Saturday, 5 May 2012

3 nights and counting until back in Paris...with our grandson!

Seb with his new baby brother Charlie ~maybe Paris 2020?
I can't believe that we are leaving for Paris on Tuesday night!  I booked these tickets back in July when I found a great seat sale with Air France ~ $699, taxes in on the A380 direct from Montreal.  It's been a very long countdown but now it's almost here and I don't know who is more excited, me or my grandson, Sebastian.

We have been telling Sebastian for the last 4 years or so that we would bring him to Paris one day to show him why we love this city so much.  You know when you are passionate about something, you want to share it with those you love ~ you want to see their faces when they see what you have been raving about for the very first time.  You want them to love it as much as you do, just because you want to share that feeling with them. I was lucky to be able to experience this in May of 2010 when I brought my daughter to Paris for 4 nights.  We had such a wonderful time together, just the two of us in the most beautiful city in the world and we created memories that we will share and cherish for a lifetime.
Danielle and I on the terrace of Nomiya
Now it's time to share Paris with the little boy who has changed our lives.  He has been waiting for this trip for a long time, because we have always told him that he had to be old enough to be able to appreciate  and remember this trip.  A few years ago, when he was about 6, he was really improving with his French (he goes to French immersion here in Cornwall).  I asked him if he was practicing to be able to speak French with grandma and poppa.  He told me very seriously that that was part of the reason, but the real reason is he knew he had to improve so he could come to Paris one day.  This is when I knew he was already dreaming about this trip and that we would all share this dream one day soon.

 Last year, we felt the time had come and so we started planning. Airfare was booked and a wonderful apartment in the 11th was reserved.  Initially, we had thought we would stay in the Marais, where we have enjoyed so many of our stays in Paris, but we knew about this large studio in the 11th that had a wonderful private garden and we thought Sebastian would enjoy having the open space.  We are looking forward to breakfast in the sunshine (hopefully ~ do you hear that, rainclouds!) and relaxing glasses of wine (and juice for Seb) in the late afternoon after a day of walking and exploring.

Our beautiful apartment near the Bastille

Then, being the obsessive control freak that I am, I started building a list of activities and events geared to kids and bookmarking them.  We also gave Seb a great book we got from the D'Orsay Museum on one of our last visits and asked him to start looking at it and noting places he would like to see.  I really wanted him to have an interest and make his own contributions to planning his trip.  We told him that we had been to Paris several times and that we had seen what we wanted to see, so this trip was for him.  He didn't initially spend much time on this, but in the last few months, as the trip had gotten closer, he has put together a 2 page list of things he wants to do, places he wants to see and things he wants to eat (well, he is my grandson!).  Some of the things on his list are the usual ~ the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the gargoyles at Notre Dame, a Seine cruise, etc.  Some come from us telling him about some of the experiences we've enjoyed ~ the cruise on Canal St Martin, going to the Bastille market, hot chocolate at Angelina's, and crossing the Pont Alexandre III in the evening to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle.

Pont Alexandre III

Canal St Martin cruise

Seine cruise at sunset

Bastille market on a Sunday morning

Of course, he wants to go see Mona and the Pyramid, and we want to bring him to Luxembourg, Parc des Buttes Chaumont, Parc d'Acclimation, Euro Disney, Parc Monceau, the Science Center at La Vilette, the little train in Montmartre, the Rodin Gardens and the trampolines in the Tuilleries.

There's crepes, macarons, croques monsieurs, baguettes, pain au chocolat, ice cream and gelato, and so much more to be eaten. We've got a kid's cooking class booked at Atelier Guy Martin and a special dinner reserved at Euro Disney that will then get us a reserved viewing space for the 20th anniversary fireworks!  We will probably start our trip off with a Foxcity tour on their double decker bus to give Seb an overview of the city and what he can look forward to during the upcoming days.  I thought this would be an easy thing to do on our first day when we will all be fighting jet lag.

Parc Monceau

Les Bouquinistes

Louvre Pyramid at sunset


L'Etoile D'or, candy and chocolate heaven

Medici Fountain at Luxembourg Gardens

Lovers at the top of Parc Buttes Chaumont
 As you can see, we have so much planned over 11 days and I know we can't possibly do it all.  But we are going to do our best to make Seb's trip one he will always remember and treasure.  He is ready with his 2 page list, his best French sentences and his wide smile and sweet personality that will melt many a Parisian heart.

To close this very long post (can you tell I haven't blogged in a while and have a lot to say, lol?), here are some observations that Seb has made in the last few days:
"I know there will be a lot of walking, but the macarons and pain au chocolate will help me get through it"
"I know most kids would be happy to be getting out of school, but I'm just so excited to be going to Paris"
"I want it to be next week now!"
"We will have to find some cheap stuff because I'm not a rich man, you know" ~ after some of his friends asked him to bring them some souvenirs from Paris.

Is it any wonder we love this child with all our hearts!  Paris get ready, here we come.......

Seb on Danielle and Paul's wedding day in Vegas last year


  1. Can't wait to

  2. Jo I'm so glad for you all , I'm sure you will have a wonderful time, and create memories, that will last a lifetime.
    I look forward to reading your blog, and thanks for sharing .
    Have a Great Trip!!!

  3. Jo, I'm sure you, Den and Seb will have a wonderful time, you are such loving and thoughtful grandparents and Seb sounds like the perfect grandchild. I'm really looking forward to reading about his reactions to his first visit.

    (you may not remember me but we met at the OPF gtg last October at Valentin - I'm Redqueen from OPF an TA Paris forum)

  4. How I admire your planning. Fantastic ideas! It sounds like Seb will have a great time and I am sure he will come back a Parisophile. (does he kinow his life is about to change forever?LOL!)

    I am sure this will be a wonderful trip he will remember for the rest of his life.

    Bon Voyage to you all.

    Look forward to reading about your travels again.

    Love Denise from bolton

  5. Denise, I'm doing my best to make him another Paris addict!


  6. Bon Voyage.......have a blast!!! Can't wait to read installments.

  7. Thought I would pop on to your blog and say hello. I am so glad that you found me and took the time to post.

    When I log in, I see the traffic patterns but so few readers ever post. I can respect the reasons folks have for not reaching out even via anonymous postings. We all know that privacy on the internet is by no means foolproof.

    Anyway it is a rare treat to have a name and a face.

    Europe is on my bucket list and I look forward to a little vicarious travel abroad as you share photos and stories from your travels. The foodie in me has chocolate, macaroon, crepe and cheese envy.

    Hope your trip is a tour of all the pleasures that Paris has to offer.