A parent’s getaway to Paris the city of love. This was our first time leaving our son, who is now pushing 3 years old, for longer than a night. My wife had the amazing opportunity to go to Paris for a business trip and luckily I was able to tag along so we tacked on an extra day. This trip just happened to fall over our 4 year anniversary so it worked out perfectly! We have not had this much time alone in a few years and it showed! Though we had fun and saw some amazing sights we also kept saying things like “Aww I bet Link would have liked this” or “I miss Link we should have brought him”. Becoming a parent seems to fill you with so much love that when you are away there is a void, especially after the first couple of days.
Paris is Beautiful
Though my wife did have to work during certain times of the trip we made the best of the free time she did have. The best thing about Paris is that you feel the immediate immersion into the culture. The vast diversity of people in the city is insane! This makes me wish we lived in an area with so many different types of people.
The beautiful Gothic style architecture makes you feel as though every street you turn down is a whole new area with its own personality. The buildings are high but not so high they blot out the sky above, they are also long but the city streets are still blessed with a cool evening breeze. Traffic almost seems to never stop! You must keep moving or get ran over but this seems to work very well as we witnessed no accidents or public road-rage as you might see in the states.
When Does Dinner Start!?
There are restaurants down every street but there is never anyone there, what gives? We learned very quickly that Parisians do not eat dinner until about 9:00 pm in most areas. I really had to adjust here because I’m an early bird special kind of guy as my friends would say. I like being in bed between 9:00 and 10:00. This trip changed me, for at least a few days. We wanted to be in the areas during the busy times so we waited on dinner and lunches until appropriate. The city does not seem to sleep.
My wife and I are picky eaters but willing to try new things especially while in other regions of the world. Unfortunately if you are looking for food recommendations here I’m sorry to tell you we ate mostly Italian during our visit. The Italian was amazing. We found that we walked everywhere and stayed so busy that we just weren’t that hungry, probably because we were just so happily exploring!
I really enjoyed seeing how much people communicated during meals. We talk during meals, yes of course, but Parisians talk the entire meal and almost never look at their phones, even the younger ones.
Piss in That Pot Would Ya Mate?
My wife was able to get us in on a roof top bar one evening with a killer view of the city including the Eiffel Tower! We sat with a nice breeze, a beautiful sunset, and a glass of wine while getting to do some quality people watching. As we were leaving I was stopped by a Australian gentleman of about 55-60 years old.
“I’m gonna walk over and take a piss in that planter by the bar…”~ Brash but Cool Australian Guy
We shot the shit for a few minutes when he asked me where the restroom was, I kindly told him it was downstairs. He said in his marketed Aussie accent “Sorry mate that just isn’t gonna do for me”, I nodded and gave a unnecessary chuckle. Then he said “you see, the Eiffel Tower over there is about to light up and everyone will be looking and taking pictures and shit like that” I said “yeah but what are you getting at?”. He said “I’m gonna walk over and take a piss in that planter by the bar when it lights up, do you need to go, come on join me mate”. I really didn’t think anything of it and gave him another laugh as if saying “yeah sure man whatever”. Well I should have known better because as soon as the tower lit, off he went to piss.
He totally got away with it on a crowded roof top bar with tons of people and staff. As we were about to walk out the door he said “You see there mate that’s how you do it!”. He stuck his hand out for a handshake and I politely raised my fist for knuckles instead, knowing that he in no way had washed his hands. We laughed and that was it. Moral of my story here is I have spent time around a couple Australian guys in my life and they were both awesomely insane, but always be mindful of which hand you’re shaking!
Just Be in Paris
Before we took the trip I spoke to a friend of mine who had been there before. I asked him the normal questions like “what would you do if you had only a few days?” One thing he told me was to just enjoy being there, he said “just get a bottle of wine and sit in a park and enjoy”. Save buying the bottle of wine we were able to go walk through a couple of the leisure parks and just sit and watch. This was the best idea that we were given and it allowed us to really see local families, nannies caring for children during the day, people exercising, kids playing and just hanging out.
Paris is a very active city! People were running at midnight without concern. The city seemed very safe and everyone seemed comfortable in what they were doing at any given time of day. Seeing people so active, happy, and relaxed in this crazy time makes me hopeful.
The Obvious Stuff
So I haven’t really mentioned any major tourist attractions or monuments. The reason is because those places haven’t really changed in quite a long time and you can get better information on those from travel bloggers. Clearly the Eiffel Tower and The Louvre were amazing. But if I could give any advice, just as my friend said, just go be in Paris. Go to Montmartre and walk around to see the artists painting, drawing, and sculpting. Listen to all the locals and out-of-towners speaking a language that you cannot understand and just become immersed as much as possible.
Walk everywhere, eat gelato, drink wine, and stay up late near the Eiffel Tower.
The parent’s trip abroad sans child was a success! Yes we missed him, a ton, because he fills us with so much joy and laughs but distance does make the heart grow fonder. We are happy to be back and I believe both Grandmas were ready for a much deserved break upon our return. Take trips with and without your children if possible. Everything will be alright.