12 Hours in Paris
Though it was only a month ago we were in Europe, it feels like a lifetime ago. Since we got back, we've moved, started a renovation, I've gone to Disney world. It's been nothing short of a whirlwind of a month for us, but I'm so excited to be home, well, in our new home, and working on settle into a new normal. It's taking some time (everything is), but as we're working out small things, I did want to take a minute to document one big trip with lots of memories.
We were gone for 10 Days, leaving June 2nd. We took a 7 day Disney cruise through Norway, that left from Copenhagen and we just so happened to score a 13 hour layover in Paris on June 3rd, my birthday. Are we absolutely insane for taking freshly 3 year olds on a 10 day trip? Probably..erm, definitely. Over the span of 10 days, we tallied 4 flights, 6 cities, 4 main languages, and, 24 hours total of flying. We rode in cars, Metro trains, real trains, boats, and airplanes. We got lost in a foreign city (more on that later), and walked about 45 miles. I lost count of how many times I thought "this was a mistake" but also lost count of how many new things we saw, how many breathtaking moments there were, and all in all - we're so so so very happy we went.
So let's start with city number one.
Like I said, Paris was a happenstance stop when we booked our flights. Our cruise sailed on June 4th, and our connecting flights from Seattle to Copenhagen happened to land in Paris, on my birthday, with a 13 hour layover. And while that may sound like a dreamy adventure, dreamy it was not. I won't say I hated Paris. It was lovely. But the idea of trying to make it happen in a day with the boys was a feat we almost didn't surmount. We left Seattle at 1:30 in the afternoon, after sleeping for 4 hours and waking us all up at 5AM so that we'd all be nice and tired on the plane and hopefully get some sleep. Much to our dismay, the boys slept approximately 2 hours of the 10 hour flight, Tomas and I slept exactly none, and we arrived in Paris at 8AM, extremely tired and extremely ready to not be on an airplane anymore.
We managed to adventure through the airport, get tickets on the metro, and navigate our way to Notre Dame. Which is as beautiful as they say it is. We didn't go inside, we just hung out with 5,000 other tourists outside, but it was still just breathtaking to be in its presence and see such a historical place.
Then it was off to lunch. We stumbled upon a sidewalk café around the corner where I got a delicious ham + cheese crepe, before we decided to walk to The Eiffel Tower along the Seine. Why? Don't ask because I don't have an answer. All I know is that ended up walking over 3 miles along the Seine, and it was absolutely beautiful even on no sleep for almost 24 hours.
And despite the city itself being incredible busy, the walk along the Seine was quite peaceful with minimal traffic. We went back up to Street level just in time to see the Capital building, and some beautiful Parisian doors that I lost my mind over.
At the end of that long, long, LONG walk, we made it to The Eiffel Tower. We sat in the shade, people watched, and just enjoyed each other's company which was one of my favorite moments of the trip. A picnic with wine and bread would have made it even better, but the boys slept (mostly on us), and we got to enjoy some time just being family. We had no cell service in Europe, and no responsibility besides just being a family and getting 10 days to just focus on that was really lovely.
After that, we ended decided to head back to the airport with lots of time to spare in case we encountered delays or if we got lost. Not so lucky for us, we did get lost because apparently the C Train and C Line on the Paris Metro are two completely different things that go in opposite directions. I cried, my kid tried to jump onto train tracks, but we made it back to the airport, through security where we sat, completely exhausted, waiting for our plane to Copenhagen. We were awake for 34 hours that day, made it to Copenhagen and slept for 11 hours before embarking on our actual vacation. But Paris was lovely. I can't wait to go back when we have more time to explore so we can absorb more of what it has to offer, which is so, so much. I'll be back on the blog tomorrow with more vacation details but I figure I'd bombarded you enough with photos.
See you tomorrow.