rest of trip so far…..

May 9

Due to the collapse yesterday, everyone was up at 7.  Miwa joined me on the daily trip to get Croissants for breakfast.  This seemed fair to me as she is the one who demands them every morning.

We had a leisurely day planned. A little walk along a covered canal, a visit to a chocolatier and a stroll around Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. However, we somehow must have underestimated the distances because I logged 17km on my Fitbit.


Promenade Plantée (Coulée verte René-Dumont), similar to the Highline in New York. An old viaduct planted up. Very cool.

We stopped at at least 6 playgrounds, since the canal was apparently covered over explicitly to accommodate playgrounds.


First playground of the day


Fourth and fifth playground and where Miwa lost her bag.


Sixth? Playground.


Canal St. Martin


The chocolatier (Jaques Genin) was awesome.  The tasting room was elegant and the tasting staff were very pleasant.  Also, the chocolates were very good.  However, both Jill and I felt a little ill from all the sugar or perhaps it was the caffeine in the chocolate?


Beautiful Salon de The at Jaques Genin


Selection of Chocolates and jellies and a chococcino.

By the time we got to Buttes-Chaumont, everyone was pretty tired, so we wandered listlessly around, briefly stopping at yet another playground, before listlessly wandering out the other side.  Our visit did include a 15 minute wait for service at a restaurant, that involved us leaving before being asked for our order.  We left right after we overheard the table behind us complaining about their 20 minute wait.  One can only wonder how long it would have been for food to arrive. Plus the girls were getting kind of squirrelly.

On the walk to the metro, Jill remarked that she thought the time was about 12:30.  It was actually 3!  How the day had flown, no wonder we were all so tired!

Unfortunately, we couldn’t just go back to the peniche and relax, we needed dinner and had found nothing open on our way to the metro. Our favourite boulangerie in our neighbourhood was closed as well, and we spent way too long trying to find something open.  With all the national holidays here during our visit, we figure that most small stores will be closed 6 of the 14 days of our trip!  Crazy.


Finally got back near 5 and had dinner.  Kids in bed by 6:30.

May 10

Definitely planned a leisurely walking day today, and once again failed to keep it under control.

The plan was to take the Batobus down to the Eiffel tower, wander around a bit, then come back. Unfortunately, the Batobus website said it was still on a restricted schedule, as did the signs at the Jardin des Plantes Batobus stop.  Since we wanted to go to the Eiffel Tower, based on the info we had, our best plan was to walk 45 minutes downstream and catch the bus at Musee d’Orsay.  However, by the time we arrived there, Batobus had changed it’s mind, or the Seine had dropped a bit more, or whatever, and they were back to the normal schedule and route, which meant that not only had our long walk been in vain, but we now had to walk another 10 minutes to the station at the Louvre.

The Batobus ride was nice, once we actually managed to make it happen.

The Eiffel tower was cool.  We didn’t do much of the touristy things, just a quick ride on the carousel.  We don’t really do much that is classically attributed to tourists.  This is driven by my Macrophobia (fear of long waits), Jill’s acrophobia (fear of heights) and the girls’ Playgroundophilia keep us away from a lot of the popular spots.



From the Batobus



Carousel at the base of the Eiffel Tower

We took a trip off the side of the Champs de Mars to look for lunch, and after, just kind of kept walking until we got back to the Musee d-Orsay.  Then it was back on to the Batobus.  Except we didn’t go home.  Instead we walked to the Jardin des Plantes’ playground and then to the far end of the Jardin in search of food for dinner.

Then, after the vegetable laden dinner we had all been craving, we went for post prandial perambulation upstream, then to the Gare d’Austerlitz for some dessert, then back to the peniche.

By the time it was all said and done, I’d logged 17.4 km on the fitbit.  Maybe tomorrow we will succeed in not walking!

May 11

The Batobus doesn’t really get rolling as early as we’d like to. Everyone is generally up by 7:00, and the first Batobus does not arrive at the Jardin des Plantes stop until about 10:30. Fortunately there is a playground nearby where we can wait for the Batobus.



Pain aux raisins on the deck for breakfast


The Seine is still a working river. We saw a few working boats and pusher tugs tied up a few minutes away from us.


Sculpture still submerged here.

Everyone has their ideas of what must be seen in Paris, and today Jill and I finished our respective lists.  I got to see the Arc de Triomphe, and she got to have tea at Laduree.  We also walked past the Moulin Rouge, which was on neither of our lists, but on a lot of other people’s.


Enjoying a macaron and vanilla and rose-petal ice-cream at Laduree



The Bar at Laduree….. If only we were kid-less


Arc de Triomphe

We went past the Moulin Rouge, because it was between the Metro and the Deux Moulins Cafe from Amelie (on our might-be-nice-to-see list) and also on our way to Le Clos, the vineyard in Montmartre.


Recognize this from Amelie?


The Clos Monmartre, a .3 acre working(?) vineyard.  It was beautiful!  



Playground at the Abbesses Metro Station

The day took a strange turn when we went into the Metro station.  We were up on a hill, so it was a long way down to the actual metro. As is our usual habit, we took the stairs.  In this case it was a very long spiral staircase.  At the top, Miwa began pestering Jill about her fear of heights, which came on suddenly when her father left her in a rock chimney on Mount Cain when she was pretty young.  Miwa kept asking over and over about the incident, and the stairway kept winding down and down into an apparent abyss.  After about 6 stories, Jill abruptly said, I have to get out of here, I’m having a panic attack!  So we climbed back up to the entrance, found we could not get out as the panic button was un-manned, and were forced to sit just inside the entrance until Jill recovered enough to give the elevators a try.

As a point of interest, I totally made up the 6 stories part, just based on how far it felt like.  Turns out that Abbesses is 36m or about 10 stories deep, so I may not have been wrong.


On the way home from the Batobus terminal


Wouldn’t this be great for bombing around Quadra?

The girls ended up playing at a very small playground neat the Abbesses metro station as the carousel we had intended to take them to was closed.  I swear Miwa has some sort of playground radar.  She insisted there was one just over there, and we humoured her due to fatigue, only to find out she was right.  She is always the first to spot a playground.


We were all pretty wrung out after that experience, so we got out near Notre Dame and took the Batobus home, then took a lukewarm bath, it got up to 28 today…… HOT!

Unfortunately, the need to eat intruded, and I had taken off my fitbit for the bath, so we had to walk more, but the distance will remain un-recorded. We were out and about from 4:15 to about 5:30. Unable to locate any poulet roti, I was split off from the group and went for wine and meat.

Dinner was good, wine was surprisingly excellent, and kids were asleep by 8:30.

I think Jill and I have reached our limit.  This vacation has rendered us utterly exhausted, and we do not seem to be able to slow down.  Jill had her panic attack today, then spent the evening looking up the symptoms of female heart attacks (NOT HELPFUL!!!) and I have developed a blister/callus and a weird burst blood vessel on my left foot as well as a disturbing but not painful click in my left knee that manifests while climbing hills.

Our goal for our remaining 3 days is to just exist and relax.Ha! I’ll believe it when I see it.