Obrien World Tour

France

Digion to Chatillon en Bazois - Houseboat Part 2

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Of course, this week is the hottest on record for France. Average temps are hitting into the high 90s! What do the french do in this situation? Wear next to nothing. Check. Sit in the shade. Check. Go to the local pool. Check. Jump off a bridge. Check. Pour water over their heads? Well maybe not but it makes the kids happy.

As you cruise down the canal, you can see why so many great artist where inspired by this landscape. The golden light falling on the haystacks and trees. It is a truly magical place.

Our time on the boat was at times frustrating, beautiful, sweaty, relaxing, and an amazing experience. It was great to tune out, turn off, and just watch the world go by. I can't wait to come back and do it again!

Digion to Chatillon en Bazois - Houseboat Part 1

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Our Houseboat: The Paqurette. model: Penichette 935W- It has 2 double beds(1 of which is under the kitchen table) and one twin. The main cabin area consists of the kitchen and driving area. The bathroom is small and the shower is a pull out nozzle from the sink and a pump and drain in the floor.

A houseboat is similar to an RV but on water. You can dock pretty much anywhere you like. You have to fill up on water and electric daily to keep her running smoothly, so it was best to find a campground/dock with both of these.

After driving for what seemed like forever from Paris! and then driving in circles in Digoin trying to find the dock.. we arrived just in time for them to let us into the houseboat. We will have to wait till the morning for our driving lessons.

At 10 am the next day. The dock manager was ready to give us our lesson. After 15 minutes of half English/half French lessons, they sent us on our way.

On the first day everyone was excited to take a turn at the wheel. The kids did really great! Ella loved listening to Taylor Swift and sing as she drove. Miles loved watching everything happening outside.

Locks, locks and more locks! Part of cruising the canals is going through the locks. Luckily all the locks we went through had lock keepers so they did most of the work. Our job was to maneuver the boat into the lock and secure the rope to the land. Easier said then done! our first day of locks was a bit rough but by the end of the trip we had it down to a science. Even Ella and Miles helped. Ok, mostly Ella, Miles of course being Miles fell in the water trying to run to the rope. (Don't worry we fished him out.)

Rue Cler and Luxembourg Garden Park

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I love going to markets in new places. Its a great way to sample new foods and check out what the locals love to eat. Rue Cler is one of Paris' most famous market. We got a few different types of cheese to try. Browsed all the crazy seafood and vegetables. We even got a few prepared foods to bring to the park for lunch.

After we grabbed our goodies at the market, we headed to Luxembourg Gardens to have our picnic. We also heard about the crazy kids park that we knew we would have to check out. The first cheese we tried tasted and smelled like Miles' feet, so we gave that one to Sean. The other 2 were amazing goat cheeses. After our lunch we headed to the kids playground,  for a small fee the kids can enjoy the park equipment. The kids loved it! They had some unique things, like a makeshift zipline. Ella had a rough start on it but had a great time after that.(see video) Miles made a few friends on the merry go round. Parents have to pay to get in so Sean and I watched from behind the gate. We also watched a bit of the weirdest group badminton match.

We are saying goodbye to Paris today.. and off to our Houseboat.

Sacré-Cœur and The Tower at Night

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After walking our feet to the bone the last few days.We are taking a day off or at least relaxing at the apartment a bit. We watched videos, answered emails, did some laundry! We actually have a clothes dryer so everyone is happy about not having crunchy underwear.  Our one big outing was lunch out at a French Restaurant. yes, I started my meal with cake.

After our restful day, we decided to check out Sacré-Cœur which was close to our apartment. I knew there were a lot of stairs to get to the top but Wow! there are a lot of stairs. It was beautiful but no photos allowed.  After the heat and all those stairs, we decided to head home and nap since later we are heading to see the Eiffel tower light up.

The Eiffel Tower at night is not just about the tower lighting up. There are street performers, dancing, music, people watching. Though the main attraction is the Tower. I was surprised to see that it not only lights up but shimmers like a disco ball. We stayed till about 10:30 since both kids were tired and it started to rain. Ella feel asleep on the metro ride home. Always a sign of a good day.


Eiffel Tower

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Eiffel Tower day! We got there expecting to just wander around but the lines weren't long, the prices to walk up to the 2nd and 3rd levels weren't bad so up we went! If you know me, you know I am scared of heights. I am was a little freaked at the prospect of all those stairs but I am proud to stay I made it to the 2nd level. While Miles and I enjoyed a snack on the terrace, Ella and Sean climbed to the third level

If you get a chance, it is worth it to walk up the stairs to the 2nd level. There is a great little spot for snacks, tables, and you can walk on glass that looks down to the ants below.

Louvre and Notre Dame

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Let's start with the building. It is incredible, every inch is a masterpiece from the inside to the outside. There is art on the walls, ceiling, and even the floors. Everywhere you look you are in awe by the beauty.

Art! There is so much to see just when you thought you made it through a wing, you turn the corner to find more art. We spent most of our day in the Greek rooms, as Ella is a huge fan of Greek mythology. We breezed through the Renaissance section stopping at some of our favorites, broke for lunch then continued on to the replicated rooms and native peoples.

Ella loved every second of our trip to the Louvre. She skipped from piece to piece, reading every line about everything she could. Her favorites were everything in the Greek wing and the Native Peoples section.

Miles on the other hand, thought this was the worst day. He hopped from chair to chair,looking for any place to get a seat. We gave him a notebook and pen and had him draw his favorite pieces. This cheered him up a bit. I guess he isn't into art just yet. Though he did like the Easter Island head and looking for the "art by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles".

After the Louvre we decided to see Notre Dame since it was not to far and on our way back to the metro. I think we might of pushed it a bit since both kids were a little tired. Miles sat in a pew while we walked around.

Off to find some ice cream. It always cheers up the kids when we have made them walk just a little too much in one day!

Arc d'Truimphe, Champs-Élysées, Louvre Square, Love Locks.

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When I plan a day in a new city, I try to put as many sights that are together in the same day. That way we don't have to go back to the same location more than once. I think today was the most packed, craziest day yet! Even though we saw a lot of things, it flowed really well and we didn't have any complaints.

We started at the Arc d'Triumphe. The Arc is a memorial to the French that fought in the Napoleonic and the French Revolutionary wars. It took 36 years to build. I wonder how long it would take in modern times? Ella just loved that it was our first look at Paris. Miles loved all the chain gates that he could swing on. It was pretty crowded so we didn't go to the top but just walking around it was magnificent.

The Arc d'Triumphe is at the start of the Champs-Elysees so we just started walking and walking. The famous street has lots of shops and places to eat. We strolled off the main road to grab some sandwiches and pizza but ate on the main road. We kept walking until we hit the Palace de Concorde at the end of the street. Ella was so excited to see the Obelisk at the Concorde, it is talked about in the Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. Her favorite author at the moment!

You think we would be done but no, we kept walking right up to the Louvre. It was closed but it was a great chance to snaps some pictures with out the crowds.

Miles was so happy to see a small hedge like maze outside the Louvre in the Tuileries Garden. For weeks he had been asking to do a hedge maze! and this was his chance. He had a ball running through them. 

After the Louvre, We decided to head back to our place but stumbled onto the Love Locks bridge over the Seine. I had just read they were taking them down and didn;t think any were still up, I was so glad we ran into them.

Miles and Ella both loved looking through them. There are so many in all different shapes and sizes! They also enjoyed looking for the keys that were thrown into the waters.

We are off to the Louvre tomorrow. We better rest our feet.