France – Day 1…Getting There

We made it to France!  It was a very, very long trip…longer still when making the trip with me, a very active toddler who was “all done airplane” before we even took off on the flight to Paris.  A car came to pick us up at 11 am and we were off.  The ride to the airport, checking in, security, and lunch were all a breeze.  The flight to Detroit was equally easy.  We pre-boarded that flight 40 minutes early!  Why so early?  Turns out I was not the only kiddo under two that day.  I think ½ the plane was little ones, ranging from 6 weeks on up!  I did great!  I loved watching people board and saying “hi” and waving to everyone.  Then I played, had a snack then sacked out for about an hour long nap.  Then, we were in Detroit.

We had a 2.5 hour layover, which was just enough time to ride the tram train (“choo choo!”), get a terrible airport dinner (turns out, I loves dolmades!! (Greek rice wrapped in grape leaves)) and pre-board.  On the flight to Detroit I faced forward since Mummy did not think I would sleep.  On the flight to Paris, since Mummy knew I would sleep, I faced backwards so I could be in the reclined position.  The seat/space was plenty big enough for it.  The seats for Mummy and Daddy, as hyped as they were, did not live up to their expectations.  They were “fixed shell” which means the seats slide down into themselves as a recline instead of pushing back.  It means nobody will recline into your space, but also means you feel like you’re slouching, not reclining.  Not comfortable!  They’ll definitely be springing for business class on the next trip. I did ok on this flight.  I definitely had some rough moments on this leg of the trip. the lights flipped back on.  Boo!!  Since it was a 9:35 flight, Mummy assumed there would be no dinner served.  Wrong!  Needless to say, I was a little aggravated by this since now I am wide awake, but very tired.  Oh, and the vegetarian meal Mummy ordered for us 4 months ago, was not on record – fail!  I had a few bits of some things that were vegetarian, but since we’d just had dinner I was not too hungry.  I was, however, getting more and more tired and cranky.  Mummy and Daddy finally got me out of my seat and I had fun watching TV and looking around and flirting with the nice woman in front of us.  For a while.

Then, the tired toddler monster in me came out.  I started wailing and crying…so tired, but unable to get to sleep.  Mummy and Daddy tried getting me back into my seat – fail!  I was screaming, crying, turning red, flailing and resisting.  Oh joy.  The oh so helpful flight attendant told Mummy  it is so much better for baby to fall asleep in their  arms then get put into his chair…ok, probably not a terrible idea for this flight, but usually I cannot fall asleep in arms since I am so used to falling asleep in my crib.  Then she chimes in and says to Mummy “you do sleep with him at home, right?  It’s the best thing for baby!”  Um, not this baby!  Oh, and I’m not a baby, I’m a toddler!  This “baby” self-soothes and falls asleep on my own, in my own bed, and in my own room.  (note from Mummy: Thanks for the judgy advice in the middle of a toddler meltdown though.  Hormonal, pregnant, hungry with a melting down toddler = not in the mood for parenting advice from a childless flight attendant.)

In any case, Mummy tried holding me but being pregnant and already uncomfortable and me being 30 lbs and 3 feet tall, it was just not working for either of us.  Thank goodness Daddy was able to take over and once he had me laying in his lap I was able to fall asleep pretty quickly.  The sleep, however, required a little pillow (which is prefect size for my travel bed and Mummy totally took one with us) and I to be on my side (he is not a back sleeper).  I then managed to flip onto his stomach in Todd’s lap – it was so adorable and Mummy really wishes she had a camera handy!  When Mummy and Daddy were sure I was good and asleep Daddy put me back into my car seat and lightly strapped me in. I slept for close to 6 hours – whew!

I woke up just in time for breakfast (I didn’t get as big as I am by missing many meals, lol) and happily munched on a blueberry muffin and yogurt in my lap.  Besides falling asleep in Daddy’s lap, I’m in a Mummy all the time phase.  Getting off the plane I got to ride on Mummy’s back in the Ergo again (I did it between flight too) and just LOVE it!!  We had to walk down big stairs to get off the plane, which Mummy and Daddy were not expecting.  Then we got to ride a bus to the terminal.  From there we had to wait in a long line to get out passports stamped.  When Mummy handed the lady three passports she looked confused and asked why there were 3 passports when there was only 3 of us.  Then Mummy turned around and pointed at me on her back…she laughed and I smiled at her.  When we were done there we went to get out big suitcases and my stroller.

Once we gathered up all of our stuff we headed out to get a taxi to our apartment.  It took a while for a taxi big enough for us and all of our stuff to come.  Thankfully, the taxi had the latch system so it was easy to get my car seat hooked in.  The trip took about 40 minutes and we were all so glad to finally arrive – we were so tired!  We landed at 11:07 am and go to the apartment a little before 2 pm.  A nice American lady, from Maryland, greeted us and took us up to our apartment and showed us around, how to use things and how to get to the nearest market and things like that.  She stayed a very long time…Mummy and Daddy thought she should have been quicker since we had clearly come a long way and were very tired.  She was very nice though.  I had fun exploring the apartment while they chatted.

The apartment is really nice!  It is in a secure building in a great location.  Mummy will take photos later and post them.  It has a fantastic kitchen – HUGE for France!  The bathroom has a nice tub that was I wanted to get in right away, and a washer/dryer combo.  It has a very small capacity and takes about 3 hours to run through the wash and dry so we’ll be doing laundry every night.  Mummy does not want to bring back anything dirty so it will be easier to unpack quickly.

Once we were settled, we realized we were very hungry so we set out to get a bite to eat and a few things from the market.  I got bundled up (it is chilly but not freezing) in the umbrella stroller that Mummy brought instead of the BOB so we could take it on the metro and placed with stairs since it folds so small and easy and it light.  I also have a sleeping bag like thing to get zipped into in the stroller to keep me warm – it’s pretty great!  We strolled up our street, Rue Saint Paul to the big road, Rue Saint-Antoine.  We stopped in a café and had the best food we’d had in a long time (remember, airport and airplane food is gross!).  So far, we have not seen any highchairs in cafes so I got to sit right on a chair.  I did really well!  Good thing I am so tall!!  I had a lovely omelet with mushrooms, potatoes and cheese, Mummy had a beautiful salad and Daddy had roast chicken – it was all delicious!!  I saw some toys and decided I was “all done” and went to play with the bag of legos.  Daddy was done too so he helped me.  There was a nice couple near us who talked and played with me too.  I was very friendly and had a lot of fun.

Back at the apartment I went down for a much needed nap!  While I was sleeping Mummy and Daddy unpacked everything and set our clothes out in the living room so they would be ready to put away when I woke up.  Mummy’s plan was to stay awake until bedtime to try to adjust to the time as fast as possible.  Daddy was too tired so he took a nap while Mummy went to the market for bread, eggs, cheese, yogurt and some normal sized toiletries.  I have French baby shampoo/soap!!

When Mummy got home, around 6 pm, they got me up from my nap.  I could have kept sleeping, but Mummy wanted me to have a “normal” bedtime.  We put clothes away then I had a little bit for dinner.  I wasn’t too hungry.  Then I got a bath, which I loved! French baby soap bubbles a LOT more than American baby soap – fun!!  I went back to sleep around 7, which is late for me, but it was a weird travel/time day.  Mummy and Daddy came to bed not much later.  They realized they were hungry too and had a baguette and croissants with butter and jam for dinner – oh la la!

Around midnight, we all woke up.  Actually I woke Mummy and Daddy up.  When Daddy picked me up I said and signed “eat, eat?”  I then scarfed down a whole package of Gerber ravioli from home, a mandarin orange, 1.5 containers of yogurt, a banana, and ¾ of a croissant!  I was hungry!!  I played for a little while then went back to bed about an hour after I got up and slept until Mummy and Daddy woke me up at 11:30 am.

What a long day!! Sorry, no photos yet…it was a long enough day without taking photos.

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