S: PARIS 2012
BC: (Until Next Time...) | A la prochaine...
FC: Paris 2012
1: Ellie caught a nasty bug and was very sick the night before we left. However, despite the rough night, Finnegan made it to Gran's, and we all made it to the airport in good spirits. | Many adventures begin with a bang. Ours was no exception!
2: ~AC Flight 880
3: Few people over the age of 5 will be able to sleep comfortably in "economy" seating.
4: PARIS DAY 1 Nothing starts a trip better than seeing family, having a nice nap, and eating a good dinner. | As always, the cousins are nothing short of thrilled to be together! | ~Le Loft Clavel | ~15 Rue Clavel
5: THE METRO | The Metro is the key to getting around Paris, and it really is everywhere. The kids loved it, and it was very interesting to see how different each line was.
6: PARIS DAY 2 Our first day to get out and start seeing the sights. ~Pont des Arts
9: The Louvre | Next stop...
10: The fun begins before we ever set foot in the museum.
12: What happens when you unleash Devin and Tait upon the Louvre? | The grownups laugh a lot (mostly).
14: And then there were the exhibits. Phenomenal.
16: In Paris, fun is taking the long way home. | ~Palais Royale
18: Art, architecture and food seem to await you around every corner in this city.
19: PARIS DAY 3 | ~Parc des Buttes-Chaumont Something for everyone, from beautiful views to carousels.
20: After 3 days of recouping from her pre-travel bug and fighting against the new rule about walking on her own two feet instead of riding her way through life in a stroller, Elizabeth finally has some fun! | It is true - the carousels are on every corner in Paris, and the kids cannot resist them. Smart parents learn to say "no" often and to buy tickets in bulk.
21: A little lunch hit the spot! | Home at last. Nothing like hanging out and relaxing with your cousins after a busy day at play. | ~Le Loft Clavel | ~Le Marigny
22: PARIS DAY 4 Let's just say that Ellie's bug finally found us here in Paris. It knocked out 3/4 of the family, starting with Calla and ending with Devin. Thank goodness for the Hylands, who took good care of everybody. | Ellie happily walking on her own. | We made it safely to Trocadero, without getting lost or having our pockets picked. | Devin was goofy with excitement. | PARIS DAY 5 The Smiths are on the mend and ready to tackle the Metro on their own, in order to fulfill Devin's grade 1-long dream of seeing the Eiffel Tower.
23: ~Palais de Chaillot | Predictably, Devin wanted every souvenir he was offered. In the end, he made off with a steal of a deal. Magic words? "I'm sorry, he only has 7, 50." Of course, this had to be repeated a couple of dozen times, along with the occasional "no, that's his sister's money." In the end, 7, 50 is what he paid for the large Eiffel tower and three small ones, which had already been shoved in his hands before "bargaining" even began.
24: Then, it was all about the ice cream. A historical first: cones so big we couldn't finish two between us!
25: ~Jardins du Trocadéro
26: More carousels. This time Ellie used some of her own money to get a ride for herself and Devin.
27: After watching the boats along the Seine, we decided "why not?" Of course Devin took the time to make another new friend. | ~Vedettes de Paris
28: We got pictures of none of them. We did, however, manage to get some nice pictures of other things between distractions.
29: Among the historical sites seen: L'Orsay Museum, Notre Dame, Hotel de Ville.
30: ~Jardins du Trocadéro
31: A lovely children's playground with a view of the Eiffel Tower.
32: ~Parc Belleville | Perhaps the most awesome playground ever. You can practically see the children's neurons firing just to navigate the slanted surfaces, which are staggered at different angles. Very challenging. It would be much more dangerous, except that kids are forced to slow down and think about every step they take.
33: Ellie gained a lot of confidence playing here, and it was obvious she felt proud of her accomplishments.
34: PARIS DAY 6
35: ~Parc Bercy
36: As with most of the parks we saw, Parc Bercy was not a one-trick pony.
37: Elizabeth, however, was sad to find that while they do offer pony rides, they do not do so on school days.
38: School pick-up, an afternoon snack (gouter) and a romp in the park with Lillie - a nice end to the kids' day.
39: *no children *great conversation, *an exquisite meal *good wine *3 delectable desserts The result: an unusually relaxed Megan, a somewhat emotional older sister, an amused brother-in-law & many photos documenting the event. | Recipe for an incredible evening in Paris: | ~Quedebon
40: PARIS DAY 7 | ~Parc de la Villette | Elizabeth's confidence continues to grow as she meets new physical challenges with success.
41: Another absolutely fantastic park! This playground, in Parc de la Villette, has different areas for children of different ages, and includes such things as child-pedal-powered windmills, steel rollers (like hamster wheels for kids), zip-lines (sitting and hand-held), climbing apparatuses, and a very long stretch of bouncy-castle-style inflated mats.
45: Huh. Will you look at that? More rides!
46: Our last meal together in Paris. | ~Hippopotamus
47: ~Charles de Gaulle Airport | PARIS DAY 8 One last sweet moment before leaving, as Devin & Ellie cheer up a fussy baby, and make her Dad very happy.