My trip to Paris last weekend didn’t go exactly as I anticipated. The trip was planned as a romantic little getaway with my husband and Max while our older kids spent the weekend with friends. The Air Force had other plans and sent my husband out of town on a day’s notice. I decided to make the best of the situation – and use non-refundable train and hotel reservations – and went to Paris anyway. And I even had adult company, as a friend was able to join me last minute! So, last weekend I bundled up Max, packed a little duffle bag and took the train to Paris!
We had lots of snow in Europe last weekend and, as a result, many trains were canceled or delayed. We didn’t arrive to Paris until Saturday night and lost a whole afternoon of sightseeing, but tried to make the most of our cold, limited time in the city.
The first night we walked from our hotel in the Rue Cler area to see the Eiffel Tower!
We started Sunday with breakfast at a small cafe near our hotel. The croissants were warm and flaky and the “chaud chocolate” was incredible! It was like drinking a melted chocolate bar, in a good way.
We made the strategic and tourist decision to spend Sunday at the Louvre Musee. It was ideal because it was indoors (dry and warm!) and because I’d never been. Saying the museum is big is the understatement of the year: it is HUGE. And beautiful. As you can see, even the ceilings are art.
My favorite exhibit was Napoleon III’s Apartments.
Can you see the Venus de Milo at the end of this hall of statues?
I think the Stokke Xplory looks as good as the at throughout the museum.
Sunday night we had a delicious dinner at Le Petit Cler and on Monday morning we met up with some family friends. The kids had a snow day from school so we all took the bus to the Tour Montparnasse, a rather unattractive building with an amazing 360 degree view of the city from the 56th floor. It was a low-visibility day but we were still able to see major sights and landmarks around the city. I can only imagine what it looks like on a clear day, although there was something magical abut the snow covered Paris.
The trip was great and I’m really glad I went. So, so glad I went to Paris. But, I do believe the quick trip just fanned the flames of a new love affair with the city. I want to go back right now! My time was so limited and the weather was uncooperative that I didn’t get a chance to do what I like best about exploring Europe: wandering around, getting lost on the streets, exploring local shops and cafes.
Baby Gear We Used
I decided to bring the Xplory because it’s as chic a stroller as Paris is a city! And, more importantly, with the optional Foot Muff and included Rain Cover, it was the best option to keep Max dry and warm in the snow. All the little French babies were also covered with Rain Covers so we blended in a bit! The Baby Cargo diaper bag was a natural choice because it’s lightweight – an important factor when traveling with a baby. It carried my camera, travel book and all the essentials for a day out with Max. In addition, I also liked the option of wearing it hands free across my body or attaching it to the stroller handle (like pictured above in the Louvre). Finally, I stowed the Ergo in the Shopping Bag of the Xplory during the day so I had it on hand in case Max grew fussy. I ended up only using it at night when we went out walking or to dinner, but I was glad to have it as back up in case we needed it.
This wasn’t our typical family trip in Europe, but we did learn some things about traveling with kids in Paris. Most importantly, the Metro is NOT stroller friendly. At all! Luckily, the Xplory isn’t particularly heavy and many locals were true gentlemen helping my friend and I get the stroller up and down (and up) the stairs of the subway stops. We quickly learned the bus is much more stroller-friendly and – bonus! – allows you to see the city as you go.