I am tired!!!
First, I want to say that we are SAFE at home in the apartment in Paris. There was a devastating train derailment just outside of Paris today and we took a day trip in the same direction, but we were on a tour bus. I have to say that I was so uncomfortable on the train from Amsterdam to Paris the other day. I hate to fly, which is why we always just fly to Europe and home from Europe and then I drive everywhere else or we take trains. I know, it is a thing of mine, this fear of flying, but the other day on the train, I had the same anxiety. It goes really fast! So, it was not a pleasant ride for me. I feel terrible for the casualties in this train derailment today.
This also made me realize that I need to give Matthew all of our itinerary in case something happens. We left Coco in the apartment, which is fine, but if something happened with us, I would feel terrible if she were left all alone.
Anyway… it has been a week since we left NYC, and we have been so busy. I think the girls did not like Amsterdam so much, but I enjoyed it. I enjoyed just seeing another city and way of life. Yes, I took them to the red light district, in the day and at night. OKAY, I did. It wasn’t so bad. There were women pushing their babies in strollers, couples walking, other families with children…so it is just the way it is there. I did not find it so appalling. The gals were just in the windows in “outfits” not unlike what you would see on the beaches.
The “availability” of marijuana was interesting. To buy it in coffee shops and have brownies, candy and ice cream and all other sorts of things with marijuana in it, was different from we are used to, but that is the way it is there. Everyone seemed to be very happy there too 🙂 I don’t think it is a place I would want to live, but I loved the look of the city. The buildings along all of the canals, the bicycles everywhere, very friendly people and most spoke English.
TO BE CLEAR, I DID NOT BUY ANY MARIJUANA!!!!
I just found it an interesting thing, all of the “different” things they have there, that we, in the US, seem to frown upon. I was happy to finally get to see this city of “mystery” to me and check it off my list.
The food was nothing special, not bad, but nothing special. It was a mix of things from all over.
The Anne Frank House we were so fortunate to see. I tried to reserve tickets a week and a half before, but they were sold out. I had been told to book in advance and I thought that was enough time, but it wasn’t…so note to those who want to see it in the future
We had this couple on the chocolate tour with us in Brussels that told us to just show up an hour before closing and that we would be able to get in, and we did. We arrived at 8:45 pm, it closes at 10:00pm, and we were able to buy tickets and go in immediately. It is so worth seeing. I know the girls were not so into it, they have a hard time with her story and what she went through. I wondered while we were in there if my own children would have been able to stay there and be quiet for the time she was. There was an interesting quote from Anne’s father about her being a “quicksilver” or something like that and he was surprised at her ability to be able to contain herself in the circumstances to which they found themselves. It was sad and I don’t want my kids to forget what happened.
On a good note, I a so happy to be in Paris. I feel like I could live her when the girls are off on their own. It is by far my favorite city and one that I feel I could live. I feel at home here. I love the food, the culture, and yes, the people. I love the accessibility to all of the other cities in Europe. I love the countryside here. I just love Paris.
The girls have a fondness for it as well. It has been a joy to see them do the things that they love here. The places they love to visit and restaurants, the friends they have made over the years and things they love to do here. As they have become older, things and places have changed and I have watched their discomfort with getting older and how they have outgrown certain things. It has made them sad and me as well, to see the changes. Not in a bad way, but just that their childhood things are changing and they are growing up and it is very evident to them. Paris has been their “little girl playground” since they were a year, each. Morgan barely fit her legs into the car rides at the Tuileries yesterday, but she still took her American Girl doll along for the ride.
I am happy and grateful for the opportunities to share and explore this time with the girls and my mom. I will say that each travel experience is different. The girls are fighting everyday now which is really annoying. I have to figure a way to power through. I think they fight now more than ever. Is it the age? Nothing is ever perfect when you travel, but I am hoping they are appreciating the experience and quit the constant fighting! I will say that I 100% get the whole- sending your kids to sleep away camp for 7 weeks- thing that seems to go with living in New York City. I FINALLY GET IT!!!!