I’m pretty sure when translated this means “huge old church on Paris’ tallest hill with an incredible view of the city” or “yep, just as tall here as you are on the much higher priced and longer-lined Eiffel Tower.”  

An easy 10 minute walk from our apartment and well-timed in our trip given it is one of the cooler days we have had here in Paris. We’ve moved from highs in the mid-90s last week to highs in the upper 70s this week. So, so nice. Will counted all 197 steps up to the base of Sacre-Coeur and then the remaining 326 to the top of the viewing spot on the dome. A world class view with a decent workout to justify the pastry I promised the kids on our way home later, contingent on good behavior of course. And yes, I’ve resorted to treat-based bribery since some of their trust in my daily planning was rightfully eroded with yesterday’s forced march. 

We also ate two meals out in restaurants which shows we are slowly getting more skilled in using broken French to obtain sustenance. Don’t judge me if the first one was an Italian place that primarily served pizza. It should be noted that the true Italians who have opened shop in France seemed to get a fair amount of enjoyment in answering my very broken French with strictly Italian phrasing and wait for it, a smile. Ahhh, so nice to share in a laugh with people we do t know.  We may only eat Italian from now until our departure. 

Today was low key and I think we all needed it. We rested more than any of the past days and even played with some of the toys (building blocks, mini pinball game and some Wii) in the apartment.  Will and me have managed to catch a French cold. His is DEFINITELY turning into a “man-cold” while I’m determined to keep mine in the “it-isn’t-a-big-deal-cold” department. This is partly because Cindy has pulled a few big days in various Accenture locations and doesn’t deserve to be bothered. She’s pretty darn impressive. Commuting 20 minutes to work, working through some of the cultural challenges while getting stuff done and on some days catching a few hours with the U.S. side of her job. Not to mention the crowded subways, fatigue of French food fare (although we all may take a good long break from bread after this trip) and the grit that life in a city this big offers.  On top of it all, she’s determined to get an honest to goodness, hearty laugh out of the French people while she’s here. I wish her luck with the latter as it is a taller order than I ever respected. 

Here’s our day in pictures:

Awaiting our pizzas…the funny exchange with the Italian owner as well. 

Filled with pizza, we embark to tackle the steps to Sacre-Coeur (in background). 

At the top of the first 100 or so steps. Note Charlie’s new favorite shirt – local pro soccer team, PSG.   
Proof I’m actually on the trip. We stand at the base of Sacre-Coeur. 


And now for a game of “Where’s Will.” 
Cindy, if you are one of my four readers, I SWEAR I have a strong grip on Charlie.  

Paris is huge. Stewart enjoyed that the street peddlers who were aggressively pushing their cheap trinkets, folded their blankets into their bags and blended in with the tourists upon sighting of the police. She’s fascinated by how they know when to sell and when to blend. 

Hi Mom!  Cindy’s somewhere back there in those tall building (La Defense). 

This guy was playing some great sounding wedding music. The kids have enjoyed the various street musicians in Paris and were surprised that we have some of these in Charlotte (a parental miss). 

Charlie getting some engineer/architect on for his downtime. He spent 90 minutes building this rendering of Paris. 

Mom’s daily ritual of foot washing after returning “home” from her commute. Not sure Charlie appreciated sharing his bath with this activity. 

Tomorrow we head out on our first French drive. A visit to Normady/Bayeaux to soak in the WWII history. 

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