Friday night we had a train to catch! I took Maximilien to Pontarlier to his grandfather's house. This was Max's second time taking the TGV. The first time he was 6 months old. This time around the excitement that max felt was almost physically tangible. I could feel the happy energy radiating off him as I picked him up from the centre de loisir last Friday. His excitement made him a handful for the assistants taking care of him that day. They said to me with perplexed looks as we were leaving that Max was difficile and that he didn't listen very well the entire day. I told them that he was going to take a TGV tonight to go see his "Grandpa" and that he's been excited the entire day. And just saying that made them all smile and say, Bah, Voila! They wished us a happy weekend and we were on our way.
We played on the train as we waited for it to depart from the platform. Max was on his knees looking out the window anxiously waiting for the train to move. He wanted to send a photo to his Daddy:
We explored the train and visited the snack car and picked up a few goodies to enjoy. After a while it was nearing Max's bedtime and he wanted to relax and watch Toy Story.
And before we knew it we had arrived in Dijon and we watched half the train empty out onto the busy platform.
About 20 minutes later we arrived in Dole Ville where we needed to change trains. Max was really excited to see the small local train that would take us to Pontarlier. Just by looking at it he knew it wouldn't go very fast because he said the front of the train was not pointed like the TGV. After boarding the train, Max asked for his dou dou and I asked him if he was tired. It was nearly 10pm. He looked at me and said, "Même pas tired, Mommy!". "Not even a little bit?", I asked.
Two minutes later he looked like this:
We arrived in Pontarlier. Still asleep, I unloaded our bags to my father-in-law and carried a soundly sleeping Max to the car. He woke up enough to grumble about being tired and then articulated himself in perfect French to his Grandpa. I love how he speaks PERFECT french when he's in the sleepy gray area between being awake and asleep.
We woke up the next day and had breakfast.
and played under the table.
And cuddled while watching Raiponce (Tangled) all the while enjoying a lazy Saturday morning.
We got dressed after lunch and then went out for a walk through centre ville Pontarlier in search of
Could a Saturday afternoon get any better than that?
Max was pleased as you can see! We came home and watched Raiponce once again. Ordered in pizza and tried to go to bed early (9pm this time!) because I had a train to catch at 7:58am the next morning. Max and I cuddled in together and we talked about how I was leaving tomorrow. He told me that was okay because he was going to have fun at Grandpa's house.
Before I knew it my alarm was ringing at 7am. Max got up with me but wanted to lay on the couch in the tv room and watch Raiponce yet again. Though he was half asleep and mostly sleeping than watching... I cuddled him and told him goodbye. It was time to go... He stood on the balcony on the upper floor and waved goodbye to me as we drove out of the courtyard. Not sure if he was crying or not, my father-in-law sent me this photo to reassure me that he was just fine when he got back from the train station:
He snapped a shot of me on the Swiss train that would take me to Frasne where I'd get my TGV back to Paris.
And in return I snapped a shot of my father-in-law the iphoneographer:
He was busy emailing me the photo he just took of me on the train!
All these old memories of traveling through europe on a shoestring and a euro rail pass flooded back to me. This early morning shot of the TGV coming into the station reminded me of many early morning trains my friends and I hopped heading south to our next destination.
I was too taken aback by the beauty of the French countryside to sleep on the train.
I had forgotten how much I loved traveling by train. But the prices of the tickets keeps us using our car to get places (and the convenience, of course). I no longer had that coveted 12-25 card, la douze vingt-cing! I won't be able to get a discount card again until I'm 60 years old! My father-in-law bragged that he'd be able to get one this year! I wonder if he'll use the train more now?
Back in Paris... I arrived at the Gare de Lyon and jumped on the metro line 14 four stops to Olympiades and back to our apt. I was home in time to feed Alixe and put her down for her nap. A bit difficult getting her down until I realized she wanted to sleep with me. Freshly showered, I hunkered down with my little girl and napped for hours before I had to wake us up to go work the afternoon to close at L'OisiveThé.
Here's Alixe giving me a bit of attitude as we strolled down out street. Not sure she agreed with me on leaving the apt again.
It's good to be back after a weekend of traveling. I feel energized yet tired at the same time. And I'd do it all again in a heart beat.