carnival and an American carnival? In Paris, illustrations of topless women decorate the rides. But on the upside, the Parisian carnival resided next to some of the most beautiful gardens I've ever seen.
Nobody could agree on where to eat dinner, finally we found an Irish pub that served hamburgers and made a perfect Pimm's Cup. Yay!!
We spent the morning of our fourth day at the Pompidou Center, one of my absolute favorite museums ever. T continued to war against the pigeons. I'm still not sure who won.
I love modern art.
After the museum, we needed to check out of the apartment and store our bags at the train station. Since we were traveling so frequently, the kids had to carry all their things (just five outfits each) in a backpack. I was scared that this would be too heavy/burdensome for them, but by the end of the trip they could walk almost three miles with their packs on (though in the beginning they complained a lot).
Meandering through the Jardin Des Plantes' sculpture garden on the Seine.
Eventually we made our way to Notre Dame, which was pretty exciting as the kids watched the Disney movie right before we left Virginia. Paris had to cut down the love locks from its most famous "lock" bridge due to safety concerns, but apparently other bridges have also taken on this tradition. T was fascinated and kept saying that Dan REALLY needed to buy me one.
After we returned to the train station, T managed to lose his second tooth ever while waiting to board. Unfortunately, the tooth fairy cannot deliver to cross-country overnight trains, so we explained that he'd need to wait for the next night, in Venice, to check under his pillow (plus, the overnight train didn't even have pillows).
Our train compartment contained beds for six, thus the kids worried about sharing our "room" with a stranger. Luckily, the stranger ended up being this super-nice German au pair named Sophie, who seemed a little overwhelmed by all of us. Especially since T kept shooting darts at the window.
It took forever, but after much procrastination and screen time, we managed to put the compartment's beds down and convince everyone to close their eyes for awhile (though, honestly, sleeping on the train proved harder than expected).
NEXT STOP - VENICE, ITALY!! I'll post some photos on Friday and next week. I hope you're all having a good end of summer!