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The long awaited trip report! Part 2 France

The long awaited trip report! Part 2 France

Old Jul 4th, 2013, 07:04 AM
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Google maps says that it takes 28 min. to drive from Les Baux to Arles (I know it always takes longer, but probably not twice as long) and with two young children, they probably aren't going to spend as much time in either place as an all adult group would. IMO, a couple of hours in Arles would be better than not going at all. Ditto Les Baux.
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Old Jul 4th, 2013, 08:11 AM
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Learned that in elementary school, Jean. On to college and "Chevaliers de la table ronde, goutons boire si le vin est beau" [sorry, didn't check the spelling and my senior memory is fading]!

Please keep it coming, crazyfamilyof4!
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Old Jul 4th, 2013, 10:21 AM
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...si le vin est bon....
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Old Jul 4th, 2013, 11:29 AM
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oh, i don't know, St. Cirq - after enough of it, it might be beautiful!
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Old Jul 4th, 2013, 11:36 AM
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So true, annhig...

I have a plaque in my kitchen that has a pudgy little friar carved on it straddling an oak barrel, and it says "Dieu, aurait-il fait le vin si bon s'il nous défendait d'en boire?"

My sentiments exactly!
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Old Jul 4th, 2013, 12:24 PM
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So today was our last day here in Uzes..tomorrow we are off to Paris so... overall tips I have for travelling with small children to a place like Uzes is as follows:
DO IT! You will not regret one bit coming here with children! There really is hardly any traffic. The town is incredibly clean and the locals are lovely!

Today we did go back to Avignon. We went to see the popes palace properly and then we took a little train/cart ride around Avignon for 40mins . .a little treat for the kids and a way to rest our feet.

On our way back to catch the bus we enjoyed another ice cream . . certainly makes walking in the sun a lot easier on the kids

We did have one little drama . . we miss read the bus timetable so there was no bus until very late in the afternoon. SO we decided rather then waste our day we would pay for a taxi back to Uzes (70euro) The reason we were charged 150 euro on the night we arrived is because there is a different rate for the evening, basically double . .so I am told.

Thank goodness we made this decision because the place we had lunch in was such a wonderful find! Les Jardins .. I think . .not the hotel one . .one on the main street . .it looks like a little café but as you walk though and down some stairs you are taken into this beautiful garden with umbrellas. The food, although simple, was delicious! It was just toast with different spreads on it, one was goats cheese with pinenuts and honey, and the other was cream cheese and codfish spread and finally a roasted vegetable one. The waiter were great and even helped me with my French. The children quietly played in the garden with the stones (my son loves pushing cars and trains through stones, so he was in heaven which meant I could enjoy my lunch in pure peace!)

After lunch I decided to spoil myself and got my hair done in time for stylish paris again the chance for the hours peace was a true gift from my mum!

Onto dinner . . .a treasure find! Le Bec a Vin . . .we were really lucky as the place was booked out! They provide the menu in French and English and the waitress spoke beautiful English. It is a little stressful with young children as it is a REALLY nice place, but we managed with our ipads It is tucked away but if you are coming make sure you find it.

The place de herbs or whatever the main town square is called is great for coffee or a quick drink but the food was no where near as delicious as these two places!

I also ate at a place called Pizza du Duche . . .this was great when the kids wanted food that tasted like home . .chips, pizza and pasta. It was also next door to where we stayed so really handy.

Anyway . .I can't wait to come back to Uzes again and I am sure whoever crosses my path will visit here because as I said I really can not speak more highly of the place.

On a side note . .I never saw the lavender fields ... is there somewhere near Sarlat or Carcassonne that I will be able to go to. I saw the lavender growing wild on the side of the street and can only imagine how amazing I would be in a field.

Ok early start tomorrow with Paris on the way! Fingers crossed the TGV isn't too stressful!

Night everyone!
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Old Jul 4th, 2013, 12:40 PM
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Bon voyage!
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Old Jul 4th, 2013, 12:48 PM
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please share any fabulous trips or finds near Uzes -we are headed there next week! Enjoyed reading your entries. Thanks
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Old Jul 4th, 2013, 12:59 PM
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I'll say again, don't forget the potteries!!
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Old Jul 5th, 2013, 03:17 AM
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Reading your latest really bummed me out. The woman who runs the mas in which we were staying highly recommended Le Bec A Vin for dinner. Our group of four, however, couldn't agree on the menu, so we went to a cafe on the Place aux Herbes instead. It was not very good. Sounds like we really made a big mistake not going to the recommended restaurant!
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Old Jul 5th, 2013, 08:15 AM
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Oh Digbydog! The restaurant was amazing and I am sorry to say but as much as the place aux herbs has a wonderful view the food in comparison is like mac donalds and a really nice restaurant...all I wanted was true French food and this place for 30 euro gave us 3 courses of amazing food and they spoke English with a menu in English to make sure we really did get what we felt like . .so next time .. because you know there will be a next time go there!

Gretchen . . my daughter adored the pottery! We got a cute little chicken, mouse and rabbit as our memories

Annette perkins you are really going to adore Uzes. I just got lost in the ambience of this place and seriously can not wait to return. A true hidden gem! Make sure you go to the restaurants I said. Oh there is an amazing ice cream store! Splurge and enjoy!

Ask away! I can't speak more highly of the place!

Now onto today! Bloody hell! Those freakin trains are a nightmare! We got to Avignon tgv 45mins BEFORE the train was to arrive! We find where to be and wait for the train to arrive. The train pulls up . . number 2 is on the door..so I assume "oh that is coach 2" so off we go to find the door with coach 7 on it . . once we saw it was 2 on every door we find a conductor who tells us which one to get on as she literally pushes us on as doors are closing! People are seriously left behind there was no room to breathe! Then we discover we have been pushed into the wrong coach! So there we are literally stuck inbetween doors thinking what the hell! I send mum off to find where we should be,she returns to tell me she discovered 2 boys in our seats. Off I go and kindly show them our tickets, babe in arms with my son saying "why are you in our seats! " and they move. Then mum follows. Sits down and then off I go ready to carry the luggage up the stairs, down the stairs and then to our seats. Obviously by now the luggage section is full so my case is left near the doors etc thankfully our seats couldn't be any closer to the doors so I could see it at all times! However getting off was a bit nerve racking! Thankfully I had to separate men help me out..one with my case and one with my son (who has been amazing in helping with the luggage!)

Best 60euro I spent was getting a driver to meet me at the end of our platform and help us with our luggage to his car and then took us to our apartment carried our luggage up and ensured a safe arrival! Mum and decided a tip was deserved so we turned it into 100 euro (he was really helpful and didn't expect it so karma I say)

Anyway when we pulled up I was thinking Oh my God what the hell have I booked. It looked run down with workmen and renos happening everywhere. However, once we came into our apartment it was breathtaking. Just like the pictures! Absolutely perfect! Hopefully somewhere I can recommend! SO far the welcome booklet and communication has been great! I have unpacked and given the children a bath and are about to hit the streets.

Side note . . what are the chances that apartments get broken into? Should I be bringing my passports, technology and money with me? or am I safer leaving it here and then just taking what must be taken?

We are staying in the 3rd district in Marais . .if that means anything. Also do you think there is a time we should be home by with the children etc in regards to safety etc. As we drove here I saw a few "crazy" people and homeless people etc so it's a bit of a shock after coming from beautiful Uzes..I am sure I will find the beauty in Paris but if you could just give me some pointers to help us so we don't end up a number in crime it would be much appreciated. Oh and any recommendations for a nice family meal somewhere and my night out with hubby and no kids! Oh and are there any tours you recommend etc. I know it seems crazy to live on the fly like this but with the kids and not being sure how they would feel or be I just didn't sort out this side of the trip etc.

Thanks everyone! Look forward to reporting about my love of Paris!
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Old Jul 5th, 2013, 08:42 AM
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I don't know where you get the energy. Glad you are in the flat and all is well.

For tonight and in the morning, see if your welcome booklet has close and convenient suggestions for casual meals and groceries. By now, you are probably settled and have sorted this out.

Not knowing exactly where you are, I can't say don't worry about crime but generally, don't worry.
The people you have seen are probably harmless and won't accost you. If anyone does, a raised voice "No" works and/or walking into the nearest café or shop. Odds are you might be approached because ToTo, you aren't in Kansas anymore.

As for leaving valuables in the flat, pickpocketing is more likely than a break-in. The more things you have hanging off your arm or off the stroller, the more likely you are to be distracted.

Restaurant recommendations--local or anywhere? Budget?
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Old Jul 5th, 2013, 08:52 AM
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Number 2 on the train doors mean 2nd class
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Old Jul 5th, 2013, 11:08 AM
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There is usually a diagrom on the platform telling you which coach stops where. It's not that unusual to have to boot someone out of your seat unless the whole train requires reservations - no big deal unless they refuse to move (unlikely).
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Old Jul 5th, 2013, 12:13 PM
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There is ALWAYS a diagram (affiche) on the platform that shows exactly which car will show up where, and every car is marked 2 or 1 to designate whether it is a 1st-class or 2nd-class car. I have taken loads and loads of trains from Avignon to Paris and it has never been the slightest bit stressful, even when I was alone with two small kids. Occasionally, someone else is sitting in your seat, in which case a "Excusez-moi Madame/Monsieur, vous êtes apparrement dans nos sièges" seems to work fine.

I wouldn't worry about crime. Did you not do any research at all about Paris in the months you were posting here? Presumably, the kids aren't going to be up late anyway, so what's the worry? It's a big city. There are homeless people the world over, unfortunately. The Marais is a safe place.
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Old Jul 5th, 2013, 01:44 PM
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Where in the Marais are you staying? (not try to stalk you - we stayed there in December on rue St Antoine, near St Paul Metro station(4th), so may have a few suggestions if you are nearby.

But I thought we had explored your Paris options almost to exhaustion some months ago?
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Old Jul 5th, 2013, 02:30 PM
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I agree pickpocketing is more likely than an apartment break-in. I usually wear a money belt in the bigger cities when I am likely to be on public transport and worried about people "accidentally" bumping into me.

Have fun in Paris!
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Old Jul 6th, 2013, 02:26 PM
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WOW . .Paris today was HOT! Here I wa thinking I would be fine in jeans! CRAZY!

We walked and walked and walked today to try and find our bearings. My big goal today was to make sure my little bouy got to play with the boats in the Luxembourg gardens. Best 3 euros spent! HIGHLY RECOMMEND this for anyone with young children!

We did turn the wrong way at the start of our day and it did seem to turn into an area that's not family friendly..if you know what I mean ...on our map it seems to be a blue area if that makes sense . . .anyway I could feel the vibes and said to mum I think we should go back and we did and everything was fine.

Went for lunch today in a little café in front of Sorbonne University . .that was really good and I am loving how the menus in Paris so far have English under the French . .no more sea snails

From here we made our way home and I settled the kids with mum and then headed off on my own for a couple of hours to do some quick power shopping . .didn't get far . . but I did see the ring scam being done . . not to me but in front of me . . it's funny that I thought it would be easy to pick out the type of person who would do this but this lady "looked/dressed" like a tourist.

Anyway, hubby arrives tomorrow . .YAY! Not sure how he will feel so we are going to do the HOHO bus tour so if he wants to sleep he can and we can hear some history about Paris and see some sites etc. The kids also love this.

Night everyone!
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Old Jul 6th, 2013, 04:44 PM
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Save your "power shopping" for a half-day on Boulevard Haussmann - the various Printemps and Galleries Lafayette stores are gorgeous, and the inside of the Dome in the main GL store must make it rate as one of the world's most beautiful department stores (even nicer than that historic one that is now a Macys in Chicago!)
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Old Jul 6th, 2013, 10:39 PM
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ooohhh thanks bendigo! Will def go there with hubby one night...I assume the shops are open till late
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