Oh it was fun! At the end of Summer last year we realized we never had time for a real family trip. One where we were all together. Summer Camps for six had seemed to fill and claim our Summer. At the end of Summer 2011 my hubby and I decided that we needed to plan ahead. To carve out a chunk of time for our family time and to create some adventures. We had always dreamt of taking big trips when our kiddos were big enough, well, we realized that now was the time. We began to plan our big trip for Summer of 2012. We decided we had two weeks to go and wrote Europe on all of our calendars to ward off any other commitments trying to make their way into our schedule. We then narrowed our plans down to visiting two countries…England and France.
We just got back this week and I can say it was everything we had dreamt of. I am ready to go and do it all over again! I have had lots of requests to see pictures. As you can imagine, we have a lot, so I figured what might be best is if I just go through my trip and post a couple of days at a time. Hopefully, I won’t scare you off with our family vacation photos. Here we go…here are the first few days.
DAY 1 and DAY 2: Ok, really the first two days were a blur. We left on Monday and arrived in Paris on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. So basically we lost a night of sleep. The kids did great on the airplane however. Once we arrived at the apartment we set out to explore our surroundings. Trying out the metro….which we used our entire trip. FYI, we stayed in an apartment near the Arc de Triomphe. It is an apartment of a sweet friend. She and her family were so kind to let us stay there. It was lucky for us, it felt like a home away from home.
After the adventure of the metro our kids declared that they were starving. We found a yummy cafe by The Louvre and enjoyed baguette sandwiches and crepes for lunch. (There are lots of things I wished I had taken photos of. I thought I took a ton of pictures but still there are times I wished I had taken even more. Oh well, my hands were full and I was busy enjoying the moment I guess.) We then walked around the Tuileries Gardens.
We kept the kids up as long as we could on Tuesday but eventually they all conked out early. That of course meant they woke up early on Wednesday. So at around 3:30, then 4:30 and then again at 5:30 we all woke up.
We finally went out around 7:00 a.m. only to find the market and bakery didn’t open til 7:30. So we first walked to The Arc de Triomphe. Now I need to explain Parker’s pose here. Parker’s school mascot is a Stallion. One of his friends made a fun video stating that the Prance was the official dance of The Stallions. Park thought it would be funny to do “the prance” all around England and France. So you will probably see more of these poses throughout the posts. If you want to check out “The Stallions Rap,” you can go here.
Then on to breakfast. Yum! Fortunately my friend told me about great places to visit. We went to Rue Poncelet where there is an outdoor market. We gathered lots of yummy fruit, baguettes, cheese and of course bought bags full of crossaints. We did get some funny looks as we kept ordering more and more crossaints. We found it best to visit two different bakeries. HAHA Our favorite treats came from Paul, a french bakery which we found all over and we were even tickled to find them in England as well. And then back to the apartment to eat what we gathered.
We had so much fun shopping the outdoor market for our meals but man oh man, the Paris way of life is a different way of living.
I would love to follow my friend, Renee, Mother of five, around Paris as she lives her life. It would be so fascinating to me to just see her daily routine.
I have to admit, we ate atleast one chocolate filled crossaint a day- each of us. YUM!
On to the Eiffel Tower. We had an appointment to go up to the Summit at noon.
If you are planning a visit to the Eiffel Tower you should go online and buy tickets to go up.
If you don’t you would have to wait in a line that could last for hours.
Oh, and we found some crepes to eat until it was our time to go up.
Man, it is really high up there!
This Picture of Parker and Piper was taken on the top level of the Eiffel Tower. It makes me smile.
We then came down and found a patch of grass to sit and rest on.
Piper quickly fell asleep and took a short nap. So we took some more pictures.
Next we were off to the Louvre. But we needed a serious pick-me-up.
We stopped off at Angelina’s. Yum! They really do have the best hot chocolate ever.
Friends and family told me about this place and said it was a must and it really lived up to it’s reputation.
The treats were as delicious as well as being beautiful. We had a little impromptu picnic in the Tuileries Gardens and then off to the Louvre. I got this next idea from my friend Sam.
I took postcards I had of artwork from the Louvre, (Around 5 postcards) and hole punched them then laced them on a string to wear around their necks.
I did this for the youngest three.
They were to try and find these works of art in the museum.
The funny thing was, as soon as we walked into the lobby Max yells out, “I found the first one.”
He found the banner telling which wing the Mona Lisa was in. In every room they had a poster with the picture of the Mona Lisa and an arrow telling you how to get to it. So at the end, Max exclaimed he had found the Mona Lisa 12 times. Awesome!
I have found while traveling with young children, you really have to pick and choose what you want to see. It was hot and so crowded in the Louvre so we found out certain pieces of art we wanted to see and then we were done. It’s pretty easy to tell when my kids are done.
Fortunately, for this little girl she has a 17 year old brother who will carry her.
That pretty much wraps up our first three days. Check back if you want to see more…..