"Paris is always a good idea."
Back in the early planning stages of this trip, before we purchased plane tickets, coordinated train trips and reserved accommodations Darrin and I were certain we would avoid Paris. It was simply too stressful to consider the thought of managing two small children in a french café, in the echos of Notre Dame or even on a stroll down the Champs-Élysées. No, it simply wasn't going to happen. A bad idea. Paris is one of the those places (romantic, magical, perfectly balanced) that doesn't mix with kids. We both have extraordinary memories of Paris and were afraid to let go of the nostalgia.
The timing for all this coincided with the introduction of that silly book that has everyone buzzing about how you can bring up your baby "the French way" where they sit perfectly still at the table, don't pick their noses in public, blah, blah, blah.
Anyway, when it came time to book flights it turned out that British Airways was running a special on their Paris to Vancouver route. It was very strange that adding first class tickets from Paris to London, to connect to Vancouver, saved us several thousand mileage points and almost $1,4000 in taxes. With a few clicks, Paris was slated as our final destination.
Okay, okay ... we'll just skip downtown Paris and spend our time at Paris Disney. No one will think twice if we spill our milk and colour outside of the lines at Mickey's pad.
The truth is, the more time we spent traveling Europe the more we thought about Paris. Did we really want to come all this way, experience so many amazing, inspiring and enriching things and write the final few pages of our adventure with the free wifi at McDonald's?
We started thinking it through and decided not only were we going to go to Paris proper, we were going to embrace it wholeheartedly. We envisioned an afternoon with the kids and then a grown-up evening out with food, wine and aimless wandering. We searched until we found a decent hotel that offered english speaking babysitting service. Found it. Problem solved.
After a few days at Disney our transition into the city began with one final adventure through the Park. The kids thoroughly enjoyed the rides and attractions as well as the hype for the 20th anniversary.
Anthony, Laetita and crew were catching their train back to Montpellier that evening. They were kind enough to escort us to our hotel - Hôtel Bedford. The train ride into the city was quick and easy (especially with all the kids hanging out together) and we were most appreciative for their excellent navigation skills.
The sun was shinning brightly when we arrived at the station, and I must say, the Persian streets looked pretty damn good on us. Our hotel was charming, clean, spacious and included a helpful english speaking concierge who arranged our babysitter. Très perfection.
It was a teary-eyed goodbye as we parted ways with our travel companions on a small sidewalk overlooking the Eiffel Tower. Family is precious and we have been truly blessed to share this time together. These memories will last a lifetime.