Bonjour! Nous sommes à Paris!
We're in Paris and I am loving using my (very broken) French again! We have been here since Thursday, so I figured why not write a weekend update covering our first few days in this magical city!
Let me start by saying, packing for a month long trip with children is no easy feat. Between the clothes, toys, travel cribs and stroller...you cannot even imagine how much luggage we had to organize. We also have 6 people between us, the kids, Matthew's teenage daughter Evelyn (and her sister Camilla is joining us in 2 weeks) and a nanny, Isabella, who is coming with us to watch the girls and give us some time alone during the trip! I spent two full days preparing all of our things, and nothing felt better than driving away in the cab, knowing I was done and it was finally time for our adventure to begin!
Minneapolis has a direct flight from MSP to Charles de Gaulle in Paris (Thank you God!) and I have nothing but great things to say about our experience with Air France! Matthew and I sat separately for the first time on a flight, and it worked out much better than expected. We took the overnight flight which departs right at the time the kids are normally going to bed, so the (big) hope was that both would sleep the majority of the flight. I sat in a row designated for passengers carrying an infant in arms which had a glorious amount of leg room as it was in the front row of the plane. Once we were at our cruising altitude they installed a bassinet to the wall in front of me and it was truly a gift from God. After nursing Madeline to sleep, I placed her into the bassinet and she slept for the entire trip! I still cannot believe it.
Josie, my amazing little sleeper, absolutely refused to close her eyes longer than a blink. THE ENTIRE FLIGHT. I swear someone slipped her some pixie sticks or Mountain Dew because I don't even know how it is possible a little girl can stay awake 9 hours past her bedtime. So needless to say you can only imagine how pleasant she was on the flight. Matthew and I took turns sitting next to her and trying to keep her occupied vs sitting in the peaceful row with Maddie and relaxing. It was great to be able to give each other breaks, and I've never been more thankful for Maddie to pick this flight to be a great sleeper!
Ahh the exhaustion of travel. Needless to say, the second we got the kids in the stroller after the flight, even Josie finally passed out!
When I was younger and my family would travel to Europe, my parents always forced us to stay awake the entire day in order to acclimate, no matter how tired we were. This method certainly creates increasingly short tempers and moody travelers, but it's a very effective way to waste as little time as possible during your vacation. The first day we arrived, while everyone else was sleeping I went off and explored! Paris is my favorite city in the world, and I love wandering around the beautiful streets alone. I didnt want to waste a single minute!
We're staying in Montmartre (the 18th arrondissement) and I took a beautiful walk up to La Basilique du Sacre Cœur, one of the most gorgeous churches in Paris. The view from atop is unmatched. The walk up is not for the lighthearted (or out of shape!) but once atop you can see absolutely all of Paris! That tall speck in the distance is Le Tour Eiffel!
We spent the next day exploring the area with the kids! La Sacre Cœur area has a small children's playground and Carousel, so we ended our day there and had a great time with Jos! When we visited Paris late year, Josie was just starting to walk - it's so much fun exploring the city with her now that she is a little older!
While everyone else is acclimating pretty well to the 7 hour difference, sweet little Maddie is still clinging on to Minneapolis time and is making me a very tired mama! But she's so adorable in the mornings I don't mind the early wake up call too much! She's getting so strong, I swear she will be crawling by the time we return home!
We're here for 3 more weeks and I cannot wait to keep you updated on everything we explore and find! This coming week I have more to do with wedding planning, so my days a little more scheduled and hopefully I will get more blog posts out soon!
Until then, Au revior!