We all slept really well on our last night in Paris and we were somewhat sad that this was our last morning in Paris. We ordered room service for breakfast and packed while we waited for everything to arrive.
After breakfast and final packing touches, we set out to do some shopping on the Champs Elysees (most stores were closed on January 1). We bought some adorable baby clothing at Petit Bateau (items for George and gifts for others) and some gifts at Longchamp. George was apparently bored by our shopping and tried to entertain us with his stroller antics. Very funny, George.
While we were out, we picked up some lunch to-go at Paul. Paul is a great little cafe with many locations around Paris, including most museums. Each store offers very affordable lunch specials that include a sandwich, drink and dessert for 10 Euro or less. I ended up getting an amazing salami baguette sandwich, bottle of sparkling water and a macaroon. John had a PLT (pancetta, tomato and lettuce) sandwich on a poppy-seed baguette with a bottle of sparkling water and a macaroon. We ended up packing these for our train journey back to London. We picked up some fruit, crackers and cheese for George, but he usually likes to share whatever we are eating.
We checked out of the hotel and took a taxi to the Gare du Nord train station to catch the Eurostar back to London. Thanks to very light traffic it was only a 15 minute ride from our hotel. I am so glad we got there an hour early because security and check in were a bit cumbersome. Although we got to fast track because we had George, we had to clear passport control, bag inspection security, and both French and UK border checkpoints and the lines for each were long. We didn’t have time to pick up food and drink before we boarded, so we were very glad to have planned ahead. We had just enough time to get settled into our seats before we departed for London.
We ate our packed lunches on board (G feasted on berries and crackers), but we also partook in the snack that came with the ticket/service in our car. I certainly try not to be wasteful with food, but I couldn’t pass up on an opportunity to see what we missed on the train ride to Paris. We had two options, and I ended up picking the cheese plate over the fish plate.
We all sampled the food and it was pretty tasty. We really liked both cheeses and the lentil salad. Although we passed on the free wine, John did have the coffee service that was available to us. The train attendants were especially nice to us and even offered us warm milk for George.
We arrived in London after almost two hours and immediately took the Tube to Paddington Station. I am very claustrophobic and had some anxiety about the view from our position on the train.
George did not have an issue — he fell asleep when we boarded and woke up as we arrived at our hotel.
After a quick 15 minute ride, we arrived and purchased tickets for the Heathrow Express. The Heathrow Express is a 15 minute express train that takes you from the heart of the city to Heathrow without stops (or it can take you from the airport into the city). We boarded the Express and sat in a baby/disability car. The train was spacious, clean, had a restroom, had free WiFi and really comfortable seats. John and George relaxed the whole ride to Heathrow.
We decided on the Tube/Heathrow Express route because it would have taken us almost 90 minutes to get to the airport by taxi due to the heavy traffic at the time of our arrival in London. The only downside to our route is that it involved a bit of walking and we (and by “we,” I mean John) had to haul our very heavy luggage along with us. However, the speed and ease of our chosen route greatly outweighed the inconvenience of hauling our luggage.
When we arrived at the airport, we stopped to talk to a United representative. Since we hadn’t been able to check in online, we wanted to straighten that out and make sure we were all set for the next day’s departure. We were all set in minutes and we left feeling really good about the flight back.
We took a taxi to the nearby Sheraton Skyline Hotel where we quickly checked in and got settled for a quick night. We went to the hotel sports bar and were able to watch the UH Cougars play while we ate our dinner. Though I was a bit dubious about the quality of the fish and chips dish, I ordered it anyway.
As it turns out, it was delicious, as was John’s Indian food. Who knew you could get such great food at an airport hotel?
After showers and packing/repacking, we settled in for the night and Little G fell asleep quickly.