Hubby, Caileigh and I spent a weekend in Paris two weeks ago. We had an amazing weekend and were disappointed to have to go "home" to London.
We stayed at Hotel des Deux Iles on Ile St. Louis, the neighborhood we fell in love with on our first visit to Paris way back in 2006 (07?). The hotel was a bit mediocre but the location can not be beat. Hubby provided us with a late night dinner from a local shop of delicious yogurt, very stinky cheese, bread and wine that Friday night once we made it in from Gare de Nord train station. We would have loved to eat out, but a Friday night in Paris after a two hour train ride didn't seem like the best idea with Caileigh in tow.
Saturday we had breakfast at a local brasserie on Ile St. Louis. Hubby loved that locals were popping in and having a quick beer before heading out, at 8am! We tried out the Centre Pompidou, a huge modern art museum, being under the impression that it was a child friendly place. The only reason we stayed for over an hour was to try to get at least some of our money's worth of culture before admitting it was an awful decision. We are not modern art fans and it was NOT a place I would knowingly take a child. Way too many displays within reach of a two year old.
We had a bit of a walk around, enjoying the people watching and stumbling across interesting finds, like this fountain and a small playground in the middle of a busy intersection. Caileigh loves all the fountains in the cities we've been to. This one pictured was the perfect size for Hubby to chase her around for a bit of exercise.
A nicely timed nap meant Hubby and I enjoyed a quiet lunch street-side in the Marais neighborhood. We spent most of the lunch discussing all the people walking by.
Once Caileigh woke up we introduced her to the very Parisian, Nutella crepe, from this spot in a small alley in the Marais :-)
You can see the crepe maker in the window there. Hubby had to wait in a long line, but we decided a long line meant they were worth the wait. We were right!
It was a big hit, I was barely allowed a bite.
But I did get a big chocolaty kiss.
And since we didn't have any type of agenda for the weekend, we stopped here for some actual fun-time (unlike the museum). These are all over the place in European cities, I have no idea why. We did this in Bruges as well.
It was a very relaxing day and really enjoyable, despite the unexpected cold. We got the chance to visit the much coveted photograph of Picasso that Hubby found on our first visit to Paris. Yes, it was still there! It seems Hubby has very unique taste in art and it hasn't sold. The price has gone up considerably though, doesn't it figure?
We did get the chance to sneak in a nice dinner that night, with the help of several Dora the Explorer's on my old iPhone. If you ask Hubby though, the only edible part of the dinner was Caileigh's child entree of plain chicken with yellow and orange carrots. Since we speak almost no French, Hubby ended up with PIG'S FEET as his appetizer and something unidentifiable as his entree. He went to bed hungry that night :-)
Sunday we took a boat tour of the Seine and then spent the afternoon at the Jardin du Luxembourg. This park is a haven for kids!! We will be going back again in order to get into the playground. When we arrived on Sunday the wait for the playground was over an hour! Everything in the park had a fee, though the two things we tried, the "swings" and the carousel were worth the money.
Tip: If you try the carousel at the Jardin du Luxembourg, wait inside the fence with your toddler in your arms, and as the carousel slows follow alongside a child on a horse on the outside who looks like they're getting off and quickly throw your kid up on the horse. It's the only way to get an outside horse, which allows your kid to experience the old fashioned golden ring game using a wooden sword.
I know that sounds like the actions of an overbearing parent, but I myself tried this twice and failed miserably at getting Caileigh an outside horse. Which of course she wanted. I was so embarrassed at my inefficiency, especially compared to those French moms that were showing me up. But now I know for next time :-)
Champagne on the Eurostar on the way home really capped off the weekend.
We had so much fun we're going back this Friday, to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary, with Caileigh!