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

The long awaited trip report! Part 2 France

The long awaited trip report! Part 2 France

Old Jul 8th, 2013, 04:15 PM
  #161  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,510
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
<< 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. >>

In that case, "most adults" are probably capable of ignoring the adjacent kid.

Most adults don't object to the adult at the next table playing with their Iphone either.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2013, 04:20 PM
  #162  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 528
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
".. or line up for the Dumbo ride." Totally off-topic, but this reminds me of my own daughter, 15, recently nagging me to take her to Disney World in Orlando before she's "too old to ride the Dumbo ride anymore." (shaking my head) I don't know if I have the heart to tell her she's already considered too old for that by many... . 15's an odd age, I guess.

And while I wouldn't have taken my own small child (who was normally well-behaved in nice restaurants and such,as we took her from a very early age) to a champagne or wine tour, I wouldn't mind if I went on one and well-behaved toddlers or other children were there. Then again, I'm also a mother and I do think we're more tolerant of children's chattering and energy than others. I tend to block out other people's children if they're being fussy, to be honest, because frankly, it's their parents' problem, not mine, and i also just think I'm used to it. However, I can see someone without kids not being used to it and it being bothersome and distracting. And that's why I would'nt have done it myself. Children present can hinder conversation as well at times...

Although I did take my daughter, who was 11 at the time, on the very brief winery tour at Biltmore in North Carolina and they gave her some juices to sample, which I thought was cute, and nice of them. But she was 11 and the tour was brief.
BumbleB6 is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2013, 04:42 PM
  #163  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 614
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The OP's kids are 2 and 4. I have no problem with an 11 year old in any of these places.
Goldens is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2013, 04:47 PM
  #164  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 27,619
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
I do have problems with people playing with their smart phones in restaurants - and even bigger problems with people talking on them. Happily, the people I eat with rarely do that.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2013, 05:28 PM
  #165  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7,960
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
One thing to remember that sometimes people want to relax and talk about "adult" subjects,, and young children , no matter how well behaved shouldn't hear those discussions... Years ago we were part of a group of friends, about 4 couples,,, and one couple insisted on bringing their kids to everything.. it got to be a pain,, the men had to watch not to swear( ie:" that damm mechanic was going to charge me double" ) and the women couldn't gossip freely "what does it mean that Mrs Smith is "cheating" on her husband mommy?" LOL

It had to be a whole evening rated "G"...
justineparis is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2013, 06:17 PM
  #166  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 6,024
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It is, of course, Claire's judgment as to what she and her husband think are appropriate places for their children, but yes, they are 2 and 4. My 2, 3 and 4 year old grandsons would not even be touring Europe at those ages, but again, that would be their parents' decision. Claire and I would have to agree to disagree that there are family appropriate places and adult appropriate places. Sometimes they do overlap into family appropriate places IMHO but not always, no matter how well behaved you think your youngish children are. There is no one right way for all, ok by me.
socaltraveler is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2013, 11:25 PM
  #167  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 660
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I guess this trip report is to show honestly what has worked and hasn't worked when travelling with my 2 and 4 yr old. So others can get tips etc.

Last nights tea was wonderful . .my kids loved the candle lit dinner and the owners and waiters loved our children and were so attentive.

the place was called : La Table des Gormets, 14 rue des Lombards. We paid 18euro for 3 courses ..It's more about being down stairs in a 12 century gothic church that wsa great.

The food was fine but wasn't like Uzes ...it was just like good food at a nice place . .nothing to complain about.

Now in regards to children playing ipads etc . .. We are trying ..and it seems to be working . .having one night in and one night out . . . The reason for the ipads/babysitters is so that everyone at the establishment can enjoy themselves.

In regards to watching language . .I can't stand it when I am out for dinner and other tables have people who are swearing in their conversation . .maybe it is the snob in me or my upbringing but I was always taught that there is a better way to describe the situation then to use a word that isn't seen as appropriate. And in my circle of friends we have times with and without our children . . .I find it really sad that there are people who are so judgmental to families. I would rather a child who is well mannered and quiet to be sitting next to me then a loud mouth obnoxious swearing adult who has had too much too drink .. and yes this has happened in front of my children and yes I have told my children while there what I thought of the situation.

In Uzes I noticed children everywhere out at dinner . . every place we went there were families eating out and even when we were home I could look out by window and see children playing in the streets at 11:30pm! But I have noticed that here in Paris I am not seeing families eating out at night . . maybe this is a Paris thing???

and I understand that places are more family friendly then others but I don't discriminate againist those who choose to take their children out for dinner to fine dining if their children are not disturbing those around them. Of course . .Moulin Rouge . . .which I have seen .. would not be a place I would take my kids but to see Lion King on West End I would . . .so let's end on this . .everyone has the right to choose what works for their situation. We are not here to judge their choices but rather agree to disagree. This trip report is about what we are doing regardless to what "others" who have chosen to not have children do. I am not doing a holiday for them. And in regards to the honeymoon couple and the caves tour . . .if they are on their honeymoon they are so wrapped up in their own life I would assume they didn't even care about the kids. If you don't want kids around then got to your adult only hotels . .which are around and eat at your adult only establishments.

Ok todays plan . . off site seeing as our last day . . then tonight I am praying the line into Louis will not be as long and I can FINALLY pick up my Paris purchase before we head off tomorrow!
crazyfamilyof4 is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2013, 03:54 AM
  #168  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,876
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well, of course loud mouth swearing bores in a restaurant are obnoxious. please don't think any of us would endorse that behavior. Glad your dinner was good--the price was certainly 'right'.
We were at dinner one night in Paris, finishing up about 10 when a party of 8 came in and sat down--4 children sat at one table and the 4 adults at the table next to them! It was very cute and sweet--the kids were maybe 10-12.
Gretchen is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2013, 05:22 AM
  #169  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,556
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well said Claire ! I've been restraining myself from joining this discussion on where children should and should not be taken but I think you summarised your viewpoint very well and I agree with you. I think you are giving your children an amazing gift of exposure to the world, broadening their horizons even at such a young and latently impressionable age, and are taking care of their basic needs while doing so. Taking special care to keep them well fed, rested and relaxed as you seem to be doing, puts them in better stead to be calm and well behaved in situations where some might not expect to see kids.
I too am shocked at how judgemental some people are about kids and families. As long as the owners welcome kids to their establishments, those who take issue with the presence of kids there should take up their issue with the owners, not with the parents who exercise their ability to do so.

I'm even more shocked at the attitude of some who see swearing and gossiping and talking about who's cheating with who as seemingly virtuous behaviour, and rue the fact about not being able to do so because children are present ('getting to be a pain'). Jeeze ! I guess it does explain a lot.
"Please don't think any of us would endorse that behaviour." lol ! Apparently some of 'you' do.

Keep up the great reporting and experiences Claire. It is a great life lesson, both for your children and for many of those reading.
Mathieu is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2013, 06:10 AM
  #170  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,876
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"I'm even more shocked at the attitude of some who see swearing and gossiping and talking about who's cheating with who as seemingly virtuous behaviour, and rue the fact about not being able to do so because children are present ('getting to be a pain'). Jeeze ! I guess it does explain a lot.
"Please don't think any of us would endorse that behaviour." lol ! Apparently some of 'you' do."

PLEASE point out ONE person who endorsed this kind of behavior. PLEASE DO. That is a specious and ridiculous indictment of people on this board.

Also, please tell me of any restaurant that would have a sign in the window--no children allowed. It is only a matter of being appropriate to the establishment if you are bringing toddlers who are naturally exuberant--and can also CERTAINLY be well mannered if managed by their parents.
I LOVE kids of all ages. Our children have always brought their children to dinner. And there have been times I have taken a grandchild outside because she couldn't be patient enough at the table and it became uncomfortable for ME to bother others in the restaurant.
It is only and all about being thoughtful of others around you, including the rude language or children being too fidgety. I am sure Claire and her mum and DH ARE thoughtful of those around them.

Personally, I will be interested to see if she can ever get into the LV store.
Gretchen is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2013, 06:15 AM
  #171  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,876
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I DO see that some brought up language. HOWEVER, that is language at your personal table--why would anyone want to say stuff like that so it is heard all over the restaurant as Claire says happened. That is just inexcusable.
Gretchen is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2013, 07:13 AM
  #172  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 56
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am still confused how a "help me with my budget on this trip" turned into power shopping sprees (including a bag at LV), 40 Euro tips and very non budget friendly accommodations. Also stumped because Claire has been to London, Paris and a few of the other places before, yet acted as though she was so unfamiliar with everything. That's all - just curious.

That being said, I'm loving the report.
WiredPuppy is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2013, 07:14 AM
  #173  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7,960
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oh for goodness sake who said swearing and gossiping were "virtous" what a ridiculus statement. The reality is if you have a group of 10 or so folks , and some are drinking wine, that yes, some inappropriate comments DO slip out in front of children,, even talking about things like say a company firing more folks can worry a child if they think it means their family is somehow at risk..
And then there are the ones you can't control, like when eating out in public you will hear people at other tables speaking inappropriately,, it may be fine for adults to hear, but perhaps not for a 5 yr old... and obviously this is much less of an issue in a family friendly type place, but if you have been to Europe you will recall how close tables are to one another, and not everyone else in an establishment is watching what they say because your child is nearby.

Its amazing how self righteous some of you are, you and all your friends never gossip or swear.. wow.. welcome to the Amish I guess...gossip is something most people do even though they may not consider it gossip ( "did you hear bobs son crashed his brank new Mercedes?) its gossip alright but not malicious ...

Claire obviously is aware of the issue, and has been exposed to it , since none of us can control what happens around us, and yes, some places its more likely to happen then others...My comment wasn't on whether she should travel with kids. for goodness sake I travelled with mine when first one was 6 months old, and then ended up taking all three when they were under 6 with us many places, Caribbean, Hawaii, etc..only reason we didn't do Europe was we knew our three would not be good on a plane for more then 5-7 hours from our previous trips.. some kids are a lot easier. I have no issue with Claire taking her kids, she has no issues with it, so whats the big deal.. I just agree that in some venues ( fine dining meals that take hours or pub meals in some pubs) are not the best places for MOST toddlers( there are no absolutes , there are always exceptions) .. glad Claire has no issues with that with her tots.
justineparis is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2013, 08:15 AM
  #174  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,560
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
<<So others can get tips etc.>>

Not sure anyone here needs "tips," as we've all been down this road many times, but that's OK. Not seeing families eating out at night and assuming that's a "Paris thing" is an example.What anyone happens to "notice" on a single trip does not a generalization make - and I wish all those ignorant young bloggers out there would take note, like the one who recently wrote about what to expect when dining in Paris - total BS, most of it (not accusing you, Claire, of any of this, just saying a couple of random travel experience does not bode well for general "tips." )


I don't have ANY problem with taking young children to nice restaurants and making sure they behave. I took mine to restaurants all over Europe from the time they were a few months old to the time they were college students, often several times a year. I thought it was VERY important that they learn to sit quietly, enjoy a meal, join in conversation, etc., but there were never any iPads or electronics allowed. And the moment any kid got cranky or loud, we took him/her outside. I can remember well one 3-hour dinner at L'Abbaye in St-Cyprien ( a staid, white-tablecloth, candlelit elegant place) where my 4-year-old son was finally so used to long, quiet, conversational dinners in France that he lasted the entire time without a peep other than talking with us and drawing in his "journal." The owners told him and us that they thought his behavior was impressive, and other diners remarked on it too. So I don't have a problem with the basic notion of taking young children to nice dining places, IF the parents can manage their behavior. Claire seems to know how to do that.

On the other hand, spending summers in France with my young kids, we often saw unruly and obnoxious and unregulated young children, usually Dutch or Brits, in restaurants of all kinds, and sympathized with the restaurant/café owners, whose patrons were disrupted by obnoxious kid/parent behavior. Saw obnoxious kid behavior all the time in the supermarkets and other venues, too. It ALL depends on the limits and expectations parents set.

I guess today's equivalent of coloring books and journals may be electronics, but it's still jarring to me to see ANYBODY in a nice restaurant tinkering with a cell phone or tablet or iPad. I just think that's rude. And yes, I agree that there are as many intolerable adults out there traveling as there are children.

I'm not even going to touch the budget issue. A LOT of money is being thrown around is all I'll say. The 40-euro tip is incredible. The 18-euro meal in the "Gothic church," wherever that may be, sounds like a treat.
StCirq is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2013, 08:19 AM
  #175  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 614
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Claire- regarding the honeymoon couple on the Moët Chandon tour, I first told that story on your other thread. Their tour was a honeymoon present given to them by a grandmother. It was a special gift. Their tour was ruined by a whiny kid.

You have not been on that tour. Once you are down in the caves with your one guide you cannot leave the group so children having a tantrum or whining do ruin it for adults. There is nothing cute or charming about that. Why should couples go to "adult only" venues when any sensible person would expect a good adult experience on a champagne tour?

Not everyone has the money for private cars, Vuitton bags, etc. so when they do get a special experience they can only hope it's not spoiled by someone who doesn't care about others.

I don't get any of this, so that's it for me. Too many inconsistencies.
Goldens is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2013, 08:33 AM
  #176  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 707
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm glad you are having fun with your family. One day you will wake up, and your children will be in college! Make lots of memories, especially in the future years when they will remember more.
KL467 is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2013, 09:52 AM
  #177  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 88
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Good grief!

LAUGHING...

Now I know why I stayed away from the boards for so long.

It is good to come back and have great input on my upcoming journey.

But--this here? I am confused. Yes, some things(many) don't match up, but? Ok.

Maybe where she lives they don't sell Vuitton bags? Who cares? She has very well behaved kids, like the rest of us, and a husband who travels with them, right? I think I read he joined them and they let him rest or something like that?

On the tip thing, I am sure I have over and under tipped. I think I will probably do both at least once this week while I'm out to lunch, breakfast, or dinner where I live.

On that note, I absolutely have the pottiest mouth on occasion. I gossip, laugh out loud, and try and talk over my friends when we all get going.
When dining with my girlfriends we can get real loud and by all means we curse-lots. Of course not every time, or all throughout the meal and during cocktails, but, yeah, we are not in a library, or in a gothic church, so?
Even while dining with my husband, other couples, family etc., I can say we have had a loud meal a few times in our lives. We have also apologized when needed. We are well educated, professional, classy, etc, but we are human and are behaviors are far from perfect. Besides, we are not out enjoying life with perfect behavior being the goal. That is the truth.

The ipad thing or cell phone thing is the deal breaker. Those items are forbidden at my dining tables. My friends are addicted to them, but they know not to take them out with me. No one has small children or kids at home, so there is no need to be tethered to all that--yet at fine dining and regular dining these items are right there with the knife and fork! Laughs...

While I too love kids,I don't dine with or at establishments with toddlers/children/teens. I just don't, because my kid was really--seriously the only kid who knew how to behave, enjoy, order from the menu and off the menu, and be complimented by other diners and chefs and the owners of these fine establishments...LAUGHS.

Folks, lighten up. She is on vacation--her way.

She can gather her "traveling-with-tikes-tips" and write an article for those who will come after her.
I kinda like her way more since she did not take them children to the champagne caves. Big ginormous points from me for that.

Oh, and she had me at: "...my kids loved the candle lit dinner and the owners and waiters loved our children and were so attentive."
She owes me a cup of tea as I accidentally spit mine out all over my keyboard when I read that.

Keep going Crazyfamilyof4!!!

Hugs,
Oaktown Traveler
Oaktown9 is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2013, 10:01 AM
  #178  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 88
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I meant OUR not are...
Forgot to preview!
Oaktown9 is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2013, 10:06 AM
  #179  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,556
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"PLEASE point out ONE person who endorsed this kind of behavior. PLEASE DO. That is a specious and ridiculous indictment of people on this board.

No need to shout at me with caps. Better spend your energy putting on your glasses and noting comments like this:
"..Years ago we were part of a group of friends, about 4 couples,,, and one couple insisted on bringing their kids to everything.. it got to be a pain,, the men had to watch not to swear( ie:" that damm mechanic was going to charge me double" ) and the women couldn't gossip freely "what does it mean that Mrs Smith is "cheating" on her husband mommy?" LOL .."

Tell me that that is a specious and ridiculous indictment of people on this board given that one of them actually wrote that. More like a choice on your part to ignore the obvious.

"Its amazing how self righteous some of you are, you and all your friends never gossip or swear.. wow.. welcome to the Amish I guess...gossip is something most people do even though they may not consider it gossip ( "did you hear bobs son crashed his brank new Mercedes?) its gossip alright but not malicious ..."

From where I come from, we don't call it being self-righteous. More like being discreet or exercising discretion, though perhaps not in your social circle from the story you have told us or implied. To each his/her own.
And what's being Amish got to do with it ? As far as I'm aware, discretion isn't limited to the Amish, and even some of them might be shaking their heads at your comment. Maybe I'm Amish. I'll have to check and see.

St.Cirq: Completely agree with all your comments about the behaviour of kids in public places and the involvement of the parents. Setting good examples will reap great rewards as evident when your son was four, and as Claire seems to be doing. Our family at large has had numerous similar positive results with the kids in the family. Some of those kids are now adults with kids of their own, and are rearing their kids in a similar way. It's very reassuring.
Mathieu is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2013, 12:41 PM
  #180  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 660
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
OMG! Talk about a full on trip report! Let's stop with the justifying about what I do and don't do with the kids and just enjoy the ride of the day.

I am a teacher and my husband is a principal so yes we don't have doctor and lawyer wages but in saying that I love my designer items. Louis began in Paris . . it is cheapest in Paris (and almost half the price then Australia once you convert the dollar and create it tax free) in regards to buying it . .if you must know I saved my birthday money and lived my dream.

Anyway here is a run down for today! got up and bought treats from the local bakery . . .kids love coming with me and choosing what they like.

From here with hubby we did the metro (my son LOVES TRAINS! so a real treat!!!!!) 3 trains to get us to Sacre Coeur . . .fun although we didn't know we had to buy a new ticket . . no big deal just rebought another one.

My children we wonderful inside . . we are Catholic and go to Church so my son and daughter understood when I said it was time to be silent because we were in Jesus house. (the amount of adults however that were rudely talking and taking photos was something to have been said...even my son told someone to be silent and talk to Jesus in his head) Anyway, amazing and beautiful and so pleased we went!

Then we went for lunch at a near by place . .just for pizza and squid nothing fancy and nothing French about it but it was hot and time for lunch and we knew the kids would like it and there was a table for us.

By now the children were tired so time to go home for rest.

We decided that hubby should rest with the kids and mum and I should go off and see an art gallery and do a little shopping. So .... we went to museum D' Orsay . . line took an hour so I was glad I didn't have the kids! After we did this..which was incredible and so wonderful to see we decided to catch one of those little bike taxis . . .Mum was so worried . .I thought it was fabulous and couldn't stop laughing . . we got to Louis Vuitton in 20min! and the traffic was so bad so it worked out a huge time saver!

Again there was a line! not as long and we waited maybe 30min ...although I didn't have my kids with me the store had LOTS of families with children of all ages and the ones who made your eyes roll were not the young children but the teenagers who were arguing about what they wanted etc. So those of you who want to visit the store and have children you will be welcomed! I even saw a sales lady hold a toddler in her arms because she was so in love with her The store was amazing and I am so happy that I got to get the bag I have loved for the last few years!

Then homeward bound by taxi (15euro) got home and hubby decided that the kids needed food right away as they didn't sleep for him! So we just went next door for crepes . . the kids LOVE them! They had a ham,egg, mushroom and cheese. I had a salmon and leek and huby had a chicken in cheese . .then the best bit . .dessert ...Such a wonderful place! We ended up taking the dessert home because we could tell the kids needed their bath and bed. No worries ..off we went with our plastic plate to next door

And now we sit, relax and pack up ready to leave for Disney tomorrow. Although I don't think we will go to Disney tomorrow, just check in and look around the area with an early night ready to hit the parks first thing the next day.

Paris has been wonderful! My heart is still in Uzes for the children ... but I have still enjoyed my time here. Just feel as though I loved it more when I was kid free.

Night everyone!

PS Budget believe it or not has not been that over the top! The joy of having an apartment is you get to eat at home . .we have done this for half the time and saved a lot of money this way. My mother has gone halves with everything which is why we could afford private cars and taxis...in saying that the children loved the trains...just wish they were more stroller friendly! Thank goodness for the cheap light stroller bough from Mammas and Pappas in London!)

Still would of loved a few more days or nights...I can so see why all those months ago you all convinced me to halve my plans and spend twice as long in each place. A rule of thumb with kids I would say is a week in a place at a min . .not because they can't handle the movement . .it's the unpacking and packing that I can't stand! Thank goodness I packed light!

Night again!
crazyfamilyof4 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -