Thursday, December 21, 2017

FRANCE: Our First Trip as a Family of Four

Day 1:
On the flight from KC to Detroit, Briella was a champ. She never cried & we received compliments on how well she did. 
The flight to Paris was a little harder. Briella cried for much of the trip. She couldn't get good sleep as she couldn't lay spread out flat. It wasn't horrible, but wasn't fun.
Briella happy to see the clouds

Briella sleeping uncomfortably on the plane
 12 hours after we left we arrived in Paris. We took an Uber van to our hotel. It was 9am & we wouldn't be allowed to check in until 3pm. So we stored our luggage and left to explore the city, on zero sleep, no makeup and comfy traveling clothes. We started walking and are lunch on the Champs du Élysées. We saw the Arc du Triumph. 

No makeup, no sleep
Then walked to the Eiffel Tower and played on the Champs du Mars for the afternoon. Brian and I planned on taking mom the back way, up to Tracadero. That way she wouldn't see the tower until she stepped in between two buildings then BAM, there it is in all it's glory. Mom cried and said she was a blessed woman. It was her first time seeing it in person. 
My mom & Aubrey's 1st glance of the tower
Brie was asleep
She awoke to play

Then finally checked into our hotel. Went looking for dinner and only found a Turkish burger stand. Blah.  
I love this picture of Brian "baby wearing"
Later found a grocery store where I was very excited to find they had my favorite appetizers I had discovered on my last trip. 
We set up Briella's playpen and went to bed around 7pm. Briella awoke & I looked at the time. It said 11:30pm, so I tried to do the time conversion and added 7 hrs. I felt rested and was excited to get up and shower for the day as it was 6:30am. We turned on the lights and talked about going to get pastries. Briella was playing and Brian, 15 minutes later realizes it's actually 11:30pm in France. So we were up with the babes til about 2am. Then woke back up again at 8am to get ready for Versailles. 

Day 2:
We woke up later than we wanted to and had missed the first two trains out. We wanted to go to Giverny first to see Monet's Gardens. We took the metro to the train station only to find out that you can not get to neither Giverny or Versailles from there and we had to backtrack to other metro stops. So we had to cut out Monet's Gardens and went straight to Versailles. It rained thee tire time at Versailles so I did not get all the pictures I wanted, we only saw the gardens from the palace windows. I dressed the girls in Marie Antoinette dresses and Aubrey had a mini crown headband. The tour guides would stop and point the girls out to their tour groups & say "Please do not say Off with my head!" I absolutely was in complete love with the Hall of Mirrors. If I was Queen and able to design a castle it definitely would have a hall like that. 
My mini Marie Antoinettes
Princess on the run
Aubrey & a stunning 10ft fireplace
Hall of Mirrors
The King & his princesses
J'adore


After we left Versailles, we stopped to eat at an Italian restaurant that was decorated with USA license plates. We found an old red MO plate and Mom took a selfie with it. We ordered a Margharita Pizza which was basically just cheese and spices. No tomatoes. It was Briella's first time in a restaurant out in the open and she danced :) The girls were both still in their Marie Antoinette dresses and everyone smiled at them.
Dancing at the restaurant
Then we stopped at a souvenir store and then a McDonalds, which in France has a gourmet pastry counter. So we bought 2 boxes of macaroons & a mocha. Then continued through the rain to the metro, where we had two more connections until we arrived near our hotel. Our last night at the Best Western Élysées Hotel Paris Monceau.
our street
 The beds were shockingly comfortable, rooms very small but had everything we needed and was not dirty. And again Briella was up at 11pm-3am. 

Day 3:
We packed our bags & I opened my Uber app on my iPhone and requested a van to take us to Gare du Nord for our trip to Grandma's hometown, Corbie. We had way too much luggage, a baby bed, stroller, 3 large bags and lots of little bags plus two kids hehe. Thank God I brought my Tula, so I just wore Briella everywhere on the front and carried a large Pantagonia bag on my back and had my hands free for my carry on bag & wristlet. 
It was about an hour and 15 minutes from Paris to Amiens by train. 
train to Amiens
When we arrived we were rushing to get all of the bags of the train before it left again. Mom was carrying part of the stroller down the train steps and I was yelling at her that she was about to drop the humidifier we had rented onto the train tracks along with diapers. Then out of nowhere this beautiful French woman comes running from behind me to catch the humidifier box and the diapers take one bounce onto the platform. And the woman was my cousin Isabelle!! It was like a scene from a movie. And I immediately felt at home again, with my family. 
My cousin Delphine took Brian & I to Avis to pick up the car we had rented and mom and the kids and luggage waited with Isabelle at the train station. We rented a Mercedes as it was the only automatic they had. Brian enjoyed how fast it went. It also had automatic water sensing windshield wipers and when you came to a stop the car would shut off and when you pressed on the gas it would come back on. That was their Eco feature. 
After picking mom and the kids and the luggage up from the train station and piling into the car like a clown car (mom had to hold her suitcase on her lap) we followed Delphine to the home we had rented for 3 nights. We pull up at a gated house that had the most lovely landscaping. We met the owner who lives  next door and he was a stereotypical Frenchman, long hair, cool glasses and a scarf around the neck, plus a famous artist. The home was very expensively decorated with antiques from all eras and I was scared to have the kids there. The bedrooms were so beautiful and one bathroom had a very large tub which I called the horse trough. The yard had so many flowers, including my grandmother's favorite Peonies. There was a little house with hay which we thought was a chicken coop but ended up being a miniature pony house! The backyard had an amazing deck area that went right up to the water. 
We dropped off the bags and went to a Supermarchè to buy a few groceries for the stay. I was so excited to find a store similar to a SuperTarget! Aubrey used her 20€ that Grandma & Grandpa King gave her on a pair of black sneaker boots with gold rhinestones. I found my favorite little cheeses with spices on them and Brian found his favorite Boursin wrapped in ham. Live is good. The simplest things can make me happy. Back at the house Delphine & Isabelle gave us presents. Included was colored rolls of toilet paper. On my last visit two Springs ago I could not believe that they had scented toilet paper in every pastel color possible. She got us bright pink, purple & black! I screamed. I was so excited when I figured out it was TP! I had already asked Brian if I could buy some to bring home. We also received France tshirts, Corbie tshirts & Umbrella, tres chic clothes for the girls, a France soccer ball, bubbles & games for the kids, France socks & flower leis, and hats. They spoiled us!! Dad arrived by car from Germany that evening. His boss drive him here, about a 4 hour drive. We were excited to see Dad as it had been a week since he left for Germany. We showed dad the house & told stories and then got a great nights sleep. Briella was finally caught up with the time change. 
Blue eyes in a Blue chair
Brie looking out the door to the garden
Our deck overlooking the river
Running free
View out the window
the miniature horse peaking out
Fisherman just passing through our backyard
We had a gate
Day 4:
Mom & I left in the morning with Delphine & Isabelle to go find a bank to get cash out to pay the owner as he didn't use paypal or credit cards. And we needed more than an ATM would give us. We then left mom & Isabelle at a cafe and went to go get dad, Brian & the kids, as we cannot all fit in the car at once since we have two car seats. Then we took everyone to the Amiens Cathederal. The largest cathedral in France. It's gothic style and no words to describe it really. I look up at it and my knees get weak it's so tall. It took 300 years to build!!!! That would never happen here in the US! John the Baptiste's mask was also kept inside. It was pretty cool to see! As well as other relics (bones) of other Saints. 
So much more grand in person

My dad, Isabelle & Delphine

We ate lunch at a Creperie. $175 for lunch! But that was for 7 people. Then we went to Corbie. 
We went to my cousin Christophe's home, who used to belong to his grandfather Jean, the brother of my grandma. The last time my grandma came back to France she sat at a table there and visited with family just as I had done two years prior. As we pulled up the home, family started to come outside. Christophe & his girlfriend of 10 years Marie and her daughter Chloe, Yves, my dad's first cousin, and Pascale who I had not yet met and her daughter Deborah and Deborah's son Leon. Deborah is over 6ft tall and gorgeous. Like if she were in the US she would be a very famous model. Maybe 90lbs. Long beautiful black hair. Her dad is Italian & her mom is French. And they live in Germany. She was younger than me. She spoke English very well. So we all were introduced and gave all of our kisses. You kiss each person 4 times on the cheek, kiss right cheek, kiss left cheek, kiss right cheek, kiss left cheek. So Brian kids that with all the family it takes and hour and a half just to walk in the door and say hello. They do not hug in France as we do when we see family. 
I was so excited to see my dad meet his first cousin for the first time in his life. He told them that he had always wondered if he would ever meet them. We sat around the same table as me prior & as my grandmother did. We drank apple cider brut and are bread and looked at old photographs of the family, including my grandma. We took family photos in the backyard.
Yves & my father, 1st cousins!
Leon giving Briella a flower
 And Aubrey got to see the goat that I got to take pictures with last time I was here. It only has one horn and she thought it was interesting. Now, the goat is very old and cannot stand, so Christophe took Aubrey to see her in the goat house. So we said goodbye to the family goat as she will pass away before we ever get to come back. Brian likes to tell a story that I had the goat in a headlock last time we were here while playing with it. Not true, I just liked taking pictures with it. :)
We set out to go to the cemetery to show Dad where his aunts and uncles are buried, as well as his grandparents, none of which he had ever met. We first walked to Isabelle's house and cut flowers out of her backyard to take to the cemetery. I told them it was a custom in the US to bring flowers when you go visit the graves so she took us to her lovely flowers. Along the way to the cemetery we stopped at the preschool Isabelle works at, where my grandmother had attended from age 3-5. We got to go inside. Such a neat moment. When we arrived to the cemetery, I felt proud to be able to lead the way and show my father where his uncle was, then his other uncle. I loved that I had been there before and remembered exactly where everything was. Aubrey & dad laid flowers on each of the graves. Then Delphine took us to dad's grandmother & grandfather which I had not seen last time. Also buried with them our two of grandma's sisters. It was quiet emotional.

The cemetery is in the most serene location, surrounded by well kept fields sowed with a little plant and with small bluffs over looking us on one side. True French countryside and most peaceful. We sat there and cried for a bit, sad tears that my grandmother is not buried in Corbie with her family where it is just so breathtakingly beautiful. But I was happy to have found my great grandparents grave. And happy that my dad finally "met" his grandparents and his aunts and uncles. On the walk back, we walked through this area of grass that was lined with old tall trees on either side. It is where grandma used to play on the weekends and dance with friends. And the spot where they went fishing and swimming in the river. 
After a pretty emotional evening we were ready to get some sleep for the big reunion the next day, so we headed home. On the way home, we stopped at the statue of Saint Colette. We took many pictures of Briella there. Remember, Briella is named after her. 


Dad and Brian ran out to mcDonalds to get some quick and cheap food. It turned out to be about a $75 dinner! 

Day 5: 
Rain, rain, rain. I awoke throughout the night to crazy hard rain, at times wondering if it was hailing but deciding it was just an incredibly hard downpour. They do not have thunder or lightning here! And never tornadoes. Just a peaceful country downpour. 
 As we got up and around, I ate a croissant with Nutella. We got ready for the family reunion. We loaded the car and drove to Grandma's church. When we got there, all the family was outside waiting. We got out and started the introductions with lots of kissing. They had a large poster sized family tree and would point out on the free who they were. I can not explain the amount of joy in my heart. This day was probably one of the best days of my life, right up there with the birth of my children. My cousins, lots of them! All beautiful and beautifully sweet people. They had tears in their eyes and were just as excited to meet us as we were them. The rain stopped and the sun came out and I knew Grandma was beaming proud  in heaven. Her son was at her home, finally. And reuniting with her family. We took photos, first off we took just the first cousins, then we added in the second cousins, then the third. Just amazing. It was pretty windy so we decided to come back to the house we rented. Pascale & Deborah & Leon had to go back to Germany so we had to say goodbye. Dad promised to see them when he went back to Germany for work. I made them hug me as we do in the US and both gave really big hugs. A few more tears. 
Back at the house we were toasting away with the brut apple cider and telling stories. I rarely missed a beat and felt like I did really well translating between my parents and family. We talked about everything. Told family stories and asked family questions. I never wanted the day to end. The owner brought out the mini pony and everyone took pictures with him. Aubrey asked if she could ride him but I said no. As family started to leave, I was just looking around. Here we are in this beautiful flower garden that Grandma would just have loved, surrounded by Grandma's family, our family, who are the most beautiful people in the whole world to me. My youngest daughter, Briella, who wasn't thought to survive, is walking around the grounds picking flowers and waving at the horse, popping bubbles her sister is blowing and playing tag. The older cousins are loving on her and Briella is loving the attention. French is such a beautiful language. I'm not sure there was anything more perfect then that day. Not one hiccup, just pure joy the entire time. I made all of them hug as well. And they did it gladly. More tears. And dad promised to come back in 2 years. Then Isabelle & Delphine came in and we sat at the table and talked some more. When they got up to leave I broke down and couldn't stop the big tears as it was the last time I would see Isabelle this trip. It's so hard to grow so emotionally attached to the family and then not know if we will see them again. I'm crying now writing this. It will be just as hard to say goodbye to Delphine today. But as Dad told all of them, we do not want to say goodbye, just until next time. 

1st Cousins



Added the 2nd generation in



Added 3rd generation in



My cousins



Toasting to family







Day 6:
Today. I'm awoken in bed by a horse naying, goats bahhing, ducks quacking and a rooster. So peaceful. This is real life. This is the life my Grandma led for 24 years. How hard it was to leave this behind. I do not want to get out of bed today because I do not want to start the chain of event a of leaving the most beautiful part of the world to me. If home is where the heart is, then this most certainly is my home...

Just walking her horse





Briella loves him



(Writing the below after I'm back home)

Brian and I got up and made a last minute trip to a big grocery store called Casino. It's similar to a super Walmart, clothes, household items & food. We needed to grab more toddler food meals, the ones in France are so amazing. It's like homemade food in a container, nothing like Gerber meals here which are like TV dinners. I am amazed at the high quality of food France has. Their milk doesn't need to be refrigerated. It's found on the shelf. Next to their eggs, also not refrigerated. We were there in May & the milk had an expiration of July. And it is pasteurized. Briella absolutely loved the Ratatouie. I also picked up some soaps, all the soaps I encountered on the whole trip smell so much better than I have ever encountered in the US.

This soap evokes so much emotion from me


 I found an inexpensive pair of shoes that all women in France wear. They come in every color and I picked coral. But my husband calls them salmon. They are flats, which other than Toms, I have never found a comfortable pair. But of course French shoes are made to be comfortable because of all the walking they do. I also saw a lot of tall boots. And everyone wore scarfs, men and women. 

We came back home, packed up the amazing house we were staying in, and headed to the train station with Delphine. Once there, it took all my strength not to cry. We waited an hour for the train. Once we started loading the bags, I started to lose it. I cried and cried and cried. And hugged Delphine. It's so hard to get so close to family and not know if you will ever see them again. She is a piece of me. All of them are. She hugged me (a big deal as they do not hug in France but kiss on the cheeks) and told me not to cry, that we can still see each other on Facebook. But that made me cry more. I just want to stay. I cried for at least another 20 minutes on the train after it left. I so badly do not want this to be my last time in Corbie. I just stared out the train window taking in every second of the beautiful countryside that my grandmother lived in for 24 years. I saw the old train station that is no longer in use, and cried harder knowing that my grandmother had been there. 
When we arrived at Gare du Nord in Paris, we waited for our Uber van to pick us up and take us to our apartment. By the time we got settled in to the apartment and the baby items rental lady dropped off more items, we were wore out. So Brian and I headed out to find a local grocery and left the kids with my parents. We found a large (by Paris standards) Monoprix. I had brought my own bag to carry our grocery items home in. A bag I had got in the April Popsugar box. I thought it looked so Parisian and was very excited to use it on this trip. It zipped up small but was a very large (beach bag sized) bag.

My April PopSugar bag


 We bought baguettes, cheeses, meats, tomatoes, avacados, water, coke, ice cream, and condiments. I was looking forward to making my favorite sandwiches that never taste the same at home as they do here. 
We went home and made dinner. After dinner Brian and I decided to go out to a bar we had passed on the way home for a drink. We got there at 10:30pm and the Madame graciously let us enjoy one beverage before they closed. I was nervous to attempt ordering a drink in French on the fly since they were closing and in a hurry to take our order, I just said 2 Pelforth beers. I do not drink beer. It's probably been close to a decade. I did finish it to say I did, but I was eager to try my French the next day on another beverage. 

Only picture this decade of me drinking a beer



Day 7:
Dad and Aubrey were tired so they decided to stay at home while Brian, mom, Brie & I set out for the Louvre. It was such a short walk from our apartment. When we arrived, we found out that the Louvre was closed on Tuesdays, so we set out for Montmartre to see Sacré Couer. It is a ton of steps to the top of the hill (I use that word loosely as it more like a mountain!) in the rain, we arrive to the church. My mom became emotional. It's just a stunning sight, to see all of Paris from the top of the city. To see this amazingly beautiful church moves you. 

Sacre Couer



Overlooking Paris


We took the tour of the crypt below the church. We were nearly the only people down there. 

Empty Halls in the crypt below Sacre Couer


We then walked through Montmartre to Tati, a inexpensive store that is like a Walmart without food. Mom wanted a tablecloth so I thought it was a good stop. 
We then went back to get Dad & Aubrey and went grocery shopping. 
 That night after dark, After we got the baby to bed, we went out for a drink at Le Cafe Marly which is inside the Louvre patio, right next to the pyramid. I wanted to see it lot up at night. We were given a table right against the wall with such a pretty view of the pyramid. We splurged on a bottle of Bordeaux and ended up closing down the place. We stumbled home across the Seine. I remember we thought this one stone was sticking out not like the others. We were sure that if we stepped on it while kissing that some secret wall would open and we would be invited into the Louvre by full armored horse riding men. 

Date night at Le Café Marly



Great seats



trying to finish the bottle of Bordeaux



The Louvre


Day 8:
We woke up really early to have family photos taken at the Eiffel Tower by the lovely Katie Donnely. I found her on Pinterest. After the Iron Lady pictures we headed to the Luxembourg Gardens for more pictures. We watched a man do Tai Chi in the gardens and Aubrey started imitating him. Too funny. 

Photographer Katie Donnelly shooting Aubrey


We went back to the apartment to let the kids take naps. Then in the afternoon we walked to Notre Dame. Walked through it and took a lot of pictures. Lit another candle with Aubrey's help. And said a prayer of Thanksgiving for the health of my children. There were so many beautiful statues of Jesus with a small child that it made me teary eyed. 

Notre Dame







Beautiful children statues with Jesus



Apparently Brie was tired of me telling her to smile, at Notre Dame


We passed over the Love Lock Bridge where we saw a model photoshoot happen. 

Love Lock Bridge



Throw away the key



a couture photoshoot


Then we continued to walk on Rue du Rivoli where there are book vendors. We walked to some parks 

a park we stumbled upon


and then went back to Luxembourg Gardens to let the kids sail sailboats in the fountain. Hands down one of the most memorable times of the trip. It was Briella's first time we let her sit at a park, and let her play in the sandy dirt. She tried over and over to climb into the fountain, which is what her daddy did when he was a kid. She loved watching the boats & with big sissy's help she was able to push the boat with a pole. I wish I was able to stop time because it was the happiest moment I've had in the last two years. We were just living, Briella was just living life. This is exactly what I needed out of this trip. 

About to set sail



pushing the boat out to the middle of the fountain



Love them





Playing in the sand at Luxembourg Gardens




Briella's turn to push the boat



Just being Brie



Briella trying to get in the water


Day 9:
After sleeping in, we decided to go to Monet's gardens which is in Giverny, France. Dad stayed back at the apartment. We took the SNCF train to Vernon. From there we had to find a bus or taxi to Giverny. Since we got there late in the day, the shuttle busses were gone so we had to wait for a taxi. It was such a beautiful ride there. I absolutely love the French countryside. It's invigorating and hands down the most beautiful country. I so wish we would have left earlier in the morning so we would've had time to explore the town of Giverny. Charming. But back to the gardens. The scents & sights were truly an experience. When we got to the water gardens I was so giddy to find the famous bridge that Monet had painted. Every picture I took looked like a postcard. It should definitely be on everyone's bucket list!

At Monet's Gardens



See the famous bridge in the background?



There it is!



Tres Jolie!



my mom and the girls and I








Beautiful colors


That night Brian and I attended a block party on our street. The street was closed to vehicles. They rolled out the red carpet and there were performers. All the businesses stayed open late. The art galleries were pouring thousand dollar bottles of champagne. It was an incredible time. 

Rocking the red carpet



a vintage car & Brian



busy party



Day 10: Aubrey's 8th Birthday
We all went to the Louvre. Spent several hours seeing the amazing pieces including Mona Lisa. Then we took the kids outdoors at the Louvre. Near the Tuileries was just a perfect spot hidden in bushes, to sit and play and dance and run and watch the Eiffel Tower be majestic. After another amazing time making incredible memories and feeling ALIVE we walked to the Tuileries and sat in the flower garden. Brian fed Briella and Aubrey and I enjoyed some pastries. 
Then we went back to the apartment to meet up with my parents. We had our Uber driver pick us up and take us to the Eiffel Tower, where Aubrey had requested to spend her birthday. So we were dropped off at Trocadéro. We took some pictures atop the fountains. Then walked down to the carousel. Aubrey, Briella and I rode it with the Eiffel Tower in the background. Then we walked to the tower and waited in line to go up the tower. Something I really had no desire to do because I am extremely scared of heights. The only reason I decided to go was because Brian told me he was taking Briella up regardless if I was going or not, and I couldn't let my baby go up without me. So up we went. We went to the second floor. At first my legs were shaking and my heart was pounding. Thank God the elevator goes fast. I made Brian get me a glass of wine to celebrate my achievement of making it up so high. Then I even got a little brave and stood near the edges for pictures with Brie. I took Briella into a gift shop and she reached out and kissed a teddy bear they were selling. It's a big step for her as she hates dolls, constantly throwing them down and poking out their eyes. So of course I had to splurge on a 14€ teddy bear. I am so proud of Aubrey for going up. Papa got her gelato on the second level. After we had all taken in the amazing sights, we went to find our spot on the Champ du Mars. We picked out a front row spot and just enjoyed each other's company for hours until it would grow dark enough for the tower to sparkle. The men went and got us food and drinks and we had a picnic. Aub and Brie played with a ball. We took lots of photos. Then, at 10pm, the tower started to twinkle. For 5 minutes we watched in awe. Aubrey screamed when she saw it and I'm pretty sure my mom cried (again.) 
Then we headed back to the carousel so Aub could ride it in the dark with the tower lit up in front of her. We then stopped and got crepes. 
What a perfect day, a perfect 8th birthday. 

Aubrey inside the Louvre's Pyramid



Posing with the statues



Brie was asleep for her first meeting with Mona Lisa



Venus de Milo-Goddess of love



Just playing with my girls at the Louvre gardens



Living the life





Aubrey doing Tai Chi-The Eiffel Tower peaking through above her



The Tuileries Garden



Happy Birthday Aubrey



8!



Aubrey is in the red on the right



Pure joy



on the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower, it was windy!



Eiffel Tower park



Then we found this scenic spot!



Eiffel Tower park







Happy baby walking home




Day 11:
Brian and I left the kids at the apartment with my parents and headed out for a breakfast at a cafe. We sat outside and people watched. Our breakfast included croissants, baguette, mocha, omelet and orange juice (ham and eggs for Brian.) 

half of our breakfast


We then went back and got the kids. There was one more place on my Paris bucket list that I had not seen. So we went to the Garnier Opera. The Grand Staircases was just amazing as I'd seen online. I dreamed of being there in a red evening gown with my husband in a tux and bow tie while we attended some kind of spectacular performance.  And now I'm here taking pictures on said staircase with my beautiful daughters.

See us up top?!





We headed back to the Eiffel Tower. Just the 4 of us spent the afternoon running around, dancing to Briella's favorite song "Happy" by Pharrell Williams. I wanted to get photos of Briella in her Super Woman outfit in front of the tower, and wanted Aubrey to say goodbye to the tower. 

"Happy!"



Just two girls at the tower



We met my parents at our favorite restaurant, Pont Royal. 
We went back to the apartment and packed. 
After everything was put away, Brian & I left the kids with my parents at the apartment once again and set off to enjoy "The Night of the Museums" where most of Europe's museums have free entry after 6pm and stay open til midnight or later. So we went back to the Louvre. We went through every part this time. So on the third trip to the Louvre we were finally able to see everything. I enjoyed seeing the very first code of law ever wrote. It was hieroglyphics on a stone. Napoleon's apartment was pretty spectacular as well. 
Next we went to Musee d'Orsay which we had never been to. It's in an old train station. There we saw original Van Goe's, and saw the original Bridges that Monet had painted that we had seen in person just days before. We made it to the top of the museum where we were in the clock shown on the top of the outside of the building. We were able to enjoy the roof top view outdoors for a little while as well. Then we stumbled on to a room where they were teaching Shakespeare type dancing. It was fun to watch everyone participating although my husband refused and was cracking up the whole time. 

the 1st law wrote



a view of the Eiffel Tower from inside the Louvre at sunset



The Louvre at sunset



Clock at Musee d'Orsay



The original Monet, we were just at the spot in Giverny!



Shakespeare type dance party


On the way home we stopped at a bar and each had a drink. Well I ordered a drink and a coke and Brian ordered a one liter beer. My coke cost 8€!!! My alcoholic drink was only 9€. Crazy! But it was our last night so we splurged. 


Brian & his liter of beer





Day 12:
My girls on the airplane home


The girls playing on Trunkie on our layover in Detroit
 Trunkie by Melissa & Doug  is a kids suitcase that can also be used as a ride on toy. We carried Trunkie on the plane & filled it with toys to keep Briella busy.

Now that we are home, I dream of all the yummy sandwich shops & patisseries. I want a Nutella Crèpe after dinner. And I see flowers at the grocery store and in my head I think they look like weeds compared to the amazing shops I've seen. But most of all I miss my family. 

My favorite sandwich, baguette, mayo, Leger cheese, tomato & avacado
I ate 6 packs of this cheese!
Tomatoes that are different than ours

The prettiest rose shop