Clearly, the highlight of our summer was a trip to France with the whole Selkin clan in late June/early July. As I mentioned, I posted a whole album of photos from the trip. If you are interested enough to be on this blog, you will probably enjoy the album. That said, I boiled it down to the highlights to actually post here.
Solly really understood that this was a special trip. He got into the spirit by staying up late in restaurants, drinking his water from a wine glass, enjoying good bread and pastries in the morning, and trying on some traditional French headgear.
Our first full day was spent in the Jardin du Luxembourg, one of the best public parks for kids I've ever seen. It has a charming carousel that we rode a bunch of times, ponies, a classic puppet show, rental model sail boats, an amazing playground, even an apiary!
We did a little traditional sightseeing, as well. Solly was particularly excited about the Eiffel Tower, which he is still talking about.
Then we took a boat ride to the Notre Dame cathedral.
The next day we split up, with the bigger kids going to the Louvre, while we hung out at the Champs Elysees and the Jardin des Tuileries.
After a few days in Paris, the gang piled into matching cars, and drove south to Clermont-Ferrand, the town the Selkins called home for a year while Carl was on sabbatical. On the way, we stopped to see the impressive Cathedral at Chartres.
We also visited a castle at Murol. I think Eli's kids really enjoyed this part.
Guess which brother has vertigo?
Our gang left Clermont a day early so we could get an extra day in Paris. After a train ride that Solly particularly enjoyed, we visited the Centre Pompidou to see some modern art and an incredible view of the city.
On our last day, we went to La Villette, where they had a cool geodesic dome.
The children's museum there (in the Science Museum) included an area especially for small toddlers. They had a kid's construction site (wait until you see the video of this!), and a water play area that kept Solly busy until they closed.
The last few nights we stayed at a hotel in the airport. The view from our room fascinated Solly. Toddler TV!
We enjoyed the sights, but obviously, the best part of visiting France was the food! Solly particularly enjoyed eating lots of new things (and some old things he doesn't get to eat often).
We were shocked when he asked Peter to try some of his escargot, but even more shocked when after trying it, he picked up the little clips and starting digging in for more!
You could say that he was in it for the butter and garlic, except the next day he tried steamed periwinkles... and kept asking for more!
If you asked Solly about his trip, he'd talk about planes, trains, buses, taxis, "real" cars, boats, horses... he even rode many different vehicles and animals on many different carousels (and we tried them all).
But truly the best part was hanging out with the family.
Solly was a trooper, but ten days of late suppers and few formal naps took their toll. Totally worth it!
Thanks, Carol and Carl, for a once-in-a-lifetime trip!