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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Paris: part 1

We made it to Paris. But what a week we had prior...

Around 4 AM on Monday, I woke up to the sound that strikes fear in the heart of parents everywhere: the the I’M GONNA THROW UP wail. The stomach virus had landed.


I had intended to spend Monday thru Friday:
  • brushing up on my French
  • packing with some semblance of organization
  • buying groceries for Chuck and Sarah Kate
  • and getting my “I’s” dotted and “T’s” crossed at work
 Bahahaha! That's not how it went. Instead it was:

  •  Gatorade,
  • “Mr. Sad-face bucket” (ie the spit-up bucket) 
  • a visit to the pediatrician
  • a visit to the ER
  • CVS runs
  • sleeping on the floor when the little one got the virus on Wednesday
  • extreme hand washing, sheet-changing and surface-wiping
  • grosser things that I won't describe here
  • chaos

Brave girl at the ER 2 days before we left

Maybe in a later post I’ll describe how I think I managed to avoid the stomach virus; but I don’t want to jinx myself just yet.

Anyway. We made it to Paris!!!! That’s all that matters, right? We forgot a carry-on bag and Ellie’s beloved blankie, but other than that; the trip was pretty flawless. Here are some photos and memories from the first part of our trip. I’ll be posting more photos and observations in weeks to come. Thanks for following along, and many thanks for the all kind comments on Instagram.

JFK Airport; see the snow?

There is little in my life that compares to chasing the sun across the Atlantic and looking down on France for the first time. I’d never been to Europe before this. It was early, clear, cold and magical. I couldn’t see Paris from the plane, just little villages and miles and miles of green.

The two men who checked our passports at Charles de Gaulle Airport reminded me of Statler and Waldorf from the Muppets; just laughing and stamping and paying zero attention to anything. The ghost of Osama bin Laden could have flashed my mom's passport and no one would have been the wiser. Bienvenu en France!

In the cab; the reality set in that we were in a different country on a different continent with a different language. The driver spoke very little English. I speak a medium amount of French and can make myself understood; but I have a hard time understanding. This was equal parts thrilling and frustrating. Mostly we just said "Oui, oui, nous sommes tres fatiguees" (yes we are very tired) and exchanged halting phrases about the weather.

We arrived to the apartment we'd rented for the week to a relatively quiet Paris because almost all businesses are closed on Sundays. We unpacked, headed to a cafe and ate cheese, croissants, soup, bread and then more cheese.

Then we took a walk through some of the fruit/vegetable/flower markets before heading to Tullieres Gardens where to ooohhhed an ahhhhed over the exterior of the Louvre and caught our first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower.

Back at the apartment it became obvious that staying awake until bedtime was going to be impossible for my mom and me, but Ellie insisted on staying awake.

Scroll down to see what I found 10 minutes later.

First lunch at a cafe on our street. note: a) the chairs (!) b) the happy exhaustion in that face.

First glimpse at the Eiffel Tower.

One of her favorite things to do was to sketch and take notes in her Moleskin everywhere we went.

This happened around 4pm Paris time & she could not be awakened for anything.
It was an interesting first night!

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