Yesterday we visited Paris: Mum and Dad, Me and the two wee ones, headed off on the trains (miraculously avoiding delays – we the lucky ones). This time our destination was Montmarte, the rough and tumble approximate neighbourhood of The Moulin Rouge and Amelie. And Sacre Coeur.

The view from Sacre Coeur, down over Montmarte and Paris, in the mist. We couldn’t see the Eiffel Tower, but I thought this was pretty cool.

 Sacre Coeur (Sacred Heart) is a Catholic Bascilica on the top of a hill in the northern part of Paris.

We walked through, admiring the domes and stained-glass windows, deciphering the bits of bible verses… and then raced through the last little bit because Louis discovered the acoustics.

We had to walk up said hill – pushing two bonny heffalumps in the push chair – but there were lots of interesting sights to see on the way.

Creepiest shop in the world – shame about the picture quality, but I couldn’t not share this. Look closely… or perhaps not at all. Very creepy.

 We found a place to have some lunch before doing the real climb (the bit with stairs) – the most colourful cafe in Paris? A contender, definitely.

I had these delicious vegetarian stuffed capsicums. I make these occasionally, and should do so more often. Delicious and healthy. These ones were stuffed with tofu and rice, full of flavour, and sitting in some yummy sauces.

I also indulged in some chocolate fondant – basically like a soft brownie, but the middle is gooey and runny – and it’s meant to be! So delectable. I fed all the cream to Louis (who had plain bread for lunch – silly kid) but ate the entire fondant myself. Yum. And then carried the pushchair up a lot of stairs. Now there’s the real secret to guilt-free chocolate!

After visiting the church we carried it back down again (Elena slept – hurrah!) and then did a little boot-shopping (without success) in Montmarte, until Elena woke.

Mum and Dad had tickets for going up the Eiffel Tower in the late afternoon, so I took the kids home and left them to it. We basically crashed and I suspect Mum and Dad could have done the same, but they powered through because they’re cutting their Paris trip short and wanted to squeeze in this one last expedition.

Why are they cutting their trip short? My grandma is not doing well. She’s in hospital and having tests. Unfortunately, it seems that something has been overlooked and things aren’t going very well. So, Mum and Dad are heading back to NZ on Monday… arriving Wednesday (ah, the date line).

We have Louis’ birthday party tomorrow, so fortunately they won’t miss that. Unfortunately, they won’t be here at christmas and will miss Elena’s dedication. But they have had a good long visit and enjoyed lots of time with their grandkids, as well as seeing about as much of Europe as they were up for in six months together.

Hopefully, of course, they’re going back unnecessarily, but whatever happens, everyone will be more at ease with them in Auckland, or a short flight away in Christchurch.

Mum just reminded me, we have a cake to make, so off I go. Tomorrow: party pictures!