We arrived in Paris via Eurostar on Friday evening, June 24th, with my sister-in-law and the three kiddoes, aged 4 to 12. We spent our evenings separately, getting to hotel and apartment, finding dinner, etc. My brother came in later that night, and then we met here to start our first day together:
|Arc de Triomphe|
We climbed all the way up, on a narrow, spiraling stone staircase. It was disappointingly hard for me, but not unbearable. I am happy to have two strong healthy legs to be able to have all these adventures!
|My brother and his kids in front...Cuddles is hiding for some reason.|
Then we hopped the metro to Hotel de Ville, stopped for a café lunch...
...which somehow ended with an arm-wrestling tournament. I have to say, we ran into a bunch of very friendly, helpful waiters as we made our way around the city (the snooty bar by Invalides notwithstanding).
Anyway, we were making our way to Notre Dame, which happened to be closed in preparation for a concert (I think). So we ended up milling around with the other hundreds of disappointed tourists, taking turns at the good photo spot by the barrier.
That's my brother on the right, and his son I've nicknamed Cuddles (for obvious reasons). My sister in law loved putting everyone else in front of things for pictures...so much so that Miss Chef and I had to take a few pics of her!
Our niece, who is as big an animal lover as I ever was, had to go join this crazy pigeon-feeding lady who was having the time of her life feeding the birds in front of Notre Dame.
They were a little nervous about the birds, as well as Crazy Pigeon Lady, who kept hollering at them in accented French, "They won't hurt you!" I forgot they couldn't understand her, so they just had this crazy lady hollering nonsense at them while being attacked by birds. Pretty brave, if you ask me.
Since the cathedral was closed, I was thrilled to have the chance to lead everyone over to the Sainte Chapelle, which I've already posted a picture of below. (I just had to re-post CPL to give you the whole story.) Then I force-marched everyone to Berthillon, past about eight other ice-cream shops while my brother rolled his eyes behind me. But in the end, they all agreed it was worth the walk and short wait.
Somehow, I managed to not get a shot of anyone enjoying their ice cream. Oh, maybe because I was too busy enjoying mine!
That was the end of my planning for the day, so after some dithering, my brother decided to
In spite of the inconveniences, the jardin can hardly fail to please.
And the kids did find something else to interest them, in the end.
I didn't get any photos of the rest: the long walk back to the area near St. Michel, finding a cheesily cheerful Greek "traditional French" restaurant, and being surprised by a couple slices of apple tart ordered in secret by my brother, delivered with a forceful rendition of "Appy Beursday." Yes, it was Flartus' birthday in Paris, and what more could I ask for?
Day Something and One: Eiffel and Rodin