Aren’t grandma’s are the best?? We have had so much fun having my mom here. I told her this morning she can’t ever leave. I also asked her to come back in June. It’s just a hop across the pond, no big deal, right?
Owen is already quite smitten with his grandma. He gets lots and lots of snuggles with me, but the bonus snuggles with grandma AND someone to ride next to him in the car is like the best thing ever.
The day after my mom got here, we packed (or repacked) our bags and boarded a train to Paris. This trip has been long overdue for the Viper Pilot and I. We’ve been intending to get there since we moved here so I used my mom’s visit as an excuse to finally go. It was a quick 2 hour ride on the ICE train. Owen loved looking out the window.
When I booked the trip, I was overwhelmed with the hotel options. Paris is a huge city and the hotels were extremely expensive. I wound up on Airbnb (a site where you can book houses, apartments, or just a room in a house) and found myself head over heels in love with an adorable apartment in a quiet neighborhood. The Parisian family who owns it has a 1-year-old son so Owen even had his own (super cute) nursery.
It was so nice to have a “home” away from home. Grandma babysat while the Viper Pilot and I went to a grocery store and grabbed a few things to keep in the kitchen: bread, stinky cheese, wine, salad, pasta, so on and so forth.
It was our first “date” away from the baby. He was in good hands so we were able to relax and enjoy each other’s company and conversation while we took a walk along the Canal St. Martin. We took a selfie to commemorate. 🙂
After dinner, we put Owen to bed and I put him in the Boba carrier to sleep. The night was still young and we were eager to get out so we took the metro to explore the Louvre. The museum just happened to be open that evening and we figured since it is such a huge crowded place, it might be easiest to see it while the baby was asleep. (He slept the whole time and didn’t even wake up when we put him in his crib when we got back to the apartment around 11 pm!)
Mona was…Mona. I didn’t feel any different after seeing her. In fact, we were a little less than impressed despite her €5 million renovation. She’s alone behind glass on a false wall, surrounded by people with cameras. She isn’t even hardly smiling. But, you can’t really go to the Louvre without seeing her, so we can check that container on the non-existent bucket list.
The verdict on the Louvre: see it, yes most definitely go see it. And bring your baby. By all means, bring your baby to the Louvre!!! We had hardly gotten in the long line to get in before they whisked us to the front and all because we had the baby. I was a bit surprised they even noticed him. He was sound asleep in the Boba and hiding under my coat. He may as well have been a doll.
Friends of ours told us to bring our stroller to the Louvre to get this kind of treatment, but since he was sleeping we left the stroller at the apartment. Turns out all you need is a baby. Our advice: LEAVE YOUR STROLLER AT HOME. We ended up not using it at all, Paris is no place for a stroller if you can help it.
We rode the metro to the Place du Trocadéro (per the suggestion of a friend) and walked towards the tower. Even though it is packed with tourists, it offers stunning views of the tower. I took a few pictures. Just a few…
– Accidentally stumbling upon the Grande Arche de la Défense (thinking it was the Arc de Triomphe).
It is a GIANT and incredibly awesome structure overlooking a very modern and space-age business district of Paris. It had a really awesome view and we could see the Arc de Triomphe at the other end of the famous Champs-Elysées (Paris’ grand boulevard).
So we rode the metro back to see the…
– Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysées
Before heading home on Sunday, we went to Easter mass at the Notre Dame (and got another Nutella crepe to eat while waiting in line). I didn’t take any pictures during mass, but they had it displayed on a jumbo screen outside. Mass was said on repeat the entire day, so we got to witness parts of it on the screen while waiting in line for the next mass.
Even though it was all in French, we were able to follow along for the most part. We just didn’t get much out of the homily. 😉 A Cardinal said mass, we received communion, and Owen was blessed. It was an amazing experience that we will always remember!
Paris in the spring? I think yes. What an incredible trip. We saw SO much in just a few days, but loved every minute of it. We all had sore legs from all the walking. After avoiding a major crisis (I forgot the diaper bag on the train after de-boarding at one of our connections…it went to Luxembourg and back without us, but fortunately safely in the hands of an employee the whole time), we made it home safe and sound – and exhausted!!