The last two months have been a whirlwind! The Mama and the Dada have been busy finishing the semester, packing the house (which they were able to rent while we’re gone!), and generally preparing for the trip. Now that we’re finally in our home for the next two months, there will hopefully be some time for blogging!
At the start of May, we spent a week in Paris! It was so much fun to see all the sights!
Day 1: Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe
We landed at 5:30am local time! Turns out we arrived on VE Day, so lots of quirky travel things happened today. For example, since it was a state holiday, the taxis wanted to charge 150 Euros to take us from the airport to the hotel! Fortunately, the Dada got European SIM cards before we left the US so he had data and was able to call an Uber instead. Even with surge pricing, it was only 50 Euros…much better!
We got to our hotel and dropped off our bags. The best way to beat jet lag is to get on the local time as soon as possible. That meant instead of going to sleep, the Mama and the Dada took me sight seeing!
Smelling the azaleas at our hotel while Mama and Dada plan our day
The Mama saw online that there was a ceremony being held that day at the Arc de Triomphe in honor of VE Day. The French flag would be flying under the Arc, and the President of France would be laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier. Sounded like a perfect, low-key adventure for our first day, so off we went!
Another travel quirk due to the ceremony was that the metro stations near the Arc de Triomphe (Champs-Élysées and Franklin Roosevelt) were both closed. As a matter of fact, all of Champs-Élysées was closed off to motorist!
It’s amazing to see a main thoroughfare in the heart of the city vacant!
We took the metro to the nearest open stop near the Champs-Élysées and walked back towards to Arc. Since I’m just a babe, I got to take a little nap in my carrier.
Crossing the Seine from Invalides. Mama and Dada need to buy me a travel pillow!
We finally made it to the Arc de Triomphe, and got to see the end of the ceremony on the big video monitors! Then the President shook hands with a bunch of school children…and it seemed to take forever! But, I could see the motorcycles, so we walked slowly toward a restaurant, hoping to see the motorcade before we stopped somewhere for lunch. Right before we went into the restaurant, they drove by! I was pretty impressed by all the motorcycles!
By the time we finished lunch, they had cleared all the barricades, and we were finally allowed to go up to the Arc!
Just after they re-opened the Champs-Élysées to motorists.
The Mama and Dada decided to take the hiking backpack this first day, since they weren’t sure what the metro/city streets would hold. That meant Dada had to carry me up 284 steps to the top!
If you’re planning a trip of your own to Paris, know that there are stairs in the metro, but if you have two people to carry the stroller, it’s not so bad. The streets are pretty smooth, and even areas with cobble stones aren’t too bad. The Arc de Triomphe has an elevator to the top for those wheelchair bound and in strollers.
If you can’t ride in the elevator, you might as well take your picture in its reflection.
The views from the top are amazing! You can see most of the major sights in Paris, including the Eiffel Tower and Sacré-Cœur.
I loved seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time!
After this, it was past the check-in time at the hotel, so we headed back. Hotels in Paris are expensive, so Dada found a great place in the nearby northern suburb of Clichy. The hotel was super nice, in a quiet area, and the room was spacious and new! The walk to the Metro only took about 5 minutes, and although being outside of the city center added about 15 minutes to our commute, it was worth it!
After checking in, we went to a local park just a block away! I got to chase the pigeons, say hi to all the doggies, and play ball with local kids.
This neighborhood is great! Lots of young families and a mix of nationalities made for a vibrant place! We had dinner at a restaurant on the square, and then we went to the hotel for bed!
What an exciting first day in Paris!