This just in – Devang and I are celebrating five years of traveling with kids with a “solo” trip to France!! The kids are staying behind in Raleigh with the grandparents as Devang and I spend a week in Paris, Dijon, and Beaune! I am sure Devang is still in disbelief that I agreed to go somewhere with the kids! ; )
I first visited Paris in 1997 with my parents and sister. I was still 16 and not quite a Francophile as I am today. But I remember the trip so well, especially the Eiffel tower which at the time had a count-down clock to the Millennium. The day we visited it was 975 days till the year 2000!! Can you believe it!
Next trip came in Fall of 2004 when somehow Devang and I took a month off from our jobs and went on a backpacking trip through Europe. I remember it was cold and my sock were always wet. We stayed in a hostel in Montmartre for a couple of nights, and also visited Lyon and Nice.
The third trip was in 2011 when I surprised my sister with a plane ticket to Paris for her birthday! It was February and it was very cold, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a better time in Paris than during that trip!
The fourth time was after Devang and I became parents. We took baby Asha, who wasn’t yet one year old, to Amsterdam. And from there, we took the train to Paris. It was magical to share this beautiful city with my little nugget. And also the first time we walked around the City of Lights with a stroller! In many ways, having Asha with us, made it feel like we were seeing Paris for the first time! We had missed so many little nuances which one notices only when with a child.
So that brings me to now, my fifth time visiting my most favorite city in the whole wide world! You know, I was a bit sad at first having to break the news to Arjun because he and I have been scheming about a trip to Paris for a long time! Surprisingly, he was okay with it as long as I took him to Italy when I got back! = )
Devang and I haven’t travelled without the kids in so long that this experience seems unreal. A friend mentioned how it was so convenient that we had direct flights to and from Raleigh. Our first reaction was loud laughter in unison, because clearly they haven’t travelled with three kids before. I think even a flight with three layovers would have seemed easy!
We are spending a few nights in Paris and then taking the train south to the Burgundy region, and then back to Paris before heading home to Raleigh! Please send me all your suggestions for what we should eat, see, and do!! The possibilities are killing me! We are also on the look-out for a nice hotel for the last two days of our stay. Most of all, if you know how you can teach me French in two weeks, I definitely want to hear from you! = )
I don’t think the excitement of being in Paris has settled in yet. I am worried about leaving the kids and missing them so much! But something tells me, I’ll survive it! = )