You heard it right, folks. Brett and I are undertaking the impossible…five whole WEEKS in France and Italy with a 7 month old baby. Crazy, you say? Yeppers, that’s us! I decided to start up a travel blog for the trip, so that I could include more pictures than my usual ‘Erin travel chronicles’ emails. One post for each of our stops: Paris, France; Nice, France; Vernazza, Italy; Florence, Italy; Rome, Italy; Positano, Italy; Toulouse, France (for a rockin wedding!!); and back to Paris, France. Well, here we go!
We made it to Paris! Two flights, temporarily lost baggage, and THIRTY hours of travel with a 7 month old baby and we all lived to tell the tale.
Not only did we survive, but we all managed to stay happy! Delilah was an absolute ANGEL on the flight. I kid you not, she only cried for a total of five minutes the entire time. It was shockingly pleasant traveling with her. She has recently discovered that smiling at strangers is really fun, so instead of being upset, she spent the flights smiling and giggling at passengers and crew members as they walked past. It was the cutest thing ever. She was like the rock star baby of the flight. Even the baggage people were amazed at her happiness, particularly when we had to wait for an hour and a half for them to locate our bags upon our arrival in Paris (typical).
After a few train trips and a couple of wrong turns walking with our baggage, we FINALLY arrived at our Paris apartment. And boy was it cute! It’s the smallest of our apartments on this trip, but very French and very nice. Unfortunately for us (actually, mostly just Brett) we were informed upon arrival that it was actually located on the third floor of the apartment building and there was only one way to get to it:
We arrived at 10am, and after a quick shower, we jumped right out into the action of the Marais district. We LOVE this neighborhood. Tons to do and see, lots of amazing restaurants, really neat buzz, and a lot of interesting locals. I immediately found this hilariously awesome shop around the corner that sold all these quirky random things and decided that I just NEEDED to have a cake cutter/server that looked like a little red dog. Because everyone needs a cake cutter/server that looks like a little red dog. Duh. His name is Filou and I will love him forever 🙂
Oh, by the way, that pretty rainbowy thing in the picture is one of my woven baby wraps. Not only are we the insane people that bring a baby on a five week tour of France and Italy, but we are the REALLY insane people that are doing it without even bringing a stroller. Blasphemy, you say? Not at all! 🙂 We don’t really use a stroller at home (I’m obsessed with wraps and use them whenever we are out and for an hour or two around the house every day while I clean) so I figured we wouldn’t need one here either. Best decision EVER. I seriously can’t imagine trying to maneuver a stroller around these teeny tiny narrow cobblestone streets. It would be a nightmare. And we don’t have to even think about Delilah’s nap schedule at all. As soon as she’s tired, I just tuck her little head in the wrap and she’s asleep in five seconds. They are full of awesomeness on every level.
Anywho, back to our regularly scheduled blogging. The rest of our first day, we decided to wander over to Notre Dame. I forgot how amazingly beautiful this church is. The intricate designs over such a massive building are seriously astounding. No wonder it took 182 years to build! I particularly like that all the little gargoyles look different than the next. There must be a thousand of them and they are all unique! We are looking a little tired here, but I guess after forty hours with little to no sleep, that’s to be expected 😉
Delilah is looking exhausted here…
Still looking tired…
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand, she’s out. LOL. And she wasn’t the only one. Shortly after this, we headed back to the apartment and crashed at about 7pm. So weird to go to sleep when it was so light out, considering that it’s winter in Sydney right now and dark by 5pm. Yay for summer!
We were awoken the next morning ridiculously bright and early (like 3:30am bright and early) by a very awake little baby who wasn’t quite used to the time difference yet. And oh my goodness, was she happy. Happiest baby EVER. This baby is going to be a travel bug, just like her mama. I don’t think she stopped smiling the entire day. She is just ecstatically delighted to be in Paris, I think! 😉
We headed out to the Champs Elysees and walked and walked until we reached the amazing Arc de Triomphe. The weather was absolutely FANTASTIC and the perfect day for lots of walking. Delilah must have found the Champs Elysees boring, because she slept through the entire thing. We’ll give her a few years before she discovers shopping…I think it may have more of a draw for her then 😉 Apparently the Arc de Triomphe is much more exciting because she woke right up as soon as we reached it.
Here we are standing at the end of the Champs Elysees…
And here’s the beautiful Arc de Triomphe!
We couldn’t get over how huge it was once standing underneath it. It’s only 50 meters high, but it looks about five times that size. Brett kept babbling about how he could kick a football further than the height of the monument. LOL. All of the details underneath are astonishingly beautiful. Delilah was particularly amazed. She kept looking around and laughing.
(Oh, and PS…that adorable sun hat that I spent forever trying to find lasted about five seconds before she ripped it off and threw it on the ground. I probably should have found one with a tie under the chin, huh? You live, you learn, I guess!)
It was just such a gorgeous day that we decided to walk all the way to the Eiffel Tower. On the way, we were serenaded by Delilah’s babbling and squealing, which made even the most serious Parisian smile as they passed us by.
We also came across this gorgeous little park with grass and little white flowers, so I decided to seize the moment and take Delilah’s 7 month pictures. Here are my two fav’s:
(In case anyone is in desperate need of seeing them all, they are on my photography blog: http://www.erinelizabethphotographyblog.com).
We continued on our way toward the tower…and then suddenly, there it was! And it was just as beautiful as I’d remembered.
We decided to have a little mini picnic of candied peanuts and 7up in the park underneath the tower. There were all sorts of adorable French schoolkids running around yelling things in adorable French accents. I told Delilah I wouldn’t mind if she had an accent like that when she starts talking, but I think she’s going to insist on sounding like an Aussie. Here are a few little picnic snapshots:
Accidentally cut Brett’s face off in this one, but the two glamour queens are looking fab, so that’s all that matters, right? 😉
By this point, we’d been out for about five hours, so we decided to head back to the apartment for the night. Delilah was quite obviously down for the count as soon as we hit the metro station.
Today we were hit a bit harder with jet lag exhaustion, so we decided to keep things a bit more low key. We hung around the apartment for the morning, snacking on amazingly delicious croissants with berry jam. Yummo! We finally headed out around lunchtime to a very highly regarded falafel place (I’m obsessed with falafel!) and found that they were so huge that we needed to come back to the apartment to eat them without making a giant mess. Haha.
Then it was off to the Louvre! We got all the way there, wandered around the famous glass pyramid, marveled over the building, and then decided we didn’t really want to go inside all that much. LOL! So instead we walked all around the buildings and made our way to Concorde. Here we are at the glass pyramid:
Having a Daddy cuddle before we head off for our walk:
And taking a rest stop on one of the beautiful stone benches in the park:
All in all, a very good day!
We still have a few things we’d like to do in Paris, but we saved them for the very end of our trip, when we’ll be with Mom, Dad, and Caitlin. Can’t wait to see them!
We head to Nice tomorrow morning, so stay tuned for the Nice edition in a few days 🙂