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Any advice re: my 6 day Paris itinerary?

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My husband and I are traveling to Paris for our first visit in a few weeks: 10/20-10/29/2012. Our flight from the US arrives at 7:45 AM Saturday 10/20 and leaves Monday 10/29 at 11:30 AM.

I would appreciate any advice re: my Paris itinerary- anything to add, delete, too cramped, tips? We will be spending a portion of our trip with my brother's family.
- 10/20 Saturday and 10/21 Sunday we will have to ourselves in Paris.
- 10/22 Monday AM we have rental car reservations to drive to Normandy, returning to Paris 10/24 evening. While in Normandy: we are staying right at Omaha Beach and have a full day private tour with a historian booked for Tuesday 10/23 and plan to tour a bit on our own Monday afternoon & Wed morning.
- Wed 10/24 night and Thursday 10/25 we will have to ourselves in Paris.
- Thursday 10/25 late afternoon through Sunday 10/28 early afternoon: my brother, his wife, and their 3 children (ages 6-10) will join us from the UK.
- Sunday 10/28 late afternoon/evening we will have to ourselves.

Again, this is our first trip to France and we’re most interested in the history. A few musts: the Louvre, Eiffel Tower (actually going up- I know there’s mixed reviews but I must do it!), Notre Dame, the Army Museum, and people watching/enjoying some café type food, maybe a picnic or two if the weather cooperates. We are not foodies, more café/pub-type people. We’re from Vermont and 50 degrees F cold does not bother us!...although I know there’s a good chance of Paris October rain. The days we’re touring with my brother’s family we’d like to try to pick one large museum/sightseeing event (ideally in the AM when the kids have more energy), and spend some time in the afternoon relaxing in a park: Jardin Des Tuileries , Champ de Mars, and Jardin de Luxembourg.

My husband and I are staying at Hotel Relais Bosquet in the Rue Cler area, and my brother is renting a family apartment 4 blocks away on Ave de La Bourdonnais, closer to the Eiffel Tower.

Our Normandy time is fixed. We are flexible with our Paris days except: Versailles Sunday 10/21 (I’ve purchased le passeport tickets), tour of the Louvre (Paris Muse) for Friday 10/26 AM from 10-12:30 (supposed to keep the kids interested/entertained!) , and summit tickets for the Eiffel Tour at 5 pm Friday 10/26 to avoid the long line- hoping since sunset this time of year is around 6:40pm that we could climb in the daylight, and perhaps see the lights come on at sunset! (I’ve read it takes 1.5-3hrs for the up and down visit).

We do plan to buy the 4 day Museum Pass Thurs 10/25-Sun 10/28, and my brother’s family a 2 day Museum Pass for Friday 10/26-Saturday 10/27, primarily to save us time waiting in lines.

I also realize we’ll be exhausted on arrival. We have traveled several times to Europe by red eye flights and found that we enjoy/have enough energy for the hop on, hop off bus tours to get acquainted to the area, then walking around a bit. We are able to have our luggage held at our hotel until check in.

Sat 10/20:
AM
L’Open tours hop on/hop off bus
Walk around Rue Cler
Champ de Mars park picnic lunch
EVE
Walk around Moulin Rouge area at night to see all lit up!

Sun 10/21: leave ~8am
Versailles full day trip by RER- 4.5 hrs + travel time, purchased Le Passeport tickets, fountains on this day

Mon 10/22 travel to Normandy, Arromanches
Port Winston Artificial Harbor/Mulbery B, The Price of Freedom 20 min movie
D-Day Landing Museum (2 short videos)
Omaha Beach Memorial Museum (at Saint-Laurent-sur-mer)

Tue 10/23 Normandy, Bayeux- all day private historian tour of the D-Day beaches
Bayeux
Ste. Mere Eglise
Utah Beach
Pointe Du Hoc
Vierville-sur-mer
Omaha Beach
WWII Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial
Longues-sur-mer gun battery

Wed 10/24 Normandy AM, PM travel back to Paris
More time at the WWII Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial

Thurs 10/25:
AM
Army Museum/Napoleon’s Tomb
Rodin Museum (if have extra time?)
PM (brother's family arrives ~4pm)
Rue Cler walk (Rick Steves)
Eat at Café Du Marche/people watch?
EVE
Arc de Triomphe, to see Champs-Elysees lit up at night!

Fri 10/26:
AM
10-12:30 Louvre tourTuileries Garden, lunch at Café Reale?
PM
Orangerie Museum (essentially we’re just interested in seeing the Water Lilies room)
Take metro from Tuileries to Trocadero stop (for photos of the Eiffel tower from here)
EVE
17:00 Eiffel Tower
Dinner at Au Bon Accueil?

Sat 10/27
AM
Historic Paris Walk (Rick Steves) 4 hr 3 miles:
Point zero
Archaeological Crypt
Notre Dame
Deportation Memorial
Ile St. Louis- Berthillon ice cream parlor #31
Sainte-Chapelle, Palais de Justice
Conciergerie
Take metro from Cite to Odeon stop
PM
Jardin de Luxembourg – catch a marionette show in the afternoon (on Wed, Sat, and Sundays)
Return to our hotels
EVE
evening Seine River Cruise to tour- Bateaux Parisiens from the Eiffel Tower

Sun 10/28: AM
Montmartre –Sunday artist/painters market, Sacre Coeur
Return to hotel/Champ de Mars park late picnic lunch and see my brother’s family off ~2pm
PM
Unplanned- what we didn’t get to, perhaps Cluny Museum in the afternoon? or walk the Marais area?

Mon 10/29: fly out

Thank you!

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