We all went to Paris for the New Year’s celebration. We sent my sister, Joy, there on Tuesday by train and we followed Thursday afternoon after LOML got off work.
It is a 4 hour drive from our house to Paris. And then it’s an hour drive once you get into Paris to get to the hotel we stayed at. Usually the GPS is spot on for the time estimates. For an entire hour the thing said it would take us 20 minutes more to get to our destination. That sucked more because Big Ive needed to get out by that point in the trip. She complained of a stinky diaper but I wasn’t believing her as I couldn’t smell it. (Ended up not being a stinky.)
Paris is beautiful. I fell in love (with the city and the LOML) when I was there 7 years ago with LOML 6 months before we got married. It was fantastic. The bustle of all the people was so fun. We got to see so many sights and visit so many museums.
Guess how many museums we visited this trip?
We were lucky to make it to one place and eat 3 meals during the day with the 2 kiddos.
Friday, December 30
We went to the Eiffel Tower. We took the subway over there. It took all three of us adults to carry it up and down the multiple flights of stairs in the subways. It must have been 70-80lbs of kids and gear. Not to mention how hard it is to get strollers into the subway in the first place. There aren’t easily accessible gates for disabled people. Probably because there’s no way they’d get down to the platforms with all the stairs. We quickly learned the Parisian art of going through the exits with the stroller or handing kids and stroller separately over the turnstiles.
It was cloudy, overcast, some rain now and again and kind of cold. Shortly after this photo I put on my gloves.
We walked through the Christmas markets by the tower. LOML and Joy got a scarf, I got a purple knit hat, Big Ive got a pair of bright yellow mittens. Poor Little E didn’t get anything. We thought about going up the tower, but there were so many people around with the holiday weekend it was beyond crazy. We’ll have to visit again to go up the tower.
We had to get back to the hotel room about 3pm so I could get ready for my cooking class that LOML got me as my Christmas present. Cooking class will be another post. Joy watched the kids when I was at the class and LOML joined us for the meal we prepared.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
We went to the Sacre Coeur basilica. It is up on the highest hill in Paris and has great panoramic views of the entire city. But, up a hill means up lots and Lots and LOTS of stairs. With 2 babies and a stroller. The subways were crazy busy and packed and we had to wait a few trains at a couple of stops to be able to fit the stroller and all 3 adults on the train. Going up and down escalators with a double stroller is interesting, too.
Instead of climbing up all of the stairs to the Sacre Coeur we rode the Funicular up the hill. It’s a little elevator car thingy that goes from the base of the Montmartre neighborhood to almost the summit, which is the basically the base of the Sacre Coeur. It saved us walking up more than 300 steps. 300 stairs carrying a heavy stroller or 90 seconds in a car? I’d take the car, too. :)
At the base of the Sacre Coeur was another Christmas market. Naturally, we had to get crepes.
And then we walked by a chocolate stand.
At first I thought about not getting any of this chocolate and waiting for another stand (thinking there would be more better chocolate later…there wasn’t), but I’m glad I didn’t do that. This has been some of the best chocolate I have eaten. Ever. No joke. This was about a million times better than the chocolate we got in Switzerland. I am not normally a chocolate person. But, this stuff is amazing. I got a hunk of plain dark chocolate, LOML got pistachio dark chocolate and Joy got white chocolate with something in it we haven’t identified. Whatever it is it’s good.
We didn’t go in the basilica as Big Ive was getting tired and cranky. LOML decided we needed to take a super tourist photo with all of us wearing berets in front of the Sacre Coeur. You couldn’t tell we were tourists at all. Ha. The best part was when a number of other people took pictures of us with our berets standing in front of the church.
We walked down the steps to the neighborhood below and kept walking and came upon the famous (infamous?) Moulin Rouge. So, we crossed the streets and had a Starbucks coffee while sitting to take a break. Both kids were fast asleep in the stroller at this time. Big Ive decided that she likes to nap on the busy bustling streets and subways of Paris, but not at home in a bed. Whatever. She needed to sleep and I wasn’t going to stop her.
Then we went back to the hotel so Joy could get to her pub crawl with friends she met at the hostel in Interlaken. LOML went out to get us a bottle of wine, some cheese and a baguette for supper as we were going to be spending New Year’s Eve inside with the kids. It was nice and low-key. I heard people partying it up outside until about 6am.
Saturday, January 1, 2012
LOML and I went out for a breakfast down the street from the hotel and left the kids with Joy. It was nice. I could eat real French croissants all day every day. It’s like buttered puffs of air. They just melt in your mouth. Those shrink-wrapped ones from Cost.co have nothing on these. And the bread is fresh every morning. Like, just out of the oven soft and warm, practically. A-mazing. I could live off of it, I think.
After breakfast we packed the kids up and went to the Notre Dame cathedral. When LOML and I visited 7 years ago we took a self portrait in front of the Notre Dame. We both still carry that photo in our wallets. So, we had to take a family photo in front of the church. It might become my new wallet photo. Big Ive got to chase pigeons in the courtyard. She also fell and skinned her knees. Good thing I packed bandages and a new set of tights for her. She had a great time. Then we ate lunch at the Hippo restaurant and then headed home to Germany.