And Then There Were Four

We knew this day would come. No, not the day Amazon made a self-proclaimed shopping holiday (really Amazon?), but rather the day Cindy would go do whatever it is she does at work that enabled this trip in the first place. Me and the kids officially call what she does “awesome blossom.”  Here she is walking up our street all business like (she’s the dot 2 cars from the end):  

So a man down and a with a six year old who speaks more French than I do we prepare to depart. My only thought for the first five minutes: Please don’t lose a kid, please don’t lose a kid, please don’t lose a kid…Metro notes manually typed in my smartphone (my internet service is spotty at best), a backpack filled with snacks and water and Euros in my wallet riding in my pickpocket-proof front pockets we make like a baby…and head out (yep, I just did that).  It should be noted the kids were all up by 8:50am today. Still odd how late they are sleeping, but progress. 

First stop, Notre Dame, the real one.  Not that kind with an Irish cartoon character for a mascot and touchdown Jesus. Actually 2nd stop.  First stop was for croissants, the kinds with chocolate in them. And yes, Will got his selfie


At Notre Dame we arrive to find like 45 tour buses worth of people have emptied into the square. We decide to end around to the left side and check out the line to the tower tour.  Easily a 2 hour wait. At what looked to be the 90 minute mark and we are still not yet at the end zone of the line, the kids band together in a “we are not ever going to stand in a line this long” mutiny and succeed. Deep inside I’m happy they have good judgment. On the outside I maintain my “this is deep and rich history and you are choosing to miss out on it” dad grump. They maintain their steadfast resolve. At the point of caving I’m saved by a “Hey Sutton!” from somewhere in the line. It is My friend James (yes, your old Charlotte roomie if you are reading this TK!) and his family in Paris! France!  I haven’t run into them in Charlotte in a decade yet come to Paris and we run into them outside of one of the most crowded places in Paris. Crazy. Small. World. 


We wander the floor of the cathedral and catch a cool choir singing “Ave Maria” and see many selfie sticks. I kinda understand why Disney did away with them. You could put an eye out…


After much churching and thinking only to myself that the Notre Dame folks would have gone much bigger if only they had seen the Vatican first. Only thinking it to myself, I swear. We head to the park out back and prepare to lunch with Charlie’s most favorite Parisian animal, the pigeon.  That’s right, the pigeon. He’s obsessed. I wasn’t interested in these weird birds until he pointed out the one with the leopard skin shawl. I wouldn’t believe it either, so I snapped a shot for you. Even the pigeons in Paris are tragically fashionable. What’s next?  Smoking pigeons?


Then to a bridge covered in locks. I saw this on the greatest show ever, “The Amazing Race” where they tell you couples show their forever love by placing these locks on the bridge. This will apparently be done less since the bridge is one lock away from falling in the water under the weight of the locks…and of course all of the tourists and city buses on it. 


We grab some tiny but AMAZING ice cream at Berthillion on the Ile St. Louis (not to be skipped!) in the middle of the Seine and then briefly contemplate cycling for a while. It seems Charlie either needs to wait another few years or ride in the basket which he might have done until his sister laughed at the idea. 


Lastly, a boat ride in the River Seine where our kids tried out nearly all of the seats and I swear I was drugged. If head bobbing were a sport, I’d have been on the French Olympic team for that 90 minutes. 


Then we flirted with the Louvre but only another pass through to the Metro and back to Rue Nollet for some much needed rest, French Wii (Luigi’s is still fully Italian and longing to be “number 1!”) and electronic devices. 


Before Cindy arrived back from work, Charlie and I made a quick run for bread and croissants (and maybe a small treat), the once reunited with Cindy it was out for Italian in the ‘hood, then a quick jaunt in the FranPrix (think mini Teeter or mini-Publix) for food supplies. One last note…I did laundry today….IN THE KITCHEN!  Crazy Europe. 

Our only other question from today aside from “how does this thing work and which pod goes into it?” for the weird washing machine thing in the kitchen was: what is the blue flag with a circle of yellow stars?  Charlie taught himself many, many flags from FIFA but didn’t know this one. Now I know why. There’s no FIFA team for the European Union. 



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