Tuesday was Molly's 11th birthday, so we did as she wished and climbed the Eiffel Tower to look out over the city. The stairs seemed endless, but the view was great. It was also a good opportunity to get our bearings in the city, and see many sights from afar.
Yesterday, we slept until almost 11: unheard of in our family. Then, we took the Metro to the Arc de Triomphe, and spent several hours walking the famous Champs Elysees. (George said it reminded him of 5th Avenue in Manhattan.) Molly and Ursula liked the Louis Vuitton fashion house; George and I liked the Renault auto technology store. We eventually got to the Louvre, but declined to join the long lines. We finished our 5 km walking tour at Notre Dame cathedral: an amazing building from the 12th century.
Today, it was rainy but we walked again anyway. Starting at the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre, we toured Pigalle and Blanche - home of the famous Moulin Rouge. The kids thought the neighbourhood was a little seedy, with all the "adult" stores along the way. Next, we did my favourite thing: shopping in a giant department store. Actually, I have to admit that visiting the flagship Gallerie Lafayette was pretty impressive. Reminds me of Harrod's in London or Macy's in New York.
Now, we're back at the hotel for an "eat in" dinner. I'm pretty strict on enforcing our daily budget, so we're shopping at grocery stores and making most of our meals in the room.
Anyway, so far; so good. We haven't really settled into any routine yet. I expect our time in Belgium will feel more normal than a snug hotel room in Paris.