I love Paris in the springtime…! No, wait, that’s not quite true. I love it in the very late fall, early winter. February is fantastic, lovely and quiet and grey and you can duck into those normally busy cafes in your stylish coat and have café and not be crowded. Springtime is just okay. And I don’t love it in the summer, which is the time we will be visiting, later this year.*
That’s fine. We will sweat through the markets, grouch along the queue for the Louvre, drag the kids to the plage – it’s all in good fun, and we do have a lovely flat in the south to escape to after La Grand Cité, and friends to visit, and it will be fabulous. But before we get there, we do need to find a place to stay in the city of light, and that is my job. What is also my job is to manage the expectations of the man of the house.
So, I am faffing about on VRBO.com (as I do many evenings, regardless of upcoming trips), and I spy a very few places that might fit a snug budget for four people; and I mention them to K, and suggest that they may fit the bill, but point out that they mean we may have to sleep in the same large, unforgiving room as our kids.
“Well, forget that,” he says. “No way. We’ve got to have a separate room.” I return to VRBO, not unhappily. There are artists’ lofts! There are designer pads! There are Chic, Stunning Abodes in the 4th! Oh wait, he doesn’t want to spend our next three months’ mortgage payment on three nights in Paris, the bastard.
Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. Let’s assume that, because he is a man of a certain age (ie, 36), and of a certain salary and responsibility level, that because the state of Colorado has actually entrusted him with a driver’s licence (no, really), that he must be a man of a certain amount of intelligence, of let’s-face-it a certain amount of NOUS, and he gets that there is about a drippy snowball’s chance in hell of us finding a nice roomy affordable place to stay in Paris in July.
Then, let’s chuck that out the window, as he tells me: “Don’t worry about finding a place with an extra bedroom, because that would cost more. Just get a place with a balcony! That’s how we can get extra space without paying for it, in a Paris holiday rental in high season. No one else will figure out this clever trick, where you rent a Paris flat in July that has a balcony and they don’t realise that a balcony is a good selling point that they could charge extra for. What a genius I am.”
And then weep for me, because I bloody well had kids with this man.
* And we’ll be in London July 13-16th, ish, with kids. Anyone fancy a drink? A snack? A nice long supper with excellent conversation and fascinating guests? (Okay, yes, that was unrealistic.) How about a PLUS GRANDE BLINKS DU MONDE, in London? I want to. My husband wants to. You know you want to.