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Trip Report Dina4's Family Adventure: FRANCE and ITALY trip report

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We just returned from a fantastic 2-and-a-half week trip to France and Italy with our daughter and son, ages 13 and 16. It was so fun and so easy to plan the trip with all the help from all the great people on this travel forum. I really appreciate all the questions I got answered and tips I received, and so I'm attempting my first ever trip report with the hope that I may be of help to someone else.

First, the basics'

We flew British Air from L.A. to Paris, and then returned from Rome to L.A. (We had connecting flights in London.) After 5 nights in Paris, we rented a car and started our adventurous drive to Rome. We stayed overnight in Beaune, Nice, Florence, Montalcino, and Rome.

We really had an amazing trip and have never eaten so well in our lives.

I'll start with PARIS. (and please forgive my spelling errors!)
We walked SO much and bought several carnets of 10 metro tickets.

DAY 1:

It was our first time in this city. It was everything I expected and more. It is truly a beautiful city.

We arrived at our hotel at 4. The cab ride was quick and only 36 euro for the 4 of us. We stayed at the WESTIN PARIS. It was very disappointing considering it's supposed to be a 'luxury' hotel. Reports on Tripadvisor are true: stained furniture, peeling paint, bad service'our room wasn't ready until 6:15 pm! We stayed on Starwood points and so were fine with everything, but I would not spend the $$ for this hotel. Nevertheless, we made the best of it and our suite grew on us, so we ended up very happy there.

Our first afternoon, we took a walk through our neighborhood (1st), bought our museum passes at the tourist center, and saw the following:

JARDIN PALAIS ROYAL ' very beautiful, charming park surrounded by beautiful buildings. Lots of moms and toddlers playing in the sand pit. It was my first sight of the gorgeous trees in Paris. They are pruned so beautifully and symmetrically'it really blew me away.

LOUVRE COURTYARD / TUILLERIES GARDEN -- we walked through to get back to our hotel, which was across the street from Tuilleries. Again, I was SO impressed with the gardens. I just loved being across the street, too. Every morning, I would come into the garden with the kids, get a crème and croissant, and sit on a bench and peacefully enjoy the view. My husband doesn't eat breakfast, so he would join us after a while.

DINNER -- CHEZ DENISE ' We had a great meal. My husband had the veal stew, with the most divine white beans I have ever put into my mouth. The escargot was also wonderful.

After dinner, we took the metro to the Trocadero, to get our first glimpse of the EIFFEL TOWER. Even though we knew that we would see it when we turned the corner out of the metro station, nothing can prepare one for the magnitude of this thing. It took my breath away. It was about 10pm, so the sun was setting and the sky was pink. We spent about 20 minutes, staring and walking through the park, across the bridge, and under the tower. Our photos are incredible! We never expected to be so impressed!

It was a great way to end our first afternoon in this gorgeous city. Tomorrow we would begin using our museum passes and starting our l-o-n-g walks.

(I hope this trip report is going okay. Not sure if there are too many or not enough details!)

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