Exploring Plainpalais

June 15, 2015 • Food and DrinkGenevaKidsTravel

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when we decided to start a family together, my husband and i promised each other not to let it change us too much. after all, being parents doesn’t have to stand in the way of your passions. instead we vowed to share our interests and lifestyle with our kids from early on, so that they’d become part of our lives, not the other way around. but the first two months with juliet were a lot more challenging than expected, and after a while i started panicking – was this it? was my life always going to be like this? i felt cooped up in our apartment because going anywhere with a hysterically crying baby was not my idea of having a good time. for a brief moment, i even thought – help, what have i done? i loved my life before and was scared that i’d never be able to travel or do fun stuff again.

of course i was wrong, and i see now that i got carried away by a combination of hormones, sleep deprivation and the guilt i felt when we were not able to take away juliet’s pain. she’s doing so much better now, and it feels as if we have started breathing again. we traveled to belgium to be with our family and friends, and we took juliet to our favorite places, slowly introducing her to our roots and loved ones. when we got back to switzerland, we finally picked up our lives again. this weekend, we went to explore our favorite neighborhood in geneva.

plainpalais is definitely the most creative and ‘happening’ area in town. about half a year ago, it welcomed geneva’s very first third wave coffee bar, BIRDIE. right across the street i bumped into OU BIEN ENCORE, a new cute lunch place and foodie shop. a bit further down the street you’ll find one of our favorite restaurants, CAFE DES BAINS and the beautiful MEG museum with its lovely café and garden. it’s definitely my favorite place to while away the hours during the weekend, and i was pleasantly surprised to discover that having a baby doesn’t need to change that. we took juliet with us in her BUGABOO CAMELEON, and she was perfectly content during our walk. i wish she would nap more easily on the go, but when she got super tired and didn’t want to give up the fight against her sleepiness, i could rock her into a little nap while drinking my cortado at birdie.

it felt really good to be able to spend our time the way we wanted to, and to just wing it with juliet. we always bring everything we need to prepare her bottles so we can feed her anywhere, and we’ve become experts in folding and unfolding her stroller quickly and efficiently, without losing too much time. so this will definitely not be the last time we go out exploring with her.

OU BIEN ENCORECAFE DES BAINSBIRDIEMEGslip-ons by GAPjeans by 7 for all mankind via FRANCIS FERENTshirt by ZARApurse by PROENZA SCHOULERjuliet’s dress by ZARA MINIjuliet’s headband by HAPPY LEONIEphotos by stephanie duval and matthias rabaey

6 Responses

  1. I recognise this so much. :) When Sofia was 2,5 months, we decided to go for a vacation, took the car and spent 10 days around Galicia in Spain, with Sofia sleeping almost all the time in her wrap while we had the best walks on the beach or in caffees. I felt alive again and sooo happy! Since then I force myself to go out and not shut myself in my apartment, which can be the easiest solution sometimes.

    • Stephanie Duval says:

      ooh that sounds so amazing, good for you, and so good of you to tell me that. i need to hear more stories like yours to encourage me to venture out more often. we’ve just booked our holiday in the south of france and i’m so looking forward to it. hopefully we’ll find a nice balance between relaxing and discovering the area with the little one in tow!

  2. Leen Cuypers says:

    This could be my story… Except the location would be Luxembourg :-) it’s a whole new life, in a way you couldn’t expect it to be. It’s so much more intense but also posing challenges to your relationship, to your life as you knew it! It’s all about finding the balance between your new and your old life!..love your writing btw!

    • Stephanie Duval says:

      thanks leen, so sweet of you! and yeah, luxembourg may not be far – it’s far enough to feel a little isolated from time to time. i agree it’s all about finding that balance, but it can be hard, am i right? when i spend too much time in one place, i start missing the other – i feel at home at both, but sometimes i don’t know where ‘home’ is anymore…

  3. Kelly says:

    I’m happy to hear you guys are starting to find the balance between your old and new life. It proves once more that parenting can be incorporated into your old lifestyle and that old habits don’t have to die because a baby joined the family. I’m a big fan of you guys! :) ps: how are those slip-ons? I forgot to try them at GAP in London (they didn’t have my size) and was wondering if they’re true to size (more important) ps: how c-u-t-e is Juliet, seriously?

    • Stephanie Duval says:

      oooh die slip-ons zijn geweldig! ze tailleren wel vrij groot, maar een maat kleiner nemen werkte voor mij niet. dus een zooltje misschien? en misschien passen ze jou wel perfect :) en merci voor de lieve woorden xxx

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my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.


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