Thursday, April 3, 2014

Take Me To Paris - Day 4

Stop 11 - Laduree: Laduree is one of the best known makers of macaroons in the world. Obviously, we couldn't pass up the chance to visit the original Laduree store and try them for ourselves. These were actually the first macaroons any of us had ever tried. Although a pricey, the macaroons hit the spot and made us "macaroon converts."

Stop 12 - Champs Elysees: We figured that if we were going to visit the Champs Elysees, we might as well see it like the participants in the Tour de France. We rented a bike, threw the kids on, and biked along the road known to be the final leg of the Tour de France.


Take Me To Paris - Day 3

Stop 8 - Catacombs:  We first attempted to visit the Catacombs on our second day in Paris and decided to switch up our plans after discovering a 2-hour wait. In order to avoid the lines, we got there just before opening the next day. The kids enjoyed getting to run through the underground tunnels and wanted so badly to touch the bones. We were impressed by how the bones were so carefully stacked into unique patterns - especially considering the large amount of bones.

Stop 9 - Palace of Versailles: Wanting to see the grounds of the Palace of Versailles, we rented a row boat and hit the water. The grounds were HUGE and immaculately landscaped. The kids had a blast in the row boat and especially loved getting to help Ryan row.

Stop 10 - Paris's Covered Passages: After hearing rave reviews about Paris's Covered Passages, we decided to choose a few of the passages to explore for ourselves. Passage Panoramas and Passage de Princes were definitely our favorites with their cool vintage vibe. Passage de Princes was especially cool as it was an entire passage dedicated to toy stores for the kids.


Take Me To Paris - Day 2

Stop 2 - Marche aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves Flea Market: After reading rave reviews about the Parisian flea markets, we figured we couldn't pass up a chance to visit them in person. The market was dreamy with goods ranging from vintage toys to antique jewelry. Maeli was especially intrigued by a bucket full of baby doll eyes one vendor was selling. (She has actually mentioned the bucket on multiple occasions since being home.) After scouring all of the dealers' tables, Maeli ended up picking out a little vintage dress for her baby doll. She dressed her baby in it as soon as we got home and regularly admires the doll in her new wardrobe.

Stop 3 - Notre Dame Cathedral: In preparing for the trip, we watched Disney's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" with the kids. After watching the movie, Maeli wrote a letter to Quasimodo and drew a picture of a princess to go with it. We rolled the letter up and left it for Quasimodo at the top of the bell tower at Notre Dame Cathedral. Maeli was a bit disappointed that she didn't get to see Quasimodo but after we explained that he was scared of all the people, she seemed to be satisfied. 

Stop 4 - Pont de l'Archeveche (Love Lock Bridge): Next we headed over to the Love Lock Bridge to lock down our love. Maeli enjoyed getting to secure our lock and toss the key into the canal.

Stop 5 - Jardin du Luxembourg: After the bridge we rushed over to Luxembourg Gardens to see the "Little Red Riding Hood" marionette puppet show. Although the dialog was in French, the kids totally loved the show! They especially loved when the marionettes would run around and hit one other.

Stop 6 - Jardin du Luxembourg: In the center of Luxembourg Gardens sits a small pond where visitors can rent a toy sailboat for just a few euro. After watching the puppet show, we grabbed a boat and sailed it around the pond for a bit. The kids thought it was so cool and Maeli loved running around the pond pushing the boat back towards the center with the big stick. Milo preferred just to walk around with the stick and take a bath in the dirt. He acted as if he had never seen dirt before. (Apparently we've been away from Arizona for a little too long.)

Stop 7 - Eiffel Tower: By the time we got to the Eiffel Tower, the kids were completely exhausted. But even the exhaustion couldn't keep them away from the carousel at the base of the Eiffel Tower. Talk about a great way to end an awesome day!


Take Me To Paris - Day 1

Stop 1 - The Louvre Museum: After dropping our bags off at the hotel we first headed off to the Louvre Museum. Our main goal was to see the Mona Lisa which ended up being easy to spot due to the large crowds around it. We were shocked to see how small it was as we were expecting a grand display for the famous piece of art. We actually found the architecture of the museum itself to be the most impressive part of the museum.


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