I remember the very first time I went to Paris. I walked out of Gare du Nord and asked my travelling companion to pinch me. I asked her to do it again as we approached the Eiffel Tower. My love affair with Paris has never died. Although with a new family of 2 toddlers it isn't really the first choice of holiday destinations, my obsession with Paris had cooled.
My mother had never been to Paris and it was definitely on her bucket list of things to do in her lifetime. It seemed a logical conclusion then that after a few days at Disneyland we would move on over to the City of Lights.
And so we made our way to Paris via the RER (train). As we began the walk to our hotel I realised that one of the streets we were walking down was clearly a red light district as I hurried the children past the doors of establishments with women in their lingerie lounging about. Luckily the children didn't even notice. Well, not that first night anyway. Seb did ask a few nights later why those women always had their pajamas on and I left Marc to answer that one.
We checked in and once mom got over the shock of there not being an elevator in the hotel we set off for the short walk up to Sacre Coeur for the breath taking view. We had dinner at a lovely (if a little touristy) restaurant and sighed at Paris by night.
We fit in the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and the Arc de Triomphe the next day. We caught some staggering performances by street musicians.
We found an excellent guide to 12 Renaissance masters to help the children (and us) navigate the Louvre. The children loved looking for dogs and parrots and various assorted oddities in the paintings.
We enjoyed the sweet delights of Angelina's on the rue de Rivoli and watched a street protest of teachers. what is Paris without a protest march?
We savoured the culinary delights at the Grizzli Cafe as they tolerated our atrocious attempts at mastering the French language.
The children ran around the Pompidou Centre whilst we sat at an outdoor cafe drinking beers and cafe au lait (not together).
We only got grandma trapped in a turnstile once (which left a hideous bruise) and knocked her glasses off her face once (another wee bruise). Marc and I got off a metro without grandma and the children only once so we must try harder to lose them next time.
On the way home we met a mad French woman (who face painted Abigail) and a lovely Italian couple whilst we enjoyed some seriously smelly French cheese and baguette.
A trip full of a lifetime of memories!