September 24, 2012

Wringing A Dry Towel

Ok lets start with some things you might not have realized about France....

  • Washrooms are often unisex, so strange for the 4 of us to walk into a bathroom together and pick a stall. Seriously!
  • Lined paper like loose leaf is unusual. The majority of paper is this really thinned lined paper like cashier paper. Strange?
  • Shelf milk is more popular than fridge milk
  • The majority of men seem to be better dressed and they all seem to wear sweaters and fancy scarves
  • People seem at first pass a bit grey (not sure this is the best word to describe it but the best I can come up with)but they laugh easily and with HUGE color
  • People tend to stroll rather than walk
  • Cars are extremely small
  • There are a lot of roundabouts
There are many more but these are off the top of my head...and must be sitting there :-). I love it though. I love it all. I love experiencing all of these new things and struggling to make sense of the strange ones and I especially love doing all of this with my family.

For the past 3 days we have been in Paris on a road trip due to bad weather crossing the Bay of Biscay. Tomorrow we are off to Normandy for a day and night. Then we will be back to Salty Ginger and off on our first passage. 

We found the cutest little apartment here in Paris. It is just a stones throw away from the Eiffel Tower. At night just at the end of our street the tower is beautifully illuminated. Gorgeous. The apartment is in this cool old typical Paris building. It has a neat loft with a bed up this steep staircase or maybe ladder better describes it. There is a huge window that opens wide up and you can see the entire apartment within. I hope the picture does it justice. 

Highlights from the trip so far:

Day 1 we went to the Eiffel Tower and walked around it and stood beneath it and took pictures. The line up was huge an we agreed to come back in the morning and go up. For the past 20 years I have told the story of how Graham and I travelled to Paris on a budget and never went up the Tower and what a tragedy it was.  Funny thing is, the next morning on our walk over we see that we had missed this gorgeous platform overlooking the Tower and totally square on and a ways above it. The view was spectacular. I whispered to Alex as Amelia and Graham walked ahead that I hated to admit it but that I would much rather look at the tower than go up it. He quickly jumped on my words and said "Me Too". I couldn't believe it. I said, "Do you think Amelia and Dad would feel the same way?". So we caught up to them  and it was one wanted to go up? It was so strange to be deciding not to go up after all these years of wishing. Life is funny. We have spent time each day admiring it and I will never forget looking at this wonder with my kids and hubby. 

My other favorite part was shopping with Amelia. I knew she wanted to spend $$$ and shop and I also knew she and I had a budget. Luckily in the middle of the night it hit me......Paris has to have some awesome second hand stores?? and guess what.....IT does and we found the best one. Oh what fun we had in this tiny shop with a spiral staircase and huge bins to rummage through on our Parisian shopping spree. I will never tire of seeing her happy. We got some fantastic buys and a ton of stuff and only walked away $41 dollars poorer. 

Other noteworthy moments:
  • trailing a pick pocketer with the kids and laughing hysterically that he might see us
  • Amelia forgetting she was in public and belching loud and proud on the double decker bus tour
  • Buying roast chicken from this stall with the locals on a Paris street with Graham... big crowd lots of french shouting and tickets...but we figure it out and man that chicken was good!
  • Lighting a candle for my bff in Notre Dame and feeling for a moment the presence of something bigger than us or unknown
  • Buying the kids crepes from the vendors whenever they asked...."YES" was the name of the game
The kids are getting older and sometimes I feel like my time with them as kids is like me trying to wring water from a dry towel. Our relationship is changing...not for the better or worse just different. It makes me so happy to think that as they grow older they will never forget the first time they saw Paris with Graham and I. 

If you haven't been to Paris get it on your bucket list. Off to Juno beach in the morning! Check out Amelia's blog. Miss you all


  1. What fun! Your apartment looks just how Millie described it. Funny, Sarah asked for crepes the other day....I said, "make some yourself." Lol

  2. Paris sounds heavenly! Your flat was so compact and just big enough for what you wanted. The second hand store also sounded like a lot of fun. That was good thinking on your part. I loved Millie's blogg and tried to comment but it wouldn't send for me. I will try again.

  3. Thanks for lighting a candle for me!

  4. Lol