Ok so we are back. Home. Unpacking with mountains of washing to do. It’s hot here (actually not so hot which is a good thing) but it’s warm again, the days are now longer and flowers and leaves are back on the trees. I always feel mixed up when I get home. Relieved that we are back safe and sound and in one piece, glad to be home to all our stuff, and beds and to have things out of bags and in drawers and cupboards. Daisy has been playing with all her toys with such enthusiasm and is enjoying being back here. BUT…the holiday is over. Literally. Back to reality. To cooking, and cleaning, and shopping and washing. And all that. Oh and the no job thing. But let’s not go there just yet I have SO much to report on!
So we arrived to Paris after one hell of a long trip. As in 36 hours door to door from when we left our house until we arrived in our hotel in Paris 36 hours later. That’s a long time for anyone. Let alone with an almost 2 year old. But we did it, and did it really well – no major meltdowns (except for one from this Mumma with around 3 hours to go) when the hosties told me to head back from near the kitchen and business class with Daisy! Anyway, we had 2 days and nights on our own to de-jetlag and see a few of the sights before the others arrived. The weather was also not so cold on these days so it was a good way to start to ease our way into winter. The whole getting dark thing early did take some getting used to – as did no sunlight until around 8.30am!
We then moved into the apartment which was even better then it looked in the photos. It was HUGE with enough room for the 6 adults and a kid, and we were very comfortable there. They also had a HUGE selection of DVD’s and CD’s and each room had it’s own flat screen plasma which was way to fun to be able to watch movies in bed. Daisy watched almost every Disney film made with her favourite being Nemo which we had to watch oh 356 times. Fast forwarding to the scenes with the sharks everytime (much to her aunt Lucy’s pain!). The first few days were spent catching up, drinking, eating and nattering about EVERYTHING with occasional trips out to the fresh markets and supermarkets to get our supplies together for Christmas. We had a Fabulous (yes that was meant to be a capital F) Christmas lunch cooked by Lucy’s chef boyfriend and a long lunch with LOTS of champagne. And then a walk post lunch down to see the Tower, honestly the best Christmas EVER!
The next 7 days or so all blend in together. More champagne and good food. Days out in the cold (some even by ourselves) and then home in the late afternoon for more champagne, warming up and a beautiful home cooked dinner then perhaps out for a walk or some drinks in our local neighbourhood which included the Arc De Triumphe and the Champs which were JUST there! We had another feast on New Years Eve with more champagne and a lovely time sitting around chatting and reflecting on the year that was and what we all hoped for in the new year. It was special to spend New Years with my family – it is quite rare for us to be together for the actual night – and one that I will cherish for a long time.
Mum and Lucy left last Friday where Rob, Daisy and I moved into another apartment that we had for 2 nights which wasn’t far from where we were. I was SO sad to say goodbye to them – to the apartment – to the end of the holiday. There were LOTS of tears and then more over those days – poor Rob and Daisy were very kind to me and got used to the tears that kept flowing for those days. But we kept busy: a trip to the business area called La Defense to see an amazing Arch building, some snow and walks along the Seine and the Tuilleries gardens and a boat trip along the river. And MORE champagne to see us out.
We then flew to Hong Kong via Helsinki and had 3 days and 2 nights there. It was great to stay with some friends in their great apartment and see some of the sights of that great city. I loved Hong Kong – it was smoggy and busy and all that but it was SO pretty. A beautiful island with friendly people. We had the best time there with even a cheeky little trip to another theme park thing called Ocean Park where we saw fish and dolphins, and went on rides, and cable cars and marvelled at the views, and just had a GREAT last day to the trip. It was also such a good idea to split the trip up and not do it all in one hit – it has also helped with the jetlag and getting used to warmer weather again from minus 7 or so in Paris to about 20 in Hong Kong.
Yesterday we arrived home around 11am. I started to unpack like a woman possessed, getting load after load of washing on and generally trying to get back into the swing of things. Daisy was up in the night still trying to get used to her days now being back in the complete opposite direction. I have been shopping, the cupboards and full again and all the Christmas decorations are down. I feel ready (sort of not really at all) to take on 2009.
I really had the most amazing time. A trip of a lifetime and one that I will NEVER forget. I am so glad that we decided to go. That we said “stuff it, it’s only money” and went out on a limb and did it. As Rob said to me when we were there…life is about making memories. We could have saved the money or could have used it to put back into the house, but in 20 years time I am certain we would never have said wow that was great when we put in that new front fence but I KNOW that in 20 years time I will look back on the trip with such fond memories. I will never forget the time with my Mum and sister. The days and nights with Rob alone in Paris but being able to go home that night and see our little girl asleep in her bed, happy after having spent time with her Grandma and Aunty. The champagne. The wine. The food. The biting cold weather. The snow! That magnificently, breathtakingly beautiful city. The lights. The buildings. The galleries. The cafes. The bread shops. The bread, oh my, the bread. The nutella on the bread. The crepes. The nutella on the crepes. Did I mention the champagne and bread? I will cherish ALL of it. Pull it close into the heart and pull out little pieces bit by bit when I need them. When I need to be recharged again. And I will look at the photos as a physical reminder that it really did happen. That we were there and it was better then I could ever have hoped for. What a lucky lady!