Well, that was an interesting night!

We are usually pretty good when it comes to our jetlag sleeping techniques, but for whatever reason all 4 of us were out of sync last night.  Jeff and Julia both started off really well with an 11 pm start - but then woke up at 3 and spent a few hours hanging out.  Chloe and I, on the other hand, had pretty much the opposite schedule to them as neither of us could fall asleep (there was a brief period of time when all 4 of us were awake at the same time, but it was no reason to throw a party!)  Needless to say it was pretty late by the time we all woke up and got ready to head out for the day.  (Late meaning noon…!)

locksWe had no specific plan for the day so we just started wandering.  We are staying in the 1st arrondissement which is a stone's throw from the Louvre and great shopping, as well as literally covered with amazing cafés and restaurants.  We already had a basic breakfast in our apartment so we ambled with no particular destination while seeing just the tip of the Eiffel Tower in the distance as our guide.  We crossed the Pont des Arts which is bridge loaded with locks of all varieties; people write their initials and the date and lock up their love!   It started to drizzle, which luckily coincided with our desire for refreshment, so a maroon covered awning beckoned us in and we sat in a lovely window seat watching the passerby try and contend with (what had turned in to) a fairly substantial rainstorm.

As it was cool and drizzly Jeff and I both ordered French Onion Soup (which of course here is simply Onion Soup) and washed it down with a delightful glass of rosé.  The kids opted for a very healthy (*ahem*) plate of French Fries and a sugar crêpe.  Can't really say much as ours wasn't exactly brimming with health either…  In any case, we had hoped to wait out the storm but with no signs of it letting up we dove into the nearest metro station and headed for home.

Home at that point in the day proved to be dangerous… we quickly realized that if we sat around we would fall asleep - and a nap at 5pm is never a good idea if you want to get to bed on time.  Figuring that our tiredness was at least partially due to a deficiency in caffeine we thought a coffee/hot chocolate stop would be a good idea; we changed into weather appropriate clothing, shook off our sleepiness and went in search of a suitable café.  We soon felt revitalized and explored the area around our apartment.  A lot of the stores were closed (Sunday night at 6 pm) but the souvenir stores still beckoned so we bought a few cheap umbrellas and Eiffel Tower keychains.  We stumbled across a huge indoor mall where everyone was lined up for the movie theatre to get out of the rain.  After killing enough time (and felt it was a reasonable dinner hour) we decided to go to the kid's favorite Parisian restaurant chain - Hippopotamus.  They have a kid's meal for under 7€ that includes a drink, meal and dessert - that's a hard price to beat in Paris for a sit down restaurant!  We were so happy to discover the rain had stopped while we ate and the evening turned out to be clear and beautiful - hooray!

Eiffel_TowerThere came a point in the evening when we had to make a decision - either head home to bed (at only 8:30pm) or push through.  We decided to do an entire Paris tour as fast as possible so we hopped the metro to the Arc de Triomphe, then went to the Bastille, then onwards to the Eiffel Tower.  Our metro pass got a workout!!  We hit the Arc right at dusk and the lighting was beautiful.  The Bastille was nostalgic because the first time we came to Paris with the kids 5 years ago we rented an apartment just down the street from it.  We decided to stroll down memory lane and check it out and were surprised to see the restaurant on the corner that we ate at multiple times had been turned into an electronics shop.  It was nice to go there and felt like no time had passed at all… funny how that works.   Onwards to the Eiffel Tower!  We have seen it at night before but on our last trip here it rained the whole time (hmm, pattern here?) so the evening pictures never quite turned out.  Tonight we exited the metro station and our first view of the Eiffel Tower was breathtaking - not only was it lit up but it was sparkling!  That sounds cheesy in writing but it really was spectacular, and quite fortunate it turns out because the sparkling didn't last long and I'm not sure how often it happens.

Feeling like the evening was complete we headed for home with tired feet and happy hearts.  I saw many interesting people today which warrant mentioning, the first being a young backpacking couple waiting for a metro.  Young love… they were permanently joined at both the lips and the hips.  Walking becomes difficult like that, particularly when wearing large backpacks, but somehow they made it work.  Love was definitely in the air as I heard proclamations of love all over the place (I may have fallen victim to it and had a kiss under the Eiffel Tower).  C'est Paris!  I also saw a dapper man riding a bicycle; he stood out to me because of his salmon colored pants jauntily rolled up to mid-calf and his distinctive Harry Potter glasses.  For some reason it worked for him, not sure I could say the same if I saw him in downtown Calgary.  And finally my evening was complete with a lady standing alone under the Eiffel Tower.  She had a cellphone in her right hand (into which she was excitedly talking) while her left hand contained both a lit cigarette and a giant fluff ball of cotton candy.  She was trying to eat it, smoke and talk all at the same time and was having trouble figuring out which thing was most important.  Perhaps she needs to take a course on time management or decision making.

Full day?  Mais oui!  The kids are getting ready for bed and the adults are relaxing with a glass of wine and hoping for a normal night of sleep for everyone tonight.

Until tomorrow… bon nuit!  Zzzz.


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