Paris: No carbs left behind

Bonjour! I guess I went AWOL there for a few days, didn’t I? Sorry about that. Our hotel in Paris had wifi, but we were never able to get it working on my laptop. There was a computer in the lobby for hotel guests, but the computer keyboard was a bit different than here in the U.S. and, well, let’s just say that me doing just quick Facebook checks every evening caused me to curse furiously under my breath in both English AND French. So, let’s talk about Paris, shall we? We left London early on Tuesday morning and took the train across the English Channel. I am pleased to announce that, contrary to one member of my household’s fears, the Chunnel did not flood while we were in it and we did not die, so that’s a good thing.

*Ahem* Please note that someone is wearing his France pants.

We got to Paris around lunch time and, after ditching our luggage at our hotel, walked and walked and walked and walked and walked and walked. Then we walked more. And more and more and more. Seriously, we were all over the place the first day. I just mapped our first day’s walking and we clocked in around seven miles. Needless to say, between the early wake up and all the walking, we were back in our room by 5:00 and asleep rather early. On Wednesday, we learned how to use the Metro and from then on, were smarter about our walking. Luckily, we were able to fortify ourselves with bread and croissants and crepes and various other French carbs. Like, three meals a day. We also consumed a fair amount of chocolate and cheese. By our second day in Paris — and one week into our trip — both girls were asking for fruit and tall glasses of milk. So what did we think of Paris? It’s very much like New York. The best way I can describe this is to say that the French are not afraid to use their car horns, often and with much enthusiasm. Also, you would not believe how many motorcycles and scooters there are in Paris. A lot of people use them to get around. Parisian scooters sound very similar to a common yard tool used in the U.S., so when you get a bunch of them revving up and down Rue Blah d’Blah, it sounds like the world’s largest leaf blower convention.

Anyone want to guess when her birthday is?

As much as I like walking and seeing urban landscapes, Paris is a bit tricky, thanks to Baron Haussman’s major urban planning project in the 1860s, when he leveled entire blocks and redesigned roads and architecture. The result is that there are no basic square intersections where two roads meet; it’s always at least four roads meeting, with lots of diagonals. Oh, and streets change names every few blocks, just to confuse things more. Plus, all the architecture is the same — and I do mean the same — so it’s a bit difficult to get one’s bearings.

Neither girl commented on this statue’s, ahem, attributes. Or any other nude art, for that matter. Odd.

All that said, I would like to say that Paris is a lovely city and the people were very nice. Yes, you read that correctly. Not once did we encounter a rude or snooty French person. In fact, some were very helpful to us. I don’t know what the French words are for “fat ugly American” but I’m pretty sure I didn’t hear them said in my general direction. In fact, on Thursday, as we were leaving, a French man saw me struggling with one of our suitcases on the Metro and offered to help me. Will we go back? Definitely at some point. There’s still so much that we’d like to see and do and three days was simply not enough. On the other hand, it’s easy to get fatigued by all the seeing and doing, so I’m glad that we just hit some highlights in our three days and didn’t worry about cramming in as much as possible.

Yes, I know he’s wearing shorts. He made it two days and was so miserable from the heat that I took pity on him.

So now we’re back in England for the final leg of our journey. As I type this, it’s 3 a.m. on Friday. The rest of my crew is asleep in the hotel room and I need to catch a few Zzzzzzzz’s myself. In the morning — no, just a handful of hours from now — we’ll be up again and doing something new. This time, we’re leaving the big cities behind and heading west to the countryside to visit friends. I will post again when I can. XO from England!

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11 Responses to Paris: No carbs left behind

  1. Renee says:

    Wow! You guys are tireless! What adorable kids you have -although they’re probably old enough to not care for the term “adorable”.

  2. Barbara Hutchinson says:

    Reading your posts and ogling the photos have been the most fun! That was the highlight of my too busy work week.

  3. bdaiss says:

    Your girls are growing up so quickly!
    I’m trying to convince hubby Paris would be perfect for our 10 year anniversary….

  4. Kirstin says:

    Love all the photos and so glad you guys are having a great time!!!

  5. I see London, I see France
    I see Pete in real long pants.

    Sorry, I just couldn’t resist the schoolyard taunt. Although nobody rhymes anymore on the actual schoolyard. I’ll save the most recent taunt for my blog.

    Seriously, it looks like a fantastic trip and can we all spell J E A L O U S ???? I’d love to be on the all-croissant diet.

  6. Kris says:

    Notre Dame was by far my favorite. I was so freaking tempted to burst into “God Help the Outcasts” when I went in and there were the big rose windows…

    But there was this priest guy doing his French churching thing so I restrained myself. With difficulty.

  7. Nic says:

    Glad you had fun! I do love Paris. The nice thing is it’s pretty easy to get familiar with the city fast - on your next trip you’ll feel like old hands.

    Well done for braving the Metro, too :)

  8. nina says:

    LOVE St. Chapelle! Your girls have good taste! Sounds like a wonderful trip.

  9. Jen says:

    Loving Pete’s Fancy France Pants.

  10. Julie says:

    I saw this come up yesterday, and like a fine chocolate, or wine, wanted to savour it today—LOVE THE PHOTOS!!! boy, and the commentary? perfecto!

    But? I especially love the pictures!!! :D thank you for satisfying my craving Jen. It’s all I can do to not shove myself in a suitcase and ship myself over there. Thankfully, I still know myself, and know that once there, I would never come back. Hence, the not having gone there yet. 3 days in Paris? Blink of an eye. at least for me!

  11. melissawest says:

    What a wonderful trip you’re having!
    Who is that pantsed stranger with your daughters at the Louvre? I am stymied!
    You’ve painted a wonderful picture of Paris. Now it’s back on my list.