We are in Paris! We are kicking jet lag's butt. Sort of.
Our flight over was lovely. We relished being in first class. We had a no games rule for the kindles on this flight to encourage sleeping. I had preordered vegan Indian food and it was delish. I had champagne before takeoff and a glass of wine with dinner, but mostly I had water, water, water. After the main course, but before desert, Samuel and I lowered our seats to lie flat and put ourselves to bed. We had little leather gift bags from the airline with all the little things you need on a flight and we utilized them all. I pulled the blanket over my head and fell asleep solidly for about two hours. Then I woke and never really got back to sleep. I woke with every little bit of turbulance or sound. Michael and Samuel and Davis all were sleeping soundly which made me very happy. I was very grateful for the lie flat seats, the soft pillows and long, generous blankets. After about two more hours, we all woke up and got ready to land. The whole flight was only 7 hours which didn't leave nearly enough time for sleeping! We landed in Paris around 7:30AM local time. (12:30AM in our bodies). Sam was very unhappy to be awake, and we were all very sensitive, but we made it through customs and into a taxi with ease.
I had booked our hotel through Hyatt using Michael's diamond suite upgrade. We scored big time. Our hotel is the Hotel du Louvre and it is fabulous. This may be the most posh place I've ever stayed. We have a suite and an adjoining room. Our large french doors open out from each of our three rooms to a plaza in front of the Louvre. You can imagine this gives us great people watching. Even better in the moment, they had our suite ready when we arrived! This was a great gift.
We went upstairs and I took a hot bath as my back was killing me. We changed clothes and brushed teeth and then headed out to find breakfast. Luckily our hotel has a very warm and charming cafe attached where we all had caffeine (even the kids!) and bread.
Then we walked through the Louvre grounds and caught the Big Bus Tour that I had bought tickets for a few weeks ago. It's a hop on hop off double decker bus and this was the amount of speed we needed to today. We listened to the tour on headphones and it was very good. It was cold though! I was fine as I had a cashmere turtleneck and a down jacket with gloves, but the others were freezing! It was still in the low 40s when we began and the wind was blowing.
We hopped off the bus at the Notre Dame and walked all around the grounds, though we were too cheap and tired to buy entrance tickets. It is a gorgeous church and really reminded us of the Notre Dame Montreal we visited last summer.
We hopped back on the bus and continued our tour until we got to the Eiffel Tower. Again I was too cheap and tired to buy entrance tickets, but we walked under the tower and then through the gardens. We bought crepes- one with apricot for Samuel and me and one with Nutella for Michael and Davis. They were delicious and really hit the spot. Davis has brought Michael's old i-phone as a camera and loved spending the day taking pictures and editing them. He got some great ones of the Eiffel Tower.
When we got back on the bus, Samuel fell asleep immediately in my lap and I noticed Michael nodding off in his seat too. We finished the tour and made our way back to the hotel to add some layers for the boys and refill water bottles before heading out for more food and the Tuileries Gardens. We stopped at Le Pain Quotidien which was written up as cheap but delicious in my Foodies Guide to Paris. They were right! They even had several vegan options in their bakery which Samuel relished while Michael and I sipped our first glass of French Rose. We left with a baguette to go and walked down the street to the Tuileries. The sun was shining brightly and gardens were protected from the wind. It was splendid! The light was spectacular and the gardens were just blooming. The kids seriously debated renting boats to sail in the fountains, but were too tired to commit. They did find the energy to roll down the hill into the hedges. We were happy to see them happy.
Now we are back in the hotel. The kids have taken baths and journaled and are now reading before we start a move for them. It's only 6:30PM and we want to keep them up at least another hour and a half. Michael just ran out and bought us a couple of bottles of wine for the room and I am sipping one now while I write this. We will eat our baguette for dinner and try to wait for the sun to go down before we fall asleep.
Tomorrow is my birthday and our only other full day in Paris. I hope the weather is as sunny as today was. We will all be so much happier with a good night's sleep under our belts!