Four and a half years after Parker’s debut in the world, we did it. We brought her to Paris.
It’s not actually like this was a long-seated desire. Whenever anyone would ask if/when we were bringing her, it seemed premature. I don’t think I have any memories from being four years old. Why would we buy a transatlantic ticket and bring her on a trip she wouldn’t remember?
But then a friend invited us on a family vacation in Corsica – an island I’d desperately wanted to visit since living in Paris. And not for nothing, Parker would always gleefully point out the Eiffel Tower when she saw it… which, in our apartment, with all of my books and cards and wall art and, well, everything, was often. So we decided to do it… on y va!
We spent a glorious week in Corsica, and it lived up to all my expectations. Spectacular landscape, gorgeous water, relaxed and cool and delicious. (A must go!)
Then, onto Paris! We were modest in our ambition: just four nights/three days. And despite dining challenges, a couple meltdowns and the general adjustment to a different kind of Paris experience than I’m used to, it was awesome.
The biggest challenges were walking and eating – two things I absolutely love to do in Paris.
I can push myself far when it comes to walking. I don’t wear a fitbit, but I can tell you I take a lot of steps in any given day and especially on an urban vacation. But you just can’t do that with little legs. Andrew shouldered a lot of that burden – literally hoisting Parker on his shoulders nearly any time we moved from one spot to another. We couldn’t cover a lot of ground.
And we mostly got away with food and dining. But there were a couple moments where at least one of us was starving, and we couldn’t find just the right spot to appease all three of us. That’s when the portable snacks and willingness to pay $25 for a bowl of penne came in handy.
Neither were disasters by any stretch – just realities and challenges and good lessons learned.
And very much outweighed by the positives: eating pastries along the canal. Seeing the city from La Grand Roue. Sitting at cafes, people watching. Stumbling into a community garden. Watching Parker befriend international kids. Spontaneously dancing on the Pont Neuf after a glorious boat ride. Just being there.
Who knows what memories Parker will retain. But it’s also a bit beside the point. We introduced her to a magical place and she’ll inevitably feel the connection and will be back again and again.