3 May 2017
A little over a year ago, I was toying around with reward flights from SFO to CDG. There is a direct flight into Paris, but there are very few reward tickets available on this route, so you have to book early. 330 days early; the maximum allowed.
“Hey honey, want to go to Paris?”
I wasn’t foolish enough to text her, I’ve made that mistake before. We talked it through, considering the merits and risks. On a positive note; croissants and crepes, long walks on historic streets. Maybe we could find a way to sneak in a couple of museums, a little shopping and maybe even a night out? Travel is a priority value for us and it was our goal to try and do a big international trip every other year. I’d rather collect experiences than stuff. Concerns centered around taking two toddlers, one of whom would still not yet be verbal, on 11 hour flights with 9 hour time differences. How would we cram into cramped European lodging? How much damage would this inflict on the wallet? How would the French react to Noah’s restaurant behavior? What if someone got sick or lost?
But, Paris in the spring!. We’ve booked and cancelled flights there three times, due to surgeries, family illness and a first pregnancy. We remembered that children are flexible, adaptable creatures that thrive on new experience. In place of a tiny hotel room, we found a nice 2 bedroom apartment on AirBNB with kitchen and washing machine, enabling us to pack lighter and avoid eating every meal in a restaurant. We included Grandma Joan as she was interested in family travel and visiting Paris. We figured we could sneak a date night out of it, and that she and Jamie could take in some of the city while I watched the boys.
Remember what Warren Miller said, “If you don’t do this year, you’ll be one year older when you do.” I want to raise my children to be citizens of the world, and while these experiences may not translate to direct memories, they will leave an impression. If not? It’ll make for good blog fodder.
It’s been 10 years since I visited Paris with Alan. I fondly recall our opening banquet at Le Couple, dining on steak frites and langostine pasta, walking the Champs D Elyse, and taking a boat ride up the Siene. She did leave me with a touch of food poisoning as a parting gift, but that’s what you get for eating Steak Tartar at the Marriott Hotel Bar.
Our itinerary is simple: 8 nights in La Marais, staying just up the block form Pompadou Centre. We have a rough idea of places to see and eat, but that’s pretty much it. Packing has been a challenge, but I think we’re going to make it with just one oversize rolling duffle and two backpacks. I’ll try to post a bit more over the coming days so stay tuned for hilarity, halted sleep and heartfelt moments. Au revoir!