Thursday, March 11, 2010

Oh My Paris!

Our time with Granger in Paris was magical. Paris was all it should be - sophisticated, elegant, relaxed, and beautiful in every way. It was as if Paris rolled out the red carpet for us, together with Mother Nature. You don't get many days like this one in February! Granger fell hard for Notre Dame and climbed up to her bell tower to see the famed gargoyles and the stunning city views.
Oh Paris! Here we are! It felt like Paris was strutting her stuff just for us!
Parisian streets are iconic. The street cafes, red awnings, and street signs have names that roll off your tongue. There is not a street corner that doesn't ooze history. Granger listened to the soundtrack of "Les Miserables" the entire jaunt around Paris. Very appropros given the many remaining symbols of the French Revolution.We put Granger on a Bateau Mouches boat tour while Connor and I went to discover new nooks and crannies of this bustling city. We first went to the Tuillerie Gardens near the Louvre.
I had romantic daydreams since living here of popping over to Paris and lounging the day away in the comfy green chairs near the Tuillerie fountains. Doesn't that sound dreamy? I tried to capitalize on my vision on this beautiful blue-sky, puffy-cloud day...but sadly it is hard to wile away hours dozing in the sun with a two year old. We lasted about 15 minutes before we had to find a place to play! Oh well, maybe one day...We passed the Tuillerie trampolines and I knew that was the place for my little jumping bean!The 5 minutes of jumping for 2 euros lasted about 10 minutes since we were the only ones there. Connor slowly but surely got the knack for staying in the middle and jumping straight up and down.We meandered over to the main shopping area near the Au Printemps and Lafayette Galleries high end department stores.Passing by another Pronovias store (my wedding gown designer) I again told Connor that this store made the dress I wore when I married Daddy. And she again thought that was funny. Repeating, "Remember when you married Daddy? Was I there? Did you wear that dress?" over and over with intrigue and delight.The "Alice in Wonderland" window displays were trendy and clever. We had fun oohing and aahing at all the rabbits and Alices. Not sure what I think of the new movie version though - I will always be a Disney girl at heart.The Lafayette Galleries were overwhelming in every way. I tried to look for a bathing suit or something classy for me, but as usual I was priced out of fashion and we ended up in the toy section. Connor found a miniature doll who we named "Baby Paris" and she proceeded to cuddle the rest of the weekend with a sweet maternal charm.What a building! It is hard not to get caught up in the allure and luster of it all and pay five times what you would in the States to buy something just to say you where there.This city view from toy department says it all. Wow!As we sauntered back to the hotel to meet Granger and Kirk (who drove from Brussels after the work week), I realized in the day of skipping around Paris neither of us had eaten much. I spied this stand outside Place Luxembourg selling pate and wondered if they would let me buy a plain baguette for our growling tummies. I croaked out the French "Puis-je acheter une baguette?" and could not understand his reply. Then a man looking on translated that he wouldn't sell the bread but rather wanted to give it to us!!! So we left with free baguette and lollipop in hand. Who says the French aren't kind and generous?!?The evening continued to sparkle. Our hotel was right beside Notre Dame on Ile de la Cite.
Up on her Dad's shoulders Connor could see it all. A very special night. We ate dinner in the Latin Quarter and then Granger and I decided we couldn't let the night die young so we went off to the Arc de Triomph.On Saturday we hit some major Paris highlights - like the Sacre Coeur cathedral crowning the artsy Montmartre neighborhood.And the gold-domed Hotel Invalides to see Napoleon's tomb.Dr. Partin would take pride in this stop. His renowned college history lectures were always inspired with Napoleon's conquests.
We all loved Paris and got to see and do new things. I could return a hundred times and still find more. Paris is a city that grows on you, I think. Each time I am charmed more and more.

1 comment:

Jenna said...

Isn't Paris Magical?! It looks like you got some amazing photos! I esp like Notre Dame at night and the Sacre Coeur, plus the 2 of the 3 of you are great! I also feel like I could go back there repeatedly and always discover something new! :D