From Switzerland we enjoyed the fast train back to Paris for our final two days before heading back home. We gave the kids free range as to what they wanted to do in the last couple of days. Toby picked to head back to the Rennault F1 store which after a long walk he and Matt discovered was now closed for renovations. The girls and I headed for lunch at "Le Chat Des Cafe" the cat cafe. The girls have missed their little feline friend "Mittens" at home so off we went to get our fix. It was a cool typical little french cafe with the addition of around 15 cats. It was a neat set up with bits of furniture and shelves attached to the walls and ceilings. The cats weren't in an overly smoochy mood but we got our fix of pats and spent a small fortune on lunch.
Also on the agenda was a boat trip down the Seine and as a surprise for the kids a night trip up the Eiffel Tower on our final evening. The latter being pretty busy with tourists but nevertheless quite a thrill to go right up the top and see the sunset over Paris.
As I sit and write this in Sydney Airport feeling almost delirious 28 hours into our trip home with another 8 hours on the horizon till we get to our much awaited own beds. It's time to reflect on our 10 weeks of travel.
So all up we've made 18 stops and by the time we get home will have covered some 51000kms. We've just clocked over 1 000,000 steps during that time. Matt has done an amazing job of piecing together this trip - a skill I totally admire.The kids have been real troupers and shown their strength in coping with long travel days and sometimes less than ideal sleep conditions. We've enjoyed watching them grow further in their confidence to converse with others from different cultures, try some language and generally make the most of every opportunity that has come their way. It's my job to squeeze our increasing gear into the bags so I've packed up some 72 bags (don't worry Matt packs his own). We feel fortunate to have avoided pickpockets and the like but realise that was probably more good luck than good management. Closest we came to a scam was on our last day where a elderly lady appeared to pick up a "gold" wedding ring on the Pont des Arts or lock bridge. She then proceeded to want to give it to us in return for a few dollars for herself and we wold get to cash in on the gold ring. Nice try likely not gold at all!
We're craving our own beds and some good kiwi food with milk, cheese, butter and fruit being at the top of the list.
Postscript: Well 10 days down the track and I'm pleased to report we've all managed to wade through the haze that is jetlag after 40 hours travelling door to door to get home. The kids have happily slotted back into school and again thrown themselves into whatever was on offer including school production for Bellie. School holidays are looming and we're looking forward to cruising at home appreciating where we live with the only planned outing being a trip to the movies. Travel has strengthened our family bond and I've noticed the kids more interested in checking in with each other after school . - long may it last but who knows.
From the Watson5 that's us "over and out" . Thanks for taking the time to read our blog your comments and enthusiasm are very much appreciated.