Including the ultimate 11.12!
14.09.2012 - 19.09.2012
Our first effort in Paris was to locate our apartment and drop off the enormous amount of luggage we had accumulated over the last three months. A tent, meditation cushions, clothes and other 'stuff' certainly added up to become a cumbersome load. We found our Montmarte apartment, bagged an illegal parking spot and took the keys. Then came our quest to drop off Penny the Peugeot to the dealers on the other side of town during peak Friday afternoon traffic. Hectic! It took us 25 minutes to get around a single roundabout. Dave almost shed a tear signing over Penny and was still waxing lyrical about how good it would have been to drive the eight lane roundabout at Arc de Triomphe. All I was thinking was hooray, no more parking angst!
We then rode the super efficient metro home with some slight stress when we couldn't make it off the train at our stop as a crowd of students were piling on. It was actually rather telling of French culture as, if we were in Australia, people would be shouting at the kids and telling them to move. However in Paris, the French were all evidently quite concerned for us as shown in their facial expressions, yet said nothing. It was quite the journey however and imagine our excitement when we arose from the station and the glowing red windmill of the Moulin Rouge was facing us. We strolled past the cafe where the film, Amelie, was set and settled in to Parisian life. Croissants for breakfast and wine for lunch!
Bodhi was super excited for Paris as it meant Disneyland. We had an awesome (and exhausting) day where Bodhi took charge of all decision making. His delight in the rides and sights and particularly in his final choice of a Space Wars star trooper gun was just beautiful. We have been so proud of Bodhi over the last three months. His patience, his sense of humor, his interest and resilience in facing all our foreign experiences has been incredible. A day in Disneyland and a Star Wars gun was the least he deserved!
We were also excited for Paris as it meant catching up with our great friends, Viv and Ruedi, who were enjoying a stop over on their way to Switzerland. Together we saw the sights of Paris from the heights of the Arc de Triomphe and the tippity top of the Eiffel Tower. We strolled the Champs Élysées all the way along the river Seine to the Louvre and beyond. Just divine! We were also lucky enough to catch up with Alex, an old friend of Dave's, and his family for a delicious dinner although I sadly found out the real reason that French homeless all own dogs. I imagined it was because of their love for canine companionship however it is actually because the police can not detain them if they have animals with them.
Another favourite moment in Paris was placing our lock on the Pont des Arts or "Love Lock Bridge". Renee and Joel had told us about it and had done it themselves back in July so we made sure to add our own and throw away the key! As Bodhi didn't want to be left out, we added a special little Bodhi lock to ours and he threw away the key too. So now all our love is everlasting! We will return to Paris. There is so much we still have to explore - and besides, Bodhi is desperate to return to Disneyland and go on the Buzz Lightyear ride again and again and again!
INCLUDING THE ULTIMATE 11.12
Our final day in London with our big kids and Big Ben...