Thursday, July 28, 2016

Bonjour Paris!

Before we dive into our adventures in France, I have to preface them with some thoughts about Lucy.

She has been talking about France (Paris, to be exact) for a couple years now.

Her American Girl doll went there in one of the American Girl chapter books she read and ever since then she has been talking about bonbons, croissants, pastries, and the Eiffel Tower.  She has written a few "books" about traveling to Paris but this is her most recent:

 (Too bad they turned me down on the adventure!)
Shoot, I'm not sure where the last page is!  Sorry I have to leave that as a cliff hanger, but you get the idea:

That girl was (and still is) obsessed with Paris.

So we worked it in between Switzerland and London, and boy oh boy was this girl of ours excited about that, (ok, and so was everyone else:).

But let's back up to the travel to get there because that's a story in and of itself.

I bought our train tickets beforehand and had us all set ready to take the high-speed train from Zurich to Paris (faster than flying and from city center to city center which helped us out a lot).  We bid farewell to the greatest hosts Tal and Anita, and arrived at the train station excited for our next adventure...

...only to find out there was a train strike in Paris and our train had been cancelled.

We had been worried about the flooding there which had been filling up the news, but didn't think to worry about a train strike.

So we bolted to catch a train to Basel they told us would get us to Paris eventually.

In Basel we waited with a sea of other people trying to get to Paris for the next train...which was way overbooked.  So they put us on a local train to Strausburg (where we wrapped up Heidi).
And eventually we made it on a train to Paris which was so overpacked there were dogs and people laying in the isles everywhere you went.

BUT we got there!

And the adventures that took us there made us extra grateful that we made it.

We figured out how to maneuver the metro system and headed to our airbnb apartment to drop off our stuff...

This was the front door to the apartment building where we stayed:
It was so Parisian we loved it, and it was right next to the metro stop which made it so convenient since we were only there a couple days and we had to utilize our time well.

After we dropped off our luggage we headed to Lucy's most anticipated stop:  THE EIFFEL TOWER.

The kids were so excited they could hardly stand it.  

Here's part of their excitement when they ran up those metro stops and saw that tower for the first time:

Oh boy.  They are a little crazy :)

Because of all the Euro Cup soccer stuff going on there was a huge soccer ball suspended from that middle section which added an interesting extra touch.
It was perfect equilibrium evening.

We watched the "magic tricks" vendors were doing in the little park and basked in everyone's excitement as we walked closer

We took the 710 stairs up to the second level to catch the view as the sun sunk and the sky turned royal blue.
The big kids and Dave scrambled up there speedy quick, but the stairs were a little trickier for Lucy.

We had a few pep talks along the way and although she was excited, oh boy she was tired.
The stairs are numbered so we could see how far we made it along the way:
And my favorite thing of the whole night was when Lucy made it to the second level.  It's not like it was unbearable for her, she's actually really good at steps, but needed a little encouragement.

We could hear her sisters cheering from up above right before we got there, then this happened at the top:

Made my heart want to explode.  I sure love this family of mine.

 We read up on the history of that great monument and soaked in the sunset.

It was perfect to see everything in the daylight and also get to see it as it twinkled in the night sky.

Couldn't get enough of that place.

As we walked away, warm nutella crepes in hand and sparkling eyes to match that tower, our hearts were spilling over with love for this world of ours and that we got to explore that part of it together that magical evening. 


  1. I know they were excited, but I can sure see why native Parisians do not like American tourists.

    1. I think this would be the reaction anywhere that was a landmark destination anywhere around the world. Personally, it warms my heart to see glee at the statue of liberty, the golden gate bridge, etc. Fresh eyes but the magic back into anything. Glad your girls enjoyed the adventure!

    2. Fresh eyes PUT the magic back into anything. :) Sorry about that!

    3. As a Canadian who lives near a couple tourist attractions visited by Americans, I can honestly say that the tourists people don't like are the ones who are rude and disrespectful, not the ones who are loudly excited to see stuff. Jaded locals may roll their eyes, but if they have a heart, they're proud that their home strikes so much excitement in people

    4. Huge eye roll here, especially at the jumping pics. It is one of the reasons people have such a negative, comical impression of goofy American tourists. Can you see a French couple coming to Ground Zero in NYC and taking pictures of their family jumping around?

    5. No Maria I don't see a French couple or anyone for that matter jumping at ground zero because that is a sobering, sad place. I'm pretty sure most people know the difference. The Eiffel Tower is not a sobering place so jump away. It's a happy, fun thing. I personally wouldn't do it but don't fault anyone who does.

    6. What a ridiculous analogy. Ground Zero is the site of a terrible tragedy. The Eiffel Tower is France's most famous landmark and was built as the entrance to the world's fair. I live near the Golden Gate Bridge and I have to agree that fresh eyes and enthusiasm do help me to appreciate something that I could easily take for granted. It sounds to me like you were looking for a reason to write a negative comment here, which boggles my mind. Why be so negative when you could just enjoy the pictures of another part of our world (or stop reading)?

    7. OK, maybe not Ground Zero. But you get the point. Or maybe you don't. I don't really care one way or the other. I was making a comment on a blog.

      Christine, it makes no difference in my life whatsoever what "it sounds like" to you or what "boggles your mind".

      Cheryl, I don't fault them, just giving my opinion on what they did. And on today's post they are jumping at Notre Dame. A church. Not very respectful in my opinion. Do people go hopping around the entrance of any LDS temples they might be visiting?

    8. These are all pics of people jumping in front of temples on their wedding day. There's a lot more, but you get the idea.

    9. Ok, so the jumping in pictures is an LDS thing. The links you post here look like LDS bride and groom jumping at their own wedding. Which is a little more understandable and acceptable than random tourists in a foreign country hopping around at religions landmarks.

    10. Well as an American who lives inand visits many touristy locations I would say that tourists in general can be a bit annoying. But seeing as how many French people live off the proceeds of tourism, I would think they could and should be a little patient with it all. For a reference, Temple Square (our very holy place) in Salt Lake City gets thousands and thousands of visitors from around the country each year. I have seen all levels of behavior there. And all are welcomed. I have to say people are driving me crazy with all your criticism of this family! I fully expect Shawni to stop posting on her blog as a result of your criticisms. And I can't say as I blame her. My. Goodness. Keep your opinions to yourself or call a friend. It's getting pretty old.

    11. Oh Maria, if jumping pictures make you upset or uncomfortable, I'd suggest staying away for at least a little while because there are more coming up (just to warn you). Don't worry, there were all kinds of tourists from all over the world in these spots including French tourists and I think everyone was pretty excited...except "grumpy tourist" that is...

    12. FYI Maria, tourists jump all around LDS temple grounds and landmarks all the time. People are constantly playing Pokemon Go on those very sites as well, but instead of getting upset the LDS community embraces it as an opportunity to meet others and share our beliefs with them. I'm sure the French don't mind a nice family taking a simple jumping picture in front of the biggest tourist landmark in France. It's the least of their worries.

    13. It would be brill to see pix of people playing Pokemon Go in temple grounds. I mean this in a kind way, not a negative one.x

  2. I have been to Paris three years ago and I was so excited to see the Eiffel tower. #germantourist

    Besides I want the picture of Mom and Dad kissing in front of the tower? Or didn't you follow through? :-P

  3. I guess your stay in France could'nt be complete without a train strike :)

  4. Little tears here for Lucy's family celebrating her triumph. That's what family does. ❤️

  5. Looks like so much fun!! I can't wait to hear about the rest of your adventures! I hope you save all of Lucy's stories to give her when she grows up. I was a story/letter writer at her age and my Mom gave me a scrapbook with a bunch of my drawings and stories in it. I love reading all the stories I wrote (primarily mysteries based on Encyclopedia Brown) 25 years ago. :)

  6. Lucy's story is so cute! It made me laugh out loud when Lucy's Mom asked if they could join them and they said no they're fine without you, must have been a long boring drive back home :) too cute!

  7. That story is so sweet! I loved her squeals of delight! Way to go, Lucy! :D--M

  8. Tears in my eyes at the encouragement from Lucy's sibs! What a lucky girl and wonderful family!

    And, don't worry about looking like a tourist in front of the Eiffel Tower. I've lived in France, and, well, the Eiffel Tower is a tourist destination including for the many French who visit Paris!

  9. Love seeing all the photos. It is truly a magical city and i love the little video clip of her (Lucy's)family cheering her on.

  10. Everyone cheering Lucy on just filled me up! I know you write openly about her struggles, but I think I forget that you're really living it until clips like that. It was a big deal for her. It was made even better by the family celebration. So happy she could make it to Paris!

  11. Love, love, love this post, Shawni.

  12. What an amazing post and a chronicle of this fabulous event. When we travel we see so many kids who are just being dragged around by their parents, obviously bored to death, surrounded by the wonders of the world! It is so refreshing to see these kid excited out of their minds about what they are seeing and experiencing! Absolutely love it! Lucy is such a treasure. Her story is such a delight. I especially like the bit about finding the treasure while "picking oranges"! I can't believe that she made it up aaaallll those the dark! That is pretty much a miracle! Loved the kids love and support of her. Great stuff!

  13. Love everything about your posts and trips! ❤️


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