And finally my brother, sister-in-law, and best baby boo nephew in the history of the world slash universe ever came to Paris. This trip was a long time in the making and very highly anticipated to be sure. Not only was I desperate to hang out with my oh so adorable nephew, but I get along darn well with my brother and sister-in-law to boot. However, logistics are always a difficulty when a 3.5-year-old is involved. That being said, their choice of a super adorable apartment rental in the 5th arrondissement ended up beyond perfect. Right at the bottom of Rue Mouffetard, we had access to all the open markets, tons of cafés, cobblestone streets, and little parks. The metro was a stone's throw away, and the apartment itself was so comfortable I almost wanted to claim squatter's rights. Because I had to work into the afternoon the day of their arrival, they made their way from the airport to their chosen dwelling on their own and had a chance to settle in before I met them for an early dinner. Happily, the apartment not only had a beautiful dining room, cute little kitchen, and spacious living room with pull-out bed, but there was a separate kid's bedroom with bunk beds and a vast variety of toys and games for wee nephew to relish in. This ultimately proved a blessing and a curse, as it was sometimes difficult to get him to leave.
Because we anticipated an exhausted toddler after a long day of travel (not to mention exhausted adults!), we decided on a yummy raclette restaurant a short walk away. We got there very early for Parisian diners, so the place was empty and we had free reign of the joint. This was absolutely the right choice, since stubborn little create genius baby decided he wanted to make a car out of the restaurant objects he found and just would not be coaxed into accepting paper or napkins or any such ordinary and mundane materials. The waiter, though not one for English, was incredibly jovial when dealing with the boisterous lad. That, with the help of modern technology, gave us a brief respite from child logic so that we could truly feast on our scrumptious raclette and rosé. The only other time I've ever had raclette was at my American friend's apartment, never at a restaurant, but I was happy to discover it was quite as fun and delicious. Similar to fondue in that it is cheese-centered and interactive, you basically grill your fromage along with meats or other accoutrements, then smother it all on boiled potatoes. It is quite a filling and satisfying meal.
After dinner, we sauntered back down the rue to the new dwelling, picking up another bottle and a tasty treat for dessert. For the next few days, our evening tradition basically consisted of two bottles of wine and something sweet. We ended the night early so we could have a full day starting the following morning at Versailles!