6 Reasons To Love Paris (& 3 to Not)

i-love-paris-1051512_640

The Husband and I have just got back from Paris, we all survived. We didn’t die and leave the kids orphans. Everyone coped at home although typically our youngest was sick all of the first night, throwing up in every single bed. We were oblivious, enjoying 3 nights; our longest break away from the kids ever, having a fantastic time!

It felt brilliant to have some real time away from the kids. To talk and walk at an adult pace and spend time together being someone other than “Mummy” for just 3 days. It also really made me appreciate the kids more coming home after a break.

Here’s why I love Paris:

1) Café Culture

IMG_0029

No matter that it was absolutely freezing cold, the Parisians insist on sitting outside, cosy beneath heaters to drink their coffee or wine and watch the world go by. I lost count of the number of pit stops we had over our weekend, but they were always a welcome break from trekking miles across the city. I love the fact that people in Paris seem to have time or MAKE time to stop and talk. I’ve done a lot of people watching this weekend and I can confirm that the Parisians spend hours and hours over lunch and dinner. They take their time to eat, drink and talk with their friends and family.

2) Language

Ahhh! There’s something so special about the French language, it’s so soft. I absolutely adore listening to French people gabbling away. I also enjoy TRYING to speak it. I’m nowhere near fluent, and I can just about get by, but I think the French really appreciate you having a go. The husband and I haven’t been to France for 3 years, but it’s amazing how, when surrounded by people speaking the language, words and phrases come back to you. Strange, odd words came back to us when we needed them like “hats” and “gloves”. I know my French leaves a lot to be desired, but I enjoyed trying to speak it and it felt a real shame when we got home thinking that we wouldn’t be speaking it again for a long time.

3) Close By

My husband is not a fan of flying and so this is the reason we’ve been to Paris 4 times together. Getting the Eurostar is such a pleasant and relaxing way to travel. It took us 2 hours and 40 minutes to get from London to Paris. Strange to think it could take me that time to get to Manchester and yet the difference in culture is immense. Strange also to think that it took us nearly the same amount of time to get home from London to Essex on a Sunday with the rail replacement bus service!

4) Fantastic Food and Drink

IMG_0061

The French love taking their time over their food and I can understand why, it’s amazing! For breakfast, lunch and dinner all of our meals were outstanding. On our last night, we stumbled across an old authentic French restaurant that hasn’t really changed since it was first opened in 1845 (photo above). They prided themselves on this and so the toilet was the old fashioned type (hole in the ground job), they didn’t accept credit or debit cards (the husband had to run out for cash) and the décor was pretty simple (red and white check table cloths). We were the only customers that weren’t French. The food was unpretentious and fantastic.

I love red wine but I tend to drink Riojca or Malbec, I’ve never really drink much French wine. But when in Paris, I drank Bordeaux and it was very good. Perhaps the French wine I’ve previously had was the cheaper stuff?!

5) Love

I’m not sure whether it’s down to all that red wine, lots of good food or just because they’re a happy bunch, but the Parisians all seemed to be in love. Most of the couples I saw whether on their own or with kids were constantly draped all over each other. I guess it’s infectious because it made The Husband and I feel a little bit romantic.

6) Artists

IMG_0038

Paris always has and still does seem to attract the real artist types. From painters, writers, musicians and dancers, there still seems to be this attraction to the arts which adds to the romance of the city.

Here’s a Few Minor Qualms about What I Dislike About Paris:

 1) Smoking

It’s really noticeable coming from the UK where not many people smoke now. In Paris everyone is at it. Young and old and I think this is why so many people sit outside so that they can chuff away. I used to smoke socially when I was younger but the thought of it now makes me feel sick. I was a bit annoyed with The Husband who caved in on the last day and bought a packet of cigarettes to join in.

2) Expensive

We’ve known this since our first time in Paris that it’s very expensive. A beer can cost the equivalent of £16. We naively said “yes” when asked if we wanted water with our breakfast one morning and was charged 11 Euros (about £8.50) for the priviledge! I’d love to have stayed longer in Paris, but I think we would have to re-mortgage the house.

3) No Tea

Again, this is another fact that I’m well aware of in France. They are NOT tea drinkers. As a complete addict, I found it hard, especially in the mornings not to have a cuppa to get me going. Despite asking for “The au lait” I always managed to get an odd assortment of herbal tea or hot milk or both. I guess Parisians love coffee and this is one thing we have to differ on.

On balance, I think the good definitely outweighs the bad. I love red wine, the café culture, the food and the language. I think I could have been born a Parisian.

“Could we live here?” I asked the husband. “Could we move here?”

“Not at these prices,” he grumbled.

Ultimately, I love Paris and I’m sure we’ll be back again.

IMG_0058

Mummuddlingthrough

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Mummascribbles

A Bit Of Everything
Super Busy MUm
You Baby Me Mummy
My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows

Paris And an Irrational Fear of Dying

eiffel-tower-975004_640

Tomorrow The Husband and I are off to Paris for 4 days! Alone. With NO CHILDREN!  I can barely write these words without getting giddy with excitement and feeling my heart beat faster with panic.

This trip is a big deal for us. It’s to belatedly celebrate our 40ths. There were no celebrations at all back in the summer because my father-in-law sadly died mid July, the week before my birthday.

Last year was extremely tough on all of us. It was a horrible year and we somehow muddled through.

So I know we deserve this trip. We deserve a break. We deserve some time away on our own.

But, I’m anxious. I feel worried about leaving the girls for 4 days and 3 nights. I’m anxious about all the lists and things I need to do before I go and get on that Eurostar and I’ve got a bizarre irrational fear about dying whilst we are away.

The Last Time We Went Away Alone

Whilst my husband and I go out a fair bit on our own with friends, we don’t seem to go away or even out alone together as a couple very often.

The last time we had an overnight trip without kids was for a friend’s wedding in Ireland two years ago.

Eva, our youngest was 10 months old and she was at that clingy stage where she wanted me constantly. I couldn’t even go to the toilet without her crying. So when we walked out of my in-laws house to go to the airport and I could hear her screaming, it almost broke my resolve. I was really upset, wondering if we’d done the right thing. This lasted until I was sat in the airport bar with a Gin and Tonic in hand and then I finally began to relax and forget about what was going on at home.

Things I’m Looking Forward to on This Trip:

  • Having a proper rest and a lie in until after 7am. I can’t remember the last time this happened.
  • Experiencing some quality time with The Husband. He’s been working late a lot and we barely scrap a quick conversation together before going to bed.
  • Seeing Paris again. We love the city, have been a few times and got engaged there 7 ago.
  • Enjoying some fantastic food and red wine!
  • Have I mentioned a lie in until after 7am?

Things I’m Anxious About:

  • Our 4 year old will be fine, but Eva aged 2 is a diva and can really play us up. I’m hoping that she won’t give her grandparents and auntie too much of a rough deal, because she can really be exhausting!
  • Remembering to write everything down for the routine for Nanny, Grandad, Auntie and Grandma who are between them looking after the kids over the 4 days. This mainly relates to the school and pre-school run. But what is it about mums and lists? I realise that the grandparents probably won’t even bother to read most of my ramblings, but I feel better for writing routines, favourite foods and other essential instructions down on paper, JUST IN CASE.
  • Just that small matter of my husband and I dying whilst we are in Paris and leaving the girls to be orphans. Is this a normal thing as a parent? Or is it just me? I’m not sure why, but when we went to Ireland, I had a huge irrational fear about dying and leaving the girls alone. I was convinced that the plane would come down over the Irish Sea. I even left a hand written will on the kitchen table with instructions about who was to look after our children.

I know that just as with Ireland two years ago, everything this time will be fine. I know that whilst we will miss the girls, we will have a fantastic time in an amazing city. And I know that once I’ve got a glass of something on the Eurostar I will relax and forget all about the lists and routines of back home.

I look forward to posting all about it next week! x

Super Busy MUm