If you haven't had the pleasure of meeting her, she's my beautiful but precocious three year old. Trouble and naughtiness seems to find her like flies find....honey. :) Imagine Olivia the Pig, but with curly hair.
In preparation for Paris, we had the little brats watch a dozen DVDs set in Paris. The Hunchback of Notre Dame was a easy favorite for them. I'm not sure why, but Quasimodo was an instant hero to Delilah. We promised her over and over that we'd get to see Quasimodo's house when we got to Paris. And so before we went, we watched The Hunchback (One and Two) at least 1,000,000 times before we left for our trip, and then we loaded both copies onto the iPad and took them with us to Paris for more Parisian Hunchback viewing.
Steve and I were feeling pretty good with ourselves. We had prepared the kids for Paris. We had all watched the videos and read the books. THEY were ready. WE were ready. And prepared people are happy people, right?
Let me say, it wasn't entirely our fault...
The day that Notre Dame found its way onto our agenda was a crappy Parisian weather day. There was a steady rain and the temperature hovered around 50 degrees. It was in the middle of the week and traffic was bad. And regardless of how much we LOVED the ease and speed of the Paris Metro, there was still some above ground walking involved. In the rain. And in the cold. With the brats.
We arrived to Notre Dame just after lunch and naturally there was a line to get into the church. It was raining pretty hard at this point but the kids were in good spirits, and so we opened our giant umbrellas (we had brought them, thankfully) and essentially followed the "grin and bear it" method of dealing with things while we waited in line. The kids were excited--and we were excited that the kids were excited. You just never know with these things...
The line was long but it moved fast. While we were outside, I tried taking a few pictures of the front of the cathedral, but keep in mind, it's on a ISLAND and there's this strange stage set up in front of it, so it was impossible to stand back far enough to get a good picture that showed the entire cathedral.
Paris Point of Zero--the point from which all distances are measured in Paris
I guess no one wanted to hang out in the pouring rain anymore than we did, so we were inside within just a few minutes.
Keep in mind:
*It's dark inside
*It's fairly crowded
*We have a lot of brats
*It's quiet inside because, 1. It's a church, and 2. There are people inside telling you to "SHHHH" loudly, the entire time.
Imagine our surprise when we looked over and Delilah had dragged a chair to the wall and was yelling, "LOOK! It's Ariel's shell", LOUDLY, while she was playing in the Holy Water. Inside Notre Dame. The man Did Not tell her to, "SHHHH". I honestly think he was too stunned. He probably fainted after we left....
Blurry pictures of the chair and Ariel's shell...They are blurry because we were basically running to get out of there at this point...
And then to top it all off, Delilah and Jackson proceeded to walk around and happily announce to ANYONE near them that this was Quasimodo's house. Loudly. In a singsong voice. Needless to say, we got the heck out of there pretty quickly...
Joan of Arc
A good view of the island...see that bridge?
It's covered with tons (literally) of locks! Read about the Pont de'l'Archeveche' bridge and the story of the locks HERE.
Want to hear the bells ringing?
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