Bonjour! Wow. What a whirlwind of a week we spent in Europe. Just wow.
There are so many things I want to say and share about our trip that I really don't even know where to begin.
The beginning? Yes, I guess the beginning is always a good place to start. So. I'll start there: With the 24 action-packed hours we spent in Paris.
First, though, I thought it may be helpful to share two of the things we did to make our week away from the kids a little easier on them (and us):
Ta da. The colorful caregiver countdown calendar I created for the kids (How's that for alliteration?! Nerd.) to help them see who was taking care of them each day. Also? Small gifts for them to open each morning we were away, color-coordinated with the calendar of course (Have I mentioned my issues with OCPD?!). I think this really helped. Maybe too well. This morning, my son asked if I had a present for him to open. Doesn't he know that having his parents back home is the ultimate gift? No? Alrighty then. Moving on.
As soon as my brother and sister-in-law arrived, my hub and I headed to the airport and straight to a bar for a cocktail. And then a shot. And then, over the course of the next few hours, 3 glasses of wine (for me). Scotches for him. Hey! We were preparing ourselves to "sleep" well on the 10-hour red-eye flight. Which we did, thankyouverymuch. :)
Cheers! Our longest trip together since our honeymoon almost 9 years ago starts....now!
bedtime the flight
There is a 6-hour time difference in Paris, so as soon as we landed, we headed straight for a Parisian cafe where we enjoyed a lunch of croissants and coffee. It was delish!
Coincidence that the cafe was called "Cafe Richard" (my hub's first name)? I think not.
People-watching at its best: Parisian fashion
After quick showers in our hotel, which was right near the Arc de Triomphe, we decided that we were feeling a little jet-lagged (and maybe feeling the results of the previous night's Operation: Drinkity Drink to Sleepity Sleep just a teensy-weensy bit). But. We didn't want that to slow us down. We had 24 hours in Paris and planned to take full advantage of it. So, we did what any good, jet-lagged, hungover tourists do: We jumped on a double-decker, sight-seeing bus and toured the city for over 2 hours. This was a perfect way to hit the highlights of Paris, especially since we were in agreement that we aren't really "museum people."
View from our hotel balcony in Paris
Checking out the Arc right before we jumped on the bus. No idea why it looks like I have the ultimate outie belly button in this photo.
Ready to bus it up
Probably boring to anyone other than us, Tour Photo 1
Probably boring to anyone other than us, Tour Photo 2
Probably boring to anyone other than us, Tour Photo 3 (you get the picture. There are many, MANY more.)
We finished just in time to change clothes and freshen up for our 7:00 pm reservations at Le Jules Verne. Ooh la la.
Waiting for the elevator to take us up...
Le Jules Verne is a restaurant that sits halfway up the Eiffel Tower and has the most GLORIOUS views of Paris. We were lucky enough to be seated at a table with a breath-taking view of the whole city. We then proceeded to devour an I-don't-even-know-how-many-course meal and several glasses of French champagne and wine. Delish!
Date night in Paris
My hub's view
Of course, I had to try frog legs. They were delicious!
One last shot of the lit up Tower
After a cab ride back to the hotel, we called it a night so we could get a little shut eye before boarding our plane for Portugal in the morning.
Ready to jet-set again.
We had a short, but wonderful, visit to Paris. We both agree that our dinner atop the Eiffel Tower was one of our favorite memories from the week.
But alas. There was much more fun to be had, this time in Portugal (while a few, crazy shenanigans were, unbeknownst to us, going on with our kiddos at home).
Our first view of Portugal.