Monday, January 17, 2011
New Year's Eve in Paris
Our Christmas present to each other? A trip to Paris for New Year's Eve. Two nights with no kids!
Rod and I took the train up to Paris on Dec. 30. Did I already mention that it was just the two of us. Just the two of us!!!
Mom stayed with the kids. Fortunately she also some friends from home visit while we were gone.
I love taking the train. You don't have to weigh your luggage. No one cares about the weight. You don't have to think about what shoes will be easy to take off at security.
The train arrives, you get on, and after a couple of minutes the train leaves the station. No drama. No fuss.
We took an early train and got to Paris by 9am. We checked into our hotel and toured the Paris Opera house before noon. After lunch we started walking back to our hotel. We found ourselves in a Christmas market on the Champs Elysees. Vendor after vendor selling food, trinkets, drinks, crafts. It was crowded and festive. I heard lots of languages being spoken. Lots and lots of tourists. It was a fun afternoon walking around.
That evening Rod and I were deciding what to do about dinner when Rod got an e-mail from a friend who was in Paris. This friend and his family were staying at their family owned apartment in Paris. Oh, did I want to see a real Parisian apartment. So we made our way over to the apartment. It was in a beautiful area of Paris. Let me just say, it lived up to my expectations of what an elegant Parisian apartment would look like. Lovely, lovely, lovely. We had a couple of glasses of champagne with this couple. After a couple of drinks everyone is my best friend. Rod finally dragged me out of there and I left thinking they are just the most fabulous people ever.
The next day, Dec. 31, we took the metro to the end of the line and went to see the Chateau de Vincennes. Then we found a bistro that looked like it had locals in it and had a Frenchy lunch. One of those long 2 hour lunches.
That afternoon we walked around a lot. We got off the metro near Notre Dame. We walked over the bridge onto the small Ile Saint Louis. (This island is right next to the island that has Notre Dame on it) It is a cute little island in the middle of the Seine River with lots of little speciality shops. A cheese shop, a bakery, a chocolate shop. Adorable. I think I want to go back to this little island and spend more time poking around the little shops.
Then we headed over to the St. Germain district and walked around. We found an outdoor cafe to sit and chat.
While walking around during the afternoon we scouted out restaurants for that evening. We made reservations at a restaurant overlooking the Seine River, across from the Louvre.
When we arrived at the restaurant we were told that we could sit inside or outside. We decided to sit outside. They had heatlamps and blankets to keep the cold away. It was cozy. It was New Year's Eve. We were in Paris. Enjoying a French meal. Sitting outside. It was perfect. Just perfect.
When we walked home from the restaurant along the river, we knew the clock struck twelve by all the cars honking and people cheering. The Eiffel Tower lit up with sparkly lights for 5 minutes. It was fun to be in a big city on New Year's Eve and listen to all the cheering and celebrating.
And the next morning the fun ended. I woke up with the stomach flu. Nothing kills a nice trip faster than the stomach flu. I threw up on the train ride back to the house. If I felt better, I would have been really embarrassed. Those are some French people I am glad I will never see again.
All was good back at the house when we arrived. Mom's friends seemed to be having a nice time. I said hello to them and went upstairs to lay down. But then I felt like I was being rude and I went back downstairs to chat with them. I probably should not have done that because I gave at least one of them the stomach flu.
That is really the end of the story here but I don't want to end the blog post talking about the stomach flu. So I will also add that Rod is coming back in March so we can take the kids up to Paris. They are excited to go and we are excited to take them.