The first photos are of New Year’s Eve when the kids walked to the Champs-Élysées to see if there was anything going on. I wasn’t feeling well and stayed home. The street was closed to vehicles, and there were hundreds of thousands of people packed like sardines from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde. Laurel and Charlie were able to watch the fireworks over the Arc de Triomphe from a side street. Laurel said no one counted down, and there was very little cheering at midnight. Then everyone left a few minutes later, and the kids got separated in the crowd for a couple minutes. Laurel was very relieved to find Charlie again a block later, and the rest of the walk home was uneventful. Re: the quiet, huge crowd – We’ve noticed that Europeans are a quiet bunch and don’t wear bright colors. I’m sure that’s not universally true, but that’s been our experience. We’re going on a Northern Lights cruise next week and needed some warmer coats. Laurel got the last olive green coat at the London sports store where we shopped a few days ago, leaving me with the pink one. I really like it, and I think it’s pretty; but I feel self-conscious every time I wear it because NO ONE wears anything but black or some other dark color. Laurel likes that I stand out though so she can find me in a crowd. I don’t remember if I’ve already blogged about this, but Europeans really value their silence. When we were on a long-distance train in Austria in December, there was a sign with an index finger to the lips telling people to hush. When we were in restaurants, I kept telling the kids to talk more quietly – even though they were just talking in normal tones – because everyone else was so quiet. The other photos are of Notre Dame a few hours before our train left for London. Every time the kids and I had walked by Notre Dame in the months we were in Paris, there was always a long line of people waiting to go in, so we kept putting it off. We didn’t realize that the line moves very quickly. Charlie is in bed, but I’m sure when he wakes up and reads the new blog posts tomorrow, he will be upset because I didn’t include some photo that I was supposed to. So just know that Laurel and Charlie went out a couple times on their own in Paris and saw some fun things, but I don’t have time to go through all our photos right now to find the other Paris photos. “Why don’t you have time?” Charlie will ask. He’s pretty predictable. “What does predictable mean?” he’ll ask. “Look it up,” I’ll say. This is my life. All day. Every day. We’ve done some fun things in London, too, but I’ll blog about that another day.