In case you missed it, I travelled with my family to Paris over Spring Break. This is the Paris portion as recorded by my camera.
Day 1 – Arrival in Paris and ready for bed.
One can’t capture everything that happened prior to our arrival at our Paris apartment. Mostly because it’s irresponsible to take pictures during rush hour in a metro while transporting luggage and young kids.
Day 2 – Les Halles, Louvre, Tuileres, Eiffel Tower
Les Halles – The Belly of Paris – this used to be a central marketplace for Paris. It has since been modernized and is undergoing more fabulous renovations to keep up with the times. This is St. Eustace and is located at the entrance of Les Halles.
Nearby also happens to be the site of a fabulous playground.
Louvre – You can’t visit Paris and not visit famous works of art or the cool buildings that house said art.
Art appreciation can never begin too early. I would have snapped a pic of the Mona Lisa, but everyone knows about her. I prefer less widely known art, like this guy.
Although, if I hadn’t seen him hanging on a wall in the Louvre, I would have sworn he was an internet meme.
Just to keep it real, here are my kids entertaining themselves with an empty Coca-Cola bottle.
I should also mention that we got separated before any art could be appreciated – me with the stroller riding the elevator to the wrong floor, my husband and daughter waiting patiently at a completely different floor. Lesson #461 when traveling in a foreign country – always have a preset meeting location should you get separated from your group. Always.
Jardin des Tuileries – this garden is located close to the Louvre and is the perfect spot to shake off museum restlessness. It helped that the weather was perfect.
Who doesn’t love a pigeon whisperer?
I love that the gardens in Paris are both kid and adult friendly – push a sail boat along or jump on a trampoline while your parents enjoy some wine and cheese in a comfy chair whilst enjoying the sun. What’s not to love?
Carousels seem to be everywhere.
Besides consuming wine and cheese, people watching is another favored activity. The front of this guy’s shirt said, Carpe Diem. In that outfit, why yes, you are seizing the day.
My favorite moment visiting this park was when a friendly lady sat next to me on the bench. She proceeded to speak to me in French. I smiled and nodded. A lot. Eventually she stopped trying to have a conversation and pulled out her phone. She proceeded to call someone and speak to them in perfect English. Eli was not amused.
En route to the Eiffel Tower, my camera battery died. About the same time, I would also forego my opportunity to use a bathroom near the Champs Elysee and would opt to wait in the longest line ever at the Eiffel Tower. Sometimes when I travel, I lose the ability to make sound judgements. The line to go up the Eiffel Tower was even longer, so we found a bench nearby where we could enjoy the view at night as well as some food.
Lola loved the Eiffel Tower. Insisted upon seeing it every day.
I think Eli was over it. Or maybe, he was just over the mamarazzi in Paris.
Day 3 – The Bird Market, Notre Dame, Luxembourgh Gardens and the World Cup Trophy.
There’s this famous Bird and Flower Market in Paris. It’s one of the last of its kind. You guessed it, they have birds for sale.
Notre Dame – there’s a picture that people take in front of the Eiffel Tower that makes it look like they are holding it in the palm of their hand. Guess who thought this was just another type of photography pose?
Near Notre Dame, we happened on FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour. Yes, it’s a real thing. We saw some sites, and then went back for our chance to see the trophy and a brazilian themed celebration.
Had it not been so hot inside the tent and our stroller hadn’t been stolen at some point in the early morning hours, we might have stuck around longer and met the legend himself. I can’t believe Pele was there! I totally didn’t take this picture. Because it was hot and we didn’t have a stroller.
Yeah, our stroller was stolen on this day. We kept hope alive and thought maybe someone in our apartment building was confused. They weren’t. So we opted for an early day and the calming effects of a Parisian laundromat.
Day 4 – Stroller Shopping, the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre
Stroller shopping in Paris is, as you might have guessed, unlike shopping for a stroller in the US. Overpriced and with few options we just grinned and bared it. Napoleon Bonaparte said, “We must laugh at a man to keep from crying for him.” This is us laughing at ourselves, to keep from wallowing in our tears.
The early bird gets to go up the Eiffel Tower. The person that spends a couple of hours searching for a reasonably priced semi-lightweight stroller in Paris ends up in a two-hour line to go up the Eiffel Tower. So we opted for the exterior view and lunch at the park.
Montremartre and Sacre Cour – also known as an artist district or as I like to call it the place where your lungs and your legs burn from climbing so many steps. When we exited the train at the Abbesses metro station, I gave a few young and able bodied people waiting for the elevator the stink eye. I had no idea we were 118 feet below ground and would have to climb a million stairs to get to the top. No wonder the people waiting at the elevator were giving me the “you’re crazy” eye when I bypassed the elevator.
Day 5 – Top of the Eiffel Tower and Versailles
We had fabulous early Spring weather, so instead of taking along our jackets like we had the other days, we left them behind. This was, of course, the wrong thing to do. I have no pictures from the top of the Eiffel Tower because I was cold, and I was over it.
Versailles – the royal palace or as I sometimes call it – the best wedding venue ever. Have you seen the Hall of Mirrors – that screams over the top wedding or perfect for small family get togethers.
The war room was pretty spectacular as well. The depictions of battle may not make for the best dance hall/wedding venue unless you’re going for a themed wedding.
And of course Marie Antoinette and her decorators knew mint green was a super cool color long before we did.
And of course no trip to Versailles is complete without a tour of the gardens or pictures with the sculptures.
Day 6 – we returned to Frankfurt and then returned to the U.S.
To recap – we mostly had fun traveling to France.
Sometimes we were fully in the moment.