Sunday, July 6, 2014

Paris: Do We Have To?

The boys and I went to Paris the Saturday after school got out to see our friends, JL & Emily Gray, and their boys, who were visiting Paris for a few days.

What do you get on the train from Villers-Cotterêts to Paris for 28 euros? You get to sit on the floor because the train is full! We got ONE seat (between the three of us) between Crépy-en-Valois and Paris. Yay, SNCF! Way to make your trains expensive and uncomfortable, but oh-so profitable. Because that is what counts and keeps people coming back. Well, that, or the monopoly you have. Airplane seats are uncomfortable and cramped, but at least we get seats.  The boys were thus underimpressed with their first real train ride.

On the bright side, they had carpeted these trains, so we couldn't see all the nastiness we were sitting on.

Despite our discomfort, we did make it to Paris. And with perfect timing. We arrived at our meeting point just a few minutes after our friends. We started out with the Natural History Museum, which had a children's discovery area as well.

After lunch, we spent a little time in the Jardin des Plantes, where you can play hide-and-seek (excellent hiding places, as you can see in picture at left below), and make dirt and pebble piles to your heart's content, while making new friends. Watch out, though, don't walk on the grass, or the Policeman In Charge Of Grass will whistle at you sharply! (No one has bothered to tell them that their grass isn't any prettier than my clover-infested lawn at home, and that it isn't *really* worth protecting to that extent... Mr Policeman was quite zealous in performing his duties.)

We spotted these fun fellows on a wall on our way to the Luxembourg gardens. I tried to get Benjamin to pose with the swimmer, but he refused, because the swimmer's hand position is wrong and he didn't want to be associated with that. A competitive swimmer has his pride, after all. He wouldn't want that embarrassing photo to resurface when he's competing in the Olympics or anything.

Our friends had found a pay-to-play playground in the Luxembourg Gardens earlier in their stay, so we returned there for the afternoon. Benjamin found some grass you *were* allowed to sit on in the Luxembourg Gardens, but he chose not to.

On the way home, we did manage to get seats. It seems Picardie is not as prized a destination as Paris... I say, let's keep it that way - I won't tell them what they are missing!!


Ryan said...

Their first train ride? My kids live in America and they've ridden on trains more than that.

Well, at least Alex has. Come to think of it, I'm not sure Xeni's been on a train.

Alisa said...

Actual train. As compared to metro or RER. Plus, did you see how much it cost?! We can't afford to do THAT very often!