Wednesday, April 16, 2008

the crack of dawn (or possibly earlier)

That is what time we got up today. Technically, the alarm clock said 5:30 a.m., so I think that was a bit before the crack of dawn.

We drove to the metro station at St Denis Université, near where we used to live. (For some reason, it took my mom to come up with that idea. We were hesitating between spending 3 hours or more in rush-hour Paris traffic or spending 50 euros to take the train to Paris, until my mom suggested we drive to a metro station and take the metro in instead. That we we spent only a little over an hour in the car, and only spent 6 euros. Much better on both counts. Thanks, Mom.) Taking the metro with a 2 year old, a stroller, and a baby in a baby carrier during rush hour is still not what I'd call easy or fun, but it sure beat listening to Frederic berate all the other French drivers for 3 hours while moving forward at a rate of 3 mph (we actually drove at that speed for part of our drive in this morning due to an accident).

Once we arrived in Paris, on the Champs-Elysées, we first stopped at a photographer's studio to get Noah's passport photos. Getting acceptable passport photos of an infant is a challenge since the baby's eyes must be open and the photo must show both ears, and Noah doesn't have *that* much head control yet, but the photographer managed it and Frederic didn't even have to drape a sheet over his head this time like he did with Benjamin. He held Noah on his knee instead, against the white background. We went to the same studio for Benjamin's passport photos when he was only 3 weeks old. Noah is almost 6 weeks, so I guess we are a little behind.

Then we walked back to the Embassy, where we were grateful for the fact that having a baby and going in cold weather ensures a quicker entrance, as does the fact of being a US citizen. Did I mention just how cold and windy it was today? It was 32°F when we left the house this morning, and not much warmer in Paris, and very windy. Brrr!

We called a couple of weeks ago to make an appointment - the logic of that still eludes me since the "appointment" takes place at a window, not in an office or anything, and you still have to take a number before you go to the window. Perhaps French bureaucracy is rubbing off on them. We gave them our paperwork, showed our official documents (our passports, our US marriage certificate, and Noah's French birth certificate), and shelled out $150, and that was it. They gave us Noah's Consular Report of Birth Abroad today, and now we wait by the mailbox for his passport and social security card.

Other than to go to church, this is our first expedition into Paris since last July - and every time we go, we're reminded of why we are so happy to live far, far outside of Paris! I don't think we'll attempt another trip any time soon. Too many crowds, and the metro is definitely not Frederic's favorite thing.

1 comment:

Jesse said...

What a trip! Sounds like it went relatively smoothly for you. Can't wait to see more baby pics!