Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spring Break 2012

This year for Spring Break we decided to go all out and go to Paris.  It was such an amazing week.  We loved every minute of it. (well almost every minute--there were a few rough spots) but it was such a fantastic trip and I hope the girls will remember it forever.

I was really proud of Lauren and Katelyn. They did a great job on the plane and were such great troopers in walking for miles and miles and hours and hours.  They were really great.  Just wish that jet lag wouldn't have been so rough on us while we were there.

We decided an apartment would not only be cheaper than a hotel, but also more fun. We were able to get one that was about a 15 minute walk from Notre Dame. It was really great even though it was only about 25' x 25'. But it was definitely cozy and fun.
The back half of our apartment
(the kitchenette is behind the tv--that's how small it was
and the fridge is next to the bed on the other wall)

And here is the front half
(including futon, fireplace, and fridge)

 On our daily walk, we passed by a really beautiful Cathederal. The first day the girls saw the stained glass windows and asked if we could go in. It was SO beautiful. I don't know why it wasn't on the list of things to see there in Pairs.  We were so glad we went in!

The Cathedral near our apartment with beautiful stained glass windows
 The girls enjoyed walking over the many bridges spanning the Sein. This was probably the most cloudy day. Wished we would have taken another picture on a sunny day :)
Katelyn and Lauren at the Sein
Lauren was really excited to go to Paris because there were so many things there that she had already learned about in school.  The Mona Lisa (from art) and the Code of Hammurabi (from history) were at the top of her list.  Although it was a fun coincidence that we happend to walk by this statute of Thomas Jefferson as she had just finished learning about him in history.
Lauren and Thomas Jefferson
 The city is so beautiful and worthy of all the movies that have been filmed there. There are postcard pictures around every corner.  This was one I enjoyed of being able to see the trees, river, bridges, boats, statues and buildings.
A pretty view
 We tried to visit as many of the sites as we could and I think we did a great job seeing most of them! Here are just a few of the highlights:
Invalides (military hospital)

Katelyn and Lauren in front of Eiffel Tower

Katelyn enjoying our boat ride down the Sein

The family in front of the Eiffel Tower

Katelyn and Lauren in front of the Arc De Triomphe
A view going down the spiral stairs inside the Arc
 Sometimes, the walking got old and we got tired and to help us get as many places as we could as fast as we could, we took the Metro.  I think Lauren and Katelyn really enjoyed riding because most of the time the trains were so full that we had to stand up. I think that made it even more fun for them. I think it was just so novel being able to stand and not sit with a seatbelt on or in a booster seat.

Katelyn and Lauren loving on the Subway or Metro

Notre Dame

One of the Gorgoyles at Notre Dame and the view from the top
(On the lefthand side about half way up is the Cathedral near our apartment;
the dome at the top of the hill was Sacred Heart which is close to Mulin Rouge)

After a long day of walking and touring it was really fun to stop at one of the super markets on our street and choose some fun snacks.
Katelyn and Lauren LOVED the shopping basket/carts at the little markets
We had fun picking out treats to share at night
Some more of our sights included:
Lauren and Katelyn in front of the Stutue of Liberty
I'd LOVE to be able to see ours now :)

James and Katelyn on the Metro
Us girls in front of the Palace at Versailles
(this was my VERY favorite part of our entire trip)
Moulin Rouge
The clock inside the Pantheon
Rodin's house and gardens
Rodin's "The Thinker" statue

The Louvre
All of us enjoying the narrated history of Paris on the
hop-on-hop-off tour bus

Lauren enjoying her dinner of Pizza and orange Fanta
Katelyn and Lauren discover Gelato
(their wold is not the same anymore)
 Unfortunately our time there in Paris came to an end and at the insane hour of 5:30 a.m. we woke up and packed our bags, checked out of our apartment, and walked to the train station to take us to the airport for our flight home.

Walking to the train station
(I love how they always held hands)

Enjoying a movie and breadsticks with Nutella
while waiting for our flight

On the plane

  Katelyn actually cried and said she wanted to stay. I think both Lauren and Katelyn had a fantastic time and enjoyed being in another country where a completely different language was spoken and where things were very much different from our life back home.


Jen said...

I have SO been waiting for this post!!! YAYYYYYYY!!!! I'm SOOOOOO happy you guys had such a fantastic trip!!!!!

Nice job on the apartment--tiny, but adorable, and perfect for a Parisian adventure. For the record, when my bestie lived in Paris for a year, I'm pretty sure her apartment was actually smaller than that. I stayed a week with her and it was definitely a tight squeeze.

Good job seeing so much in such a short time! Isn't Versailles amazing? I hope you guys did the tour with the audio guide at the very least--so much amazing history and so many things to see!

Looks like your weather was pretty perfect for the most part--LUCKY.

I'm with Lauren on the Fanta--YUM!! One of those things I miss a lot about living in Europe. Silly, I know. It's just not the same here.

GOOD JOB introducing them to gelato. They will never look at ice cream the same way again.

I could write a lot more, but SO, So glad you had a great time. What awesome memories for those girls! And lady, if you haven't been to NYC to see our Statue of Liberty, it is HIGH TIME!! :) Let me know when you go and I'll give you travel tips for that one, too. :)

AllgaierFam said...

That's so sweet that Katelyn didn't want to leave,but I don't blame her, it looks/sounds like you guys had so much fun! I'm sure your girls will remember it and cherish the time you spent as a family!! I can't wait to hear about your next adventure in a few weeks!!

Galadriel said...

What a great vacation and fun photos. But Kathy, next time you go to Paris, let me know and I'll meet you there; it's only a couple hours away and I'd love to meet the rest of your family!