Paris – le prochain chapitre



So after our first night in Paris (which went surprisingly smoothly given the whole time change business . . . well, after I finally put C in bed with S and me), we got ahold of C’s godmama, my college roomie, who was there with her parents. Thank you, Skype! Anyhow, I pretended like I knew what I was doing (meanwhile tripping over the stupid lip of the apartment door), and we wandered over to Alexa’s apartment. It was actually pretty close, and the walk was the length of the Louvre, so the view was nice. Also, we walked past my very favorite metro stop which I didnt take a picture of this time, unfortunately, but it’s got this intricate design in metal with all these beautiful, boldly-colored orbs.

Anyhow, it being noon and all, we enjoyed a welcome-to-Paris-it’s-so-nice-to-see-you-again libation and decided to head out for lunch. However, every last one of us forgot how not every restaurant is open for lunch, and when they are, they are only open until about 2:30 in the afternoon. After that, they close to prepare for dinner, which begins around 7:30 or 8. Well, of course the restaurant we selected was closed, so we wandered around the Les Halles and Marais areas, near the Pompidou center looking for a nice spot to eat. When it began to rain (I love Paris in the winter when it drizzles), we ducked into a café and had a lovely little lunch. Everyone was pretty much in love with Mr. C, the waitstaff included. He was such a good little boy the whole trip more or less. So charming, that child.

After lunch, we wandered over to Notre Dame and watched ice skaters at the Hôtel de Ville. It was unreasonably crowded everywhere. If you’re planning a trip to Paris, I would advise avoiding the week between Christmas and New Year’s day–but on January second, it was like poof! Everyone was back at work, and the city was ours to explore once more.

Post-walk, we stopped back chez Doutt to warm up, and then we decided to take in the night skies and the glittering of the Eiffel Tower. Seriously, it glitters for five minutes every hour. I can’t exactly remember why (perhaps a loo pit stop), we ducked into a lounge-y sort of place on the Rue de Rivoli near the Place de la Concorde, where the obelisk is as well as the American embassy, and that new ferris wheel thing that’s supposed to be like the London Eye. C was certainly out of place in there, but no one actually seemed to mind, and there was no smoking, so whatever. (I have to say, it was so much nicer to be in Paris with clean air laws indoors). After a petit nightcap and a broken wine glass courtesy of moi (oh and there was also the strange co-Ed restrooms that proved most confusing for our motley crew), we wandered home down the Rue St. Honoré whilst doing a little leche-vitrine-ing. I just love the way the French say “window shopping.” They say, “faire du leche-vitrine,” which literally means “window licking.” Such a funny image.

As S and Jaye and C and I were still pretty jet-lagged, we picked up some (terrible) Chinese food. I’m still not sure why any of us even remotely thought Chinese food would be good in France, but I’m gonna blame being tired. As an aside, my French isn’t great, I’ll admit, but it was EXCEPTIONALLY hard to understand French delivered with an Asian accent. There was a bit of smiling and nodding involved. Le sigh.

I am so grateful that Mr. C slept like a champ in his Ergo carrier. He was quite as a church mouse pretty much all the time, just taking in the sights. Two naps every day more or less. Which is better than he does at home.

More tomorrow (I hope), but I have a massage, so I’m not making any promises.

G’night for now, my reader friends.






Don’t worry you guys, I’m still alive


And so are S and C. We’re all fine. I just opened this WordPress app for the first time in a shamefully long time. Sorry about that. Just taking a brief hiatus.

I think lots of you know that S and C and I went to Paris for the new year. We hung out in Las Vegas for Christmas itself and had dinner with friends and their family. C made out like a bandit, presents-wise (as did Bones and I), though I suspect he may have still been annoyed that we brought the Peapod for him to sleep.

[As an aside, it’s the weirdest thing about the Peapod–when he was younger he’d just snooze away in that thing; now, not so much. I don’t know if it’s because the nylon and the mattress make noise when you move or put him down or what. We even tried putting the mattress inside the Peapod covered in a crib sheet to no avail. Or maybe it’s just that it’s not is real bed, but for whatever reason C was pissy in that bed that night and in Paris too. Le sigh.]

Our flight was at 8 p.m. on the day after Christmas. It wasn’t really a great beginning either. Suffice it to say when we arrived to the airport park-n-ride, C’s diaper bag wasn’t in the car. And the lot was almost full. And you can’t really go anywhere with a baby sans diapers, food, change of clothes, etc.–it’s a whole thing. So my friend Jaye and I waited–in the parking lot with the baby–for S to go home and get the stupid GD diaper bag.

So there was that. At one point in the airport, I thought I’d lost C’s Raggedy Andy doll (subsequently re-named chez Doutt in Paris as André), but we found him. I was literally pacing the International Terminal scowling at every child to ensure they didn’t have C’s doll. What? I was tense: long flight, baby, as yet sans wine.

Once we got on the plane, though, it was really pretty pleasant (well, as pleasant as flying coach internationally can be). We flew British Air, and I have to say, I would fly with them in a heartbeat. We were allowed to choose our seats early because we were traveling avec bébé. There was a bassinet for C, and we got the whole middle row for the three of us. It was definitely nice to have that extra seat to spread our stuff into. And C pretty much slept. As did I. Not well, but you know.

Upon arriving in London, it was this really long, fast-paced walk from one gate to another. And thank goodness we were moving quickly because the plane doors shut pretty much right after we got on. I honestly can’t remember a thing about the flight from London to Paris. Upon arriving, we collected our things and met our driver. It was kind of cool because he had a sign with my name on it–never had that before. And there was a carseat in this giant Mercedes minivan thing (safety first, after all).

I remember being very insecure about my French while talking to the driver guy. There was a traffic jam on the way into the city, and we got off the highway and drove through parts of Paris that were not so City-of-Lights-y. Seventeenth arrondissement? Yeah, not for me.

We arrived at our apartment at I don’t even know what time. Thankfully, there was a Monoprix (essentially the French version of Target). So, we secured provisions, and I was reminded how bad French grocery stores smell cause of all the crazy cheeses and meats and whatever else is behind the deli counter.

Our apartment was really nice. Small, but nice. There was a washer and dryer and stovetop and oven and bathtub (which was kind of essential with Mr. C). The wash cycle though? Took two and a half HOURS. And the dryer? Not even kidding–four hours. To dry a dang load of laundry. You might as well just hang dry it. Sheesh.

I think the thing I will remember most about that little apartment is it’s where C really mastered the art of crawling. He was pretty much just scootching around on his belly and getting up on his knees and rocking before we left, but when we came home, he was crawling with his belly off of the ground and was pulling himself onto his knees. (Now he’s pulling himself up to standing, and he’ll tentatively take a small step or two if you’re holding his hands). I can already see the cruising coming. He’s almost there.

Anyhow- that was installment one of the Joneses do Paris. Installment two deux to follow shortly. Here are some pictures to tide you over until then.