Where to go for our final two days in Europe, with a birthday to celebrate? Despite a few concerns about safety and security, it had to be Paris! We were long on friends and short on family this time – we were lucky to be joined by our fun & superbly organised Scottish/English friends the Deakin family – Alice, Pete, Rosie, James and Isla. And we felt slightly guilty leaving Harry and Jemima behind after such a long time together non-stop as a whole family. However knowing they were in such good hands with their grandparents enjoying the delights of the Isle of Wight made it much easier, and they both had a ball. We later heard that Harry rowed solo around to Priory Beach (the next door beach) with Simon & Jemima keeping close watch beside him. Thanks Vicky and Simon for your amazing efforts, especially seeings it’s been 40 years since yours were this age!
Travelling with 2 kids aged 8 and 10years definitely has its upsides however – never had we felt so relaxed and stress-free without having to constantly count children and bags and worry about their safety. We also were able to walk around for 10 hours a day, which Barney reminded us several times, was definitely NOT an upside! Very cool ‘floral’ ice-creams helped alleviate those complaints a little but not entirely 🙂
On this leg the journey itself was very much part of the adventure. The boys were fascinated by the train under the sea connecting two countries. The tunnel that spans 50km across the channel, at a depth of 75km under the rockbed, with a train that travels up to 334km/hr – we were impressed too! And the surprise of the trip was when the lovely Deakins produced champagne and muffins to celebrate my (Em’s birthday). It’s been 21 years since I turned 21, so any excuse for bubbles! And it reminded me so much of a special daytrip to Paris on the Eurostar with my Mum many years ago.
So despite being with the older kids, our 48hours in Paris didn’t hold hours of museums, but it did form the backdrop for a movie trailer produced and directed by Tim and starring all the kids. Not only did this make Tim the most popular man alive amongst the kids, but it also transformed those ‘boring’ moments (like waiting in line to climb the Eiffel Tower) into a chance to film another cut for the movie, so everyone was a winner. Tim might not agree after being mobbed by the kids constantly for 2 days!
The remaining photos probably tell the story of what we got up to in Paris, the science museum of all places was a great tip from the Dudleys, thanks Jem. And racing sailing boats at the Luxembourg Gardens was a surprise highlight. Even the basics like a good playground with a circular flying fox surprisingly held their attention, whilst the grown ups took turns in walking the gardens in pairs.