paris with the family: a tale of two cities

Stealing a page out of the Gwyneth Paltrow handbook, I decided that I should be the first girl to go with Jonah to the City of Lights and the City of Love.

So in the first half of my mom, Micah and Janelle’s visit to see us, we decided to spend three days in Paris. I am not sure which story you want to hear.

Perhaps it is the one set to an Edith Piaf song that involves the best quiche I have ever tasted, baguettes and cheese that will make you cry, gorgeous cafés with chain-smoking romantics, perfected steak tartare, charmant Metropolitain stations, the Moulin Rouge up close, sweeping views from Sacré Cœur, the Eiffel Tower that begins to sparkle at six heures exactement, gardens and artists and berets and boulevards and little dogs and escargot and bicyclettes and beautiful women and the hilly, magical streets of Montmartre where Amélie herself once roamed.

Or do you want the one set to the sound of constant drizzling rain that involves each member of my family individually fighting with every staff member of our hotel on multiple occasions, misunderstandings over breakfast inclusions, a cockroach on my soupe l’oignon, a mouse scurrying back and forth on the tiled floor of that one restaurant, chain smokers at cafés, bad quiche and bad baguettes and bad croque monsieurs and bad attitudes, a taxi driver Bryan called a jackass, touristy places with too many Americans, a lost purse, showers with no shower heads, stinky Eurostar cars, heaving a stroller up and down neverending flights of stairs in Metro stations, gray skies and cranky attitudes and a Euro that crushes the Dollar. And almost missing two departing trains in a row and immigration detaining us for possibly kidnapping a child across international boundaries.

And so it is. In the end, Paris is like one of my nights out at age 22. Thrilling and intoxicating and surreal. But at the end of the night, my hair just smells like cigarette smoke.

Hotel des Artes in Montmarte, across from the oldest still-active cinéma in Paris

Sacré Cœur and views of Paris (and my favorite-ever buskers)

Moulin Rouge


Cimetière du Père Lachaise (Janelle’s stunning photos)

Le Louvre and, sigh, the Mona Lisa

Notre Dame

Eiffel Tower et une bateu on the Seine

Berets again



Filed under family, photos, travel

10 responses to “paris with the family: a tale of two cities

  1. Hopefully You visited Jim Morrison’s grave when You were visiting Père Lachaise cemetery!!!

  2. Ah yes, it’s all about how you tell it.

    And think how cool Jonah will be able to be when he’s a college kid back in the US. “Paris? Yeah. No big deal. I took in Paris when I was a baby.”

  3. Virginia

    OMG. I want to go back so badly!!!! Your mom’s version of the travel gaffes was much more humorous….you sound sort of exhausted by the whole thing! And who wouldn’t be? I do not envy the stroller lugging. Where did you guys stay? Great picts! There is no doubt that Jonah will be one well travelled little man.

  4. Teresa

    I am pretty sure your mouse was Ratatouille in that reastaurant he was probably making your soup. Maybe that was the highlight of the trip. But I mostly didn’t understand what you said…except jackass cab driver and hair smelling like smoke.

  5. Aunt Barky

    I think my favorite picture is the one where it looks like Yael is teaching Jonah about red wine. You done me proud.

    Love these….I want to see more!

  6. sonjey

    OMG! That picture of you and Jonah/Eiffel Tower…. It reminds me of Mary Tyler Moore’s Show at the beginning credits where she tosses her beret on the city streets of UHHHH, ….Minneapolis?

  7. Sonya

    Great post! I actually snorted my coffee when I read that Bryan called the taxi driver a jackass. Classic!

  8. yael

    Ahh, so many things to respond to… First, I feel as though I would be remiss not to re-post my Paris visit from last year:
    I do love Paris and I didn’t mean to suggest otherwise. Plus, look at my bangs back then!

    My brother and his girlfriend saw Jim Morrison’s grave. I had been to it on another visit.

    Jonah will have some cool stories.

    We stayed in Montmartre.

    Funny enough, the little mouse didn’t bother me. I kept eating while watching him.

    Little Joney will know all about wine and Paris and cheese puffs from his mama. All the important things.

  9. snosh

    i have the same “what’s the big deal?” picture of myself in front of the mona lisa 🙂

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