Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Sirop and Sandwiches, Normandy, Loire and Paris with our grandsons

Sirop and Sandwiches, Normandy, Loire and Paris with our grandsons

Aug 2nd, 2014, 02:01 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,256
irishface, I feel like this has become my "dear diary" it's so long, Paris is my favorite city and I wanted the boys to understand just why--I'm afraid describing how that was accomplished will be just as wordy--I apologize in advance!!

annhig--YOU are the reason I am writing a trip report--I'm kidding you, but not entirely--I have gathered helpful information from your suggestions and comments over the years. Now I had this echo ringing in my head from you--you are saying "I can't wait to read your trip report" !! Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2014, 02:54 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,696
oh no, the responsibility!

if i've helped at all, it's probably by your learning from my mistakes, DeborahAnn.

i'm enjoying reading it anyway, whatever your reason for writing it!
annhig is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2014, 02:57 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,108
It is NOT too long and it is not a dear diary. I am enjoying every sentence! Please continue!
irishface is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2014, 04:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,256
Our dates in Paris were June 21-28. June 21st in Paris should come with a warning--its the afternoon and evening of the street music festival, Fete de la Musique, which if the 5 & 6 arrondissements we walked were any indication, draws huge crowds.

Our apartment for the week was located on Quai des Grands Augustins in the 6th. Through Paris Attitude, www.parisattitude.com, I found a 3 bedroom, 2 bath rental that slept 8, had a large dining table, good bed configurations. The apt. had a couple of large windows without a view and our bedroom was screened off from the living room by a heavy curtain but the price was kind to our budget at 1500 euros to the owner and 450 to Paris Attitude. We had very few choices of what we considered suitable for our family so we rented this knowing we would have to do a bank transfer for the deposit and also provide a 1500 euro security deposit which would be returned our last day.

We had to plan ahead to gather enough euros to pay the remaining rental to the owner plus the deposit. Ron and I stayed in France the following week and used the deposit money for our expenses; otherwise we would have been going home with a lot more euros than usual. The apartment was perfect for all of us and from our experience I would certainly recommend Paris Attitude.

I did so much research on what type of metro tickets/passes to buy for our week. Whatever tickets we bought needed to include a trip to Disneyland Paris on Monday and to CDG on Saturday. Luke and Ryan at 10 were too old for reduced metro tickets. We wanted to use the metro on Sunday and Navigo Decouverte didn't start until Monday. We used just about every type of ticket offered!! For Sunday we bought the 3 boys Jeunes Weekend tickets for unlimited use on Sunday @ 3.75 each. The four adults would use as many sets of 10 ticket carnets as needed for Sunday. For Luke and Ryan we bought 5 day 5 zone Paris Visite tickets for Mon-Fri and each a one way ticket to CDG for Saturday. Ron and I had our ND which we loaded for the week with zone 1-5 and we bought Nathan, Heather and Drew their own ND zones 1-5. So much strategy required but it worked out nicely.

Sunday, June 22, a day fraught with mis-steps
DeborahAnn is offline  
Aug 4th, 2014, 12:50 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,696
sadly I've never stayed in Paris long enough to need/use a Navigo.

one day!

Glad your ticket planning worked out so well but I'm worried about the cliff-hanger!
annhig is offline  
Aug 5th, 2014, 07:54 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,256
As wonderful as our trip was there were a few mis-steps. Sunday seemed to be a long continuous one.

I love the Sunday morning market on Blvd Richard Lenoir--getting there early is important to avoid the crowds. Unfortunately, my family just couldn't manage that.

From their viewpoint the boys failed to see the charm of browsing the numberous stalls when pushed along by crowds of people. Deciding the best way to save our morning, which was by now afternoon, was to lunch on prepared market food. Juggling food and drink while being bumped into by shoppers was not good for our digestion!!

Our next stop was Bois de Vincennes which Nathan chose as the perfect place to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon---just our family and a gazillion other people with the same idea

Our choice of metro stop was not the best either so by the time we arrived at the gates of the Parc Zoologique the entrance lines were massive. We voted not to wait in such long lines and decided to walk to the other side of the Bois to the Parc Floral.

What we did not realize is that the Bois de Vincennes at over 2400 acres is 3 times larger than NYC Central Park. It is almost as large as the combined 1-6 arrondissements in Paris.

We walked and we walked, the boys were troopers even when we had to start rationing our drinking water. The sirop water had been the first to disappear

By the time we got to th gates of the Parc Floral and saw the long entrance lines that seemed not to be moving--we just gave up. The Bois de Vincennes had brought us to our knees. For Ron, as the senior of the family, it was almost literal!!

While walking to the nearest metro stop back to our apartment we saw a fun looking youth sports fair. The boys love all kinds of sports activities so I was very disappointed when they refused to participate because they couldn't speak French

I felt like our Sunday was a lot of wheel spinning without getting anywhere and the thought of Disneyland tomorrow gave me nightmares that night

Monday--Disneyland Paris is a dish best served----in the off-season
DeborahAnn is offline  
Aug 5th, 2014, 09:43 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,690
Too bad about Sunday, but sometimes when you think you have a good idea, everybody has the same one at the same time.
kerouac is online now  
Aug 6th, 2014, 08:29 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,256
kerouac, yes, especially when it comes to parks in Paris on a sunny weekend--but who wants to be inside on a day like that!!

DeborahAnn is offline  
Aug 6th, 2014, 09:15 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,256
Disneyland Paris Monday June 23---We have had magical (it is Disney afterall!!) trips with our grandsons to Walt Disney World over the years. Disneyland Paris was a must see on this trip. After doing my research about the Paris park I was concerned our visit would a disappointment for all of us.

A few weeks ahead of our visit I bought online tickets through Fnac. They were called Billet Francilien. It was a one day ticket visiting both parks and for a specific day, 49 euros per person. This was a considerable savings over buying 7 tickets at the park. The tickets we had were printed at home vouchers with a bar code. We scanned them at the Park entrance gate upon arrival. The only problem with this form of ticket is when trying to get a fast pass time the machine scanner has a hard/impossible time reading the bar code.

It took about an hour to get to Disneyland on the RER A4 from our apartment and of course we didn't get as early a start as I had hoped--even for a visit to Disneyland our boys were slow movers in the morning

We did get to the park shortly after 10am and headed to the Rock N Roller Coaster at Disney Studios. This was a must do for Luke and Ryan who were finally tall enough to ride the coaster. After that and because the wait times on all the rides were so long we had to get in line for the first show of Motor & Action Show, the other must do for the boys.

I would say Walt Disney Studios was a big disappointment. Many of the wait lines were over an hour for even the least exciting attractions. Something else that we experienced was the frequency in both parks of rides that were temporarily closed for technical reasons. I don't remember that ever happening at WDW. The other problem was that only 3 rides at the Studios are available for fast pass--a seemingly small number considering the number of attractions.

Contrary to what I saw in my research, both parks were very clean and the "cast members" pleasant and very helpful.

A big plus at Disneyland Paris is that the two parks are close so having a 2 park pass for one day is practical, especially when the Disneyland Park, but not the Studios, is open until 11pm.

We were able to get on more of the attractions at Disneyland Park but again we encountered some closed for technical reasons--ugh!!

Ron and I gave up on the Disney Magic by 4pm and had a mad scramble to get out of the park in the midst of the Main Street Parade. The hour ride back to Paris allowed us to sit in peace and quiet--a nice change from the Park.

Nathan said that after the parade so many people left the park that the wait lines disappeared. They enjoyed the less crowded park so much they stayed until it closed at 11pm.

For Ron and me Disneyland Paris is a been there done that but I'm sure for Nathan, Heather and the boys they would certainly return--especially since the Ratatouille ride is now open--hopefully it is a Fast Pass ride LOL

next Paris Streets Provide the Boys an Education
DeborahAnn is offline  
Sep 26th, 2014, 11:19 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,498
cheribob is offline  
Sep 26th, 2014, 01:02 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 22,590
bookmarking also
TDudette is online now  
Sep 26th, 2014, 01:17 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 776
I am enjoying this so much. Thank you. We are taking our adult children next year so am taking notes on rests. and hotels.
CarolJean is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Apr 16th, 2019 02:39 PM
Apr 22nd, 2013 06:17 AM
Mar 26th, 2012 04:45 PM
Jan 14th, 2012 11:48 AM
Jun 14th, 2004 08:05 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:43 AM.