Friday, 24 April 2015

Paris with the Family

We had been looking forward to our Paris family vacation for a long time now.  I had registered for the Paris Marathon early last year as a 40th birthday present to myself.

It had been over 10 years since hubby and I first went to Paris and I was looking forward to sharing it now with my children. I had found us a lovely apartment in the heart of the Marais district. Our trip was going to be a short one as the reason why we were there was for me to run the marathon.

My daughter had been reading books and making lists of places and things that she wanted to see and do. I tried to work her list and create an itinerary that would work for all of us.

 It was a bit of a gong show as I found out at noon the day before we were to leave that our original flight was cancelled due to air traffic controllers going on strike at Charles De Gaulles airport. 40% of flights had been cancelled and ours was one of them. I called hubby to see if he could get the day off and leave early as I scrambled to pack for all of us and load the car with all our luggage.

Seated and Ready for Take Off
After a 7 hour flight we arrived to a beautiful spring day in Paris. My daughter was the only one who got quality sleep on the flight and she was ready to go, the rest of us were wiped. We arrived at apartment, dropped our bags off and headed off to explore.

Our first stop was to grab a quick bit at a cosy bistro across our apartment with a traditional Parisian breakfast, chocolate chaud and croissants. After fuelling up, we walked down to Hotel de Ville and soaked in the sunshine in the square. My little stud was fascinated by the water fountains and all the pigeons chilling with us.

With the Notre Dame a few steps away, we walked down to see the historic Cathedral. The Notre Dame was on the top of my daugther's list since watching the Disney's Hunchback of the Notre Dame. She was fascinated with the gargoyles and bell towers. It was a glorious as I had remembered.

After a tour of the Notre Dame and snapping some photos, we dragged our jet lagged selves back to the apartment and crashed.

We slept in day 2 and decided to take it easy. We spent the day walking over the the Louvre and exploring the grounds and eventually into the Jardin de Tuileries. The kids loved the carousal
and all the free space for running around.

I was pleasantly surprised at how kid friendly Paris was.  No matter where we went there was always a bistro or cafe with fresh baguettes and crepes for us to devour. Parks were plentiful and the wide open spaces were great to keep the kids busy. We took public transportation a few times and found it easy to use. I must note that there are not many escalators or elevators so be prepared to do a lot of walking.

We tried to squeeze in as much as we can in the 5 days that we had in Paris. We look forward to going back when the kids are a bit older and seeing more of Paris. There are so many museums and parks and bistros that we still have to see. We loved our apartment as I have found it much easier when travelling with kids. We had a kitchen and all the amenities that one would have at home. We were able to live amongst the locals. I highly recommend looking into apartment rentals when travelling with children.

There are so many places in the world that we would like to visit as a family. As we were on our flight home, hubby commented on what a great time he had and was looking forward to my next destination race with the family.

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