Paris Sans Bébé

Since Max was born we have travelled a lot with him and on our own, but we hadn’t gone on a couples-only trip without our wonderful but occasional-a-hindrance-to romance son. So Mark planned a surprise trip around the date of the 10-year anniversary or our fortuitous meeting on October 27th, 2001 (if you ever forget the date, just find out when Stanford beat UCLA and Michigan beat Iowa on the same Saturday). After keeping me in suspense and giving lots of false clues, Mark couldn’t keep it a secret any longer and revealed the surprise romantic destination – Paris!
Bubbe came up on Wednesday to watch Max in our absence. The next morning, we were walking around and taking in the sights around our centrally located hotel. On the way to the Louvre from a creperie, we got lost and ran into the Paris Opera House.
Mark patiently followed me through the Louvre and decided that this was his favorite painting.
We liked the statues. A few reminded us of Max, his roaring and his cherubic cuteness.
We walked through the Jardin des Tuilerie to our first very fancy French dining destination.
The next day we had lunch in the restaurant in the Eiffel Tower. Incredible views, delicious food, and no waiting in line to go up.
We were very happy that a strike at the newly renovated Musee D’Orsay ended just in time for us to admire some gorgeous Impressionist paintings and statues. Then a scenic boat ride on the Seine to Marais, the Jewish quarter that had many interesting old Medieval and Renaissance buildings.
After an unfortunate encounter with a snooty French maître’d, our second super-fancy dinner plans didn’t work out so we had more crepes by the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre before a show at the famous Moulin Rouge. It was an interesting mix of Vegas, Can-can, and a ventriloquist with a dog, and quite an experience.
The next day we headed the Medieval Islands where Mark couldn’t let go of his associations with a certain other Notre Dame.
We walked through Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Jardin du Luxembourg (we did a lot of walking the whole trip), where we enjoyed a puppet show and found more lions that reminded us of Max at the Eglise St-Sulpice.

I had a list of pastry shops and chocolatiers I wanted to visit and we squeezed in many in our three days, including the shop of Michel Chaudun, famous for his edible art, and Christian Constant, where we had trouble settling on just one pastry (we went with the chocolate tart) .
One last evening walking along the Seine.
It was a romantic, magical adventure, made that much better by hearing that Max was having a marvelous time with Bubbe despite a crazy snowstorm in New York (while the weather in Pairs was perfect). I am grateful to Mark for planning such a wonderful surprise and we are both grateful to Bubbe for babysitting and to Max for being such an adaptable toddler – easy to travel with and without, and we look forward to doing both in the future.

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