One of the things I love about all the travel I’ve done, both with my kids and without, is that I have many places to return to in my mind when I’m feeling blue.
I’ve been lots of places that I love, but for me none can rival Paris. I can’t really explain it, but from the very first time I set foot there at twenty years old – literally half a lifetime ago for me – I felt like Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face (which, not surprisingly, is my favorite movie of all time). To me no other city is as beautiful or satisfying.
This affection is only increased by the fact that my boys loved it there as much as I do. Our Parisian trip in the summer of 2008 was a family travel high point for all of us. We had a marvelous time. And one of the boy’s favorite activities was visiting the playground at the Jardin du Luxembourg. So when I need a little boost, or a reminder of what this traveling with kids thing is really all about, or just a glimpse of some chubby toddler legs, I love to look at our photos from that day, our first full one in Paris. I especially love this picture of Tommy:
That little blond boy next to him kept shrieking “Attends! Attends!” (Wait! Wait) or “Plus vite! Plus vite!” (Faster! Faster!) and without fail Tommy would do the exact opposite of what he was demanding. But it didn’t matter – they spoke the international language of childhood facilitated by utter and complete joy.
And of course, no visit to a French playground is complete without a real carousel ride on a giraffe.
Do you have a family travel happy place? If so, I hope it makes you feel as good as these pictures make me feel.