Last month we found out that Charles had to go work in India for 6 weeks, starting November 1st all the way through December 15th (only two weeks before my due date!). Since we were going to be apart for several weeks we decided to take a family vacation so we could spend a little time together before the separation. We had been wanting to go to France to see Charles' family for a while. Since Charles had to fly through France anyways and Isabelle is still under 2, we would only have to pay for my ticket. So we made some last minute plans and booked a trip to France. Right before we were supposed to leave Charles found out his Indian work Visa hadn't been processed yet. It was a very stressful situation. We found out the day before we were supposed to leave that it had finally been processed and mailed out that day. Unfortunately it didn't get to us in time for Charles to fly with Isabelle and me, but he was able to join us two days later. So I got to fly, 7 months pregnant, with Isabelle on my lap the whole way there. It was especially tight considering we had a big guy right next to us. When we tried to pull down the tray, it would squish Isabelle in the belly. Poor thing! But we made it through and she was quite the trooper. We spent the first 5 days in Valence at Charles' parents house. My sisters Laila and Mikenzie are staying with his parents for the semester, so it was an extra bonus to be able to spend time with them. We have really missed them a lot. Some of Charles' aunts and uncles came to visit as well, which was wonderful. After a few days in Valence we took the train up to Paris. Charles, Isabelle and I got a hotel there for two nights. It was pretty close to the Champs. We got an awesome deal on the hotel room. We found it online on one of the websites where you name the area you want to be and how many stars. We got it for 80 Euros a night. When we got there to check in, it was absolutely gorgeous, we were very pleased. Then we were even more pleased when we saw the sign that said the cheapest room started at 540 Euros a night. I guess you could say we got a good deal! Then they proceeded to upgrade us to bigger room which was wonderful. We had a view of the Eiffel tower out to the left and the Arch de Triumph out to the right. We couldn't have asked for more!
We spent a day just walking around Paris. We walked and walked and walked. I eventually took off my boots and put on my flip flops, which were much more comfortable. Isabelle is obsessed with castles, so she was in heaven! She thought every old building there was a castle. It was fun to see her so excited.
Every Saturday Charles makes crepes at home for breakfast. Isabelle absolutely loves them, she truly is a little french girl! When we started walking that morning in Paris we told Isabelle we were going to go get some crepes. Well apparently we weren't in the right area for crepes, because we couldn't find them anywhere. Isabelle kept asking for them and we kept looking. Eventually she fell asleep while we were walking. But the first thing she said when she woke up was "mange crepes" (or eat crepes). Finally we found a little vendor on the side of the street and she devoured it.
Isabelle also loved eating baguettes in France. There were many meals where that was all she would eat.
This was in our bathroom in our hotel. Isabelle thought it was a sink just her size. We just let her enjoy it as we laughed.
The Eiffel Tower had a new light show that they did every night. It was quite the show!
Once Isabelle spotted the carousel in front of the Eiffel tower, that was all she wanted to do. She was such a trooper all day, we were happy to do something fun for her. We followed it up with a big bag of popcorn, just for her (of course we snuck a few pieces too).
If you look close you can see the Eiffel tower lit up right behind the carousel.
The Chateau of Chantilly
Isabelle loves flowers! Anytime she seems them she has to pick them and smell them. I guess she is like her Mama!
Isabelle was thrilled when Charles finally arrived! I was too of course!
Outside an old cathedral in Valence.
Ready to go for a walk!
Isabelle and Laila
Since Charles won't be here for Isabelle's birthday we decided to have a little birthday celebration for Isabelle while we were in France. Charles' mom got two beautiful and delicious cakes. We definitely can't find anything like them in the states. Isabelle was in heaven!
One of the highlights of the trip was that Isabelle finally got to meet all of Charles' family. Prior to the trip she had only met his parents and one of his sisters. She got to meet Aunts, Uncles, cousins, and two great-grandmas. She loved playing with everyone. One huge bonus was we were able to be there for our niece Louise's baptism. What a treat that was! After the baptism we headed up to Crepy, north of Paris I think, and spent some time with more family there.
Isabelle with her great-grandmas.
Isabelle really enjoyed playing with her cousins for the first time.
Charles and his sister Adeline.
We had a lot of late nights playing games with the family at Didier's house.
Isabelle loved playing on the playground out back behind Mamy and Papy's house.
Laila and Mikenzie at one of the many castles we visited.
Beautiful day in France!
Kenzie and me
Isabelle with her aunts
All in all we had a wonderful trip. We got to visit with all the family and visit lots of beautiful places. Isabelle was such a trooper the entire trip and was so well behaved. I couldn't have asked for a better trip. Now we are back home, counting down the days till Charles gets to come home. 1 more month! For anyone interested Charles has set up a blog for his trip to India.