Well I made it home safe and sound from Paris with baby Genevieve. We decided to go and visit one of my oldest friends, Monique who had her first baby 4 months ago. Her French husband Jean Christophe was to be out of town on business so we were to have a two week Mommies and Babies vacation. I was looking forward to getting away and taking a break from the end of the school year rush of activities for my 7, 14, and 16 year olds . Getting on the plane, I was wary to find that I had a middle seat which is really a drag when you have a 12 month old baby on your lap. I was seated next to a very tall Asian who was working on an antique looking abacus that he had on his lap. Gigi found it fascinating of course and I spent the next 3 hours keeping her from grabbing it as my neighbor was highly engrossed in working huge problems on it. I had never seen anyone actually using an abacus so I asked him if he was a mathemetician and it turned out he was actually a plastic surgeon from LA who was going home to Minneapolis to visit his Chinese parents who had given him the abacus. The flight from Minneapolis to Paris was a little more comfortable, I at least had an aisle seat and was seated next to an interesting college student who told me about the year she had spent in South Africa and her upcoming trips to El Salvador and Spain. She was with her father and they were going to bicycle from Paris to the South of France. On arrival in Paris I was told they had left my bag in Los Angeles. The silver lining in that was I only had my diaper bag and Gigi was in a front pack so it was easy to catch a bus into Paris. I didn’t mention that the brand new designer Cynthia Rowley stroller I bought for the trip broke its’ wheel when I got to the airport in LA so I left it in Richard’s car. It was so chic too! Luckily I had my ugly but trusted Ergo frontpack. The bus dropped me off at the Paris Opera and I walked around the square with baby Gigi and my bags till I could find a taxi stand. The taxi dropped me off at 77 Rue de Grand Prieure. I looked on the keypad and I didn’t see my friends name there. A man walked out the door so I went in but didn’t see my friends name on the mailboxes either. No wonder my gift for her baby had never arrived as I had the wrong address. After calling Monique she gave me the correct address and I walked the 2 blocks with a 20 pound baby and a seriously heavy diaper bag and stuffed purse. Was I glad they had lost my suitcase. After a much needed nap we walked to the Monoprix in the Place de Republique where I bought a bargain basement stroller which was still really cute compared to our cheap strollers. It even came with an umbrella and a rain cover. And all for 80 Euros. It didn’t look bad next to Moniques’ 500 Euro designer peg Perego model either. Isn’t it strange how even strollers have become status symbols. I mean when did a 900 dollar Baby Bugaboo become de rigeur?