The opportunity to travel and explore gets me so excited. Of course, we have two little ones to account for so I have to plan for some wiggle room during our days out and nights in but I do my best to be as organized as I can be. It’s been interesting to see how we have evolved to plan out each trip. One tip: packing light, it is key!
Day 1: It’s getting easier now that we use public transportation daily. We’ve grown familiar with the fluxes in transportation schedules and the people we may meet while using it. There’s a part of it we even like. Like not having to pay attention to the road! This last trip to Paris was a lot less stressful because of our familiarity with tubes, trains, and buses and the made each day a little happier. To get there, we took the 2 hr 15 min train ride from St. Pancras Rail station, London to Gare du Nord, Paris for 29 pounds each way. Paris was pretty hot for the first two days and stormed the last. However, it didn’t stop us from having fun.
Day 2: It was about 86 degrees when we arrived in Disneyland, Paris! It took us 1hr 15min from Bir-Hakeim (Paris Métro) to Marne la Vallée Disney stop. We walked right off the train and into the park which had just opened.
Our first attraction was the slow boat ride through “It’s a small world after all” attraction. The girls loved it! That was a highlight for all.
We spent all day going on arcade rides, choo choo trains, different boat rides while listening to Disney music, searching for princesses as we strolled from one attraction to the next. Kendall really enjoyed the Dungeon Dragon which has a dragon chained underneath the big pink Princess Castle. The dragon acts like it is sleeping, then it quickly awakes and lifts his/her head to open its mouth like he/she is going to spew fire at us with his/her beady red eyes staring at us.
Both Brian and I really enjoyed the breakfast at Pullman Hotel. It was a nice way to start the day.
After Breakfast, we were both feeling adventurous and ready for our 3.6 mile trek up to the steep Basilica du Sacre-Coeur, Montmartre in 93 degree weather. Brooke and I were on the hunt for a new lipstick when we stumbled across Dior. I have never shopped like that before. It was super classy. They walk you around to a customer service desk to pay while they package up the product and the bags are ready for you as you leave the store. And onwards we went to the Moulin Rogue, with fresh, fabulous Dior lips.
Brian pushed the girls up a steep hill in the buggy loaded down with two heavy bags and 2 full liters of water in the below buggy basket. I helped a little ;). We stopped and had lunch at La Mere Catherine with a glass of wine and pint of beer while Kendall slept. It felt so good to sit down, breathe for a moment, and enjoy the scenery. This restaurant is located in what’s called, Place du Tertre, “Artist Square”, for a reason. These artists are in their element painting their perspective for us all to watch. It was a rush for me. I loved it.
We discovered Montmartre in 2009 while on our Honeymoon and it was a pleasant surprise to see that nothing had changed. I wanted to leave with a nice reminder of Paris, France so I was on a mission to find the perfect painting. We purchased a Hop on hop off Bus tour through L’OpenTour to get back up the hill to negotiate for a particular painting we loved.
On the way, we stopped and toured L’église de la Madeleine which is a Roman Catholic church, once used as a temple for Napoleon’s army. There are 52 columns in total that surround the building with no windows to look in or out. In the outer wall of the portico they carved out “cellas”, larger-than-life niches in the stone holding a gallery of saints within. I felt it enhanced the power of the building. While touring the work of art, it is hard not to marvel at the architecture and beauty. Under the fronton appears the Latin dedication: DOM SVB. INVOCAT S. MAR. MAGDALEN&Aelig; (To the almighty and very great God, under the invocation of Saint Mary Magdalene).
Then we were back on the bus to Artist Square once again! We stopped at Montmartre-Anvers bus stop to start our ascend the back up the hill to Montmartre so we could accomplish our goal of purchasing a painting. As we walked back down the hill we stopped in at Atelier 16 Gallery where we fell in love with this painting by Robert Ricart. We walked away with the below painting of “The Place du Tertre”.
Once on the hill, we stumbled upon this restaurant, “Le Rendez-vous des Amis” on Rue Gabrielle. It was dark and uninviting but with music playing, Kendall sleeping, and Rose by the bottle, (we worked hard for that) we decided to sit and eat! To our surprise, the food was amazing. We had mozzarella and tomato salads, Brian ordered the french roasted duck that was salted to perfection and fall off the bone delicious while I had the roast chicken thigh. I will definitely seek this restaurant out the next time we are in Paris.
“I wanna travel the world with you, drink nice wine, laugh and have fun raising our girls”. -Me