Paris Part 1

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October 23rd 2017
Published: November 10th 2017
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Monday 16 October
It was dark when we arrived in the city of love, so we took a taxi to our new home in the 19e arrondissement. I wasn't feeling too good in the taxi on the way to the airport and when we were about to enter our Airbnb apartment, I vomited up everything!!! Now I know how daddy was feeling the last couple of days! We all got inside and crashed.

Tuesday 17 October
We didn't get very far this morning. Mummy didn't have the energy to get to the address of the recommended pâtisserie so we stopped at the terrasse at the 'rond point' up the road and had a formule petit-déjeuner (tartine, croissant, boisson chaud et jus d'orange). Mummy also ordered a pérrier (4€ for a small bottle!), then she only just made it to the toilet cubicle (but not quite to the toilet!) before she also threw everything up!! So, back home we went for a day of rest and recuperation, and to discover our host's French literature collection (she is a French literature teacher). We discovered later that Vasco's family in Bulgaria had also all contracted the vomiting bug, so they assumed it must have been something from the water in Sophia.

Today I am 9 months old! I just started to be able to 'crawl' a couple of 'steps' rather than pulling myself along on my stomach. I'm so excited! It means I can get places faster to explore! This house is so much fun as there is a big huge terracotta floor for me to play on, with a couple of lounge chairs, rugs, and my favourite - the kitchen table and chairs! I love using the chairs to stand and when I push them along they make a screeching sound which I can't get enough of!! I have to be careful though as sometimes I pull the chair too quickly and lose balance and it falls on top of me!! I was pretty pleased when I managed to hold it up so it didn't fall on top of me, but sometimes it is a bit too quick and mummy has to come to the rescue!

We called grandma and grandpa today and I managed to work out this wave thing! I am working out how to turn my hands, but it's pretty hard! I realise I can control these hand and feet things attached to me... it's pretty cool what I can do with them!

Failing to move more than 300 meters from our apartment today, we finished the day with 2 big bowls of soup from the Vietnamese place that is just downstairs from us - literally right beneath our apartment! Everyone smiled at me so I was as happy as Larry!

Wednesday 18 October
We are all on the mend, but still very weak, so it took us quite an effort to get to the recommended breakfast stop, only to discover that it no longer served breakfast!! So we retraced our steps and, along the way, we saw a man eating a lovely omelette. We asked him if it was on the menu. He was the cafe owner, and was delighted to serve us a big course of his special omelette. The owner and his companion kept making comments about my blue eyes, calling me a "beau garçon" and saying to my parents 'bien réussi', whatever that means!

On our way back, we detoured via Père Lachaise cemetery - apparently lots of famous people are buried here. I think that means they put them underground, but it can't be that nice down there! The cemetery was soooooo big! Mummy was surprised there was more and more and more - it was twice as long and twice as wide as she first thought! We didn't have much time to look for any famous people's gravestones though as we had to go back to the apartment to meet Laura, mummy's Australian friend who was coming to meet us in Paris!!!

Laura had just finished the Camino de Compostello and is planning to find work and live in London for two years, so she flew into Paris for the night between job interviews to see us all. When she finally arrived, I recognised her from before we left Australia - she was the one who gave me the insect mobile I played with when I was little! She talked for a long time with mummy while daddy slept as he still wasn't feeling very well. I slept with daddy because I was tired too!

Another lady also dropped by that afternoon, I think she was the woman who owned the apartment. Daddy and mummy gave her some money because I think we are staying longer than the four days they booked. That's fine by me as it's fun to play in this place!

That evening, we headed to a little Italian restaurant the lady who owns the apartment recommended. It was very cute, but it was tiny! And the waiter didn't look very happy to see me! He told mummy and daddy we should have booked, and we all squeezed in to a tiny little table. I tried hard to wiggle and move around, but mummy and daddy took turns at holding me very tight! The best part was looking out the window! But, even though everyone seemed to like the food, I was happy to get back home so I could move around again!

Thursday 19 October
Today we all went down down down a big staircase under the ground! Maybe that's what being buried means! But it wasn't boring at all - there was a train (like the train in the tunnel in Switzerland but this time we weren't in the car and there were lots of people and lights) that went very fast through big tunnels under the ground, and there were so many interesting people to look at! I couldn't make many people smile though, even though I tried very hard!

When we got off the train, we went up and down more stairs, without leaving the big tunnels, and got in another train!! When we finally went up and up and up, we came out into the sunlight at a completely different place! There were many many more people than the streets where we are staying, and they were all going up a big staircase to a big huge white building on top of a hill. We followed the people (mummy and daddy lifted me up in the pram so I didn't have to do anything!) and, when we got to the top, we went into the building. It was amazing!! I couldn't help looking up at the beautiful paintings on the ceilings way up above us and at the pretty coloured windows that let the light in. Mummy said the place was a church called the 'Sacré Cœur', or the 'sacred heart'. It was the prettiest thing I have ever seen!

When we left the Sacré Coeur', Laura had to go to make a phone call for one of her job interviews, so mummy, daddy and I walked around a square with lots of people painting pictures. The square is called 'Montmartre'. After we had done the rounds, a man came up to us and started drawing me! I wasn't interested at all because I wanted to eat - I was hungry! - and mummy didn't look too pleased either. Nevertheless, the man finished my portrait and asked mummy for some money! Finally I got something to eat when we all went into a crêperie for lunch!

It was a bit sad to say goodbye to Laura so soon, but then we all went to a park at the foot of the hill where there were lots of children and, best of all, some men were playing a fun game! The game was to throw shiny silver balls to try to hit a tiny red ball and Mummy said it was called pétanque. It was so interesting to watch the shiny balls!

As it got dark we left the park and went back to all the shops lining the street at the bottom of the hill. Mummy and daddy bought lots of things with a black cat on - I think they wanted it for Aunty Maqua. Finally they got tired and we sat in a cafe and I fell asleep while mummy and daddy ate pizza.

Friday 20 October
As we all returned to health we began to realise the benefits of extending our stay in Paris rather than visiting either Morocco or Portugal. We could enjoy a fabulous city without all the typical travel rush. We could soak in more and get a better taste for Paris.
On our last (hopefully!) visit to the pharmacy, we asked about getting me weighed and measured for my 9 month check-up, but they don't do it in the pharmacies in France anymore. With that out of the way we thought that we should walk and explore theatre & film options.

We decided to have a picnic at Jardin des Tuileries. We picked up some sandwiches at our local boulangerie and started walking towards the commemoration of the famous Bastille prison. At théâtre de la Bastille we learned that I'm not going to be able to see any adult theatre productions in Paris since there is a law that forbids the entrance of children under 6 years of age! Mummy thinks that this is "proposterous", whatever that means, and that "Australia is so much better for children".

We took the funny metro train again to get to Jardin des Tuileries - such a pretty garden! We sat on chairs around a lake and I was transfixed by the fountain in the middle. The park was surrounded by lots of magnificent buildings I think were called the Louvre. But by far my favourite was crunching over the piles of autumn leaves which formed a carpet under the trees! I loved them! Daddy preferred watching the little electronic boat sail and manoeuvre across the pond!

We walked back though Place de la Concorde - another magnificent monument with majestic horse statues - and found our way to a big patch of green grass (finally without a sign saying you can't walk on the grass!) in front of Les Invalides. I had a wonderful time rolling around on the grass, crawling after the pram trying to grab the wheels and playing on daddy and mummy! It didn't last though. We left and headed to the quartier of St Germain where mummy was a little too captivated by a bookshop and daddy was getting frustrated because I was hungry! I think mummy and daddy were too though because next stop was a bistro where we all ate - mummy and daddy had a croque monsieur and I ate and fell asleep.

Saturday 21 October
Today we went down the street to a huge big market going on for miles! It was so busy and bustling, with people selling all kinds of fruits and vegetables, cheeses, meats, coffee, breads and other foodstuffs. There were so many colours and smells, I was captivated! Mummy and daddy looked excited too and visited lots of stalls where they bought what looked like enough food for a month, but really it was only for a few meals for the next couple of days! When we got home, laden with bags, mummy cooked us a big lunch of fish and vegetables and sweet potatoes. It was yummy. But I suspect the entrée of pâté and salami, or the cheese following lunch, was even nicer, although I wasn't offered any of that!

It was great to play around the apartment and search out all the electrical cords, watch the washing machine spin, stand up using chairs and tables and climb onto the sofas, and spin the pram wheels... not to mention perfecting a couple of crawling movements... I'm getting this mobility thing down pat! 😊 So exciting to explore!

Sunday 22 October
Today we saw the most marvellous thing on the planet. Mummy daddy and I took the metro and went for a long walk in Jardin du Luxembourg to see the famous puppet show Guignol. It is the biggest theatre of its kind in France (and can seat 275 people), established in 1933 by Robert Desarthis, and now run by his son! We saw the puppet show called: "Un voyage au pays des contes de fées" ( A trip to the country of fairy tales), which mixed together all different fairy tales into a story. I had no idea what to expect, but it was so much fun to watch that I couldn't take my eyes off the talking, dancing and singing puppets! And the children! The first four rows were only for children, who were just as captivated as I was, and they even replied back to the questions the puppets asked. Oh, it was all so much fun! Afterward mummy bought a DVD so we can watch it at home too, although I don't think it will be nearly as fun!

On the way home we had a long stop in a small tea shop near Palais de la Justice and the Panthéon. I had dinner and fell off to sleep.

Monday 23 October
Today everyone was busy packing everything away after a nice big breakfast of eggs and patisseries mummy and I bought from the bakery. It looked like we were moving again. It's always quite exciting to anticipate where we are going to go next. Out the front of the house was a chauffeur privé waiting for us. This is the Paris version of Uber taxis. The man was all dressed up in a bow tie and suit and was very polite. Mummy had a long chat to him on our way to our new apartment - yay, we were staying another week in Paris! Mummy and daddy had been talking about Morocco or Portugal, but finally decided that they couldn't resist another week in Paris instead - why not! As the Airbnb we first stayed in was booked from today, however, we had to find another. Oh it was so exciting.

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