Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Highlights of the Week

We have just came back home from our first week of vacation. Smarty stayed with my parents in New Jersey while my husband and I flew to Paris for our "vacation for adults". We are very grateful to my parents for their willingness to spoil our daughter rotten every year while we enjoy much needed couple time. However, my husband and I were ruminating on how little time we have left to travel places with our daughter, and we might forego "vacation for adults" for the next few years. 
Our vacation is still not over as we are leaving for a family camp in a couple of days. We are looking forward to this time despite the prediction of extremely high temperatures - over 100F every day of our camp. Boo!

Paris in Summer

I was super excited to be able to return to Paris after 15 years. I lived and worked there in 1999 and 2000 and love the city. We flew to Paris right after Nice attack, and we did not quite know what to expect. It turned out that thousands of other tourists figured out that we cannot live in the world ruled by fear. Paris was as crowded as ever. The biggest change from 15 years ago was enhanced security around many landmarks, a lot of armed police, and metal detectors making entries to the museums even slower than usual. However, we enjoyed ourselves enormously. Our hotel was right on the Seine River near Pont Neuf, and we walked on average 30,000 steps a day. The food was great, and the weather stayed beautiful (but hot!) all week long. We are already talking about bringing Smarty with us to Paris a few years down the road.

New Jersey - Second Week

While we enjoyed real DaVinci and Van Gogh masterpieces in museums of Paris, my parents took Smarty to a fascinating open-air museum in New Jersey called Ground for Sculpture.. Smarty quite enjoyed seeing so many unique sculptures, some imitating famous works of art. However, her favorite attraction of New Jersey was yet again Russian Sauna. She has certainly inherited her grandfather's love for it and an ability to spend hours in a wet steam bath as long as she could pour icy cold water all over herself every so often.

What My Child Is Reading

Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate, and this post contains Amazon affiliate links. My parents' town has an amazing library, and Smarty took full advantage of it during her 2-week stay. I think she read about 60 books in 14 days (yes, she reads very fast) and discovered by accident a new non-fiction writer that she found fascinating - Mary Roach. Mary Roach is not a children's writer, and we had some conversations about several topics covered in the books that Smarty read through - Grunt and Packing for Mars.  Packing for Mars had discussed at length reproduction in space while Grunt dealt with certain war injuries and how they are treated. I stressed to Smarty that I will be happy to read and discuss these books with her answering any questions, but she should not discuss them with her friends. I think she understands my points well enough and, frankly, she does not have any serious interest in those topics herself... yet.

Best Memory of the Week

Best memory of the week was seeing 4 of my most favorite people in the world (sadly, not at the same time), experiencing joy of reunion with my daughter and sadness of leaving my parents at the same time. We will be missing them and looking forward to the next time we meet!

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Even though I was away, the traffic was hopping driven mostly by my Olympic posts:
How was your week?


maryanne @ mama smiles said...

Your Paris trip sounds lovely, as does Anna's time with your parents. I imagine she is getting to an age where she would make a spectacular traveling companion.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

The sculpture museum made four excellent photo ops - those are really great. I'm glad to hear that Paris is still thriving.

Ticia said...

I would love to take my kids to Europe sometime. Of course my list of places I would love to go with my kids is rather long, and my budget by comparison is rather small.

I guess, our "trip around the world" while at Epcot will have to be sufficient.

none said...

Glad to hear you had a great time in Paris. We took our kids to Europe for the first time last summer to London. This year we were planning Paris, but then the terrorist attacks scared us away and we went to Rome instead. Did you have misgivings about going to Paris?