As I mentioned in the last post, we spent last weekend in Paris! We booked this back in April and it was Elodie’s first trip overseas! We were so, so excited.
It was all quite uncertain whether we’d have our passports and visas in time for this trip, but we got them just in the nick of time (literally the day before we left).
Elodie’s first passport stamp! We took the Eurostar (train) which is such a great way to travel.
I love Paris so much and couldn’t wait to get back there, and be there with Elodie.
But it’s not the most baby-friendly place. We saw little kids and toddlers here and there, but never saw another baby the whole weekend, whereas in London, I see babies everywhere. Breastfeeding rates in France are low, and while nobody ever bothered me, I was self-conscious feeding her in public. All three of us had a cold which probably exacerbated things, and Elodie is teething as well so I think she was pretty uncomfortable. Overall, she was rather fussy a lot of the weekend, and had trouble napping.
We stayed in a great Airbnb, and it’s a good thing it was a nice place because we spent a lot of time there!
On our first afternoon, we walked down to the Seine. I love being by the river in any city. Since the highway along the Seine has been pedestrianised, lots of bars have popped up and it was a pleasant stroll.
We grabbed a glass of wine and snapped what would be our only family photo of the weekend. Elodie had just woken up from a nap so wasn’t quite up for smiling at that point.
We went grocery shopping and had dinner in the flat each night, to make baby bedtime easier. We had excellent cheese, bread, produce and wine, and it was really pleasant.
We were nervous about trying to go to any cafes or restaurants with Elodie, since we didn’t see many (any) babies out like we do in pubs in London. We had a quick lunch on Saturday at a cafe in the Marais while shopping, and the other days we bought sandwiches to go and ate in parks or while walking around.
We had planned to spend lots of time in Paris’s many beautiful parks, but neglected to remember that in many parks (or at least the ones we chose), the grass is roped off! So we couldn’t put her down for a picnic like we had imagined, unfortunately. Daddy’s lap it was.
We had some nice long walks with Elodie in the carrier, including a good long stroll around Pere Lachaise (my favourite cemetery).
And one afternoon after walking around and doing tons and tons of squats and lunges to help Elodie fall asleep (pretty embarrassing….) we snuck into a brasserie with a sleeping baby to have a cheeky glass of wine. It was an excellent Rasteau and a chance to breathe a bit. 🙂 (I feel compelled to point out that I don’t drink much, and only when I know she won’t need to eat again for awhile.)
On our last day, I felt well enough to sneak out early for a short run along the river, and returned home with pain au chocolat. In a few years it will be fun to introduce Elodie to Paris’s many culinary delights!
But I think it will be awhile before we do this again. I know it sounds incredibly bratty to be negative – after all, we were in Paris! Elodie’s first trip to Paris! And we did have some lovely times, and it was really nice to have all three of us together for four full days. It’s just not the greatest place with a baby.
And it had been a hard week for all of us leading up to the trip, which may have made it more complicated, what with having to stay in a hotel in London unexpectedly, Andy having a crazy work week (every night he had to work late in the hotel lobby), worrying about our visas being issued in time, being sick, and teething….I do think all those things combined affected Elodie, since babies can pick up on our stress levels, too.
All things considered, she was a trooper! We did have smiley moments…just tough moments as well.
The whole trip has made us extra nervous for our upcoming trip to the US…! But it was also a good practice run to learn what works and what doesn’t. We’ll cross our fingers and do our best….that’s all we can do, right?