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The long awaited trip report! Part 2 France

The long awaited trip report! Part 2 France

Old Jul 8th, 2013, 01:50 AM
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Giverny is the other side of Paris, a long drive in heavy traffic if starting after lunch. French vacation season has now started. Try to not to do this on a Saturday. Better idea would be to go out to Giverny while you are still in Paris.
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 01:57 AM
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About Disney; be aware the parks (Disneyland park and Walt Disney Studios Park) open at 10 and will be very busy at the moment. You can enter the parks a little earlier (say 9.30) but attractions won't open before 10. Don't know how late you will want to leave for a trip, but you will need your times in the parks!

I always stay in the parks till 14/15u with the kids, than drive to the hotel and take soms rest/go for a swim. And return around 17/18u for a quick meal and be on time for the big parade at 19u.

My suggestion would be; try and enjoy a full day at the parks (at least at Disneyland Park) and don't try to jam to much other things in the program.

If you want to see a beautiful castle in a nice area; try Pierrefonds. It is about a hour north of Disneyland.
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 04:12 AM
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I would not visit Giverny if you are not going to be there by 9AM. As I and others have mentioned, you are going to have to drive on the ring roads around Paris and you're likely to encounter heavy traffic going to and returning from Giverny. And it will be absolutely packed with tourists. If you don't do Giverny as a day trip from Paris then I would skip it altogether.

If you go to Vaux-le-Vicomte then definitely stop by Blandy-les-Tours (only 6km away) to see the beautiful medieval fortress:

http://www.tourisme77.fr/patrimoine-...andy-tours.htm

You can see photos of Blandy in the photo report I wrote about visiting that area: http://tinyurl.com/6cau3rv

The Château de Champs-sur-Marne is not far from Bailly and just reopened to the public after a renovation of several years. It is not as magnificent as some of the more famous châteaux near Paris but it is still pretty and has lovely gardens and has the benefit of being close to you:

http://champs-sur-marne.monuments-nationaux.fr/

Just 2km away from Champs-sur-Marne is the village of Noisiel, which is on the list to become a UNESCO site. It is famous for its former chocolate factory and the village was built by the factory owner for his workers. The town has the tourist designation of a Village of Art and History. It is quite nice: http://www.ville-noisiel.fr/-Patrimoine-

I wrote a photo report about visiting Champs-sur-Marne and Noisiel. These places are covered at the end of the report:

http://tinyurl.com/9asdtcx

Pierrefonds is a real fairytale looking château, although it was reconstructed somewhat fancifully in the 19th century. It was the location where the BBC tv series Merlin was filmed:

http://www.pierrefonds-tourisme.net/

Here is a photo report I wrote about visiting Pierrefonds and the nearby town of Compiègne: http://tinyurl.com/7edejbz

Chantilly and the nearby wonderful medieval town of Senlis are also nice. Here is my photo report about those places:

http://tinyurl.com/bsnyjgr
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 04:29 AM
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I think a full day at Disneyland would make more sense. I haven't been to the one in France, but at Disneyland here most people spend several days and are pretty exhausted at the end of the day.
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 04:46 AM
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Haven't been and no desire, but from the advice being given, the idea of just spending a full day there, "maybe" doing something late in the aft, and then the fireworks. THEN the next day, do the day trip, etc.
I guess Claire, in spite of everyone who has BEEN to the champagne caves saying Please don't take small children, is going to do this. Personally, in spite of her saying her kids are "good", is just not thoughtful of others who ALSO want to enjoy their tour in a special place. Is she going to tell them to just be quiet for an hour--no piping little voices that are sweet at Disney but not here? Fine to find out half way through that they don't like it--then disrupt the tour by having to find your way back, etc. Not.
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 05:33 AM
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thanks for the advice guys! the 40 euro tip was more of the fact it was 60 euro and we only had 50's so we didn't want to ask for change etc . .he also did assume no change was going to be given as he made no offer. Yes normally our 5-10 euro tip is what we give.

we adventured to some little hidden gems today . . .great little clothes shops around this area.

I must say I really like this area of Paris . .lots of things to do and see!

I know I don't complain often but one thing that really gets my back up is when I get comments about what you can and can't do when you have kids. I am of the belief that if the establishment says it is ok then it is ok . .if they say it is not suitable then it is not suitable. If I lived my life as someone who only did the things that families would do then I would not have done half the things we have done. My children go to theaters, eat at fine dining restaurants and come shopping with me all the time. Yes I would not take them to some places like art galleries only because I would hate for them to touch the paintings etc and also the crowds.

I will def take on board the suggestions for what to see around Disney BUT if we don't go to Moet it won't be because we have kids it will be because we decided that there might be something better to see and do.

Ok recharge is done .. time to head off again while the kids have their afternoon nap with mum!
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 05:41 AM
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Crazy - I am reading along and sounds like you are enjoying your trip.

The other side of the coin, and something that gets my back-up as a person who doesn't have or want kids, is going to something like a champagne house or fine dining establishment and having to put up with someone else's children. It is one thing at a park or somewhere family oriented, but when I go somewhere where I am spending a lot of money and the atmosphere is not geared towards family I get seriously annoyed at having children around.

Two sides to every story, just something to keep in mind when you think your back is up...

Anyways, enjoy Disneyland, I am sure your kids will have fun there!
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 05:43 AM
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Oops, the above comment was from me but Bikerscott was logged in!
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 06:20 AM
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Surely the annoyance only comes from noisy, ill-behaved children?
The mere presence of a child should not cause anyone distress - how sad.
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 06:42 AM
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Sorry Claire, but as a mother of 3 adults who were well traveled children, and now the grandmother of 4, my back gets up when people insist that all venues CAN be child appropriate; it's not the children, it's the attitudes of adults, yada yada. Do what you want, enjoy the trip, but the advice you have been given about the champagne houses/caves is valid, and comes from people who yes, have been there and done that. As far as theatres, fine dining establishments and shops, my children were age appropriate when they visited - so probably older than yours are now. Actually one of my grandsons, now 3, just saw the inside of his first movie theatre, at a children's cartoon. Again, age appropriate.
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 06:50 AM
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As a kid I grew up in the hotel industry (my parents ran a chain) and it was instilled at an early age that you behaved in public. I was also told there were no real age-orientated areas, just badly behaved people who did not know how to behave in public (of any age), as a result I have seen adults who should not be allowed in a champagne house as well as children who shouldn't be allowed in a chimp's party.

I would think the issue, is will the poor kids be just plane bored
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 08:55 AM
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well said Bilbo . . .to be honest with you hubby and I aren't into tours and listening to people talk about champagnes etc we just want to try the different types. We have decided that what we will do is save the money from the tours and buy a bottle of the top shelf champagnes we like and do our own tastings in our apartments once the kids are asleep ... makes more sense.

Still completely disagree that children and families can not go to certain establishments. I still stand firm that the establishment can make the call. I have been to many fine dining places prior to my children and seen adults behave in a manner that is far worse then any child sitting at a table playing ipad. I am so pleased that our trip is going how we wanted it to go. I just hope it continues this way. One thing I am loving is the finding of the parks that without the children we would never do.

That and also actually spending time wandering the streets in which we stay rather then just doing the tourist thing. I think this is what I like about the HOHO tours .. you can see those things nice and fast..decide if you want to get off and take a closer look but also get the chance to tick it off the bucket list.

We are still deciding if it is worth taking the kids to the Eiffel Tower . .hubby and I have been prior so we don't have to do it again and the kids saw it on the bus. Just not sure if I can handle those lines!

There is a HUGE difference between winter and summer. When we came in winter there was no lines to anything now everywhere it seems to be at least an hour wait!

ok tonight we are off to a 12th century gothic church for dinner . . meant to be impressive and the food should be around the 15 to 20 euro for three courses .. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 09:30 AM
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The Auchan in Val d'Europe has a very large selection of champagnes. Every price category.

Tour Montparnasse is a great alternative for the Eiffel tower. My kids loved it.
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 11:56 AM
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Children at a table in a fine dining establishment playing on an iPad? What happened to teaching them to make conversation? They may be quiet while on an iPad but it doesn't give them social skills.

I am glad you appear to have changed your mind regarding the champagne tours.

I think in your situation the HOHO tours are brilliant. I would take the kids to look at the Eiffel Tower, but wouldn't take them up it. For a view, take them up somewhere high where they'll actually be able to see the Eiffel Tower from the top. The Tour Montparnasse is a great idea.

You are definitely in high season now, yes.

Your Gothic church dinner sounds great. Enjoy! Let us know how it goes
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 12:08 PM
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Oh, bdsblog, a person after my own heart. I have had to tell my DGDs to put down the Iphone (game) at the dinner table--fine dining or not. OR now, to tell the teens to stop texting across the table. Not under my control!! On the other hand, DGS has ALWAYS been at the table to talk to US with no need for entertainment, because his dad wouldn't allow it from the time he was a baby!!
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 12:17 PM
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Really enjoying your trip report Crazyfamilyof4 - you have an incredibly positive personality .

Your children sound marvellously well behaved for their age. As a person with no kids, I would not object to them being in my company - I'd be charmed. My sisters brought their children everywhere with them from infancy - I guess I am just used to it. They are now very rounded, well-travelled and interesting young adults.

I am sure if they get bored and over-tired, you will make the appropriate judgement call, being sensitive to the feelings of other attendees - you have a back-up plan, and one of the adults can take them somewhere else.

Best of luck, and I look forward to future posting.

Best regards ... Ger
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 01:26 PM
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Distressed? Obviously not distressed by kids, I never said that!

I just think some things are adult oriented, and that kids will get bored and cranky - which then impacts my enjoyment. And many times nowadays some parents (NOT all...) just sit and let their children misbehave and act inappropriate and that impacts me.

I have been on champagne and wine cellar tours with kids and they have almost all been bored and cranky - why would a child want to wander around a dank cellar for an hour listening to a spiel about how champagne or wine is made...? And in most cases you cant just walk up and taste different champagnes, you have to go on the full tour to get the tasting.

However, tonight we went out for a nice dinner and there were two lovely little girls at the table next to us. The parents ordered them dinner first, they ate, and then once they got bored they let them run around the piazza with other similarly aged children while they enjoyed a 4 course meal - no problem at all with that!

Different strokes for different folks - we will never all agree but thats what makes it interesting

Anyways, Crazy - your kids might enjoy climbing up the Arc de Triomphe...we thought the views were great, and the traffic is something to behold! haha! Enjoy Paris!
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 02:20 PM
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I am really enjoying your report!!
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 02:22 PM
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I second the recommendation for Tour Montparnasse - incredible view of Paris, including straight down Champ de Mars to Eiffel Tower.

Walking around ET is also impressive - no need to queue to go up it.

Also loved the climb and view from Arc de Triomphe - just make sure you find the subway to go under the traffic circle to it, and don't follow the daredevils on the run through the traffic!
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 03:04 PM
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Glad you decided not to take the kids on champagne tour. As I mentioned on a long ago discussion about this a couple had their champagne tour honeymoon present ruined by the kids on tour.
Adults (who are spending their hard-earned money and made other arrangements for their own kids) deserve some kid-free experiences also. It doesn't matter what the "establishment" rules are, it's just good manners.
Maybe all the adults should go and use all of the playground equipment made for the kids or line up for the Dumbo ride.

Most adults who are in top dining places for a special night don't want to see a kid at the next table playing on an iPad.
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