52 hours in Paris

IMG_0604Many years ago when my husband and I were dating, we used to do such things as go to Europe for the weekend. Often it was because he was there during the week, and then I would fly out to meet him. We did Geneva, London, Paris. Good times! Then we had four kids. The four kids cut down a wee bit on the Europe-for-the-weekend sorts of trips. But they have not killed them. This past week my husband had been in Paris. My mother-in-law was visiting to help out and she agreed to cover the weekend with a few hours of babysitter support. So we cashed in some frequent flyer miles and I took off Thursday night, landing at Charles de Gaulle on Friday morning.

It was a tough trip in some ways. A low moment: We ate at a wonderful restaurant Friday night, with a 5-course tasting menu, but something disagreed with me. Or maybe it was the strawberry in my drink at the hotel bar afterwards. In any case, I woke up with horrible food poisoning at 4 A.M. At least, unlike my small children who all had the stomach flu earlier in the week, I recognize when I am about to throw up and can get to the bathroom on time. Less mess!

I spent some time napping it off Saturday, but the good news about traveling without children is that you can nap it off. I took 2 naps on Friday (to recover from the overnight flight) and 1 nap on Saturday. We still managed to go to the Musee D’Orsay and the Louvre, go out for dinner twice and get together with friends. We stayed next to the Jardin de Tuileries with a view of the Eiffel Tower. Paris is a beautiful city, particularly in spring, even if the weather was cold and sometimes rainy. I got to laugh at the crowds flocking to the Mona Lisa, waving cameras in the air. We enjoyed some quality couple time.

Traveling overseas for the weekend is tiring, and a lot of bother. Indeed, even worse: my car got hit while I was driving home from the airport on I-76. All ok (and the other driver too), but the side is really scratched up. That said, as I thought about whether it was worth doing I realized I could have the kind of life where I go to Paris for the weekend or the kind of life where I do not. In general, I will take Paris for the weekend (although next time I hope for no food poisoning).

11 thoughts on “52 hours in Paris

  1. My husband can be difficult to convince to go to the beach for a weekend as it’s a three-hour drive each way so it’s ‘not worth it’ unless we have a long weekend. Your account of what it’s possible to do with 52 hours in Paris will help me to persist with the persuasion (well, apart from the food poisoning bit!)

  2. What a fantastic, fun, and romantic idea! I’m glad you managed to have a good time despite getting food poisoning and that the accident only caused damage to your car. After having a few disappointments it’s rather beautiful that you can look at what you DID get to do, and realize that it’s worth it to do something like go to Paris, with all of the hassle, versus saving the hassle, but not going to Paris.
    I wish this were a class you could teach: How to frame your life positively…so many people would benefit!

  3. LOL – You know you’re a mom when you appreciate the fact that you know how to get sick properly.

    We got a loft bed for the five year old when the baby moved into his room. It was a great use of space because of the built-in booksheves, drawers for clothes, and they can play underneath it. The one downside I didn’t consider was an upset stomach . . . not good.

    Glad you were still able to enjoy Paris!

    1. @Harmony – Another moment of mom wisdom: I moved the 6-year-old to the bottom bunk when I saw he was getting sick. Changing the sheets was still no fun, but at least I could get to them without climbing up a ladder.

  4. Thank you for the reminder that all things are possible – we have only to make the choice and the reminder to focus on the positive! It’s funny how the less time you spend thinking and worrying about whether you can do it, the more time you have to actually just do it! You are an inspiration!

  5. In your kind of life, you can always choose not to take the weekend, if you so desire. A far nicer set of options than the other kind of life 🙂

    I do love frequent flier miles when they subsidize getaways but I have a terrible track record of getting sick whenever I go to an island destination and it must be broken. To the islands!

  6. What a fitting post. My husband & I recently squeezed in 2 long weekends in the Bay Area. He was out there all month for work. I joined for 10 days & worked remotely for 1 week.

    First weekend we went to wine country… And slept for 14 hours since we were exhausted from work.

    Second weekend we went to Yosemite, I worked for 5 hour and we slept a healthy portion again.

    So I was actually thinking – what would Laura think? Good use of time or not?

    But we did have fun. We did a couple wine tastings, found some new wines we love, hiked a bit in Yosemite and generally enjoyed being together,

    We could have been happy with a more low key weekend as well.

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