Europe, Field Trips, Paris, Travel

Paris, Day 1

Last weekend we visited Paris! (I’m a little behind since we just got the Internet hooked up). It was a different experience from the last time I visited there. Being 7 months pregnant with 3 small children makes everything more difficult and takes longer than expected. We still had a wonderful time exploring the city and I have lots of photos to prove it! Here is day 1:

It is about a 4 1/2 hour drive from our home to the city and we decided rather than fight the metro with 3 boys, we’d fight traffic. And fight it was. There are lines painted on the road, however they are more guidelines rather than lanes. Cars just squeeze wherever they can fit and often two or three left turn lanes will merge into one. Roundabouts are even more fun, everyone gets in the middle and squeezes wherever they can about 6 or so cars wide. Cars parallel parked were sandwiched together touching in front and back so that it would be impossible to get out of the spot. We figured we’d park in the Louvre garage since it was our primary destination the first day. When we went to turn into the garage the spot that looked like where we should enter required us to cross oncoming lanes of traffic, which we assumed was illegal, so we pulled into the spot that was actually in our lane, which ended up being for buses only. So we had to figure our way out of that and finally managed to make it in the right spot, however the garage is so narrow our Odyssey barely fit around the twists and turns of the ramp. It was quite an adventure.
We made it safely to the Louvre and began our exploration of the museum. I won’t bore you with all the art pictures I took, but here are a few of the boys. I downloaded a Louvre app for kids before we came (I’ll post tips for taking kids to Paris later) so Ethan had already learned about some of the more famous works of art. Ethan and Joshua both brought their notebooks and sketched a few things that they saw. I was really surprised at how well they did at the museum. I anticipated spending 2 hours max and we ended up spending 4, and they were very well behaved the entire time (and we’d been in the car for 5 hours just prior to entering the museum).

 

 

 

Ethan was so excited to see the Mona Lisa. He’s wanted to see it ever
since reading about it in a Magic Tree House book  a year ago

 

 

 

While eating lunch the boys started throwing pieces of sandwich to the birds and Ethan was even able to feed them out of his hand. Grant got excited and threw his entire sandwich on the ground and was instantly swarmed by dozens of pigeons.

 

Next stop: the Eiffel Tower. We walked there from the Louvre and took the long way along the river. Stopped at a little bakery for some yummy croissants and to rest.

 

We decided to visit the Tower in the evening when it would be less crowded, and it ended up being perfect timing. It had just started to sprinkle and we only waited in line about 10 minutes. It’s so beautiful at night.

 

 

 

We ate dinner at a little cafe that had a view of the tower, and of course finished it off with yummy crepes before making our journey back to our car. We walked back through the park right next to the Louvre, the same way we left, yet we were the only people in the entire park, which we thought was kind of eerie. When we finally arrived to the steps up to the Louvre we discovered they shut and locked the gate! No wonder there was no one else in the park. Fortunately there was a low fence through the hedges and with a little help, this pregnant mama was able to scale the fence so we could get to the garage. The drive home was even more of an adventure since it was dark and rainy, thankfully I was not the driver!

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