Now that being said, taking three small boys and husband to Paris the last weekend in August is a risky thing to do. Paris is dirty, it is fast pace, crowded, smelly, and it was very hot. We had our bad moments, it wasn't perfect, but it was also wonderful! I am so happy we got to go! Gregory and George were amazing. Gregory kept telling me that he was so happy to see where I had lived, and he wanted me to go sightseeing so that I could be happy. He is so sweet. I know he really didn't like it much, but he was trying so hard. In George Pompidou he kept pointing at different pieces of modern art and saying, "Oh Mom, I really like that one, the colors, the shapes..." He truly wanted to share the experience with me. George followed along, and didn't complain too much. But he is younger so it was harder to keep his attention and he would get in and out of the back seat of the stroller because his legs were tired, but George is a remarkable boy. Steady and willing to just come along as best as he could. Truly, Gregory and George were awesome! William, dear little baby boy, he didn't mind being pushed in his stroller all around the city, but some of the museums he just could not tolerate. Some he did fine in, but he lost it and started screaming at the top of his lungs in the middle of the Louvre just after we saw the Mona Lisa. It was kind of embarrassing, but oh well. We just found the exit, gave him some chocolate milk, and left. We had museum passes so we could go in and out as much as we wanted so that made it nice. No pressure to stay to get the full worth out of our ticket, we just could come and go as needed. We ended up seeing a lot and I am truly grateful to my family, for being good sports and letting me revisit Paris!
I knew I was going to have a great time when in line to board the plane from Ireland to Paris, we stood next to an older couple with their three grandchildren. Their French was perfect, deep beautiful accents. I could just listen to it all day. One of the airport officials was explaining to the group of us lined up in English that we could check in out hand luggage for free. This French couple next to us did not understand what was going on, but I could understand them and quickly explained it to them in French. They were so tickled that someone spoke French and they wanted to check in their luggage and I was able to be the interpreter for them and the airline and we got their luggage checked in for free. The gentleman said that he was so surprised that no one in Ireland spoke French, not even one word! I said that was crazy because French is the best language in the world, and he definitely agreed! The whole trip I was speaking French, and it felt so good. I know my French isn't that great, I have a thick American accent and I am sure I don't always use correct phrases or words. But everyone understood me, I understood them. It was great fun, and I learned new words and ways to say things. The French love to correct me and I love to learn, so it's a good situation! I wish I had a private tutor and spoke French once a week. I'll have to plan that in my schedule next to dishes, laundry, changing poopy diapers...
The last day was really fun. Stan was very supportive, and just followed me wherever. Thinking about it I was a bit spoiled. I wanted to buy an expensive jacket. Not a cheap one from the street vendor, but one off the l'Avenue des Champs-Elysées and eat dinner there. It was really lovely. I had chicken cooked in so much french cheese... so good but so rich. Then giant "La Dame Blanche" ice cream sundaes to end the meal right. Happy times, great memories, I am a lucky girl!
I took over 400 photos, but here are only a few of my favorite ones. They are not in order, but the places we visited are: Le Tour Eiffel, Notre Dame, tombeau de Napoléon aux Invalides, Champ de Elysée, le château de Versailles, le Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, George Pompidou, le meilleur café pâtisserie, l'hôtel de ville, l'Arc de Triomphe, etc.
Paris, Je t'aime!