This title cracks me up… Jeff said it to me as winewe were enjoying a refreshing glass of chilled white wine together after a long day of sightseeing.  I thought he'd said "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, c'est soir?", which, if you know French (or know the song) you'll understand the implication.  Considering our children were sitting only a few feet from us I was slightly confused for a moment, until I remembered that the wine we were drinking was Pouilly Fuissé.  It's one of our favorite whites and is quite expensive back home, but it only costs 7€ here in the grocery store.  Quite humorous, that husband of mine.

Back to the day…  Today was hot!  The weather for our first few days was rainy, cloudy, and slight cool.  Not cold, but definitely not hot.  Today the sun was out, the sky was blue and we were very, very warm.  Beautiful!  My morning began with Julia tapping me on the shoulder to wake me up - she was up bright and early because I had mentioned the night before that it would be nice if we woke up early enough to actually enjoy a petit dejeuner at a café.  I wasn't keen to jump out of bed, and everyone else was sleeping, so I slowly roused myself and Julia and I headed out to the street to try and find a bakery and procure food for the family.  We wandered around for awhile and then saw a lady walking with baguettes - we went the opposite direction of her feeling like detectives.  Behold - a block later there was another lady with baguettes and only a few doors down there was a cute bakery.  Success!  Not only did they have our desired croissants and pain au chocolat, but they also had coffee.  I knew we would be the family heroes if we brought coffee and hot chocolate home, and thankfully my highschool French got us through.  We got the drinks to go (a emporter!) and came home like warriors of the street.  We gathered at our kitchen table and drank our hot drinks, made croissant crumbs and were generally very pleased with ourselves.

After showering and getting ourselves presentable we caught the metro and went to the Montmartre district, which incredibly we have never visited before.  It's the home of the Sacré-Coeur and we took the Stairmaster (a.k.a. the steps to the top) hoping it was cooler inside the church but either it was the sheer number of people inside, or the massive quantity of lit candles, but it was no cooler inside than out.  The view was nice but we were hoping to see the Eiffel Tower from there but we couldn't - I think you can if you pay to go up to the top of the dome but none of us were interested in doing that work-out.  Instead we headed back cemeterydown the hill on the other side into a very quiet and calm neighborhood where we had a delightful lunch.  The restaurant was well off the tourist path and felt very local; Chloë proclaimed it 'the best salad of my entire life!' after ordering a chicken ceasar salad with dressing a côte.  I went local and ordered a croque monsieur which was very good.  We continued down the streets with the goal of seeing the original Moulin Rouge (how scandalous!) as well as the Montmartre cemetery.  Along the way the kids were distracted by a cute clothing store where they each found some clothes (ugh - now a bag to carry!) and I was distracted by a store carrying fancy spices, oils and candies.  We left with some cherry-almond nougat that is so fresh that it feels like a ball of playdoh.  We did indeed see the Moulin Rouge (underwhelming) and then went a few blocks farther to the cemetery.  It was beautiful and calm, yet we didn't last long as there were various complaints -" It's hot!  There are too many bugs!  Why are there so many cats?  It's freaky here!"  It was all a bit of a buzzkill so off we went.  Not all moments of 'taking the kids along' are idyllic.

Back to the metro and on to the Tuileries Garden.  I feel badly for the children of Paris - all that pretty grass and yet you're not allowed to play on it.  There was a little boy who had escaped notice and was on it only to be yelled at and yanked off by his mother.  It looked so soft and inviting but don't think of setting foot on it!  Instead we were relegated to the sandy, gravel pathways that felt horrible in your sandals and made all parts of your lower body very dusty.  I didn't love it and don't feel the need to return.  The highlight, for me, was the little café where we stopped for a bowl of ice cream and a drink.  The servers were very friendly and polite but the service was horrible.  (We ruminated over the fact that they needed to work on their procedure manual!)  The kids ordered a bowl of ice cream with 3 different flavors and they brought it not once, but twice… with the wrong flavors.  The waiter was very understanding and sorry about it but it took forever - by the time the kids got it they gobbled it in 45 seconds and had to be stopped from licking the plate!  In the end they actually removed it from the bill which was nice and unexpected.

water_louvreOnwards toward home, which took us right through the middle of the Louvre.  We didn't feel the need to go inside as we have done that before, but the grounds around it are really nice.  We cooled our feet (and got off all of that irritating dust) in the beautiful ponds in the courtyard.  Many people were just chillaxing on this hot summer day with their feet in the cool water; beautiful surroundings on a beautiful day.

Ahh, finally sweet home away from home.  The kids relaxed in their room and us adults sat with a nice glass of wine and some cheese that smells like fart but tastes like heaven.  You can get addicted to this French life.  Tomorrow we plan on meeting up with Jeff's brother and his family (yay, the cousins are here!) and having a picnic somewhere with the Eiffel Tower in view.  They have come to Paris for a few days and we are excited to see them in a foreign environment.  (For those who don't know, after Paris we are in the Amsterdam area for 2 weeks celebrating the 40th anniversary of Jeff's parents and aunt and uncle; the entire family will be there for a mass celebration!)

And the last event of the night - dinner.  From the first night we arrived I was drawn towards a non-descript restaurant with a maroon awning.  I have no idea what it is called, and it certainly isn't fancy, but it's humbleness was appealing.  We went there for dinner and we were not disappointed!  For 17€ we had an appetizer, main, and dessert - all 3 were great.  I have never before had a ceasar salad with tomatoes, but whatever.  I also ordered the beef bourgignon - basically a fancy stew that I have fond memories of making with my French 30N class in highschool (along with coq au vin).  We had a cheap house wine (both in price and taste) but finished it with vielle poire.  Sounds good, right?  Um, no - it blew my head off!  I have no idea what it is but I thought it would be slightly sweet and pear-like but it was rocket fuel in a pretty glass.  Ayeyeyeye.

We decided to walk off dinner (and the vielle poire) and walked along the bank of the Seine.  They have a great summer beach set up on one side with sand, cafés, playgrounds, and anything else your summer heart could desire.  We intended to just stroll along but the pull of the sidewalk/sand café beckoned and we couldn't resist.  We had a nightcap on the banks of the Seine while playing a rousing game of telephone.  I have a feeling someone was cheating because the message never quite made it around the circle properly… not even once.  Was it the wine, the summer air, the excessive giddiness, or simply sabotage… we'll never know.

Now we're back home watching Olympic highlights while the kids get ready for bed and another Parisian day awaits.  Hard to complain about anything when life is this rosy...   Happy Wednesday!


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