Friday, March 10, 2017

Paris with a bump

We couldn't resist one more kid free trip to Paris with friends. So once again we booked train tickets to the city of lights for a long weekend. I always thought of Paris as a place for young couple taking romantic walks, not wobbling pregnant ladies but Paris proved me wrong. I would even go as far as suggesting Paris as a possible babymoon destination.
Eight months and counting.

Like many of our trips to Paris, our plans involved a little bit of sightseeing, eating cuisine we can't find back in Switzerland, and shopping. Thanks to the low Euro value, it was perfect for stocking up on maternity/nursing clothes and baby gear.
Like many trip before, Vélib' was our preferred way of travel.

We decided this was a good time to finally visit the Louvre and the Orsay Museum. Who knows if our little one was going to be able to tolerate visits to the museum - so it was either now or maybe in 15 years. Soon after Q and I got to the security line at the Louvre, we were led by security to the front of the line. Turns out pregnant ladies and their partners get to skip the line! At the Orsay, we were led to the priority line! Even at the Bastille Sunday Market, I was waved by a vendor to the front of the line to buy produce. And at a busy espresso bar, with stand up counters, an employee of the shop offered me her stool. People even offered me their seat on the Metro. I thought Parisians never give up their seats on the Metro. Who knew the French have a soft spot for pregnant ladies?
Saved hours thanks to the bump.

No one pulled out the red carpet for me once we got inside the Louvre - I still had to elbow my way to the front of the ever present mob to see the Mona Lisa. We kept our museum visits short and focused. In our usual fashion, we followed the Rick Steves free audio guide through the Louvre and the Orsay, hitting the major highlights. His self guided tours are meant to roughly be one hour long, which is as much culture we could fully digest at a time.

We enjoyed seeing the highlights of the Louvre but really enjoyed the Orsay. The Orsay is in an old train station and many of its original architectural details can still be found throughout the museum. The main view greeting the visitors definitely left an impression on us. Our favorite floor would have the be the Impressionist Gallery on the top floor. That floor changed us into Impressionist fans.
It's either now or who knows when.
One is never too young for the fine arts.

Something Q might be a little embarrassed of is that when I go to Paris, I go shopping.... for American items. I always stock up on granola (which is almost as good as what I can get in San Francisco) and pick up a few other hard to find items like aluminum free baking powder, specialty baking supplies, and make-up. Sometime I even go to the GAP to feel like I'm back in the US.
It might be overpriced but it's cheaper than a flight to the US.

We also eat closer to our US diet in Paris. Burgers are all the rage and so is brunch. We also got some decent ramen. But of course we left room for great french food and drinks - virgin drinks for me.
American sized brunch.
Hard to find places like this in Switzerland.

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