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The long awaited trip report! Part 2 France

The long awaited trip report! Part 2 France

Old Jul 10th, 2013, 07:00 AM
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Claire, I do find visiting churches in Europe to be different than here at home. In fact, some even charge tourists to enter! If a service is going on, visitors who are not there to join in with the service are confined to the back or sides of the church and are allowed to quietly walk about. However, if no service is in progress talking and "sightseeing" is allowed. This is one of those great opportunities to tell your son that customs can be different in different countries.

One interesting difference with churches in Italy is the dress code -- no shorts, skirts above the knee or sleeveless tops.
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 09:16 AM
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oh wow! always interesting coming on here to see the days comments!

Ok in regards to the church . .there are signs every where asking for silence and no cameras . .the amount of people who disrespect this is amazing! When he said this it was more towards me and not the stranger . .like in question format if that makes sense.

In regards to kids being out past their bedtime. As we live in Australia we have never been in countries that are still light past 9pm so we have made the decision to have the flexibility to fit in with the kids sleep. If they sleep for 2 hrs in the afternoon at 5pm so they aren't waking till 7pm etc then we go out . .if they have a normal middle of the day sleep we eat in and try to get them to bed even though in my 2yr olds mind "it's still morning as the sun is out!"

Now todays adventure . . .picked up at 10:15 by a private car company to transfer us to Marriott Vacation Club . . .the cost was 85euro. We decided with luggage and children this would be best . .it also allowed us to be dropped off and then the driver took my husband off to pick up the car on his own...much better!

However, as always dramas arrive . . .we got a 3 bed townhouse but were told it would not be ready until 3pm . .we arrived by 11:30/12 ... although they were happy for us to use the resort it still seemed a waste of a day. Then hubby arrives with this HUGE mini van . . .he was told it was an upgrade . . there was no way in hell I was going to be able to drive it so I called hertz and said that this was not what we ordered and I couldn't drive it so we would need to swap it. By now a car the size we needed had been returned and so we could swap cars . . .so . .we put our luggage into the cloak room, packed up mum and the kids and off we went to swap cars and . . . .GO SHOPPING

My 2yr old by now was ready for a sleep and she fell asleep straight away..the car transfer was no big deal and the car we have got is SO much better!

Now the most exciting part of my day . .this shopping village! OMG! I have never in my life seen anything like this!

LA VALLEE VILLAGE

Seriously is you love designer you will be in heaven . .the prices were out of this world and there were playgrounds for the kids!

I won't go through what we bought but let me just say that I was saying it almost makes it worth an overseas trip this time of year for 3 weeks ..go here for you years worth of suits and shoes and Christmas presents etc and then site see France and I would say in comparison to Australia prices you would still be in front.

However, I have heard that the USA is also really cheap so I guess this is really for us Aussies who never get these makes at...90% off!!!! . . INSANE!

Anyway homeward bound we are . . .now in our room which is lovely and it's cute to see how family friendly it is. My son loves seeing kids to talk and play with. Just a shame we are here for only 2 nights and not the week.

Tonight we plan to go to Disney Village for Tea. At the moment everyone is enjoying the pool so we will see when we get in.

Ok, Chat soon everyone! PS Bought a GPS since we couldn't hire one 99euro from the shopping centre attached to the village . .just in case anyone else is in the situation where they need an international GPS...my aussie one wouldn't work and Hertz because we are dropping the car off in Spain wouldn't let me hire one.
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 09:27 AM
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That sounds like a GREAT day!! congrats!! And the car transfer was a bargain, IMO.
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 09:28 AM
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I appreciate that these monuments can be reliant on visitor donations in order to preserve their beauty and history.

However, I tend to find that most people who visit these places are not respectful. There is no REAL reason for visitors to talk in a place of worship - let's be honest. People who had a real reason to speak would speak quietly. However, I'm not convinced it's necessary and find that most people visiting do tend to talk loudly (as well as taking photos with a flash etc). I also think that commemorative coins, postcards etc should ideally be sold in a separate building - not in the monument itself. I find that to be really poor taste as well and feel that places of worship that do it have lost sight of why they are really there. Money-making ventures in such places should be secondary, in my view.
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 09:29 AM
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If there were actually signs asking for silence, that's different, but unusual. As for taking photos when it says no photos, that really riles me too!

I did think prices were high in Australia and NZ (I live in the US). I needed new sneakers when I got there (long trip) but they were so expensive I just managed without.
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 09:34 AM
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While I also think the tacky souvenirs are a blight on these monuments the cost of maintaining them is HUGE, much more than I thought. We have been to several in the UK where they state how much a month it costs to maintain a smallish church and it is staggering. So if it is free to enter I am willing to put up with the selling of small souvenirs to help preserve them. It has to be paid for somehow and the alternative is to charge for entry, which would be a shame. St Paul's and Westminster Abbey already do this.
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 09:44 AM
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"the alternative is to charge for entry, which would be a shame. St Paul's and Westminster Abbey already do this."

And how! I noticed that Westminster Abbey is now charging 18 GBP for an adult. I'm glad I visited back when.

bdsbeautyblog - I'm not sure how you expect the docents and vergers to give tours if they don't talk. I agree that people shouldn't shout, anymore than they should in a museum, but I have no problem with quiet voices. If the authorities really had an issue they could always keep "unbelievers" out altogether, as mosques do in some countries, and some Hindu temples in India. The buildings would be pretty empty if they did that though, have you looked at the figures for church attendance in Europe lately? (Africa is sendling missionaries, lol.)
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 10:12 AM
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I will say that when our daughter married her Aussie here in California, and his family came for the wedding, her future SIL did go crazy doing extreme outlet mall shopping. 1 out of 15 visitors, tho, so you either have the shopping gene or you do not. She had to buy another suitcase. Then she and BIL got married, and now have 3 small children - their travel and shopping plans are on hold according to my daughter.

Happy travels on this continuing vacay.
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 10:22 AM
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I've been told by a reliable source that the merchandise in the outlets is often not the same as that in their regular stores. Much of it is of lesser quality made to sell in the outlets to give the impression that shoppers are getting fabulous deals when in reality, as in life, we get what we pay for. It makes sense.
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 10:48 AM
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True, MmePerdu. <<nombreux produits fabriqués exprès pour la vallée village qui sont de moindre qualité et peuvent donc être vendus moins cher.>>

(from a French fashion mag)
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 10:59 AM
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Crazy, it sounds like your children are adapting to the southern European model — siesta in the afternoon, and up until late in the evening when it is cooler. On the Greek island where I spend much of my time, children are still running around at 10 pm, and they are very well looked after by their extended families. You seem to be an excellent parent, so ignore the criticism and carry on with what you are doing.
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 11:13 AM
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Great you like the Marriott Village and La Vallee shopping! I thought you would!

Hope you like Disney tomorrow!
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 11:19 AM
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For your planning: Disneyland park will be open from 10-23. The big parade at 19u, Dreams show around the castle at approx 23u. Too late for the 2yo probably, but the 4yo will love it, as will you!

The Walt Disney Studio's park is open from 10-19. Parade (relatively small) at 16u.

More info about show times etc:
http://news.disneylandparis.co.uk/UK...AndParades.pdf

Have fun!
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 11:39 AM
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I too have heard about the often lesser quality of merchandise in Outlet malls and coincidently recently read an article about it. In 2011 while we were driving between La Rochelle and Toulouse with French friends, some of us wanted to pop into one such mall we were passing in the area (I forget where exactly it was) but our friends who were driving were reluctant to stop because of this. I think that if it's something you like and want, and isn't something you expect to keep for a long time then go for it.
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 11:42 AM
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Cathies, Cathies, Cathies...Relax.

I was adding a little levity is all. Also, you took my Baptist comments out of context and out of my country. Please, slow down and re-read what I wrote.

That said, if you really really want to know, or care, about the volume and spirit of the Baptist when church is in service, go to utube, or simply visit a Baptist church for yourself.

Mind you, what you choose to focus on has nothing to do with Claire's trip. My point was anecdotal and in a light spirit.

This, that you focus on here, also has nothing to do with children telling grown folks how to act in church-which was my point and a highlighted part of Claire's post.
Chill.
This fluid, travel, sub-topic is not that deep. We are suppose to be enjoying Claire's TR. That is my focus.

Now, having traveled the world, a least twice, THANKGOD, I can say that in the hundreds of churches, temples, synagogues, mosques, cathedrals, monasteries, shrines,shuls, tabernacles, pagodas, pantheons, meeting houses, convents, abbeys, holy places, and so where I have prayed, visited, sat in silence, lit candle, lit incense,shed tears, and so on, I have never been disrespectful, loud, dressed improperly, taken photos when told not to, or cut the fool.

I am guilty of gasping at the amazing beauty of many of the above. I probably did so in an audible whisper from time to time, too, but never did I do so in a way that drew a look or a shush.

On that note, CLAIRE, thanks for clearing things up! I am so pleased that your child was talking to you and not to a complete stranger when he stated what you said he said in the church.
I *knew* you would be the type of parent who would have told your children "Do not talk to strangers." Surely, they would not reach beyond that safe practice and tell a stranger what to do. Awesome clarification!
Done.

CHANGING THE SUBJECT:

CLAIRE, you are going to get nailed at customs.
(duty taxes--yikes!). Your purchases are going to cost you big. Can you ship some things home?

Later, when you get settled, please share your experiences at Orsay. I asked you questions about that in my above post. I don't leave for France/Italy until late August, so no rush. Thanks!

Happy Travels,
Oaktown Traveler
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 12:08 PM
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Oak, Claire may have figured out the duty. AND it does depend on Australian rules.
I suggest you get the Michelin Green guide and plan your trip to the Orsay. If you like Impressionists, go to the top floor and "do" that. Do your research ahead based on your likes!!
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 12:15 PM
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Will confess that the duty taxes issue crossed my mind, but Claire is a big girl and has shopped overseas before. Still, could be a chunk o'change for the travel budget.
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 12:41 PM
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Gretchen:

I got Orsay nailed. The MGG you note is excellent, but the Orsay website is amazing: http://www.musee-orsay.fr/.
So much to see. I put this puppy to bed weeks ago. I am super excited!

In light of that I just found the treatment of the visit to Orsay, on the page, above, in the TR to be odd. Real odd. Super duper odd. Laughs... Thanks!

Socaltraveler:

I'm sure she will be fine. Hell,she can divide her purchases amongst those in her travel party and call it a day.

Now that LV bag may be her biggest problem. I speak from experience. Customs will want to authenticate that puppy because of the rampant knock-off issue in Paris. The down side of providing that authentication (receipt) is you have to pay.
I don't know/care which purse she got, but she is on the hook for a minimum of 2k. Visit the LV website. Try not to drool...

I would have had Paris LV ship my purchases to my house. That way I'm not a walking target with a noticeable LV shopping bag containing my LV handbag or whatever else I may have bought. You see? Been there, done that. No fun.

Also, they could send my stuff to the San Francisco store--thus saving me a couple of pennies that I would later spend on gas, bridge toll, and parking in SF! Laughs...

I always have the merchant ship things that I buy that cost over $400 to the house. All jewelry purchased is also shipped.

I am a bit obsessed about my above $50 purchases being lifted along my journey, or *lost* by TSA or in checked luggage.
Juss' sayin'. Has happened.
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 01:53 PM
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Good point Oaktown

For your information Claire

http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page4352.asp

Enjoy Disney. When they were little, my kids especially liked Peter Pan, carousel & Pirates of Caribbean
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 03:35 PM
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No need to drool, my bags are generally well under 1/10 the cost of a LV, and I like them fine. Honestly, for me, I would be less concerned with customs than with either losing the bag or having a toddler, or myself, spill something on it. Which is why I spend far less.

Hope the Disney experience is really fun for the toddlers. My children loved their many visits to D-land in CA and their one visit to Disneyworld in Florida. Last spring we had the pleasure of seeing Disneyland through the eyes of our toddler grandsons, pure magic.
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