Paris. Everyone knows it is a fabulous city, so I don’t know how much explaining I actually need to do. We were overwhelmed by the magnitude of sights to see and things to do but we had an amazing time. Once we got our bearings, it was an easy city to navigate.
We are used to Chicago, where the streets form a grid. In Paris, they form a blob. Meandering streets every which way. But it is fantastic and creates a wonderful atmosphere (as well as some very cool architectural styles).
Our first evening was Thursday, and we stayed close to our hotel (which was by the Arc du Triumphe), strolled the Champs d’Elysees, and ate dinner at a place recommended to us by the concierge. What an amazing dinner, we were so happy to begin our time in Paris with a wonderfully Parisian meal.
On Friday, we didn’t have a plan in mind, which is never a good thing when traveling with kids. Always have a plan! Vance had a rough 4-year-old type of morning which didn’t help. We went over to the Eiffel Tower and were in awe at this worldly landmark. We let the kids run around in the parks and the tucked away playgrounds surrounding it, hoping that the freedom would lift their spirits.
For lunch, we decided to wander over to Rue Cler and grab a bite at a recommended brasserie. Another wonderful meal. I don’t know if you can even go wrong in Paris as far as food is concerned. SO YUMMY. The kids passed out almost immediately after eating so we meandered the tiny Rue Cler shops and snuck in some dessert.
Afterwards, we took the Batobus (a water bus on the river) to Notre Dame. Yes I realize we tried to fit WAY to much into this one day. And we found that out not too long afterwards. Notre Dame was amazing, but crowded so we stuck to exploring the exterior instead of waiting in the line to go inside. It was surrounded by a great park with some more tucked away play equipment for kids. Paris is really a kid friendly city in that there is always somewhere for them to run, explore, or play. And the French LOVE kids.
Luxemborg Gardens was up next, as we felt like we needed a diversion before sitting down for dinner. We rented a small toy sailboat for Vance to put in the pond with the rest of the children. He had to sail it into the water and then run around the outside until it landed on the other side before pushing it back into the water once more. For him, this was thrilling and he could have done it all day!
And I am not done yet (as I said, we did way too much!). We stopped off at the Lock Bridge on our way to our Batobus stop. I had brought a small lock for JW and I to put on the bridge as a surprise.
Our first day ended with more great food, some obviously needed drinks for the parents, and an “early” bedtime. I will post the rest of our adventure soon!