Here are some of my highlights from our short but very sweet time in Paris:
- Actually getting on the plane to Paris and actually arriving in Paris - after wondering if it would ever actually be able to happen!
- Riding from the airport to our Airbnb apartment in a super nice Mercedes van that just happened to be available when we walked out of customs at midnight - the driver had just dropped off a client and wanted a group to take back into the city. He was so typically French with his longish neatly coifed hair, his jeans and blazer, his small wiry frame, his fancy slightly pointy shoes, his accent.
- Seeing the kids' excitement when we walked into the apartment I'd so carefully picked out on Airbnb - wonderfully French in an over-the-top way with crystal chandeliers, fancy Louis XIV style dressers and desks, skylight windows with a slight view of Sacre Coure, a funky staircase down to a lovely kitchen, so many interesting decorations, all tucked into the rafters of this great old Parisian building. It was one of my "treasure hunt" finds on this trip - I looked long and hard for something cool that would fit in our budget and was so pleased to find this!
- Choosing and eating pastries at a wonderful little bakery right near our Airbnb first thing the next morning, finding the perfect pain au chocolate a couple days later at a bakery the other way down the street
- Walking through Paris and noticing the fashions and the restaurants and the creperies and the bakeries and the buildings - everyone remarking on how totally French everything was, having such perfect weather for walking.
- Showing the kids Notre Dame and the wonder of engineering that it is plus talking about the devotion and faith required to build such a thing - feeling good that I got it right - just a few of the most interesting facts and a pretty quick walk-around (as opposed to some earlier times this trip when I'd tried to show the kids too much and to tell them too much and it just didn't work so well).
- Seeing that the stained glass in the Sainte Chappelle is every bit as beautiful as I remembered it to be (and trying to tune out complaints from my kids while trying to help them see how amazing it was)
- Eating bread and cheese and laying on the grass beside the Eiffel Tower, random people from all walks of life picnicking around us, while Ashton went on a little treasure hunt to search for something a certain young lady had hidden for him when she was in Paris two days before (as part of a choir trip she was on).
- Sitting on the steps of Sacre Coeur with a huge harvest moon appearing and great music going on, then going inside the church and seeing a sign - "Someone is praying here 24/7 year round." It warmed my heart to think about prayers going up from that lovely place always.
Here's Ashton's video about our time in Paris - it shows pretty much all that I talked about above!