Paris, France

What we thought we would be doing in Paris two years ago:

1. Spending countless hours visiting museums, admiring the fine art and exquisite sculptures

2. Walking aimlessly around Paris, staring in awe at the amazing Parisian architecture

3. Sitting in random cafés drinking French roasted coffee, eating butter croissants and people watching

4. Studying the French fashion and applying this knowledge to France’s bi-annual (summer) sale

5. Eating French cuisine (without any modifications)

6. Sipping champagne for breakfast, a beer for lunch, and wine during every other waking hour

7. Catching an opera or ballet or art showing or other posh French activity

8. Spending an evening strolling the river Seine, watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle (begins after dark) and participating in the Parisian nightlife.

9. Staying up late

10. Sleeping in

What we actually did in Paris with a 15-month-old baby

1. Spent most our time in playgrounds and gardens including (but not limited to):

  • Jardin du Luxembourg (Baby X’s favourite)
  • Le Jardin des Plantes (cute wallabies at the zoo)
  • Jardin des Tuileries
  • Parc des Buttes-Chaumont (splashed around in small creek)
  • Square Suzanne Buisson (near Sacré Coeur)
  • Parc near the Église Notre-Dame (especially suitable for young toddlers)
  • Jardin Marco Polo (Baby X met his first caterpillar on these grounds)
  • Place des Vosges (Baby X adored the sandbox)
  • Jardin d’Acclimatation (cute animal farm but more suitable for older children

2. Visited iconic Paris from a distance. We skipped the Louvre and a trip up the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. Could you imagine sculptures smeared in banana fingers and floors decorated with abstract images of milk or hiking a bloody buggy up an infinite amount of stairs? No, us either. Instead, we did the following:

  • Viewed the Eiffel Tower from the ground
  • Bought picnic supplies at Marché Mouffetard
  • Strolled along Canal Saint-Martin (Baby X enjoyed first croissant along this canal)
  • Bought fresh vegetables and fruit (and a few souvenirs) at Marché Bastille
  • Enjoyed breakfast with a dear friend, Carol, at Ma Bourgogne at Place des Vosges
  • Dug our toes into a Paris Plages (man-made beach)
  • Hiked up Montmartre to the white-domed Basilica of the Sacré Coueur (not the most buggy friendly place). Spotted the Moulin Rouge
  • Stood in the les arénes de lutéce (where gladiators once fought)
  • Bargain hunted at Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen (flea market)
  • Splashed around in fountain jets at a pool near Canal St. Martin while receiving Parisian death stares from more ‘mature’ parents
  • Sipped on café crème with a colleague from the 2013 Arbitration Academy – thanks Angela!
  • Took a boat down the Seine with Lulu, Kevin, Glen, Aida and Lulu’s lovely family (Baby X learned a bit of Spanish – muchas gracias!)
  • Took pictures of Baby X at Louvre Pyramid
  • Marveled at Arc de Triomphe

3. Walked aimlessly around Paris in search of baby change tables, boulangeries (for croissants) and jardins (preferably without homeless people sleeping under the slides)

4. People watched the au pairs, grandmothers and parents at the playgrounds (and guessing who is whom)

5.  Studied Parisian playground fashion but balked on buying the 100 Euro leather booties (Baby X has already outgrown four pairs of shoes)

6.  Ate baguettes, cheese and roasted chicken on a picnic blanket, steering clear of all French restaurants. We couldn’t fathom taking a painfully high-pitched squealing Canadian boy into a high-class restaurant. Could you imagine him ungraciously slurping on his soupe á l’oignon, coating his hair with cheese soufflé, stacking his escargots like building blocks or propelling steak frites across their crisp, white table linens? Lets leave such catastrophes to the imagination.

7.  Ate free cookies from all the café patrons intended for Baby X (just because one of us doesn’t consume sugar doesn’t mean we should all miss out on French cookies).

8. (Heather) Attended a French cooking class (solo) – Bon Appétit!

9.  Sipped sparkling water (but still had time to sample the champagne, beer and wine once Baby X retired for the night)

10. Turned in for the evening at 7pm (about 2.5 hours before dark).

11. Woke up between 6-7am to the Baby X alarm clock.

Apartment Gazing

Apartment Gazing

Arc De Triomphe

Arc De Triomphe

Not another Family Selfie!

Not another Family Selfie!

European Life - Bath time in the sink.

European Life – Bath time in the sink.

Enjoying croissants and café créme

Enjoying croissants and café créme

Bubbles in the eyes at the Eiffel Tower

Bubbles in the eyes at the Eiffel Tower

Camel at Jardin d’Acclimatation

Camel at Jardin d’Acclimatation

Canadian Sailboat at Jardin du Luxembourg

Canadian Sailboat at Jardin du Luxembourg

Cheese tasting

Cheese tasting

Chopin au Jardin du Luxembourg 2015

Chopin au Jardin du Luxembourg 2015

Loving the music at Chopin au Jardin du Luxembourg 2015

Loving the music at Chopin au Jardin du Luxembourg 2015

Crepe

Crepe

Tasting Crepe

Tasting Crepe

Interesting

Interesting

Loving Crepes

Loving Crepes

First Croissant

First Croissant

Eiffel Tower Superman

Eiffel Tower Superman

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

French Baguette

French Baguette

Friends at Jardin du Luxembourg

Friends at Jardin du Luxembourg

Fountain near St. Martin Canal

Fountain near St. Martin Canal

Fun in Paris Fountain2

Jardin du Luxembourg

Jardin du Luxembourg

les arénes de lutéce

les arénes de lutéce

Luxembourg Palace

Luxembourg Palace

Luxembourg Picnic

Luxembourg Picnic

Look! We are Dutch (longest legs ever)

Look! We are Dutch (longest legs ever)

Montmartre

Montmartre

Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge

No Goats allowed in French Playgrounds

No Goats allowed in French Playgrounds

Our Parisian Guide

Our Parisian Guide

Parisian Guide

Parisian Guide

Tourist at Paris Plages

Tourist at Paris Plages

Peace for the very first time

Peach for the very first time

Piano lessons at the apartment

Piano lessons at the apartment

Pyramid

Pyramid

Contemplating at the Pyramid

Contemplating at the Pyramid

Rainy day Café Créme

Rainy day Café Créme

Sacre Coeur

Sacre Coeur

Tourist in the Park

Tourist in the Park

Jardin des Tuileries

Jardin des Tuileries

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

We wear sunglasses at the Eiffel Tower

We wear sunglasses at the Eiffel Tower

One thought on “Paris, France

  1. He is such a fantastic kid, Baby X. And it is incredible to see how quickly he is growing. It was great fun meeting you again and we’re looking forward to see you soon. Enjoy Paris, but above all, keep on enjoying each other, because the chemistry between the 3 (even 5) of you makes any person around you feel good spontaneously.

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