In 2010, I spent a busy one day in Paris, catching a fast train from La Loire area in the morning, and returning at night. I saw all the sites, from Notre Dame, to Montemarte, and the Eiffel Tower. To be honest, I was pretty disappointed in the city; and didn’t find it as charming or as beautiful as everyone said it was.
When Dave got accepted to TypeParis in 2015, and we found out that we’d be spending 5 weeks in Paris, I wasn’t particularly too excited. We’d just returned home from over 4 months in the states, and prior to that, a year in Spain. I was 20 weeks pregnant, and all I wanted to do was settle down and not travel (and be pregnant overseas) for a bit. But, we went, and over that summer period, I fell head over heels in love with the city. My parents came with us, and we spent the three weeks I was there riding bikes, eating countless pain au chocolates, amazing French food, and enjoying one another’s company. It completely changed my view of Paris, and I was so sad to say goodbye to it.
Fast forward to 2016, and we found ourselves back in Paris, with Dave at TypeParis for another year. This was largely unplanned, and we only found out that we were going a month or so before it started. We had a pretty non-existent budget, and with the Euro 2016 being held there, we had pretty slim pickings when it came to accommodation. We ended up staying in three places; one a bedroom in a student apartment for a couple of days, then a week in an apartment of a professional taxidermist (there were literally hundreds of stuffed and preserved animals in her small apartment), and then a month in Malakoff, a suburb just outside of Paris. It took over an hour to get to where Dave was in the city, and with Isla, it was hard work. The trip in was a km walk, train trip, and a bus ride away, and by the end of it, Isla was always upset, as it was so much time in the pram, and always so hot and cramped in the busses. Regardless, it was an amazing time, and when the opportunity arose for us to be in Paris for a third year in a row, we jumped at it.
This was Isla in Paris last year – she’s grown up so much!
This year we were more prepared, both time-wise and financially, and we made sure we had a few of our priorities taken care of, namely location of our apartment, and quality of the place. We completely lucked out on a great little place (with a lift!!), a 30 minute walk from where Dave would be working, a 10 minute walk from where the weekly evening evening events were being held, and on the other side of the river – to give me an opportunity to easily explore a different area of Paris with Isla.
We are officially one week down in our 6 week stay in Paris, and it has been the most wonderful week. It’s been filled with lots of walks, eating out, enjoying a new area of Paris, and getting accustomed to our new neighbourhood.
We have been so lucky that Isla has barely had any issues with jet lag, and apart from her being more emotional than normal (which could either be attributed to the change in time or the fact that it’s been above 36 degrees for most of this weeks – with no air con or fan to help us cool down), she’s coped so well.
I recently found a website that has heaps of great information and ideas for things to do with kids in Paris, which has gotten me so excited to show Isla more of this city we love. I found where we were located last year pretty isolating, especially as it took so long to get anywhere. I felt I didn’t get to explore much, as I spent most of my day getting to Dave to eat lunch together (not seeing him/talking to another person all day would have driven me mad)! As we are much more central, I’m really looking forward to getting to see new sites, get involved in some mother’s groups that are easy to get to, and help Dave out with some TypeParis work when I can.
I am hoping to document our trip a little bit while we’re here – I always get chastised from family and friends when I don’t post photos of Isla or show what we’re up to, so if you have any specific requests of what you’d like to hear about over the next 5 remaining weeks, do let me know!