August 30th part 2: Jardin du Luxembourg

After finishing up at the Eiffel Tower, we walked over around the corner to rue Cler, a rather popular street to have something to eat. We ended up at Au Gros Caillou, and had some wonderful desserts following our entrees. Maria and Daniel had creme brulee, and Natasha and I shared chocolate mousse.

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Next, we took the metro to Luxembourg Gardens, and simply relaxed a little. It takes a lot of stamina to walk the streets of Paris with a three year old! These gardens are really a lovely place to relax. There are lots of activities for the children such as a carousel, swings, boats to push across the fountain pond, play grounds and ponies to ride, but everything costs a wee bit. Or more than a wee bit for us cheap folks! So we only paid for the bathrooms. This is quite common over here in Europe, and had it not been for the three year old, we would be even more cheap! But since it’s something that has to be done, I console myself thinking, two for the price of one! These particular ones cost €.50.

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Maria and I were so impressed with this couple’s picnic: Cheese, wine, glass goblets…it just seemed *so* French.

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There are two sections of grass where folks are allowed to sit, and sit they did. Groups of various languages being spoken here and there, some with snacks, some without. But everywhere, people talking, interacting and creating intimate conversation together. It was so good to see people looking at each other and sharing stories and not just glancing up over an iphone during their “conversation”.

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After sitting a while ourselves, we decided this might be the only night to see the Eiffel Tower at night, so we headed back to the metro once again. Daniel was our fearless leader in navigating the tunnels, red, blue, and pink lines on the metro map, and we never got lost. Turned around a couple times, but never separated or left behind. The only problem we had with our tickets was occasionally they wouldn’t work. Ha! In those cases, we sometimes got replacements or hopped over the revolving gate thingy, or just slipped through the “stroller” door. :)

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While we waited for dark, we had chocolate, bananas and plums for a snack. Once again, anything done with the Eiffel Tower rising up in the distance is more special. At this particular location, we could sit and watch all the joggers, which was very entertaining. We rather like people watching…

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It made for a really full day of walking, but I’m so glad we made a point to come back to the Eiffel Tower at night. It was pretty special, to say the least.

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Let me warn you though, if you decide to kiss your husband underneath the tower, and are approached by a street vendor with a red rose, beware. It’s very romantic and all, and the vendor may even say, “I give it to you!” But, really, it’s not a gift. My observant husband had noticed this exchange with other couples, and after they accepted the rose, the “giver” wanted to be paid! So it made for an slightly interesting situation when it happened to us, since I didn’t know about the having-to-pay-part, and thought it was indeed a gift. Fortunately, despite me reaching out to accept the “gift”, Daniel was pressing his arm against mine muttering, “Don’t take it.” Awkward indeed to then change your smile to a shaking head and say “No” to the guy! Ah well, the things you learn in Paris!

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