OK, So today it is Monday. Again. The ever present, always aggravating, Monday. We did alright though. I wouldn’t say great because Damien was a real pain and
cried screamed during our whole outing at La Défense and almost the whole ride home on the T. But I tried to do something new and fresh today. Next week we close on our house and then it’s Christmas in Toulouse and we’ll move in around the 4th of January, so I kinda feel like if there is stuff in Paris that I want to do, I better get it done now while I am just a skip, hop and jump away rather than an hour and fifteen minute train ride away – though I know I will still make the effort to come into The City.
So we had a pretty smooth start to today. The boys all woke up at their usual times, Guillaume at ten of 6AM, Thibault at 6.30AM and Damien at 8AM. By 10AM the boys were suprisingly ready for a nap, so we all went down for a rest! I love Mondays when there is a mid-morning nap! Damien and I slept one hour and Thibault napped till noon. We all had lunch and I thought this is great! This is our chance to go to the Marché de Noel at La Défense!
The Marché de Noel opens at 11AM so typically it is not good for our schedule which usually consists of a morning outing, lunch and a nap in the early afternoon with a second outing close to home after napping. If we have far to go we will usually do it first thing in the morning. But who said Mondays were typical anyway?
So we hopped onto the T2 line that just opened practically in the lobby of our hotel/ apart and takes us directly to La Défense. It was our something new for the day and Thibault was so excited to get to sit on the “chou-chou” that he watches go by from our hotel window. The ride went very smoothly; there was plenty of room for us, Damien’s stroller and all the other passengers.
The Marché is on the Grande Esplanade, under the Grande Arche of La Défense. I realized as we took the escalators up from the tram line that it was my first time ever to come outside at La Défense. I have been numerous times to La Défense train station but realized that I had always stayed within the station to make a connection, on my way to Somewhere. Today was the first time I took the time to actually come out, go up and walk under the Arch. It was fun! I was glad to do something new. That even with all the years I have been here, all that I have seen and done in Paris, there is still something new to discover!!
I really liked this Marché. I liked it better than the one on the Champs Eysées and the one at St. Germain des Pres. It was a big marché, with almost 400 stands, but it didn’t appear to be big and thus had a nice warm, small towm charm and feeling to it. I also found that more thought went into what vendors would be present. There were a lot more artisans selling handmade goods, more variety in food stalls besides crepes and gauffres (waffles). It didn’t look cheap or tacky or Made in China.
Thibault once again was really happy to see Baby Jesus and his Maman and Papa in the creches. He got really excited when we saw the stand selling all the Santons for the creches. This holiday he is definatly more tuned in and interested in the traditions and I guess is at an age where he can relate more to the Advent calendar, Santa and the Nativity scene. He was well behaved because he didn’t ask me to buy all the cars, planes, trains and fish or monkeys we saw nor did he want to eat all the cookies we saw. He stayed close to me and gave me his hand to hold without a fuss and didn’t throw any tantrums when we were ready to leave. I was really proud of him. His little brother, on the other hand, demonstrated an entirely different attitude. It is interesting how the behavior of your children can either make an outing great or really ruin it for you. I guess that is one of the joys of parenting huh? But I am not about to let my childrens’ bad behavior prevent me from going out and taking them to discover and see different and new places. They will just have to learn along the way what behavior is appropriate and what attitude is prefered of them!
There are still a few other Marché de Noel in Paris that I have yet to do, like the Marché of St. Sulpice and the one at the Eiffel Tower, but I am not sure if it is a real priority. Honeslty, I think we’ve done enough holiday open-air boutiques! But I’ll add it to the end of the to do list in case we need an outing and have accomplished all the other ones on the list… There is an exhibit of Playmobil that just openned and I would love to take the boys to see these famous figurines, especially since they play with them. This Thursday I think we’ll go back to the American Library for another lap-sit, both Thibault and Damien have such a good time and I think it is so important for them to stay in touch with their American culture while we are here in Paris… There is so much to do to keep us busy! I just love Paris for providing all the possibilities, even with kids, even with small kids, and even for free! Having a good happy start to the week always helps, I feel like I can accomplish anything this week just because we had a productive yet relaxing Monday!