Hi friends! I’m so happy to report that a lot of my detox symptoms are fading. I’m not feeling 100% but I’m okay with that! I’m feeling okay and taking on life and that’s all I can really ask for right now 🙂 We’re just taking it day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute really. That’s all you can really do, right? I knew before heading off to Paris that this would be my entire MO for the trip. Day by day, minute by minute.
And it worked well.
I set for little plans, goals, expectations for this trip. I just knew that I wanted to be there and enjoy the slower moments of travel. While we knew we’d head to the Louvre (Marlowe’s request) and probably take a day to celebrate Marlowe’s birthday (which we did and was so magical), and we definitely wanted to eat pizza (didn’t really happen how we expected), we didn’t have too many other plans. Each day we’d take a minute to plan a “maybe itinerary” for the next day. And then the following day we’d wake up and adjust it according to our mood and the weather.
Honestly, that’s probably the best piece of advice I could ever offer you when traveling with kids — or with fragile healing people whose health might fluctuate– either / or.
And so, our very first day, with no “maybe itinerary” set the day before– we wandered. The weather was mostly beautiful, with some rain in the morning. We dressed accordingly and took my favorite form of transportation (our feet) to the streets.
Just at the corner of our street there was a cute little flower market. And just about every single day of our trip we stopped to take a photo in front of it. Some days Marlowe was happy about this impromptu flower shop shoot. And some days she was not. But for me, it was a simple way to document each day, with little effort. Her in her adorable cape — we found it in a coffee shop in a tiny town in Mexico) and her little outfit can’t be beat– even by my wild blonde streaking hair and avocado socks. She is the best.
We decided to put the address of a gluten free restaurant /bakery into my phone. This was the norm for a lot of our trip– pick a location and walk there. A destination could be a 5 minute walk or an hour walk, but the walks would take us probably a minus of two hours because every couple of feet we’d find ourselves in an amazing vintage or handmade shop or within a new-to-us-but-so-very-old alleyway.
This was either Passage Jouffroy or Passage Des Panoramas– I’m not sure, but probably one of the two.
Happy corners. Sans gluten.
I’m pretty sure Marlowe ate avocado toast about 12 days of this 14 day trip. She rarely eats gluten at home– so for her, the real treat of travel is being allowed copious amounts of fatty fruit on bread, preferably sourdough bread. For me, well, I prefer to limit her gluten intake, but I’m happy to green light her savory breakfast requests while we travel. Out of all the things in the world that I cold say yes to that could bring her joy, this is an easy one. And it’s even easier when we’re at a gluten free restaurant 😉
The restaurant was called “No Glu” if you’re wondering. It was good, but I think my favorite gluten free experience was on this delicious day, visiting Chambelland.
But maybe the most ironic part of this gluten free restaurant experience, was that I ordered the one dish that didn’t even include gluten. I mean, it tasted fine, but was maybe a little silly on my end.
Also, if you asked me 5 years ago if I would be visiting gluten free bakeries in Paris, I would have laughed at you. But here I am.
And we left, with a tiny vegan gluten free pastry for miss Marlowe. I’m pretty sure it’s written in stone somewhere that you must purchase a pastry on the first day of each visit to Paris.
About an hour (two kids stores and one beret shop) later we made it another 200 ft down the passage way where we stopped to choose the next destination while Marlowe munched on her chocolate pastry.
I can’t tell you what it tasted like, but I can tell you that it sure did look adorable– before it smeared all over the box and Marlowe’s face.
The rest of the day was spent the same: wander and repeat. I remember moments through photos and feelings and I can’t say I took enough photos of all the moments on this trip. I let myself experience and feel– without too much motion or thought. Just passive action. I had saved a few shops to my maps that I wanted to check out. We must have walked for hours and hours and miles and miles, in and out of all the shops.
Without trying I found a kids eco store that I had stumbled upon on my very first Paris trip with Alex. On our first trip I saw a store front with an “I like your face” sweatshirt in the window. Everything about it was perfect– I had said “I like your face” for a little too many years now– well over a decade. And when I walked in to buy the sweatshirt, I cold have cried tears of joys when I realized that the entire store was completely organic and sustainable. Everything aligned.
Today, on this wandering day, I found that shop again. Passive action led me here. This time we left with a beret.
And she loved it enough to pose in every angle.
And with me in front of another flower shop.
And once more when a kind stranger saw us taking photos in front of a drug store flower display — and offered to take our photo. I, myself, have become an expert photo taking offer-er. Now, anytime I see a couple take a selfie or a family taking a photo, I offer, “do you want your photo taken?” Sometimes I get a “no, thank you” and sometimes I get a very excited, “yes! thank you very much!”
As someone who cannot ever ask anyone to take a photo for me, I have become very good at offering it. I can teach myself things in this. I can tell myself that if I can offer, then I should be able to ask. But I struggle.
The entire day was filled with a balancing game of “how many layers do I need in this current temperature and weather?” Layers came on and were taken off all day. And of course, skirts came off for the playground visit. I mentioned it before, but with this trip being very much a trip for Marlowe as it was for me, playgrounds were almost mandatory. Every one was an opportunity for us to catch some sun and an opportunity for her to climb.
When the sun started to set we put back on our layers and made our way to dinner. I’m not sure exactly where we went. (I didn’t photograph it). I remember walking there. I can picture the streets we took to get there and the streets we passed to walk back home. I’m good with directions like that. My mom and Alex like to tell me I have a built-in compass in my head. But for whatever reason, I cannot tell you what we ate that night, without a photo of the food to remind me. But we had a great day and evening for sure.
A day to wander, with slow, easy, passive action and my favorite form of transportation– my own two feet.