T he flight to Europe was good yet tiring. None of us getting the sleep that we need that we spend long moments at the back of the plane swaying her and shhhing her so not to disturb the other passengers. By the end of the flight she has made friends with all the flight attendants and many of the passengers with her smiles and willingness to be friendly with everyone.
A private driver is arranged to pick us up to drive us through London. As we pass by iconic locations we all nod off in the back before we are woken up by our driver once we have reached our destination. Our friend pops her head out the window in a familiar and friendly greeting, it is so good to see a dear friend after many months apart.
After the ‘hellos’ and ‘how are you’ are spoken I sink my tired body into a comfortable bed while holding Isla close to me as we nap after our long journey. I know we both need it and we sleep for 2 long hours with our bodies close. It is a moment I etch into my memory. After the nap we take a walk around the neighbourhood where I am distracted by the beautifully painted doors and the quaintness of everything, oh how I miss Europe.
Later in the evenings we take our babes into the tub and watch them playing and splashing in a bath together. We notice the way he always wants to hold her hand or kiss her head. The way she smiles easily and enjoys every moment to the fullness that she can.
Once the babes are fast asleep in their white pjs we gather around the table for Indian takeaway. The conversation flows easily despite everyone’s fatigue. When Mister cannot hold his eyes open any longer and I anticipate a long night in front of us him and I call it a night and curl up together on a small single bed.
The next morning we have a late sleep in, 10:30am. Breakfast is prepared for us of warm croissants, toast, as well a tart yogurt with berries to pile on top. When our babes take another nap and our husbands work away on their laptops, we escape to walk around the city easily catching up feeling right at home with each other while we walk the streets of London. All too soon Mister and I need to pack everything back up for our train to Paris.
Another driver is arranged who whisks us right to the front doors of St. Pancreas so that we can easily check-in just as the modern “all aboard” is about to be called. As experienced travellers we easily find our seats and put our luggage away and watch the other passengers board while Isla squeals in delight out the window. As the train departs from St. Pancreas she looks at us with wonder filling her eyes before turning back towards the window to watch the English countryside pass us by. Eventually she falls asleep in my arms, and while he works beside us, I drift off to sleep as well.
We roll into the streets of Paris and the familiarity hits us. We know exactly where we need to go before our driver picks us up to take us from the North of Paris to the South. She sits in my lap completely content to watch the city go by before asking to be held by her Tatuś where she quickly falls asleep. We are greeted with open arms and smiles into our friend’s Parisian flat, where it seems to go on forever, a rarity in Paris. The Eiffel Tower spotlight sweeps into the kitchen as we tour their home and beautiful french music plays on the speakers.
We talk late into the night before we cannot keep our eyes open a moment longer and quickly fall asleep. In the middle of the night Isla wakes unsure of where she is and cries to be held and swayed. We keep her quiet as possible before getting her back to sleep where we all have another late sleep in. We enjoy a typical European breakfast of french baguette topped with honey ham and a sharp cheddar cheese. When we are all fed I take Isla in her pram for a walk to the Luxembourg Gardens where she falls asleep under the shade of a tree while I sit in the iconic chairs watching children push sailboats in the fountain. Her and I make our way back to the Parisian flat walking down now familiar streets and when she is fussy in her pram the French ladies stop to coo and entertain her.
The next morning we rise early and are proud of ourselves, but before long we realize that we aren’t over jet leg yet, so I prepare our bed and we have a family nap together for two hours. Eventually we make it out onto the streets of Paris to explore a hidden area called The Streets of Flowers where cobblestone streets and quaint houses covered in vines and flowers meet. We make our way to a park to lounge on the grass and watch Isla explore the world around her.
We slowly make our way back and just as we enter the flat the whole city of Paris is caught in a flash thunderstorm. We watch the city get soaked from the comfort of our home as the smell of rain wafts through the open windows.