Petit Dejeuner from Au Bec Sucrè; pain au chocolate, baguettes au beurre, and hot coffee from the new coffee maker! Sounds like the beginning of a day in Paris! The day started of somewhat earlier than expected, however, with Dashiell demanding milk around 3am, local time. Fortunately, we’d stocked up a bit the night before– after all, buying food is just a pleasure in France. Everything seems delicious. And, hey, once we’d been up for several hours, the above mentioned patisserie, Au Bec Sucrè, DIRECTLY ACROSS FROM OUR APARTMENT (that’s right) opened up & let us in. We took our first Métro ride this morning, going twelve stops on two lines to take Lana to the offices of CEA, the organizers of the study abroad program for Cal State Fullerton. While she went in to do organizational stuff with the folks there, the kids and I headed over to the Centre Georges Pompidou to take a look around.
Sawyer had her first encounter with a chalk muralist– whose combination St. Nicholas / Virgin Mary piece she thought was AMAZING– and Dash was entranced by the snake figure in the Stravinsky Fountain.
I believe the snake was sculpted by Niki de Saint Phalle, and not Jean Tinguely, based on the shape and color– I’ve always been into the desperate machines (or metamechanics) of Tinguely’s, but hadn’t paid much attention to Saint Phalle, Tinguely’s partner and collaborator. Dash’s deep interest (and a parallel interest in making sure that female artists are not overshadowed by their male counterparts), however, makes me reconsider. From The Centre back to CEA to pick up Lana, and then lunch at Bar Du Marché Blancs Manteaux— delicious food, marred only by several kids desire to order like Californians– I.E. “may I please have this, but with no egg,” or “may I please have this, but with no mushrooms.” At least no-one asked for ketchup.
After lunch, we started walking up the Rue de Rivoli, thinking to get to the Louvre, and proceed from there up the Champs-Élysées to one of the Christmas Markets. And by Christmas Market, I mean Christkindlmarkt. Christkindlesmarkt? No, wait, Christkindlmarket. No, it’s Weihnachtsmarkt. Or maybe Marché de Noël. ANYWAY– there are pop-up markets, seemingly a cross between a Southern California food truck meetup and a relatively high-brow flea market. This plan was… generous… in it’s estimation of how much the kids were willing to walk, however, calling back to the 2011 post …Later, the Bataan Death March. Only this time, we were being tortured by the needs (and jet lag) of at least two children at any given time. Dash tapped out early– as a matter of fact, he had been sleeping prior to our arrival at the bistro for lunch, and just kept at it for the majority of the walk.
Which proved to be interesting later, when he popped into our bedroom at 1:30am, with giant eyeballs and bouncing curls, telling Lana, “My all done sleeping! MY AWAKE!” This was only mildly threatening, really, with only the implied threat of wakefulness– compared to his statement on the plane concerning the French kid in line behind us at LAX, waiting to get on the plane– “my SMACK that baby!” Dash may be best suited for contact sports.
We managed to get to the Marché de Noël, finally, however. We had to stop in the Tuileries twice, once for a double-carousel ride, and once for Sawyer and Finley to jump on some public trampolines (for more on the love affair between Paris & carousels, please see previous posts on Paris– parts 1,2,3,4 & 5. Did someone say “blowhard?” I need to cut back on the hyperbole. Sheesh.)
I had not seen public trampolines before– they seemed like an insurance nightmare (from a ‘Merican perspective), but we had no problem shelling out the 2.50€ per kid to have them endanger their noses and limbs for 5 minutes a shot. Curiously, the lassitude that had affected them so deeply during the “walking” faded completely during the jumping, only to come CRASHING back the second we decided to continue our journey. Continue we did, tho. We circulated through the Market, buying a christmas ornament or two, and eventually returning to the Métro, and home.
There has been some concern from others regarding attending things like going to a Marché de Noël, or public ice skating, since the events in Berlin. We have decided to be alert & mindful, but to go and do what the city has to offer. If terrorism is war enacted in fear, perhaps doing so is a credible act of resistance.