|At the top of the Eiffel Tower
We made it to Paris a couple of days ago. Since we are going to be travelling for a long time we do have a bit more stuff than what you would take on a shorter vacation. This makes it a bit more difficult to be mobile. We have one bag per person, but we ended up being down a couple of bag haulers in transit to Paris. Joel somehow got a stomach bug and threw up in the Taxi on the way to the airport in Iceland. Luckily for the taxi driver he didn't get any in the car. Bad for me, it ended up on my lap. So Joel was feeling ill. I myself wasn't at 100% but it was due to a bad case of "road rash" on my legs and knees which has made walking a bit more challenging. I got injured on the last run of the day in Winter Park on the alpine slide before we left on the trip. I had told the kids that Uncle Jon once went so fast that he flew out of the track so make sure you keep your speed in control. Turns out that I should have heeded my own advice. Near the bottom I was going too fast to make one of the last sharp turns. I flipped out of the cart and skidded down the track a few hundred feet and ended up with skin missing in multiple places but the worst being on my legs. Anyways this has made me walk around a bit gingerly and not be able to carry as much of the baggage as I usually would. With Joel and I not carrying our weight, this unfortunately meant that Caroline had even more to carry but she did it with grace and ease. We met Rachel (all 7 of us are now here) at the Charles de Gaulle airport and then took the RER and Metro trains to our apartment in the 19th district of Paris. Getting all of our bags in and out of the crowded Metros was definitely a challenge so I'm looking forward to transit via our rental car for the rest of our time in Europe.
I really like the apartment we are staying in. It is cozy and definitely much nicer being integrated in a residential area rather than a hotel district. It is close to a Metro stop and there are a bunch of shops near by. My favorite one to visit is the Boulangerie/Patisserie. Can't get enough of the Pain au Chocolat! (Chocolate filled Croissant) We've also been getting our fill of Orangina.
It's great to see the smile that Caroline has had on her face since we got here. It's kind of that same look that the kids had when going to Disney World. There is so much to see and do here. In addition, all of her favorite foods are easily accessible (Choucrote Garnie, Cassoulet, Cous Cous Merguez, paté, and did I mention coffee?). It's great too that she is fluent in French as it definitely makes it easier to get things (like antibiotics for me from the pharmacy). Several people have commented on how good her accent is. Probably good they didn't listen to how bad mine is.
We spent my birthday (the big 4-0) going to the Eiffel Tower. It's an awesome view of the city from the top. We got some crepes afterwards (the one with Grand Marnier was quite delicious) and then made our way to the Champs Elysees and saw the Arc de Triomphe.
|Arc de Triomphe
The kids are really enjoying seeing all of the different types of cars. I could have rented a McLaren for 20 minutes at the cost 90 Euros. The problem however was that the traffic everywhere was a total mess which means my drive wouldn't have amounted to much more than idling in a bumper to bumper jam. Not the way to test out 500 horsepower or whatever the car had. Maybe another day.
|Caleb "driving" Renault Twizzy. Danielle holding on for dear life
The family got me a FitBit for my birthday so it tracked our walking for the day. 5.5 miles and 11,600 steps. Not too bad for still being injured. My legs were killing me by the end of the day so I'm going to take it easy tomorrow.
|Family Photo by the Eiffel Tower
|Boats docked on the river
|Under the Eiffel Tower
|Danielle and Eden
|Looking Up to the top of the Eiffel Tower