Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Celebrating La prise de la Bastille

Last year at this time I was in the hospital. Bastille Day in Paris and I was one of the lone few checked into Franco-Britannique Hospital awaiting the arrival of my son. Indeed, his due date was July 14th, a fitting, if ironic due date for my 1/2 French baby. But he didn't come that day, and it was only through an induction the next day that he finally made an appearance. Delivery was fast and intense, or as I describe it, chronic and acute. Our little Roman John joined us at 12:33pm, just in time for lunch.

So today, the eve of Roman's first birthday and the anniversary of the beginning of the French Revolution, we decided to do something special, and went (walked!) to Le Jardin d'Acclimatation.
The last time I was there was, appropriately enough, July 4, 2008. There's something about independence day(s) and this park...

In fact the park is dreamy. Set in Bois de Bologne, its a joyous, historic, and adorable place filled with amusement rides, swings, animals, a botanical garden, a train, boats, sprinklers, horse stables, trampolines, carousels, crepes, a Théâtre de Guignol and more.

It was originally opened in 1860 by Napoleon III Empress Eugenie as a zoo. Morbidly, during the Siege of Paris in 1870-1871 (when the Prussians invaded Paris and Parisians were effectively starved into surrender) many of the animals in the menagerie were cooked and served in a fine Paris restaurant.

Given this bit of history and despite some finer dining options, I think one's best bet is to pack a lunch.

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