Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Paris

About a month ago two months ago, we did a two-day trip to Paris. Dave had had meetings with his work, his friends from the office in Monrovia. We did the trip with them - another couple and a baby the same age as Georgia and two single girls. Doing a trip this short with Georgia was a very crazy idea. We left early on Saturday morning, taking the train from our place, a switch to the tube, and finally the Eurostar (a fast train ride from London to Paris), and arrived in Paris around 10am.
After checking into our hotel, I put Georgia down for a nap while Dave sat with her and the rest of our group went to get some lunch. One thing we learned about eating in Paris (well, Europe, really!) is that everything moves at a snails pace. So, before we were done eating, Georgia had woken up and Dave joined us. We then decided to head towards the Louvre.
We spent a few hours in the museum, and although it was a neat museum, I was not very impressed. There were way too many people and the museum was not very stroller-friendly, with lots of stairs that Dave and I ended up carrying the stroller up and down.
Everyone looking at the Mona Lisa
We saw the big things: the Mona Lisa and the Egyptian section (Dave wanted to see the mummies). One of the wings was also closed, and it made navigating a little more difficult.
Dave & Georgia walking around the museum
Georgia was just starting to walk more and more. Before this trip, she mostly walked in the evenings if we encouraged her to. During the trip, she decided she wanted to walk all the time. The second day there, she wasn't okay with sitting in her stroller. She only wanted to walk. Thankfully she was okay with us holding her hand as being in an unknown place with many people around.
Anyways, after we spent a couple hours at the Lourve, we thought that we would go to the Eiffel Tower. Not knowing the city, we thought we would walk. We walked and walked and walked. It was a beautiful walk along the river, but it went on and on and on.
It started drizzling.
We kept walking.
It took maybe an hour.

We finally got there! We got there right around 7pm (I think!) when they do the light show. And of course right as we got there and the light show started, the rain came down! And it poured and poured. We had the rain cover for the stroller but of course we couldn't find the umbrellas. And, if you've been to Paris you know that the underground stations are few and far between. So, we walked about 10 minutes to the nearest station with the rain pouring and a baby fussing (having been awake for 14+ hours already) and all of us hungry and tired (remember walking for 3 hours at the Lourve plus the hour long hike to the Eiffel tower). Needless to say, I was pretty unhappy.
The view as we were walking away from the Eiffel Tower in the rain
That night, we had reservations at a little place by our hotel for dinner. We didn't expect much, but we were all blown away. It was a fun non-touristy, authentic French restaurant. I think the meal took us 2 hours to eat, but the food was wonderful and the atmosphere was great!


Day 2: We (Dave & I) explored the city with Cole & Sharon. Cole works with Dave and they have a little girl that is 2 weeks older than Georgia. We kept a bit slower pace because it was easier to do with the girls.
We walked to Notre Dame, let Georgia chase all the pigeons she wanted. We walked down the Champs-Elysees, and Georgia just wanted to be out of the stroller. Thankfully she was a good hand-holder, otherwise it wouldn't have been possible to let her do this.
We made sure to see the Arc de Triumph, but this is the closest that we got to it. By this point, we didn't need to touch it!
After this, we headed back to the hotel to grab our bags and have some dinner. We rushed to the train station, and got back into London around 11pm. It was an absolutely crazy trip and we were exhausted! We only scratched the surface of everything there is to see and do in Paris, but will wait until we can take a trip without our kids (or in many years when Georgia is older!).

Another note: Paris is not very child-friendly at all! It is very difficult to take the stroller on the underground as there are lots of stairs and the strollers don't fit through the turnstiles. Also, not a single place we ate had a highchair. The people themselves were fairly friendly but didn't speak much English. It seemed that they knew what we were saying, but either didn't know enough English to respond or didn't want to try responding in English.

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