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Trip Report -- A Magical Paris vacation with two little girls

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Our trip to Paris included myself, my hubby, and our 5 yr. old and 6 yr. old little girls.

We were there the week before Easter. I don't mean to bore everyone with the details, but the details make a trip come alive to me! Thanks to all the great posters for input, advice, and tips. It was a magical trip! So... here we go -

We loved:
- the museum pass
- lots of parks and carousels as we walked around
- having an apartment
- very kid-friendly museum employees everywhere
- the bike tour

We would do differently:
- maybe fewer attempts at eating out (the food doesn’t look the same) or pack lunches to eat in parks
- avoid the lines at the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame
- consider skipping the top of the Eiffel Tower

Day 1, Wednesday – The Beginning of the “The Food Doesn’t Look Exactly Like It Is Supposed To” Syndrome

After arrival, took a taxi to our apartment at 26 rue de Richelieu (near Palais Royal) and met our contact, who was waiting for us. We were very pleased to see the new elevator working and thought the apartment was great! We received very good detailed instructions, although it is tough to retain everything when you are tired and just want to unpack and get settled. The English directions at the apartment were appreciated later when we were using the washing machine and the oven and we couldn’t remember exactly her instructions.

First, walked through Palais Royal and saw the black and white striped cement structures that became our daily exercise! These are 260 structures of varying heights over a large area. Then we walked through the Louvre grounds, the Tuileries, and across the Seine and to visit Musee d’Orsay. We were bummed to see the long line (we were cold), however, as soon as we had gotten in the back of the line, a security man told us to go around to a side entrance (group entrance) with the children. Of course, we were thrilled to avoid the line! We decided to purchase museum passes at this point.

After walking along the ground floor and having many discussions about the sculptures, we took the escalator to the 5th floor and viewed the Impressionists first. We’ve read a lot of books about the Impressionists, so it was fun for the girls to say, “hey, I recognize that painting”. We also had to see Degas’ dancer, so that was a highlight. Of course, I love the large clock and I have a cute photo of the girls holding hands silhouetted by the clock.

We decided to walk to lunch at ‘La Palette’ in St. Germain des Pres. The art on the wall was interesting and the café felt like a fairly typical one (I think we were the only Americans in there at the time). The girls only ate bread – this was the beginning of “The Food Doesn’t Look Exactly Like It Is Supposed To” syndrome – not my favorite syndrome. (The hot dog was rejected since it had cheese on top and the fries were more like home fries).

We then walked through the Tuileries and rode the carousel and the pony rides. After a crepe sucre at Café Very in the Tuileries (they didn’t like it, can you imagine???), we headed back to the apartment and headed to Monoprix for some provisions. Note: the stroller is excellent for bringing home groceries.

next: Enacting Plan B When the Lines Are Too Long

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