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Goodbye Paris!

October 04, 2006

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We have been enriched by this gorgeous city, but we are more than ready to start exploring the countryside of this great nation. We are headed south to greener pastures ....... and vines.

There is just so much that we did not get to, even with two weeks here, but we did see a lot (especially with a brand new six year old) so we feel satiated for now. I can see how this tour is already affecting my child in such positive ways and I am grateful to see the expansion and how blessed she is in this. Mozart was often mistaken for a French child and got lots of compliments where ever we would go. She became quite the expert on the metro, buses, trains by the time we left, knowing how to read the maps and find her way around, feeling very at home. We are lucky that she loves to walk and climb up all the stairs as it was all effortless for her and her boundless energy. I am thrilled with all the world class art and architecture she got to see and now has a greater connection to it all.

We headed out late on our last day, so went thru our beautiful Bois de Boulogne, past Mozart’s favorite pond and lake ,then over to her favorite bus stop where we saw a long line of bike racers that looked like a mini tour de France. We were heading to the Madeline Metro stop where a friend had suggested a place to take a photo. Mozart bought some Madelines on the way in a metro machine, so ended up eating madelines on Madeline Boulevard.

I wanted to get a picture of Ms. Mozart before her teeth fall out and did not have time to do it before we left. So our friend Pedmar from Slowtravel was kind enough to suggest a place to try in Paris. It worked out pretty good and we met a nice family from Australia while we waited. We have met more Austrailians than any other English speakers. They did not like Paris at all and here we were having a grand time. Mozart spotted a chocolate shop nearby, so we stopped at one more and stocked up.

One of the things we wanted to do ,but missed this time was catch an opera at Palais Garnier. We heard the cheap seats puts one closest to the exquisite Chagall painted ceiling. We will have to do that another time. But since we were nearby, we decided to at least  check it out as it is a very famous and stunning building where the phantom of the opera was set and it is one of the most  important buildings in Opera history.

There was also a wonderful building that is a library near the Madeline stop which we know nothing about, but were glad we got to see it as it was also quite impressive. It is a pretty ritzy neighborhood of fine shops and places like Cartiers so we were wondering if we would be able to afford our picture idea, but luckily our little portrait was very inexpensive.

Many, like the family we met, do not think Paris a good place for children, but we obviously do not agree. They said that kids hate museums and cultural things and I can not agree with that. I think young children should be taken to museums, altho I do think one does it differently than with adults. Just like reading ahead about visits to foreign lands makes it more enjoyable for adults to have a greater understanding and appreciation, I found that doubly true for a child. I think one has to use their creativity to find ways to help a child connect to the travel to make it meaningful. There are great children’s books about Paris, art and France that really enhance the journey before, during and after. I think one passes on ones love of books and museums and such to children by exposure and I am still grateful for the rich experiences I was given
as a child thru all the museums, national parks and travel we did. We all had a glorious time in this magnificent city and look forward to coming back for more.

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