As July fades into August I realize it's been almost 2 months since I was in France, and I never blogged about it!
We left Seattle in the afternoon on a direct flight to Paris, and arrived at Charles de Gaulle Airport with the whole Parisian day ahead of us. After dropping off our luggage we went to Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, and I have to say it was a bit of a blur. We were so tired! The only thing we ever seem to buy there is our Paris souvenirs.
This is owing to my philosophy that vacation purchases should be things that you can't get at home. Those big department stores are beautiful, but they are the same things you can buy in the US. If you are buying something expensive that is made in France- a purse, for example- then it's worth it because 1) the price is slightly lower than in the US and 2) you can get the VAT tax back at the airport (17% of the purchase price).
The shopping I did was at French chains like Promod and Etam.
It's definitely more of a challenge to go shopping in France with three children because the standards are extremely high for what type of behavior kids exhibit in adult spaces. It was still possible to take my little crew places, but I went to fewer places and avoided most small boutiques and consignment shops because it was too much to ask them to be on "party manners mode" without respite.
This trip my focus was on sightseeing with the kids and eating all the things I spend the rest of the time only dreaming about. My brother-in-law was very thoughtful and brought me two of the mickey macaroon from Laduree, so I checked that off of my list and then fixated on another love, the lasagna from the Galeries Lafayette cafeteria. This is not the floor that Carrie met Alexandr Petrovsky's ex on, with the fancy lucite chairs but I wouldn't go anywhere else. This lasagna is so delicious- it's been the same since I first had it in 2003, and I hope it never changes!
After we left Paris we went to Disneyland and on to some places in the south of France, did lots of people watching and spent time together, both just our little family and with our extended peeps. I didn't come back with any big items- some pretty accessories and a few items of clothing, all of which that I really am still happy with finding- but it was a really nice time. My hope is that we all subconciously took in some of the essence of French culture and that it will be distilling itself through our endeavors to share some of the beauty of travelling outside the US into another culture.