At last… Paris!

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It’s been a month now since we were in lovely Pah-ree, and I think that’s because every time I looked at the pictures I got so depressed. Paris was so much more beautiful in my memory! It was like a dream!

But in my mediocre photographs, it looked rather ordinary, and our children looked somewhat overwhelmed, and the parents and grandparents looked very grateful to be sitting down with whatever beverage was in front of them.

I suppose many things were true simultaneously: we were enthralled and we were exhausted, we were fascinated and we were fatigued, we were savoring and we were stressed. Such is traveling with little children. And traveling to a place like Paris — which is e-nor-mous — when you are trying to see as much as possible in four days, well… there’s sure to be a lot of bliss and a lot of blerg.

Anyway. I finally did edit the photos. I think these “few” — culled from hundreds — help it to look delightful again, and that’s how I’d like to remember it!

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Our babies will fit in the overhead luggage!
Also, first glimpses of Paris near the apartment we were sharing with Elliott’s parents.

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In the final 15 minutes of an exhausting day of travel from Sicily to Paris, Gil threw up on me in a taxi. We arrived at our apartment feeling like we’d traveled across the world instead of the continent. That night, Elliott and I left our sleeping children in his parents’ care and went on a walk through Paris at midnight. Oh, how we needed that walk. We saw Notre Dame (behind us in the b&w photo) and then wandered back along the Île Saint-Louis to Berthillon.

And then we ended up behind Natalie Portman to get our ice cream! Way to redeem yourself, Paris. Thank you.

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Pont des Amoureux (Love Lock Bridge) by Notre Dame the next morning.

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Grampa & Gil inside Notre Dame Cathedral.

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At the Rodin Museum with his Marmee.

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Picking out a treat at the museum’s pretty outdoor cafe.

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We spent a whole day at Versailles, where we loved the grounds (pictured above and below) and spent hours walking, picnicking, and biking around them.

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This bike ride around the gardens was one of the best things we did on the whole trip.

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On the R, goofing off with Lena in the elevator inside the palace because someone “weally, weally need to use da baffroom.” Real life with kids, even at Versailles.

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The Hall of Mirrors inside the palace. I have pointedly cut off the heads of the several hundred other tourists who were packed like sardines into the room with us.

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The kids rode not one but two! carousels by the Eiffel Tower one afternoon. Lucky ducks.

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Eiffel Tower by day and by night from Trocadero. So beautiful! Lena shrieked with glee when the sparkly lights came on around 9pm. As my mother-in-law said, we all felt the same way, but Lena was the one who expressed it. Magical!

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We visited Notre Dame every day. Lovely lady.

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We happened upon the Marche aux Fleurs unexpectedly and felt like we’d stepped into a painting. A perfumed, misty, sensational painting.

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Lena amused herself in line outside Saint Chapelle.

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Inside Saint Chapelle, more beautiful than I’d ever imagined.

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On our last night in Paris, we met up with my California cousins in a park between our apartments. The adults picnicked with baguettes, meats, cheeses, and wine in the grass, and the kids ran in ever-widening circles away from us and around the gardens and play equipment. A perfect, child-centric end to our stay.

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The park where we met up with my cousins. Let me just close by saying that I loveΒ almost everything about Paris, but the parks and playgrounds every few blocks stole the show. When the kids were cranky, when we all needed to rest our feet, when it was time to spread out a picnic and relax… well, there’s nothing like a Parisian park.

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Right, Gil?

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Have you ever been to Paris? What were your favorite things about the city? Not just museums, but unforgettable moments or memories?

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13 Responses to At last… Paris!

  1. Allie May 15, 2014 at 8:11 pm #

    Love the picture with Tyler and Ashley!

    • Becca May 15, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

      It was so fun to see them! T and A were AMAZING with our kids. They played with them and basically babysat them for at least an hour while the adults talked. I was like… thank goodness we’re moving to CA! We are totally taking you up on keeping them for a weekend so we can get away! Love them so much.

  2. Poppy May 15, 2014 at 9:50 pm #

    Best memory…being with my family, getting blown around the La Grande Arche, Nortre Dame, the Louvre; Versaille especially that hall of mirrors; the antique book stores and paintings on the Left Bank, climbing the E tower and saying to the family–as we looked out over the city–that of all the places in the world Paris is the leader in taking architecture seriously; the Arc de Triomphe; the trains and the food, always the food. And the coup de grace was finding we couldn’t go back to Pakistan so off we went on Air France to Singapore. Delightful memories for a poppa. Fun to see the traditions passed on to the next generation!

    • Becca May 15, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

      I forgot we got the news there about Pakistan and Singapore! Memorable for so many reasons. I still get childishly delighted whenever I see a man selling bon bons like than man did outside Le Grande Arche. So many good memories from that trip.

  3. Abi May 16, 2014 at 1:16 am #

    My favorite Paris memory: having a super-skinny pedicab driver haul Jorge and me from the Opera to the Tour Eiffel. I will never forget how impressed I was when he made it over the slight hump in the bridge over the Seine! ;)

    • Becca May 19, 2014 at 9:36 pm #

      Hah! I wish I could have Seine that!

      Hehehehe….

  4. Lucy May 16, 2014 at 2:36 am #

    Do you remember seeing Venus de Milo at the Louvre? and the flying buttresses on Notre Dame? I think we were studying some Calvert art history at the time. Remember buying baguettes and tearing off big pieces as we walked along, feasting on the sights while we filled our stomachs with French bread?

    • Becca May 19, 2014 at 9:36 pm #

      Yes to everything. So many wonderful memories of Paris. Let’s go back!

  5. Carrie May 16, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

    Beautiful!

    • Becca May 19, 2014 at 9:37 pm #

      Thank you so much, Carrie!

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