It’s funny after you have been sitting so long, moving this way and that, checking the time to see how much is left and mentally encouraging yourself it’s not too much more, that the one thing you cannot wait to do is to lay down horizontal. Now, for some of you first class fliers this might not be an issue, but for us others sitting further back it is real and intense. After getting our baggage off the plane we made our way to the taxis. A lovely woman was our driver who would be taking us to our Airb&b which was in the 4th district in the city of Paris. The city of Paris has 20 districts (that’s what I call them). The center is the first and the districts go clockwise in a swirl getting larger the further you get out of the city. Typically, it would take 20 minutes to get to our Airb&b but with traffic it was a good hour. Lots of trees and greenery as we left the airport and ironically a good thundershower as we drove on. As we got closer to the city the sun came out, the cafes appeared and my eyes were glued to the window taking it all in. As excited as I was the need for sleep was intense. Ah, then we arrived. 10 Rue Aubriot. Our host Pascal was there as the taxi dropped us off and we went down the little alley way to a big, beautiful, brown door. Thru that door was a little non-descript gray door that would lead us to our little home for the next few days. In a blur Pascal told me the details and how to use things. I’m going to be honest, all I could think about was laying down in that bed. One thing to note, the weather was reaching the high eighties that day and our place has no air conditioning. The bedrooms are upstairs. It was pretty warm. It didn’t matter. Our family crashed. We all were asleep within seconds. It. Felt. So. Good. We made ourselves get up after 4 hours because we knew we had to stay up some of the day to start to adjust. It was time to explore our darling area. I love it. At the end of our street it opens up to cafes, stores, people strolling, everything. It is alive and beautiful and I wonder again if European people work or meet friends and family at cafes to talk about life for hours. We found a grocery store and bought some things to eat a little at our place and water. It was fun to watch Sam in the grocery store. To him it smelled different and he was very suspicious of several items. Happily he recognized a cereal box that was basically chocolate hidden inside some type of cereal. I stared at the milk for a long time trying to figure out which one was which. I guessed right. Oh, and on that note for all you “by the book food people” eggs were NOT refrigerated her. Just sitting in a stack….outside the coolers. After unpacking our groceries we decided to journey for dinner, stretch out our legs with some walking and explore a little further. Annalin was still not feeling up to speed so Mike, Sam and I adventured. Let’s just say at 6:00 people are not eating in Paris. Well, the Americans who are visiting Paris are. The Parisians are just settling in for happy hour and MAYBE around ten or so they will ponder dinner. Let’s just say it took us awhile to find a spot. Every café was jam packed. Felt good to sit down and have a meal. My appetite still wasn’t too good but Mike and Sam enjoyed their food. Our waiter was so kind and from Morocco. Did not speak a word of English but appreciated our attempts at French. After a little more walking around we were ready to call it a night. I think we made it until nine and we all crashed again. I remember waking random times throughout the night and telling myself to go back to sleep. We all awoke the next day to the beautiful sun and another day in this fabulous city. Today we would see the Eiffel Tower.
The only sad thing about this day is I had to be at peace that Annalin was not going to come on our adventure. She needed one more day to recover and the irony is Annalin was very fortunate a few years ago to go on a Europe adventure and had been to the Eiffel Tower. I was so sad she could not join us but also knew she needed one more day of sleep and rest. So the three of us were off again. Before we left, Sam and I went up the street to the local patisserie and he had a chocolate beignet, another amazing looking puffed pastry thing and I wrapped my hands around a delicious cappuccino. We took a taxi to meet our group that we would be taking a tour with. I had previously booked the tour with a company called Viator. I actually have booked several of our tours throughout the trip with them. I was so glad I did! We got to skip so many lines and get to enjoy this beautiful structure that to me is such a symbol of Paris. It was wonderful. Sam, Mike and I loved it. We got to go to the top and see everything on a stunning, bright blue sky day. The Sein was beautiful, The Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame the list goes on and on and we could see it all. We took our time at the second and first level and made our way back to the bottom. Found an awesome stop for lunch and loved watching the locals. The women here amaze me. They will be in a beautiful dress, on a bike, riding around looking stunning. Sipped my cappuccino, laughed with my boys and had a great afternoon. Watched Parisian families walk by and realized even more, really in every culture we are the same. As parents we are nurturing, teaching and loving these little humans hoping their lives bring them happiness and love.
Returning back to our “home” Annalin was feeling better so we took a walk together to get fresh air for her and some lemon sorbet. So nice to have my girls energy and color on in her face come back. After a siesta Mike and I got ready for our night at the Moulin Rouge. I was hesitant about leaving the kids but they seemed very confident and we headed out. Was a beautiful evening. We enjoyed the show….wasn’t quite what I had envisioned but none the less lots of fun. The venue was my favorite part. Reminded me a little of Cirque du Soleil but not quite at that level. I had discovered a speak easy write up about one that was on the rooftop of the Moulin Rouge. We found it and enjoyed a delicious cocktail with the locals. They had a free photo booth so we enjoyed taking some pics. Came back to our kids that had gone to get dinner and gelato on their own! My brave travelers. Sleep came quick. Tomorrow is a new adventure. We have no firm plans-just seeing where the road takes us…..one more day here and then Barcelona!