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Well, we do live in the beautiful 7th but the 8th is just over the river! More on the 7th later…

Cruising with the masses on the River Seine

To keep me relatively sane and happy, my kids need to be relatively happy, and in Paris, it’s not difficult to do this if the weather is kind. We took an hour boat cruise on the river Seine on a Saturday morning. Despite the deck being wet and slippery, seats not being wiped down, and mediocre recorded explanations of the sites over the loudspeaker, we enjoyed the spectacular views of Paris from the river and cruised under roughly 18 bridges one way. I can only imagine how spectacular Paris would appear at nightfall with its lights. The dinner cruise is supposed to be quite special. Perhaps I should put that in my bucket list? This trip was especially memorable because some Chinese tourists insisted on taking pictures of William and Clarisse while another grabbed my husband (who was taken aback) for a separate photo op. I know, I don’t get it either.

Tourists taking photos of tourists.

Another outing we thoroughly enjoyed was to the nearby Palais de la Découverte, a “science museum” installed in one part of a magnificent building, Le Grand Palais. Go to this link to manipulate the building in 3-D. I adore this building. http://www.grandpalais.fr/visite/en/#/the-ride/

There is a bigger science centre located in the 19th but on a rainy day, this one in the city had enough interactive models (demonstrating laws of physics) and a great exhibit (“Survivors of Extreme Habitats”) that incorporated computer games, thermal-sensitive monitors, etc. to get my kids jumping and making noise to understand cause and effect. That day, the museum hosted 50 tutorials/demos ranging from electrostatics to volcanos. The downside to all this was that only the temporary exhibits had English translations (that means I made up erroneous explanations for some of the non-translated French displays to the kids) and, despite being held in a gorgeous 20th century building, I and the kids had to climb the gorgeous grand staircases to the next storey with the stroller.

The inside entrance of the Palais de la Découverte.

Another outing which is completely FREE (well, Clarisse was free for the other 2 outings–it’s good to be under 4 in Paris!) was a walk to Parc de Monceau. It’s a quiet park with statues, a rotunda, corinthian pillars bordering a big pond/small lake and a simple yet sizeable children’s playground with some shade. It has a lot of trails and a lot of trees and gardens interspersed here and there but for the life of me, why does there have to be a carrousel present?! There is a carrousel in front of the Eiffel Tower, one at the foot of the Trocadero (they are literally across the street from each other), another halfway up the Trocadero, one oldy at the Parc du Champ de Mars behind the Eiffel Tower, another in the Jardins des Plantes (I took a different path so the kids wouldn’t see it), one beside the “roundabout” (=poorly designed junction) at the Place de la Republique…. I think my kids have had 3 merry-go-round rides already since being here. They are all over the city. The City of Lights loves carrousels…

On yet another carrousel ride: Parc de Monceau