26 September 2013

Paris, Day 3. 03 June 2013

Day 3. We were very sore, at least i was. Lots of walking, carrying the stroller up and down metro stairs among other places, usually with the toddler strapped in. Wearing my backpack with camera. I debated whether or not to bring my expensive Canon camera, but it really wasn't a question, though i must say my dad's cheap(er) camera took great pics as well and my camera from my European vacation three years ago also took some fantastic photographs.

Paris is so different alone than with a toddler in tow. I really did enjoy it both ways. I can't wait until we can go with the entire family. I think I might be Spain bound in 2016 but that is neither here nor there. Back to day three.

We woke up and of course, I had the day planned, we took the metro to the northern part of the city, Montmartre. From the train stop, we navigated our way towards the Sacre-Coeur. The thing i really like about this area and remembered from my last visit, are the super cheap souvenirs.

Here is an example of why we were so sore - Stairs and the Princess

We made our way to the church and went inside. The real beauty is the outside as well as the view of Paris from the top of the "hill".  We did pass by thLapin Agile , where famous artists and writers used to convene, but since I had already taken pictures and this was not my first rodeo, i did not this time around, though I always daydream about what went on in this place around 100 years ago.

We walked through the church and then took a few photo opportunities in front of this beauty. I really love this area of Paris (in the daytime). We slowly made our way down the hill towards a carousel and playground.  Sloan had a great time on the playground until this kid pushed her off . He then proceeded to follow her around to make sure she didn't get back on, and then bullied a few other kids.  Sloan walked over to me, crying and I felt so bad for her. I offered to go back over with her, but she was all done.

Sloan's discovery of the carousel!

Mom and dad were there too

Let me go to the carousel mommy!

Another double level carousel. Sloan loved to jump rides while the ride was in motion. I didn't mind.

this one spun around fast like the teacups - sloan loved it!

This is when we let her play on the playground while Mimi and papa took a rest.

We then made our way down the hill, towards public restrooms, and down the street. WE skipped the Moulin Rouge. I have been there, mom and dad had no desire to go, and we walked down the street a bit, purchased an adorable hat for Sloan for 1 Euro, and made our way back underground, and towards the Notre Dame.

I think the most adorable part of the Notre Dame was inside when Sloan kneeled down to pray, all on her own.

took a photo, went to another restroom, hung around (it was the 850th anniversary of the cathedral!) and then walked to find a place to eat on Boulevard St. Germain! Diner was great, I had the typical Duck and Escargot, Sloan had an omelette and a lot of my duck.  I think we got some sun that day.

I love this picture of Sloan drinking from her water glass. Sloan has been drinking from a cup since around 10 months old, and usually insists upon drinking from a big girl glass.

we then hit the metro and made our way back home again. It was time to rest for another big day.
Sloan by now, was an expert at riding the metro, you can tell we had a very big day!
This was our stop, we made it home again. I like how our metro stop had the old style sign you find occasionally around Paris.

I'm not even sure she napped more than a half hour in her stroller. Nonetheless, she was a pleasant toddler to be around and travels quite well! Until next time....

16 September 2013

Paris Day 2, 02 June 2013, Partie Deux

Where to pick back up? oh yes, day 2, we had just left the Louvre and were headed west inside the Tuileries Garden where the beautiful Irises were in bloom! We stopped to get some ice cream at what was definitely the best ice cream in Paris, from what small sample we took. It was just a little stand inside the garden. Sloan got the biggest scoop as the lady working thought she was the cutest little girl she had ever seen and deserved to be spoiled.

Next we walked up Champs-Elysees and looked around the shops. After taking out some cash, we wandered into a mall and used what was absolutely the fanciest restroom, but at a cost! It sure was clean and fancy!

Below, Sloan is saying, "Hey, give me some money!"

After this restroom stop, we stopped again for another one, and decided to rest for dinner. McDonalds is the best free place to use the restroom, but they sure were nasty toilettes!

This was Sloan's first happy meal. France has much stricter food regulations than the USA and i felt a little better about her eating a burger and fries here. I myself only had a burger and shared her fries. She loved the happy meal and got this cool pencil pouch which was perfect to house her rocks!

After dinner we made our way to the Arc de Triomphe. It was built originally so that Napoleon Bonaparte could march through it in triumph and memorialize his victories. Sadly (for him), the only "marching" he did was when he was carried through the arc in his coffin.

We went all the way to the top (there is an elevator for handicapped and strollers) but we walked down the stairs to get down. It was quite dizzying as it was a narrow spiral staircase. Sloan finds her reflection entertaining!

 A view from the top of the Arc, the Eiffel Tower pokes out in the background! Mom was freezing and wore my coat. I was burning up, likely from all the exercise of chasing and carrying Sloan, and found that i didn't need my coat at all.

Next we walked over to the Eiffel tower and rode the carousel. Did we walk or take the metro, we took the metro. We had walked already 5.5 km, not to mention the walking inside the museum, so likely somewhere between 4 and 5 miles, and all those stairs!

I promised Sloan that in Paris we would ride every carousel and Ferris Wheel we could find, this was our first!

A bicycle on the side of the carousel, which was useful because she didn't want to get off the horse!

Running under the Eiffel tower from papa!

It was quite late and even though the Eiffel Tower is open until 11pm, we decided to come back another day in the week and go up. We got in the metro and made our way home. Up the three flights of stairs to our third floor apartment and slept soundly another night!  Sloan and my parents were quite the troopers. We covered a lot in a day!

11 September 2013

China Grove Sept 2013

I interrupt my trip to Paris to bring you life as we know it.

In recent news, Sloan and I went to my grandparents for a family reunion. We visited all of my grandparents (the perks of my parents being high school sweethearts!).

Grandma Sloan is doing great. Just had hip replacement surgery in July and is getting around quite well at 88 years old! My cousin Charlie and his wife Jennifer and two girls, live across the street (and by street i mean dirt road). This is after all a farm!

Cadence is a few months older than Sloan and has been in a few of my posts. They had fun running around together Sloan refused to smile for the picture, but they did give sweet hugs!

Next Sloan went on a tractor ride with Great Papaw, and played for a bit before bedtime. She was actually quite good considering she skipped her nap that day. The next day was apparently, National Grandparents day! Who knew?

That morning we got in several hours of playtime before church. Papaw took us to his wood shop and cut out some blocks for Sloan. She liked watching him use his tools. Me too!

We went to church wtih great papaw. Sloan was ok. They attend a Lutheran church like the one i grew up in. I didn't put Sloan in the nursery but kept her with us. She laid on the floor at first while we listened and sang. She was fairly quiet during the service. Grandma Emma said her favorite part was when the choir finished singing a lovely hymn, Sloan shouted YAY! which led the congregation to quiet laughter and then applause. It was pretty adorable, although i think my face did turn a bit red.  I think my favorite part was when she went up for the children's sermon and sat quietly with the other children while the pastor talked. He played simon says and she did as good as everyone else. When it was over, the pastor handed out Reece's Cups. Not the little ones but the BIG ONES! Upon receipt, Sloan turned around and shouted, MOMMY LOOK and ran to me. That got a few laughs too. She sure is cute!

After church we had lunch and then fed the horses at the fence. Then it was time to go. We had a great weekend in China Grove!

And for fun, here is a picture from last year:

And this year

Look at all that beautiful hair!

06 September 2013

Paris, Day 2: 02 June 2013 (partie une)

Ah, we slept off the jet-lag and woke up at a sprite 10am! I kid you not, we slept and slept and slept. Sloan put in a solid 12 hours or more. Since Paris is higher on the globe, the summer give for long days! Not quite like Scandinavia, but i'm talking sun rise at 5:50 and sunset at 9:45, which is ideal for a tourist! We had stopped at the bakery the night before and grabbed some bread. Of course papa also treated sloan (the night before) to a real french macaroon. You just can't find them as good here in the states, but they are AMAZING!

Day 2 was Sunday, and because of my careful research, I knew the floral market on Ile de la Cite turned into a bird market and to me that was a must see, especially with a toddler in tow, so off we went. La Marche aux Fleurs, with BIRDS! Sloan loved it, and i think my parents did too. We had to walk past the "Town Hall" again which meant another photo op in front of the faux French Open court. In the photos up top, you can see the Notre Dame Cathedral behhind sloan. The towers are visible in the second photo, but the spires are in the middle of the first one. OH i forgot to mention, we wandered around la square du temple first because we wanted to look at all the flea market buys. Sloan was fond of this chair/table dalmatian!

Next we walked along the seine towards the Louvre and found a place to stop for lunch. Sloan enjoyed the cafe and I *think* they didn't mind her too much. We did sort of let her down to play after we were done eating

After lunch we continued along the Seine towards the Louvre. took a quick photo on the Love Lock Bridge (as seen in the Amazing Race). You can see the Eiffel Tower from this bridge as well.

The beauty of our trip is that we arrived on the first Sunday of the month which meant FREE ADMISSION to several places. We finally wandered into the courtyard of the Louvre and made our way into the very long line that moved much faster than we thought it would!
Inside the courtyard
Sloan kept trying to pick up "rocks" her latest hobby that she currently practices.

Her sleeve may or may not be rolled up to play in the fountain.

Sloan tried to pick up this big "rock" and then stated "Mommy take my picture over here"

We also took classic pyramid shots that i'll post later on Facebook. I think this picture best captures the weather. It was an amazing spring day! "I love Paris in the spring time!"

 The LOUVRE was absolutely free entry, and with a toddler, you never know how long they will last in a gigantic museum that could possibly take weeks to really see each exhibit, so we hit the highlights and then left. Sloan also took a nap which was brilliant! Here are some of the things I loved about the Louvre!

here sloan, have some milk!
Wow, so brave!
we also liked this one:
and this one made us laugh!

I think this guy took the first "selfie" ever
Sloan really liked the frogs in the ancient Egyptian exhibit.

But the Louvre was way too crowded (of course it was, free weekend and all) and we had to get out of there. Sloan was antsy, and I had a lot more on our itinerary for the rest of the day and very little time to do it! I think we left around 4pm and headed west through the Jardin de Tuilleries 
Here is sloan applying "rock makeup" to her face, as she enjoyed one of her many rocks from the collection we were starting to gather.

This is only part 1 of day 2, i just cannot simply put it all on one post.