Day 22 Bonjour Paris! (The ultimate side trip)

eiffel in the distance

When we initially started planning our trip we thought we would go to London, Paris and then Italy for a week.  As things shaped up and we were offered the villa in Tuscania we reworked our plan to just fly in and out of Rome and do driving trips around Italy.  But, we couldn’t shake the feeling that we really, really wanted to take the girls to Paris for a few days.  My husband lived in Paris for six months in college; we’ve been to Paris at least 5 times together and more separately.  It doesn’t matter, the appeal of Paris is boundless and to be so close and not make the trip seemed insane.

So, once we arrived in Italy we began to plan for a few days in Paris and lucked out with a great fare on Air France and a cute apartment via in the 6th arrondissment.  On the 22nd we drove my mom to the Rome airport to go back to New York, and headed to our Terminal for our flight to Paris.  The girls were nervous on top of being sad to see my mom go.  But, being the seasoned travelers they have become they settled into their seats with Leapsters ready, ipods charged, and headphones on.  Immediately they got a kick out of the little drink holders that fold down in front of the food trays.  They also loved that the announcements were made in Italian, English and French.  And the meal had an apricot tart and baguette.  (And this was the airplane food!)

When we arrived in Paris we decided after much deliberation to just take a taxi to the apartment rather than the RER or bus.  In all the times I’ve been to Paris I have never, ever taken a taxi from the airport.  It seems like the epitome of wasting money when the train is so fabulous and easy.   However, since there were four of us, and the girls were so tired it seemed like money well spent to just get to our apartment and start our Parisian holiday.

Our apartment is a one bedroom, really cute and very French.  The living room has a pull out couch for the girls and a kitchen that’s basically an efficiency, yet has a washer/dryer.  Something our prewar building in NYC still can’t handle for some reason.  The funniest thing about the apartment is that the shower is built into the bedroom.  I guess they really wanted the Jacuzzi tub in the bathroom and figured they could put the shower next to it; only they didn’t take down the wall.  Very creative design you might say.

I had two main criteria when looking for an apartment: central location near a park and air conditioning.  While it has turned out to be very cool in Paris I know it can be hot and steamy like New York in July and there was no way I was risking that.  The location is ideal.   2 blocks from the Metro, and most importantly because we’re traveling with kids is that it’s a 5-minute walk from the Jardin du Luxembourg.  I knew the only way to do Paris for 3 days was going to be with a lot of park and playground breaks.

After we settled in we went to get an early dinner at a near by brasserie.  As much as I love the food in Italy it was a relief to have something other than pasta to eat!  We had grilled salmon, lentils, potatoes gratin, pommes frites, a hamburger for Sophia and a croque monsieur for Corey.  Plus a really good Bordeaux, also a change from Italy where we’ve been having only white wine in the heat and because that is really the specialty of our region.  You forget living in New York City that most people don’t have a wealth of variety in their cuisines.  It’s not normal in the rest of the world to have Indian, Thai, Japanese, Mexican, Italian, French, American and Greek food all within 3 blocks of your home, but that is what we’re used to at home, and we started to crave change even in Italy.

After dinner we walked to the gardens and the girls immediately fell in love.  The huge playground, the flowers, the promise of pony rides, the glistening pond full of duck families, and the romantic paths all captivated them.  They didn’t want to leave.  Unfortunately it started to pour.  We made a mad dash to the patisserie to pick up croissants and pain au chocolat for the morning, along with tarts and macaroons for dessert and headed back to the apartment to crash and prepare for our first full day in Paris.

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One reply on “Day 22 Bonjour Paris! (The ultimate side trip)”

  1. It is amazing that you have the strength to chronicle all of the events of the day after you put in such long action packed days; but it is great for us. We are loving reading about your days, and knowing that all of you are having these experiences. Jody said that Izzy and Soph will be like teenagers when they come to Michigan this summer–so sophisticated! What memories you are building for them. Can’t wait until you get here. Love.

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