Monday, April 20, 2009

La Famille à Paris, Part I

My family came to visit me in Paris over a month ago. I'm just blogging about it now because it's taken me that long to recover. Okay, okay...that's totally not true. Actually I've just been working on other stuff and the blog has had to take a backseat to my other projects (i.e. the dissertation).

I'll admit that I was rather worried before my family came because I wanted to be a good guide. They would be in Paris for less than a week, and I wanted them to have the best time possible in only a few days. Would the weather be okay in the middle of March or would it rain everyday? What should we see? What days should we go to certain sites? What days were these sites closed? Where would we eat? What would they like? What French foods should they absolutely try? Would they have a hard time since most of them didn't speak French?

Well, of course, I did a lot of worrying for nothing because everything turned out fine. The weather was beautiful, and I discovered that I belong to a family of really great travelers who want to see and do a lot. I should have known. They arrived early Sunday morning at Charles de Gaulle airport, and Gaby and I went to meet them.

Once in Paris, we got some breakfast/lunch at a little café near the Saint-Michel fountain and then were ready to start our tour of the city. First, Notre Dame de Paris. I always forget how beautiful it really is.
Next, the Bateaux Mouches, or in English, the flyboats. This was a great way to get an overview of the major sites in Paris. Plus my poor jetlagged family could relax (and even sleep a little) during the tour.
The rest of the day was pretty relaxed. Everyone was able to check into the hotel at 3:oo and take much-needed naps and then explore the neighborhood just a little bit. Incidentally, my parents had gotten a hotel not far from my old Paris apartment in the 6th. It was so good to hang out in my old familiar neighborhood.
Monday was the day of the Towers, or climbing day. We started with the Arc de Triomphe where we climbed the spiraling staircase to the very top.
And the view:
After a stroll down the Champs Elysées, our next stop was the Eiffel Tower. We had planned on taking the elevator up, but realized that we would have to wait two hours in line. We decided to test our fitness levels and take the stairs. Most of us found out we were seriously out of shape, and we marveled at the people who were actually smoking as they walked up the steps. UGH. Still, the walk was worth it.
As we made our way back down the stairs, we snickered at all the people huffing and puffing on their way up. We even made encouraging remarks like, "Don't worry...only 400 more steps to go." We're nice like that.
Although we were tired (and some of us aching--okay, me), our first full day together in one of the most beautiful cities in the world had turned out great. But it wasn't over yet. My family had decided that it would be nice to visit Poissy where Gaby and I live.


Desiree said...

This is what I love about blogging - you find the coolest stuff! I found your blog through Cori's and we're going to Paris on Wednesday - so timely! Thanks for the great pics, I can't wait to see it in real life!

Cori said...

I love the "we're nice like that" comment. :) Family trait.

Hil said...

Desiree, that's great that you're going to Paris!! Have a great trip!
And Cori, when I was writing that part, all I could think of were all the Heffleys (okay mostly the uncles) and their clowning around. ;)