Wednesday, 3 November 2010
AUTUMN IN PARIS
Well, you'll never guess (well, you would if you knew me better) - Sam's crutches got left on the trolley at Charles de Gaulle airport. I blamed the taxi driver, but clearly the fault was mine. The reason they were on the trolley however, and not on Sam's arms, was because he had made a miraculous recovery that morning and said his ankle was fine. I insisted he take the crutches in case the walking in Paris proved too much, but alas, we now had no choice.
Fortunately, it was all good. We stayed in a traditional French 17 century hotel, The Henri IV, and the kids loved it - especially the winding staircase which stretched up 8 floors. The sun shone and we did the works. My feet have never been so sore - God only knows how Sam coped, but he did great.
Can I make a confession tho'? I'm secretly glad it's all out of the way. The next time I go to Paris I want to spend my time languishing over a glorious breakfast, followed by a spot of boutique shopping (and cook-shops! I had to walk past so many fabulous cook-shops on our way to the next 'must-see' on our list that I almost cried). In the afternoon, it would be back to the hotel (Crillon, with any luck...) for a nap, afternoon tea (there are some English customs I take with me everywhere) and an evening out in a fabulous restaurant or smoky jazz club. I will glance out of the cab window (as I am whisked along the left bank) to spy the Eiffel Tower, admire the Notre Dame as I stroll along the Seine, appreciate the splendour of The Louvre from the outside, but I will never again do the tourist trail. I know it makes me sound like a cultural heathen, and I swear if the museum could be closed just for me I would love it - but the more of an old bat I get, the less I am able to cope with crowds, and I want to simply enjoy Paris for what it intrinsically is, rather than what it has on show. That is hard to do with kids. They are not welcome in good restaurants (the food is too sophisticated anyway), they can't drink and they hate shopping.
I'm so glad we did it tho' - I love creating memories for the kids. I had never seen the Eiffel Tower sparkling like it now does on the hour - especially as we were right at the top when it first happened; it's like a thousand flash bulbs going off. When our plane took off at 8pm on Sunday night, Lily caught it shimmering again in the distance and she instantly had the whole plane ooing and ahing. Brilliant.