We feel like Pioneer Children who have walked and walked and walked and walked. Albeit pioneer children who also ate dinner at nice restaurants, slept in comfy hotels, and ate ice cream every day.
Today was our last day of travel. Everyone is worn out. Everyone has had a positive attitude about walking so much. Everyone has gotten along. Everyone has been good sports about sightseeing even when some of the sites were not that exciting (although most were awesome). Everyone has tried new foods. Everyone has learned new things. Everyone has learned to say "thank you" in 3 different languages.
We are back in our hotel room resting, blogging, instagramming, surfing the Internet, cleaning up, listening to Taylor Swift, choosing Psych episodes for the night. Our evening ritual. I really wish every night at home we could have some family time like this each day.
Today we went to Pompidou to look for hats that aren't your typical hats but the cleverest, whimsical handmade hats any Columbian ever made. Unfortunately the Columbian hat seller wasn't there.
We tried the Thursday outdoor market at the Bastille. There were lots of fresh fruit, vegetable, meat, cheese and fish vendors. But also cheap clothes, underclothes and cheap leather bags. However Marty found a wallet he was excited about.
The trek to the train for our trip to Versailles was long and slow and hot. From subway to bus to train. But we made it.
Our outdoor market we liked so much before is only open on Tuesdays and Sundays. We were sad to miss the excitement of the market, but we found sandwiches at a boulangerie and fruit at a shop, so with picnic ready, we went to search for bikes.
Our first bike stand was closed so we had a picnic on the far grounds near Marie Antoinette's great, great, great sheep grandchildren.
After lunch we walked to the Grand Canal and found bikes there. They even had bikes for Nick's size. Yay! We rode over to Grand Trianon and around the canal. Felt so good to ride!
An hour later we turned in the bikes and walked up through the Palace grounds and back to the train station to head home.
We are talking about dinner plans for tonight. We are debating just sitting in our room and not going out. Or sitting on the hotel terrace which is lovely but there are a lot of smokers as well.
I just had Dan, Courtney, Chris and Nick guess If I could eat anywhere tonight that we've eaten on this trip, where would it be? "The French Onion Soup place?" "Taco Libre?" "Crepes?" "The sausage place?" "The place we ate at midnight after the Vespa rides?"
Dan guessed it: The piazza in Rome that we ate at our very first night of the trip. People walking around but not too crowded. Kids playing with the glowy shooter things and running around while we waited for our dinner. The street vendors selling their chintzy yet-so-eye-catching-for-8-year-olds goods. Warm with a breeze.
So after we rest and shower and get geared up for another outing, we are going out to the Champs for dinner. Yes, I doubt the many restaurants are high quality. But tonight isn't about the food. It's about the atmosphere and being together for the last night. Oh, now that makes me think that soon we will be home and soon the summer will end and soon our oldest child will be going off to college and it might literally be our last dinner together for a long time. I would cry if I wasn't surrounded by my family. So maybe I'll be grateful instead that right here, right now I AM surrounded by my entire family after the trip of a lifetime. I am grateful.