Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Perfect Day in Paris

We spent our last full day in Paris just going slow and taking it all in. We took the Metro to Ile de la Cite' with the plan of getting a good look at Notre Dame which was on my very short must see list. In fact, my must see list was ONLY Notre Dame and Versailles, everything else was a planned wander around and go with the flow experience.

Notre Dame did not disappoint. It was breathtakingly beautiful. It was also chock full of people willing to wait in line over an hour to get inside. With fanny packs and cell phone cameras flashing.  I was not one of those people and was content to marvel at what the stone masons were able to create on the outside of the building.

When you stop and consider when Notre Dame was built and what tools were at the masons disposal, well it's just too much to fathom. Makes me feel badly for whining about the effort Ceol Mor is requiring. I would have been a crap cathedral builder. Mark on the other hand would have been fabulous so long as they were content for him to work on just one item for his entire life. But I digress...

The most beautiful view of the cathedral is actually the back of it. It also benefits from a lovely little garden at the foot of the cathedral.

Just to the side of the garden is a small play area. Kitty of course, quickly made friends with the locals and had a fun time spinning to the point of dizziness. As we left, she waved and said "Au revoir friends". It sounded more like "ova friends" but I think they did not mind her twangy pronunciation and they waved us on our way.

We headed to Luxembourg Gardens, stopping at a crepe stand on the way. Crepes are the way fast food should be done. I might never master French cooking but you had better believe I am going to work on my crepe technique. (one of the challenges of cruising is baking bread on board. Forget the bread, we are are going to be a crepe boat!)

The Luxembourg Gardens are an absolute MUST SEE if you are doing Paris with kids. Whiling away the hours in what is probably the loveliest park in Paris, listening to kids playing happily is absolutely the best way to spend your time in Paris. There is nothing in the Louvre that can compare with sunshine, laughter and time to just kick back and enjoy.

We spent 3 Euros to let Kitty sail a little wooden boat in the fountains. This might be a cliche' thing to do in Paris but there was no way we were skipping it. Little wooden boats to push about and watch as they catch the wind and take off? Count us in. We might have a future racer on our hands. Kitty was pretty competitive and was not pleased when other boats drifted into the path of her boat. Never mind Kit, rubbing is racing...


When I say we were kicking back and taking it easy, I really mean Mark was kicking back and taking it easy. He was hanging like a local. Namely, lying in the sun just being still. Kitty had at this point in time become obsessed with "dead people under stones" (thanks to walks past churchyards and cemeteries) and was being kind enough to give Mark a proper burial as he chilled.

There is a great play park at the back of Luxembourg Gardens. For a small entry fee, its climbing and spinning and zip lining to your hearts content.

Kitty and I LOVE carousels and when I found out that Luxembourg Gardens is home to the oldest surviving carousel in Paris, well you can bet we made a bee line. It was a wonderfully old school carousel. The kids were even armed with tiny wooden swords to practice jousting for golden rings held by the operator in a little wooden box. Kitty did not manage to score any rings but she had a grand time all the same. Any time someone is willing to arm her she gets pretty excited. Most of the rings were scored by a little local boy of about 6 who obviously is well practiced. I suppose that is what they mean when the say "putting in a ringer".

This was the end of our time in Paris. I have to say, Paris is a fantastic city for little kids. There are so many parks and gardens to play in. The locals are very welcoming to little people and even a 4 year old can appreciate the sheer beauty of the city. I think we were wise to skip the museums and to just let her enjoy Paris for itself. If you ask her what she thinks, she will pipe up with an enthusiastic " I LOVE Paris" and she does.


  1. Love the carousel pictures - what fun! Oh and that one where she's running with the boat-poking-stick!!!!! Such a great one! And the boat! I would love to play with that boat! So that's why I'm a preschool teacher...

    1. You should take Miss L to Paris. Seriously, great, great city for little kids.