Walking till we can't walk no more

Trip Start Aug 04, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sick of hotel breakfasts we headed past the Eiffel Tower to a street of cafes on the other side. Le Dome was the chosen place, a quirky little establishment with a french feel that offered English breakfast. It wasn't the bacon and eggs we had become accustomed to in Scotland however it was a nice change with a nice atmosphere to start our day.

First stop was a journey past the Hotel Des Invalides as the garden outside was one of Scott's first memories of Paris on our honeymoon. We had come up from the metro closeby and this was the first part of Paris he saw, therefore we went past for old times sake and the garden was looking spectacular as usual. We noticed that there were a lot of skeletons in Paris, painted on the footpath using the grills as ribs, very clever and creative and painted in both pink and blue so as not to be sexist!

When I enquired whether the rest of the team were happy for a walk I got an answer in the affirmative however en route to our next stop I could hear groaining. A trip to the Le Bon Marche department store was in order to drool over the gorgeous clothes, especially for kids. But we were restrained and continued on our journey as it started to drizzle.

Time for the metro however we were safe because our contingent from Scotland with the bad kharma on trains were now in Scandinavia so too far away to maintain the curse, or so we thought. Master X (in stroller) and I safely made it on the train, a buzzing was heard and then a struggle as we turned to see Scott's backpack trapped in the doors. There was a mad frenzy with some assistance from some english tourists, and alas the bag was released. We had a bit of a laugh as the train saga continued, it appears only my bro, Master X and I have escaped any train curse, beware oh bro of mine for future travels!

Onto Opera metro station and I am always enchanted by the Paris Opera House. Having been inside several times I today restrained but not before gazing in awe for some time, so much so I was oblivious to the rain. Oh to one day perform there!

Hippopotamus was the chosen for the lunch feeding trough. We had seen many of these restaurants around and were keen to try it, me being a hippo fan. Master X was given some crayons to draw with and happily did so for a little while. We then noticed that he had a rather red tongue and retrieved the rest of the crayon from his mouth. However he then turned semi-demon and started grabbing the crayons ferociously and biting them. Out of control! The vision in my mind is that of my sweet little innocent son, mouth wide open with an animal of prey stare trying to bite the crayon as Scott took it from him.

After lunch it was time to visit the Apple store, of course being Apple techno nerds we must experience this. Although the building was beautiful, an old bank buidling which has pretty much remained intact and hasn't been modernised, the store lacked appeal and content. We were somewhat disappointed and headed from there to Galeries Lafayette down the road. A huge exclusive shopping centre which was creative in it's design. We were astounded how pushy and rude people could be, and how many able bodied people without children or prams pushed in front of you to use the lift. My tolerance wore thin and I am sure that I too had that animal of prey look.

A trip then to the Louvre where the strange behaviour of our normally quite sedate son, continued. He made every effort possible to run into other people's photoss and lay on the ground a number of times, thinking it was very clever indeed. He tried to swim in the fountain and climb the giant pyramid - too much sugar in the diet perhaps?!? The Louvre is another always inspiring building and like the Eiffel Tower, I never lose my respect or adoration for it. We then walked the length of the park and Master X found himself some little friends from Washington DC.

The Champs Elysees, what can I say? The road of diamonds and rubies, and with the dull weather and rain, it was nearly already just that in the late afternoon. This is an amazing street which extends from Place de la Concorde to the Arc De Triomphe. It is littered with boutique shops and some of the greatest names in fashion and design such as Cartier, Louis Vitton, etc. I was a little too busy to spend up big in those shops like I normally would :) There was a lot of construction work going on and as a responsible mother now, I didn't do my ordinary dash into the middle of traffic to get the perfect picture of the Arc!

However we stood in awe of yet another Parisian landmark and agreed that Paris is one of the most amazing cities in the world! I could come here a thousand times more and still be in heaven. Surprisingly, we didn't see any accidents at the Arc, only impatient and some very dodgy driving. It is strange because they say that on average, an accident is bound to happen there every seven minutes.

More walking and a decision to catch the metro yet again, this time back to the Eiffel Tower. A pizza restaurant caught our eye as we got off the metro and we were lured in. Interesting on this menu was the Lawyers that you could get as an entree, served with viniagarette. I abstained as I am trying to give up :) Another great meal with matching atmosphere. We made another attempt at ordering Master X a milkshake, only to end up with another bowl of ice-cream. Something was definitely lost in the translation but that makes it all the more fun!

Master X has taken to putting things into his ear and we were forced to retrieve some chicken from the right ear during dinner. The last attempt was a crepe that was put into the left ear and stayed there most of the meal before we even noticed. A walk back to the hotel took less than 5 minutes and we got our little warrior ready for bed. The benefit of being only a short distance away from the Eiffel Tower, perhaps less than 50-100 metres away is the fact that you can go just outside the hotel lobby and watch the shimmering lights. So with the child bathed, and rugged up in his pjs and slippers we all went to watch the spectacular lights display. It really is something. I often wonder if it would be something you would just take for granted living here.

We are impressed that our son is using french words, when it suits him, to say hello, goodbye and thank you. And even more impressive was Master X pointing out the "ife tower" to us from the train. An amazing trip that he won't remember but experiences that are definitely going to mould him for his lifetime!

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