Sunday, August 16, 2015

0 France, Part 3: Deja Vu in Paris

Patrick and I knew that with two kids in tow, there weren't going to be a lot of leisurely brasserie meals on this Paris trip. So we wanted to thoroughly research in order to prioritize one for lunch in the Marais (my favorite Paris neighborhood). Hundreds of reviews and four stars each on Yelp and TripAdvisor, Chez Janou was standing out among the pack. As we read the raves about their tagliatelle aux escargots and mousse au chocolat, our mouths began to water. And then I started to have this strange deja I'd been anticipating this mousse before. We realized that this had been our first choice six years ago, when we were choosing a brasserie for our singular Parisian restaurant excursion on our honeymoon. (On that trip, dining was strictly limited by our travel budget.) The previous plans had been foiled by Chez Janou's July month-long vacation closure. Six years and one month later, my dreams of being romantically spoon-fed the famed mousse by my husband were fulfilled...if only because I had a baby in one arm and was wrangling a four-year-old with the other. Victory nonetheless! The food really was fantastic, the waiter ever so charming, and the ambiance perfectly Parisian.

I thought that recreating our most popular dining mode would be much simpler: the Paris picnic! On our honeymoon we subsisted on cheese, baguette, and cheap wine al fresco. What is more kid-friendly than lunch in a park? So we gathered supplies at the market and headed to the beautiful Tuileries. What became immediately apparent, and we had never fully appreciated when childless, was that the lounging at Tuileries is all done in lawn chairs. The grass areas are 100% roped off and there is nowhere other than dirt paths littered with cigarette butts and bottle caps (from the lawn chair loungers) for a one-year-old to crawl around. And Charlie is not a lounging kind of baby. There was struggling, there was chasing, there were tears, and there were dirty dirty children. Nostalgia fail. 

Jack, too, was interested in some intentional re-creation. There is this picture of Patrick from our honeymoon: 

We'd found ourselves at Les Invalides, exhausted after a red-eye flight and non-stop Paris sightseeing all day (seriously, looking back at these pictures: what were we thinking?!). Patrick pretended to take a little nap. And Jack thinks that this picture is just about the funniest thing ever. He was determined to visit those cannons. And so...we couldn't resist:

Deja vu!

More pictures from our Paris travels can be found here.

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