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Brittany/Paris at Christmas. Car rental & Brittany/Normandy questions.

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Hello,
Our son is spending his junior year of college in Rennes, in Brittany. We're excited for him and plan to visit over Christmas and again early May. Right now I'm planning our Christmas trip - December 20th to January 4th.

We arrive in Paris at noon on 12/20, traveling from Seattle. We = my husband, our 30-year old daughter and me. We plan to go directly to Rennes to meet up with our son.

We'll spend that first night in Rennes and all or most of the next day. From there the 4 of us plan to go to Mont St. Michel, then on to Normandy. We need to be back in Paris on the 23rd.

We are thinking of staying 1 night in Rennes, 1 night near Mont St. Michel and 1 night in Bayeaux. That's rushed, but we want to see where our son is living, visit Mont St Michel off-season and because my father-in-law was in France in WW2, we've always wanted to go to the Normandy sites. Please let me know if this is too rushed. We could drop Normandy and plan to visit there a different trip. If we do that, we'd stay 2 or 3 nights in Rennes, visiting Mont St. Michel as a day trip.

Also, if we go to Normandy should we hire a tour guide for Normandy or self-tour with a guide book? Any recommendations for remarkable tour guides?

And car rental: should we just rent a car when we land and return it to CDG? DH thinks he can swing that, plus he's super frugal and this is the cheaper option. Or should we pay more to take the train to Rennes (since we'll be tired), pick up the car when we leave there and return it to somewhere a short train ride from Paris? Where would that be?

Once we reach Paris we'll settle into an apartment for the holidays (12/23 to 1/4) with just one or two day trips (Provins and Chartres are on the list.) We've got plans for museums, walking, markets and cooking and restaurants. Maybe ice skating. We were in Paris before Christmas in 2006 and excited to be there again!

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