Travels with my daughter – Paris revisited

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Lunch in Paris on our first day

A very special gift 

This time last year my daughter Paula and I travelled to Paris for her 10th birthday for a weekend.

It was a gift that would provide us both with an endless supply of memories – the kind that form the life support of a mother-daughter relationship.

Paris was the obvious choice for what I hope will be the first of many travels with my daughter because it was where Paula spent the first two years of her life. We moved to Paris from the UK when she was only 10 days old.

A very different journey 

As we queued excitedly to board the Eurostar with hundreds of other tourists in the early hours of the morning, I was reminded of a nerve-wrecking trip 10 years ago, when my husband and I transported our fragile, crying little bundle across the channel, guarding over her like hawks.

This time the journey was much more relaxed. Paula and I fine-tuned our itinerary over coffee and hot chocolate, chatting and giggling non-stop.

Our list of must-sees included obvious tourist sites she’d been learning about such as Arc de Triumph and Eiffel Tower, as well as the more obscure haunts of an expat mum determined to enjoy her beautiful baby girl in spite of hostile Parisians and a lack of French.

She had no idea how terrified I was

As Gare du Nord was announced over the speaker system, my stomach tensed.  Could I do this? Could I really travel alone in Paris with a young child? Everyone knew I was completely directionless and hopeless at reading maps. How would I find anything without my husband – or a man by my side? My mind seemed to be erasing every French word I ever learned, rendering me helpless.

I looked down at my little girl, who was positively beaming – loving every minute of precious time alone with the mum she usually had to share with two younger brothers. She had no idea how terrified I was.

And so, I gathered our suitcases and coats and with it my courage. We got off, negotiated our way around the Paris Metro to our hotel near Notre Dame with little effort as if this was what we did every day of our lives.

First stop – lunch

After a short stop at the modest hotel to deposit our bags and in my case refresh my face, while Paula inspected every inch of the room and arranged her giraffe soft toy on the bed, we hit the Parisian streets in search of something typically French for our dejeuner.

We took our seats among office workers on lunch and map-reading tourists on the pavement outside a café. The chairs faced the busy square allowing us to observe the noisy and animated street spectacle over our Croque Monsieur and frites.

And so our adventure began…

(To be continued)

PS. If you like what you’re reading, please consider nominating me for a BIB award (see badges alongside this post to find out more) –  I can’t afford to pay you, but you’ll make my day…

18 thoughts on “Travels with my daughter – Paris revisited

  1. Great idea, Erin will be 10 later in the year (starts planning…). Have done a bib nomination, fingers crossed!!

  2. What a lovely post – I am looking forward to reading more of your adventures with your daughter🙂. I will certainly consider you for the BiBs too x. I saw your comment in the PoCoLo post but noticed your link wasn’t up – I hope you don’t mind but I did it for you as there was only 5 mins left of it being open! x

    • Thanks Victoria for coming to my rescue technically with #PoCoLo and thinking about a BIB nomination. I’ve spread the comment love to a few blogger neighbours on the linky tonight and tweeted. Lots of interesting blogging going on over Easter.

  3. Hei Chene – wonderlik! ek mis Frankryk sooooo baie my hart is nog steeds in die Lot vallei. Welgedaan met jou blog – ek het amper geen tyd meer vir myne nie. Het so hard gehoop om genoeg werk te kry terug in SA en nou hou dit nie op nie – bietjie in panick mode, maar wil nie werk wegwys nie, jy weet hoe dit gaan – wil so graag reunie toe gaan, maar weet nie of ek tyd het nie. Mooi bly en geniet jou kinders – ek is mal oor my ouderdom en my kinders!! word so gou groot xxx

    • Hi – dankie vir die comment. Bly om te hoor dit gaan goed met die werk. Is dit privaat kliente wat jy sien? Klink interessant. Ek sukkel maar met werk – kan nie regtig besluit wat ek wil doen nie. Skryf jy glad nie meer nie? Wat is jou blog adres? Sal jou kontak as ek weer daai kant toe kom. Sterkte met die werk! xxx

  4. loved the story so far, can’t wait to read the next installment … Who knows, we could be really bold and even venture over to Paris together, a bit like Thelma and Louise without the trouble, as we whisk ourselves away on that Eurostar to regain our v-v-voom!… “Vive La France!” x

  5. As ek reg onthou het jy vir ons met ‘n baba van 5 maande oud op jou rug begelei deur markte wat net sowel in Noord-Afrika iewers kon gewees het. Jy het toe gelyk of jy baie selfvertroue het, besonder rigtingvas is, en dan kon nog die odd borsvoedingsessie ook inwerk ten spyte daarvan dat jy 2 couples se toerleier moes speel. PArys saam met ‘n 10jarige, glo ek, moes makliker gewees het. Cx

    • Ek was baie braaf toe, né? Dit is baie makliker met ‘n 10-jarige, maar ek stres maar altyd en is hopeloos met rigting. Hoekom doen ons dit nie weer nie? ‘n Reunie of some sorts – met kinders…

  6. Pingback: Paula in Paris – travels with my daughter | Why is her so stroppy?

  7. Pingback: Macarons, llamas and breastfeeding in Paris | Why is her so stroppy?

  8. this is such a lovely idea. the quality time and memories make it such a special birthday idea. I’d not really thought of travelling with the kids one at a time, might be something to bear in mind for the future

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