Every time we fly to or from Kenya, we have a layover in a different country. So far, we’ve seen the inside of the London, Amsterdam and Istanbul airports.
We use a humanitarian travel agent who gets us discounted tickets (we pay for our children) and when she emailed that our layover would be in Paris this time, I sort of hyperventilated. And then when she said it didn’t cost a dime more to spend the night in the city of love, I headed straight for Expedia to look up cheap hotel rooms for a couple of nights. Because I’m wild and crazy like that.
What I didn’t do was figure out how to get out of the airport once we landed at zero-dark-thirty. Our deal of a hotel room was actually more than an hour from the city in the French countryside.
We might have been *thisclose* to a family fight in the Paris airport. Thankfully, there was a bakery and chocolate-filled beignets that CHANGED MY LIFE.
Or at least my attitude.
We finally braved the confusing train system, to which my kids asked over and over? Why does it smell like pee and cigarette smoke everywhere we go?
AAannndd four hours later we found our hotel room in a 17th century farmhouse-turned golf course, completely vacant, because who golfs in the dead of winter? We don’t, but we did get a cute apartment and had a lovely (expensive) traditional french “winter lunch” that I’m still dreaming about. Oh, Expedia. And Euros, you have a way of surprising us. Apparently, I’m very motivated by food.
And who can blame me? Our family got food poisoning at the Mercy House graduation ceremony and we ended up having Ramen Noodles on Thanksgiving Day. Ahhh…. memories.
The fun thing about visiting a country in which you cannot speak ONE word of the language is boundless. And also, my husband’s impersonation of a French man over lunch. Ooh la la.
So, after a good night sleep and by that I mean, we fell into bed. We did all of this in one day:
We visited the Arc de Triomphe, the oldest, largest arc in the world built by Napoleon. It was bitterly cold.
I had three pair of pants on in case you’re wondering.
I know, impressive.
And then we got back on the underground train and when we walked up the steps, this was our amazing view:
Oh, but we didn’t stop there. We decided to climb the Eiffel Tower. Oh, my children, they do not get their energy from me.
Because I nearly died on this step:
The view from step 700 and something:
Our day was just getting started, next we stopped at the historic, cathedral Notre Dame.
This was such a sacred, holy place.
Our final stop of the day/night (which definitely pushed our exhaustion level to a whole new level) was the incredible Louve Museum. We didn’t have time or energy, but we needed to see this lady:
To which my 6 year old kept saying in a weary whisper, “Who is Mona anyway??”
Paris in December? I highly recommend it.