Nous sommes arrivés à Paris !

Nous sommes ici.
How I'd love to continue this in French...but my bookmarked English-French free translation website seems to be rather slow. Or I'm slow.
And yet, here we are. The City of Lights. The day started at about 6am in Brussels. Caught the 9:15 Thalys train. Kids were super excited and the ride was just an hour and 15 minutes or so. Colby asked the ticket-guy how fast the train was going and the answer was 300. That's 300 km/h (which is like 180 mph I think). But it was fun for Colb to think it was 300 mph. And to see his eyes pop even further out of his head.

We're staying at a Novotel (chain yet very well situated among the sights we want to cover this weekend) in the Les Halles hood. 1st Arrondissement.

Today we went on a huge wild goose chase for a place for lunch. Kids were in tears, we were in tears after the nearly 2 hour walk/carry/pamper/coddle-a-thon. I think Scott and I think that since we can manage other world cities, we've got this over-confidence that we can manage Paris. But the kid factor adds a whole other dimension, plus we don't know exactly how far things are or even where they are. So our planning has been a little faulty. Happened in Brugge and we still didn't learn our lesson. Luckily, there's a metro stop steps away from our hotel, so it's the subway for our next outing.
Anyway, it was a most unpleasant haul. But before it was unpleasant, we went past the nearby Centre Pompidou (when we were headed in the wrong direction) and we went straight to the fountain. I think it's by Nikki de St-Phalle (my perfume of choice in the 80's). Sorta lousy pic.
Walked along the Louvre. Talked about Marie Antoinette and guillotines.

And finally arrived at our destination.

Paul Boulangerie. http://www.paul.fr/

This is just a classic French boulangerie, a chain but simple, fantastic French brasserie-type cuisine. I would have to say that it was worth the torture. And thankfully the kid's agreed.
More to come, as we've just arrived. Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower and all the playgrounds between here and there (Luxembourg Gardens, Tuileries, etc.) lay ahead.

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