Friday, January 27, 2012

. . . our weekend in Pah-ree

One of the definite perks about living in Europe is the travel we get to do every so often. Last weekend was one such trip . . . Keith had a meeting in Surenes (pronounced like "syringe" without the /j/ sound), a suburb of Paris, on Friday, so we headed out of town on Thursday afternoon. We drove about an hour to Antwerp, Belgium and took a 2 hour bullet train to Paris. The train station in Antwerp was really beautiful -- massive and open with ornate architecture every which way you looked. If we had more time I would have loved to do some exploring and taken more pictures, but this one will have to do. We found the right platform pretty easily and got seats in the food car once boarding the train. It was perfect because there was plenty of room for us to stand and walk Liam around if needed.

Inside the train station
When we got to Paris we had to take a cab to our hotel in Surenes, and the driver dropped us off nowhere near our hotel, but assured it was right around the corner -- we were about 2 miles away in fact. So we had to get another cab to take us to our hotel, which was really frustrating. Stinkin' cabbies. Keith went into the office for a few hours while Liam and I got settled and took a nap. That night we went to dinner at a local Italian restaurant across the street, which was so delicious. I forgot to nab a picture of my beautiful salad, but rest assured it was uh-mazing.

The next day Keith had to be in the office all day, so Liam and I were on our own. Luckily there was a street market out the front door of the hotel, so I spent a couple hours wandering through all the booths of food, fabrics, clothes, shoes, jewelry, and even toiletries -- if you can sell it, there was a booth for it.


one of the many booths at the market

I was able to get the room all packed up by myself and check us out before Keith got off work, so I hung out in the lobby and Skyped with my mom on my iPad while we waited. Liam flirted with every woman who walked by, so we were pretty happy hanging out for the time being. ; )  Keith finally got there and we took his cab into the city to stay in the business district of Paris for the rest of the weekend. Minutes from our new hotel, I realized that I left my iPad in the lobby of the old one.

Keith was not happy. Yikes.

I called the hotel and quickly explained what happened -- luckily, they had my iPad and were going to hold it at the front desk until we could pick it up the next day. I was saved. Whew.

So that night we asked for a dinner recommendation and the front desk referred us to a local brasserie around the corner from the hotel. It also was delicious. I got a warm goat cheese puff pastry over salad as my appetizer, and grilled salmon for dinner (yum). Keith had french onion soup (do they just call it "onion soup"?) and steak tar tar for dinner (yuck). Liam slept through most of dinner, but then woke up in time to flirt with the table next to us and watch as I ate a flaming creme brûlée. Double yum. Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE creme brûlée, so I'm in heaven in France. : )

goat cheese pastry app
onion soup (drop the French)
Steak tar tar
Salmon (somewhere underneath all that sauce)
My creme brûlée set aflame

Two years ago Keith and I spent five days in Paris for Valentine's Day (another work trip that worked to our advantage), and we did all the major site-seeing things like the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, Notre Dame, etc. And this spring we will be spending a few days in Paris with our friends who are flying over to spend a couple weeks with us. Because of these reasons, we decided that this quick trip would be more of a relaxing, hang-out-in-the-city type deal, with no real agenda.

Liam is ready to head out!
Liam's new peacoat -- I'm kinda obsessed

Saturday was spent wandering the streets, poking our head in stores, taking pictures, and stopping for Starbucks and lunch and more Starbucks (can't get it Eindhoven so I gotta have my fix somewhere!). We really like our hotel (the location and price were great), so we decided to book it again when we return in May. I can't wait to see Paris in the spring because we've only been in the winter -- I could already imagine the trees that lined the streets with green leaves and flowers, and I know it will be gorgeous!

This awesome chocolate shop had more goodies than you can imagine!

Multi-level Burberry -- fun to look in, but we didn't buy anything
out and about
lunch on Saturday (I swear I'm not cutting his hair, even if he looks bald here)
Concorde Opera House

I love the looks on their faces here ; )

We did take the Metro to the Eiffel Tower where we could take some pictures at a distance -- I wanted to have some shots of Liam at the Tower, and I'm so glad I did! Besides the gypsies and the cold wind, it was super fun!
Musicians playing in the metro station

My two boys
On Sunday we did a little more wandering, but most stores were closed, so we headed to the train station for our return trip. It was really nice to spend time with Keith and Liam this weekend outside our "norm." We knew when we moved here that one of the perks would be the travel, so it's important to us to take full advantage of the opportunities that arise. I really love France and wish I was learning French instead of Dutch, but oh well! Hopefully I'll be able to practice more over the next 18 months. : )



  1. So much fun Jessi. You look beautiful and Liam is so so cute. Your traveling days remind me of when Vince and I lived in Hawaii for 3 years. I do miss those days and it would have been fun to experience some of it with the kiddos. Enjoy every moment.

  2. I love the photo of you (wearing red) and Liam (in black) close up. Very nice shot. The one of Keith and Liam is cute too.