This trip made Paris our most traveled to city outside of the United States. This not counting cities that we transit on our way to another destination or the cities we have lived in. The only other places we have been more than Paris are New York, Orlando and Las Vegas, the latter thanks to CoBurn and the NFR, otherwise we would never go...not our favorite place.
We never seem to go back to a place twice. It feels like the world has so much to see so when we go, we find new places. However, we love Paris--the food, the people and the experience. We especially love getting out into the French Countryside. As always we are treated with kindness when we are here. It could help that we have two little muggles in tow. Lucky Dragon is always kind. The other morning he went with me to the laundry mat and had so much fun saying "Bonjour!" to everyone we passed. I hope it made their day. And Koala Bear is learning when to be bashful and say "hello" ...just enough to draw them in and make them interested...then she will turn away! Yikes! Future heart breaker.
We started our visit to Paris doing something we have never done before, we went to Paris Disneyland. Lucky Dragon was SO excited for this. He had invited his teacher, his Sunday School teacher...and anyone else he deemed would enjoy it. Tickets were such a better price than the ones in the US so we went. It was Koala Bear's introductions to Disney outside of movies. She was so excited to see the Characters as we walked by. When the Olaf parade went by she was so happy to wave and chatter at him! It was an amazing day with the family. It was interesting to see how it was a bit...worn...compared to Walt Disney World and Disneyland in California. Things like peeling paint or unclean bathrooms are not something we are used to. It was also a bummer to have some of the iconic rides closed down to not ride. However, neither child understood that so we were alright.
We took a tour to the top of the Eiffel Tower. That is a breathtaking must-do. It was fun to take Lucky Dragon back now he understands what it is. Last time we were there he was Koala Bear's age. The damper on this part of the trip is that in the 10 minutes from the car-park to the security check someone stole my cellphone...right out of my pocket! LAME!
|Talk about seeing a sign too late...this was on the elevator UP to Eiffel Tower--phone already gone!|
There were two different reasons that this made me sad--1 is that early in the morning I had gone to wash clothes while the three of these people were sleeping, I happened to find a local farmer's market and bought some fresh fruit. This made me miss Istanbul more than ever. The fresh fruit is amazing--it is sweet and juicy because they are harvested ripe. I had taken photos and those were now all gone. The second reason was that someone had stolen my phone out of my pocket and I had not realized it! I am usually really observant of all that is going on and I failed miserably today. I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY do not like to lose things and this was a blow to that side of my reality! I had to tell myself that it could be worse. Cellphones are replaceable (Yes, Lady Hiva reminded me that I will have to now buy another one...) but at least it was not a kid, or my wallet...or the car...or the passports. So time to move on.
|Meltdown...for the drama|
|Always chasing pigeons|
On Sunday we went to Church, which by happy coincidence was less than a mile from our hotel. It was SO HOT in the chapel. No air conditioner and lots of bodies in a closed room is a recipe for my claustrophobia to kick in! It was really cool to see all the diversity in the congregation.
We then rushed to the Louvre palace for the museum. We stayed in our Church clothes because we did not have time to change. That turned out beneficial as we had some time to take photos and when we went in a back door, they did not act like it was odd at all. So we skipped the lines without even meaning to! The first stop was the Mona Lisa. This, like the Eiffel Tower, is something Lucky Dragon knows and was excited to see. I am still shocked to see how popular it is when behind is the massive hundreds of feel tall and wide painting barely gets any attention.
|So tiny...for all the attention she gets|
|This painting is seriously HUGE!|
We also made sure to walk through some of the statues, Lucky Dragon loved the miniature Roman statues --of course he would. He is obsessed with small objects. Another stop was the mummy exhibit! I found myself wishing that the labels were in English not French so I could stop and read once in awhile. Sometimes I could piece together sentences based on a limited understanding of romance languages. But it would have been easier to read. I could not help but think how amazing it was to see all of these things, but it was a bit sad to think they ended up here because they were looted from their home countries.
|We really liked the gold leafing art|
|I have a photo of the real St Nicholas!|
|Parts of the museum you can really see that it was once a palace|
|Creepy depiction of Saint Valerie|
Anyone who has been there knows that you could spend a whole holiday in the Louvre and not see it all. That is not an option with two little muggles in tow. But we still were able to see some amazing pieces. Some of my favorite stops are the life like statues--two of my favorites are the one of Athena/Minerva and Winged Victory. Someday I would love to have a replica of it in our house.
Food is always a big part of our trip to Paris. French Onion soup is a staple for me. I wish I could find a place that makes it correctly in the States. We also have to get our chocolate, our macarons and many other items to try that we really don't need but buy to try anyway! Lady Hiva loves to go to the bakeries and see what they are offering and buy breads. We ate baguettes, butter croissants, regular croissants, apple turnovers, pain au chocolate, Mille-feuille and raspberry shortcake (Koala Bear ate all the fresh strawberries off and fed the shortbread to the pigeons--much to hers, and the pigeons' delight!
|French Onion Soup...I could just eat this all day|
|Inside the famous La Dure|
Lady Hiva wanted to stop in France before we drove back into Germany for more baguettes. By that time we were late in a random village. However, as we gave up looking for an open baker we came across a baguette vending machine! For real! We were shocked. It was on a back road I had just driven down to find a way out and it dispenses warm baguettes for us to eat.
|Hot baguette vending machine on the side of the road|