On Wednesday, I was lucky enough to have a bit of work to do in Paris, checking out a fabulous apartment for work… more news on this and how you could win a holiday there in a few weeks time. Even more lucky is the fact that I work for the most amazing company, who were perfectly happy for me to take Libby to Paris.
I had initially panicked a little bit about travelling by plane with a 9 1/2 month old, so I thought I’d take the Eurostar. Unfortunately though, this was both more expensive than flying and more hassle than it was worth. As our local airport is only an hour away by train, I decided to risk it and booked the flights.
So, it was with a little trepidation on Wednesday that I packed our overnight bag (8 reusable nappies, a change of clothes each and our toothbrushes) and off we went on our merry way. Libby loved the train to the airport, was perfectly fine with the various procedures when we got there and then fell asleep just before we got on the plane. Unfortunately, I woke her up when we boarded and I strapped her in, then she couldn’t get back to sleep. Despite this though, the flight didn’t bother her at all. She just sat and had a look at all the people, glanced out of the window at the clouds and ate a few chocolate buttons. The flight was so short that I was soon attempting to navigate Paris Charles de Gaulle airport and wondering what all the fuss had been about.
On arrival in Paris, we took the train and then the Metro to the apartment. As soon as we got to the train station, I realised that my decision to use a mei tai baby carrier rather than a pushchair was the best decision I’ve ever made. Paris really isn’t set up for pushchairs. They wouldn’t fit through the barriers and there is generally nobody around to help you. As it was, Libby was just tied onto my hip in the mei tai and I was totally unrestricted by her. We both got a bit fed up on the journey to the apartment because the directions weren’t great, but writing proper directions was part of my job and trying to find it without them certainly made me realise how important it is to get them right.
The apartment itself was beautiful. It’s only little, the size of an average hotel room with a tiny kitchen attached to it but it was really traditionally Parisian with wooden floors, a grandfather clock and fabulous paintings on the walls. Libby and I loved it.
Another first for me whilst we were there was sharing a bed with Libby all night. I know a lot of
my friends get on fabulously with co-sleeping, but it’s not something we’ve ever done. Luckily though, she was exhausted and slept like a dream, as did I.
Yesterday morning, we got up and left the apartment by 9.30am, but didn’t have time to fit in much sight seeing before heading back to the airport. We took a stroll by the stunning Seine River, looked at the amazing architecture and grabbed a pain au chocolate for our breakfast. I’m pretty sure what Libby muttered whilst eating the pain au chocolate was baby language for “this is the best breakfast ever!!”
The flight home was even easier than it had been on the way over. Libby looked around her when we got on the plane, chuckled at being back there and settled down on my lap with her feet up on the arm rest for a nap. She woke up just before we landed, looked out of the window for a while and played peekaboo with the nice man in the seat behind her and then it was time to head back.
The whole experience of travelling with Libby has made me realise that there really won’t be any problem should we ever decide to go on holiday abroad as a family. I’d heard so many horror stories about travelling with children that I’d totally ruled it out but now it’s back on the cards. What I’d really like to do is buy a camper van and spend a year going round Europe so that our dogs could come too, they’re part of the family after all. Fingers crossed we will be able to do that one day.
Whilst we were away, I had some fabulous news. I have been asked to write a blog post reviewing a radio show for the Boots Feel Good Forum Radio project with Mumsnet. Of course I’ve agreed to do it, I’m so honoured and excited! I will be listening to the radio shows over the next couple of days and then discussing the shows on my blog and highlighting the advice that was given. The first show is about anti ageing, the second is about skin conditions and hair care. Believe me, I need advice about all of these things! So watch this space for my post, I’m hoping to get it done on Monday!