Paris Pour Petits Garcons

Xavier, pronounced "eg-ZAH-vee-ay" here in Paris, is making himself right at home. His favorite things in Paris so far:

1. The Gare de Lyon train station. We took a train to Fontainebleau and he was thrilled. The metro and the #96 bus are equally as exciting.

2. The brocante markets. He has a keen eye and found this wooden train, a model ship and piles of books. He was chatted up by dealers and browsers and called "Monsieur Brocanteur."

3. Parc Gambetta, our neighborhood park in the 20th Arrondissement. There is no language barrier between toddlers running around a playground and he jumps right into the civilized fray of French children.

4. The clock in the Musee d'Orsay. He also liked any paintings which had dogs, cats or other animals like Manet's "Olympia." For some reason he kept moo-ing at the life-size polar bear sculpture "Ours Blanc" by Francois Pompon to the delight of other visitors.

5. Statues with dogs, stags or lions on them.

 6. Any space with room to run like Chateau Fontainebleau, the Jardin des Tuileries, Pere Lachaise and Jardin du Luxembourg.

7. The escalators at the Centre Pompidou. While my husband took in the art, Xavier and I rode up and down and up and down and ran around the rooftop viewing areas to look across all of Paris. I pointed out the Eiffel Tower, the gargoyle on top of Notre Dame and the beautiful rays of late afternoon sunlight piercing through the clouds, but he was more interested in saying "Jumping!" as he jumped continuously.

8. But the very best thing about Paris is his Auntie Cindy who knows the best patisseries, takes him to the park, instigates dance parties and gives him snuggles.

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