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6 Months, 15 Countries, 2 Parents and 1 Two year old Look what we're up to this week!!!

Paris, France

FRANCE | Tuesday, 5 November 2013 | Views [701] | Comments [2]

I love this shot!

I love this shot!

 

We left Luxembourg City on a quick train ride to Paris.  We decided to try to negotiate the public subway system right off from the train station, and did pretty well, making it to the apartment without getting too turned around. We rented a nice little apartment for five nights only a few blocks away from the Eiffel Tower. Although a little outside of the main tourist area, the subway system was so convenient that we went everywhere we wanted throughout the large city of Paris. 

The first night we had dinner at a recommended place just down the street - and yes, the food just keeps getting better and better.  We took a walk over to the Tower and caught the end of the blinky lights show where the E.T. just seems to glitter and sparkle. 

Day two we did our own walking tour of Paris, starting with a daytime view of the Eiffel Tower.  (Oh, and found another amazing playground in the park around the E.T. that entertained Jackson for an hour before we finally pulled him away).  The E.T. is quite impressive and we decided to make an entire day of it later in the week rather than risk going up that day and being disappointed with the expected rain. We walked on to the Palais de Chaillot for some great photos of the E.T., and then on to the Charles de Gaulle Circle and Arc de Triomphe. The Charles de Gaulle Circle which surrounds the famous Arc de Triomphe is billed as the largest traffic roundabout in the world with twelve avenues exiting off of it.  It is truly amazing that buses, taxis, motorcycles and bike all vie for space smoothly with no evident lanes and no apparent rules of the road. We stood and watched for 15 min, shaking our heads in awe that no one crashed.  The Arc de Triomphe, commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 to commemorate his victories, is a large square arch with intricate statues of battle and conquest on each side, as well as names of his generals and won battles on the inside walls. We climbed up into the viewing platform for a great view of the Ave de Champs Elysees. The tomb of an unknown soldier from WWII is also within this structure with a flame that is lit every evening.  We walked from here down the Champs Elysee, past the Place de la Concorde Obelisk (3300 years old and once stood in front of the Temple of Ramses at Thebes) to the Louvre.

The Musee du Louvre, although something we intend to view in the future, was not something we were willing to tackle with a two year old.  We were well aware that it is not really possible, even when dedicating a solid day to seeing the art, to feel satisfied with the Louvre in one day of viewing.  That, combined with the additional knowledge that Jackson was completely done with “mineums” and that we could not take the backpack carrier in with us, and we didn’t even consider going.  We saw it briefly from the exterior as it began to pour rain at the end of our “walking tour”.  We will be back some day without the child to see all of the fantastic are that this building contains. We ducked into a little café for a snack and then waited until the rain let up a little for the best dinner ever!  I can’t even remember what it was now, but my taste buds were very happy! (Why did I used to think I didn’t like French food? Who couldn’t like French food?!?)

Knowing we had only four nights in Paris, and not having had a break from 24/7 parenting, or any adult time together in several weeks, we decided to trust in a childcare service and hired a babysitter for the night so that we could grab a few cocktails and do a little dancing.  Unsure of how Jackson would do with a stranger (rather than a grandparent) to watch him, we built up the idea of “Nanny Dale” for two days.  When she arrived, Jackson immediately handed her a book and waved goodbye to us.  Apparently, he needed a break from us too.  He liked her so much, that we hired her the following night as well and actually had our first dinner alone in over four months. He only had positive things to say about her the next morning, so no regrets from any of us.

Day three was dedicated to visiting Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris.  It is truly spectacular!  At this point, we have seen so many cathedrals and churches in Europe. Notre Dame deserves its label as one of the greats!  It is grand and imposing inside with the largest rose stained-glass window in the world.   Inside are relics such as artifacts from various popes, religious jewels and what is claimed to be Christ’s Crown of Thorns. The landscaping outside is filled with blooms, warming up this large grey church with gargoyles and flying buttresses. Just next to Notre Dame is the Pont Neuf bridge in which lovers have placed locks – thousands and thousands of locks.  We have also seen this before, but I’m fairly sure that no other bridge is as weighed down with as many locks as this particular bridge.  Chris questioned how much longer the integrity of the bridge will last with all this additional metal.  Impressive in its own right.  We walked across and over to the Pantheon, built in 1750, which now serves as a crypt with tombs of Voltaire, Rousseau, Marie Curie, Victor Hugo and many others.

Our final day was spent going up into the Eiffel Tower.  We got lucky again with weather and were able to stand in the very long line, take the two elevators, and go all the way up to the top without any rain.  The views from the third (top) level at 324 meters was amazing.  We recaptured the same photo that Chris’s parents took on one of their trips 43 years earlier (pointing down to the base from the top – a great perspective). It was so wonderful to spend most of our last day in this iconic structure.  When we came down, we had lunch at a little café on the Seine, and then walked along the river.  On the eastern end of the Seine is a small version of the Statue of Liberty.  Neither of us have ever been to New York and seen America’s version, but since it was a French gift, the small one here was just fine.

Overall, Paris was as expected: beautiful.  It rained most of the time we were there and we were freezing in our limited cold-weather clothes, we still enjoyed it immensely.  We purposely chose to have a short trip here so that we can return one day without our son to truly enjoy this romantic city as a couple.  We will make sure to keep that plan! 

Although we loved Paris, we are both feeling very done with Europe.  We have seen too many churches, museums, castles and western “culture”.  We need a shift and boy are we going to get it, as we board a non-stop to Ha Noi, Vietnam…

 

 

 

Comments

1

Wow, what an adventure! I'm so happy for you & your family & glad the baby sitting went so well in Paris. ; ) Love your blog, keep it up I'm sure your son will get a kick out of reading it when he's older. Love u!

  Chandell Nov 6, 2013 5:52 AM

2

Wow, what an adventure! I'm so happy for you & your family & glad the baby sitting went so well in Paris. ; ) Love your blog, keep it up I'm sure your son will get a kick out of reading it when he's older. Love u!

  Chandell Nov 6, 2013 5:52 AM

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