This morning we wanted to give Killian some much needed freedom from the stroller and after getting our morning bread and pastries we headed to Jardin des Plantes. We unleashed our wild toddler and he had a ball running up and down the hill, watching all of the runners do their laps around us and playing in the dirt. After about 30 minutes we were able to get him to follow us and we walked into the park a little ways and we were pleased to finally see a playground. We have been spoiled with Bangkok because there are parks and kid stuff to do everywhere! Paris probably has those things too but none that we have come across yet. As we were playing on the playground I look across the way and see a kangaroo. I blink a couple of times and make sure my eyes aren’t just blurry (I figure it must be a dog) and look again and sure enough there was a group of about 10 kangaroos just hanging out and enjoying the morning sun. We are a little confused as to why they are in the park but then we see a sign for a menagerie and it starts to make a little more sense.
After our morning kangaroo hunt and the required nap we woke our sleeping bear to take him on a lunch river cruise of the Seine. He was not to thrilled… We always think we have more time getting places than we actually do and we ended up running to the boat dock in order to make our boarding but we made it with a few minutes to spare. We took the lunch cruise with Bateaux Mouches. It was a lovely French meal with an accordion player serenading us. The only complaint I would have is that they did not have the air conditioner on and consequently the entire boat of passengers were fanning themselves with their menus and sweating profusely.
Travel Tip: While using the metro system in Paris, especially if you have a toddler that you are carrying up and down the stairs, give yourself 15 extra minutes of travel time. I promise this will make your life easier and you won’t have to run everywhere trying to make it to your tour you have already paid for.
We ended our fourth day in Paris with Sunday vigil mass at Notre Dame. On the way to the church we saw an artist sitting on the bridge painting with water colors on the beautiful sketches that he had drawn. I couldn’t resist and had to purchase one of his paintings. It is beautiful and as I marvel at it I think about how God has freely given us all amazing and individual talents but it is our job to use them to the fullest! As we make our way into the church they are having Vespers and we take our seat and wait for the mass to begin. The entire mass service was in French, which I would expect since we are in France, but they did handout programs with the readings in English. I don’t remember much of my French from school and from time to time I get it confused with my Thai but I was able to make out some of the words said. The singing was amazing and I swear that has to be close to what heaven will sound like. I basically made it through the homily and then my son had a meltdown so I wasn’t able to partake in communion. It was still an amazing experience and I recommend mass at Notre Dame to anyone, it’s not only something Catholics can enjoy (just respect what the church asks that you do not take communion if you do not share the same beliefs).