No hangover is going to get me down though. Tonight I finished editing all of my photos from Paris and saving them in their various forms to not only share with you, but also make an album of memories. I want to remember but more than that, I want my kids to remember. They are so young and might forget, but I can only hope that they will read and re-read the memories and think about how it shaped them, and say, "I saw that" "I was there" and "what a wonderful experience and I am a better person for it". Too optimistic? Maybe. But doesn't every parent hope?
The sun was poking through Monday morning so my Mom and Wayne (her husband, not to be mistaken for my Dad of the same name) hurried off to the Eiffel Tower while Ben and I slowly headed in the same direction with the kids.
We stopped for coffee and a croissant, which may be my favourite thing to do in Paris.
We walked down Rue de Rivoli, past the Louvre, and then into the courtyard, where, Ben decided he needed to use the loo. Now, anybody planning on travelling to Paris with children, listen closely. My mother graciously splurged on The Paris Pass. It's not cheap, but this pass gets you into many attractions for free, it can include a metro pass, and occasionally, you can skip the queue...like at the Louvre. BEST EVER. One of the guide books I glanced at said, "I have never seen a child under 12 happy in the Louvre". And this is probably true, because after just one wing, I am pretty tired too, but with this pass, you can get in quickly and come back as many times as you want. Jakob even ASKED to go back.
The Louvre- YOU CAN DO IT WITH KIDS!
From the Louvre we walked through the Jardin des Tuileries. The flowers were in full bloom and even though, for some strange reason, none of the vendors were able to provide du café we did manage to find the playground. We continued to walk along the Seine, enjoying the sunshine and ended up at Relais de l'entrecote for lunch, just off the Champ-Élysées on Marbeouf. I read about this place on the Hip Paris Blog. All they serve is steak and fries but as they say, when it is this good, you don't need anything else.
I don't think we ever did make it to the Eiffel Tower that day, but that's okay, we saw it from afar. Instead we made our way back home and Ben and I got ready for our date.
For Ben's birthday, I had bought tickets to see Don Giovanni at the Bastille. It seemed completely necessary to see an opera in Paris, after all, if not in Paris, where....Ben later informed me, Italy. Whatever.
It was quite a spectacular modern interpretation of the rather debaucherous story, set in a modern day office building. It was a bit of a mind exercise listening to Italian while reading the French subtitles but in all honesty, it was breathtaking. The voices were amazing and the musicianship incredible. It was an experience I will never forget.