So no trip to Paris is complete without meeting Mona. Of course, we made sure to see her! We were among MANY people in Paris who were meeting her as well.
When going to the Louvre, take a baby in a stroller and you don’t have to wait in line! For real! We walked right up to the front of the line and entered in the “stroller” entrance. However, once we got IN the Louvre, the stroller was an albatross. Looking back I wish we had also brought along our back-pack carrier for use once inside the museum. They have a place to check bags and we could have parked the stroller there while touring. The reason the stroller was such a problem is that we had a path mapped out to see the things we really wanted to see. The directions were given using stairs. We used the elevators that were located in various places but sometimes the elevators didn’t go to the same place the stairs went… sometimes the back side of the elevator opened instead of the front. Sometimes we only needed go to up a half-flight of stairs but the elevator only went in full flights. Let’s just say, we ended up carrying the stroller up and down stairs all over the Louvre. While it’s okay to do that for the Metro a couple times a day, doing that all throughout the Louvre was tiring. BUT…
We still saw everything we wanted to see and here they are:
Mona Lisa…Easter Island Head
Then, after our tour of the Louvre, we grabbed a frap at Starbucks along with our collector’s mugs! Before we knew it we were hungry for lunch. I submitted as a good wife should and we ate at the McDonald’s located in the mall food court that is attached to the Louvre. I do admit, ashamedly, to giving the “I told you so” look to Matt and the boys as the service was horrible, food was cold, and I had to go back twice for things they left off (that I had paid for). I would have rather had a hot dog from a street vendor and I believe we would have had our food faster if we had gone that direction, but there’s something about those golden arches that calls Matt’s name and begs my boys for their undying devotion.
We left lunch and headed to our last stop: The Army Museum and Napoleon’s Tomb. The boys really liked this and I was amazed at how large the tomb was. Hard to accurately portray the size of this thing but you can see people walking around to get an idea.
After we left the downtown area we headed back to our hotel to get our car. Our hotel had secure parking underground for a fee and it was SO nice to have a place to heave the car. We drove out of the heavy traffic and got gas. $180. Crazy! But we did the math beforehand and gas was cheaper than the train. We then drove until the boys were hungry for dinner and we pulled over, again at a rest stop. We had a picnic of PB&J, Cheez-its, and bananas. Back on the road we got gas again once we crossed back into Germany, only buying gas at full European price once.
Overall, we had a great trip and would change very little if we had to do it all over again. I told Matt that I think this was a good scouting trip for us to see what we want to do if we ever come back without the kids. The perfect kid-free Paris trip would look something like this:
One week long, staying in a hotel/apartment with a view of the Eiffel Tower. Eating in a different cafe every day for lunch until we find “the one.” Then, having breakfast and lunch as well as coffee in it as often as possible. We’d go all the way to the top of the tower, something that was not recommended with the boys… not worth our money or time as they wouldn’t really like it or appreciate it). We’d set a full day aside for touring the Louvre with the head sets that would explain the exhibits we were interested in. We wouldn’t eat in a single American restaurant (not that I dislike those as a whole, but when in France…). We’d get the Museum Pass and do all the “things” the passes give you discounts to, things the boys would have been bored to tears doing.
All of these things sound like so much fun, but during the next few years, we have other places we want to visit before we get back to Paris.