How do I do this? … summarise the most amazing experience we have ever had as a family? Big statement. But true.
I will start by saying that we had the most enthusiastic, spirited, grateful children along for the ride with us … and that made it the trip of a lifetime. It was their first trip overseas. Seeing everything through their eyes made this the most magical experience of my life.
We all learnt French before we left and my boys embraced every opportunity to use the language. It was wonderful to watch. My eldest loved the experience of speaking the French language in France and always had his head in a phrase book, learning, refining. He chatted away to anyone who would talk to him and learnt so much. His accent is beautiful, so beautiful in fact that he teases me about my Aussie French accent. My youngest focussed on his ‘ordering in French’ skills and received many a smile when he launched into his restaurant ‘Je voudrais … ‘ speal with gusto!
They were wonderful. They were great travellers, great company.
I am compiling this post in a haze of jetlag, and I started out thinking I could fit our whole trip into the one post. Hmmm, I might have to break it up a bit, so let’s take this one up to the end of our stay in Paris. It’s hard to put into words, the whole experience, and my brain is still too foggy to compose sentences! (rotten jetlag this time around) so I will let my pictures tell the story. I’ll talk more next post!
Here are just some of the things I will never forget:
My boys’ true wonder at new and beautiful things.
(Helped that I starved them of all Christmas prep before we left. Not a decoration. We were packing!)
Fellowshipping with the locals …
… and the wildlife ….
… and the not so live stuff.
My boys’ enthusiasm to learn as much as they could from every experience….
… even when they were dog tired and had ‘had it’!
How nothing went unnoticed.
We tried everything!
My boys’ response when they first saw the Eiffel Tower! I will never forget it.
We strolled around the corner and ‘boom’, there it was! I cried. Of course.
How damn cold it was at the top!
The eerie beauty of Paris that first day.
My feeling of disbelief that we were really there … all of us …. together … with this beauty at every turn.
His first baguette. Eaten with no fear, seeing we did the almond challenge before we left.
No bakery was left untouched by the end of our visit.
Surviving the Paris metro from CDG airport to the city … in peak hour …. with 4 suitcases … 3 changes … and a million stairs!
Taking my boys to Cafe Constant, Rue St Dominique, 7th.
My favourite-est cafe in the whole of Paris.
I ate there every day when I was there last.
My boys could see why. They are still talking about the beef.
My boy’s obsession with cheese ….
…. and Christmas logs, which he could not have (myriad of nuts).
That first night.
We were so tired from our flight but we wandered those streets like there was no tomorrow …
… despite the cold!
The Christmas windows.
Our early morning pastries/bread on the run.
Our day on the Champs Elysees…
Watching my youngest’s love of hot chocolate blossom! ….
… and his love of carousels!
Chilling in French parks, watching our boys joyously play.
My youngest spontaneously breaking into song whenever the beauty overwhelmed him!
Searching for the padlocks I left on the Pont Des Arts last time I was in Paris.
I threw those damn keys in the Seine with such hope in my heart.
Pinching myself that we were all in Paris … together … and that my wish came true.
Sharing my favourite bits of Paris with my family.
My boys giving it their all! … despite the jetlag!
Paris at night.
Christmas shopping in Galeries Lafayette.
My baby’s ability to sleep anywhere when the need arose.
The view from our Paris apartment at night…
… and in the day!
Our early morning starts before the city had woken up.
Running amok in Paris.
The absence of heat! Wearing winter clothes.
The winter sky.
Spending a delicious morning all by myself on Ile St Louis….
…with this breakfast …
… and this view….
… my youngest summed up Paris beautifully … “Mum, there is magic around every corner”.
I think he said it after being there just one day.
They got it.
Next stop …. London ….