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Thread: Paris (France) travel tips/suggestions... with kids

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    Adventurer Walter Sobchak's Avatar
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    { redacted }
    Last edited by Walter Sobchak; 10-20-2011 at 05:16 PM.

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    The dude abides Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    MBN needs a summons card.
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    Senior Member il Padrino Ute's Avatar
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    SU probably has some good ideas, though I don't know if he's been there with kids. I know he loves it there and would be a good one to ask.

    Edit: Lebowski is correct about MBN. He dragged his family there for work a few years back.
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    Major disappointment The_Tick's Avatar
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    Mrs Funk did an internship there also right?

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    It is NOT a monkey! creekster's Avatar
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    MBN is the guy to ask.

    My kids liked, in no particualr order:

    the Musee de l'Arme, which is near Les INvalides, le Tour Eiffel and the Champs de Mars, so you will be there anyway. Loads of armour and guns and stuff. I liked it too

    the Musee des moyens ages;

    climbing the stairs at the arc de triomphe.

    I hate to rain on your parade, but they were not huge fans of Eurodisney. Like them, I felt it was an abomination.

    Also, the Musee d'orsay, with its excellent selections (esp van goghs) of well known paintings and manageable size (as compared to the louvre) was a bit of a hit. Take some time to have a snack in the cafe upstairs where the kids will like lookign out through the clock face.

    If I think of anything else I will let you know. You will have fun. Are you staying in Paris? we also wen out to La Loire valley and toured the chateaux there. They enjoyed that.
    PLesa excuse the tpyos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Tick View Post
    Mrs Funk did an internship there also right?
    Yes, though I didn't have kids in tow. Brave soul, SG.

    (Though, in candor, my favorite part of going back as an intern was that it was my third time in Paris and I had done the touristy stuff already.)

    You do have to consider practical things like getting from the airport to your hotel and getting around the city. I used BluVan (site) shuttle service to get from my apartment to the airport without a hitch. They are much cheaper than a taxi; my driver was a friendly Iranian guy who spoke passable English (we spoke French; the Texans in the shuttle didn't realize I was American until we got to the airport, the funny part being that I have a strong American accent when I speak French). I believe you can set up an airport pickup online. A lot of taxis can only take 4 passengers, so this is likely your best bet, unless EuroDisney offers a shuttle service?

    The Métro is by far the cheapest and most convenient way to get around. It's not the most kid-friendly in that it is super crammed, but if you can keep a handle on your kids, it's great. They have a good English website where you can plan trips. http://www.ratp.info/informer/anglais/ The Métro is not stroller-friendly AT ALL, so hopefully your 3-year-old is walking independently at this point.

    Since you guys are staying at EuroDisney, it's going to be a hike for you to get into Paris proper each day. You'll have to plan to be away from your hotel all day. Keep in mind that Paris is a huge city and places like the Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower are far apart from each other. You'll likely want to carefully plan your days for what you'd like to do based on what neighborhood (arrondissement or quartier, the French call them) that day. This map shows where a lot of the "must see" tourist places are in relation to each other. http://www.paris.org/Maps/MM/ Again, there is where taking the Métro is most economical because taking a taxi from Euro Disney to the Louvre would likely run you 75 EURO+ one way. Be realistic in how much you can ask of your children in one week in Paris, because it can be exhausting to run around from one end of the city to another. Mappy has the best maps and directions for walking on foot, IMO. http://en.mappy.com/

    Look for the stores Monoprix or Fanprix (the major grocery/general stores in Paris) to stock up on water and snacks and such, if you can.

    Expect to walk a lot. The Louvre especially is enormous and can take quite a bit just to get from one must-see item to the next. If you only want to see the Mona Lisa (she's a big bore, by the way), Michelangelo's Winged Triumph, and the Rubens room, you can probably do the Louvre in one morning. The Eiffel Tower is the most magnificent at night, but you don't want to be in that area too late or else you'll be getting back to your hotel at 1 AM (it's in the 17th arrondissement, and on the exact opposite side of Paris from where you are staying). About the Seine cruise: the Seine is really stinky and it'll be really cold. I never had much interest in it myself, but there are lots of beautiful bridges and such crossing the Seine around the Notre Dame. One of the newer museums, le musée Quai-Branly, has a very impressive collection of aboriginal art and history from aboriginals around the world, if you're into that stuff.

    For all the crap that people give the French, in my experience they pretty much turn into cream puffs when they realize that you respect their culture and are in need of help. I had complete strangers walk me 1/2 mile to a Métro stop I couldn't find or to a Fanprix to find water (Paris tap water is safe, but not particularly good tasting).

    It's later. I'll ruminate over this and post anything else helpful I think of tomorrow.
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    Oh, and I know you didn't sound thrilled to attend church in Paris, but there is a nice English branch at the building in the 3rd arrondissement in a simply stunning 17th century building.The church in the 19th arrondissement may be closer to you, but it's not in the best area of town, if I remember correctly.

    Food for thought.
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    Senior Member myboynoah's Avatar
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    First off, I wouldn't use any tour companies, unless you plan to travel far afield of Paris (say Normandy or the Loire). Paris is very doable on your own. Being out near Disney, you'll have to take the train in everyday, about 30-40 minutes I think (could be shorter).

    Your kids' ages will be a challenge because there will be a lot a walking and they will get extremely bored at all the places you will want to go.

    A few things off the top of my head:

    Montmatre - cool basilica at the top of the hill, nice little walk through neat neighborhoods that housed Picaso et al, great vistas, some street performers that will entertain you and kids, a little square that sells some pretty good artwork, even a merry-go-round at the bottom of the hill. BUT, beware of the Africans mostly at the bottom of the steps that will try to sell you lace bracelets that they tie onto your wrist. They are very agressive and start tying them while talking to you. Then voila, they are finished and asking you for $20. It's tied on so you can't remove it. Instead, go get jambon-fromage baquettes from a nearby brasserie and watch as the Africans "get" the unsuspecting tourists. Great fun!

    Also, watch out for the artists that want to sketch your kids, unless of course you're into that. Very aggressive as well.

    The Pompidou Centre - Kind of a funky museum that the kids will probably like. Also, right outside the centre is a large area with street performers, magicians, jugglers, and the like. Really a lot of fun. Also, right around the corner is an LDS church, but unlike any you've probably seen. It is a traditional paris "Hotel," with cobble stone courtyard and all. The missionaries have a little visitor's center there. Fun to stop by just to take a look. Also, this borders on the gay/lesbian neighborhood, which makes life interesting for the missionaries.

    Jardin du Luxembourg is neat for the kids. It has a huge play park, which costs maybe $1 per kid with amazingly cool wooden jungle gym type things. Our kids loved it. Plus you can walk around the park and look at sculptures and the pond and the buidlings and all the rest.

    Galleries Lafayette and the Opera - the huge department stores are interesting to some, and the Opera was cool (at least I thought so).

    Those are a few things off the top of my head.

    Let me ask my wife. She knows all about the cool chapels and some other kid things. If you have any questions, let us know.

    Oh, I thought of one more thing, the catacombs, but then with the kids, probably not a good idea.

    Oh, another thing. Place des Vosges - a cool 17th century square which houses the home of Victor Hugo, now a museum (entrance was pretty cheap as I remember). There were some street musicians when we visited which made it fun.

    One more thing and that's it. The Pont de l'Alma tunnel where Princess Diana died. Odd yes, but right next to the Seine and within walking distance of a number of sightseeing attractions. Lots of flowers left everyday.
    Last edited by myboynoah; 02-01-2010 at 12:31 AM.
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    Senior Member myboynoah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by creekster View Post
    MBN is the guy to ask.

    My kids liked, in no particualr order:

    the Musee de l'Arme, which is near Les INvalides, le Tour Eiffel and the Champs de Mars, so you will be there anyway. Loads of armour and guns and stuff. I liked it too

    the Musee des moyens ages;

    climbing the stairs at the arc de triomphe.

    I hate to rain on your parade, but they were not huge fans of Eurodisney. Like them, I felt it was an abomination.

    Also, the Musee d'orsay, with its excellent selections (esp van goghs) of well known paintings and manageable size (as compared to the louvre) was a bit of a hit. Take some time to have a snack in the cafe upstairs where the kids will like lookign out through the clock face.

    If I think of anything else I will let you know. You will have fun. Are you staying in Paris? we also wen out to La Loire valley and toured the chateaux there. They enjoyed that.
    These are all very good as well. Musee D'orsay, les invalides (I loved the "Taking the Revolution to the Rest of Europe" title for Napolean's conquests), etc. Also, Napolean's Tomb is kind of cool from a historical perspective.

    Definitely climb to the top of the arc de trimphe. The kids will get a kick out of it.

    Going to the top for the Eiffel Tower can be expensive the line can be long, but it is pretty impressive. The Trocadero across the river offers a great view of the tower.
    Give 'em Hell, Cougars!!!

    For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.

    Not long ago an obituary appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune that said the recently departed had "died doing what he enjoyed most—watching BYU lose."

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    Senior Member myboynoah's Avatar
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    Also, on church, I know a member that lives out in that area that could direct you on the nearest chapel. Or you could get up early and train into Paris and go near the Pompidou Centre. That would put you into town and you could do some more sightseeing from there.

    Staying near Disney reminds me that once Pres Hinckley came to Paris and we held our meeting at one of the Disney Hotels out there (the New York themed one).

    I know, I know, SU. Speaks volumes.
    Give 'em Hell, Cougars!!!

    For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.

    Not long ago an obituary appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune that said the recently departed had "died doing what he enjoyed most—watching BYU lose."

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    It is NOT a monkey! creekster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by myboynoah View Post
    First off, I wouldn't use any tour companies, unless you plan to travel far afield of Paris (say Normandy or the Loire). Paris is very doable on your own. Being out near Disney, you'll have to take the train in everyday, about 30-40 minutes I think (could be shorter).

    Your kids' ages will be a challenge because there will be a lot a walking and they will get extremely bored at all the places you will want to go.

    A few things off the top of my head:

    Montmatre - cool basilica at the top of the hill, nice little walk through neat neighborhoods that housed Picaso et al, great vistas, some street performers that will entertain you and kids, a little square that sells some pretty good artwork, even a merry-go-round at the bottom of the hill. BUT, beware of the Africans mostly at the bottom of the steps that will try to sell you lace bracelets that they tie onto your wrist. They are very agressive and start tying them while talking to you. Then voila, they are finished and asking you for $20. It's tied on so you can't remove it. Instead, go get jambon-fromage baquettes from a nearby brasserie and watch as the Africans "get" the unsuspecting tourists. Great fun!

    Also, watch out for the artists that want to sketch your kids, unless of course you're into that. Very aggressive as well.

    The Pompidou Centre - Kind of a funky museum that the kids will probably like. Also, right outside the centre is a large area with street performers, magicians, jugglers, and the like. Really a lot of fun. Also, right around the corner is an LDS church, but unlike any you've probably seen. It is a traditional paris "Hotel," with cobble stone courtyard and all. The missionaries have a little visitor's center there. Fun to stop by just to take a look. Also, this borders on the gay/lesbian neighborhood, which makes life interesting for the missionaries.

    Jardin du Luxembourg is neat for the kids. It has a huge play park, which costs maybe $1 per kid with amazingly cool wooden jungle gym type things. Our kids loved it. Plus you can walk around the park and look at sculptures and the pond and the buidlings and all the rest.

    Galleries Lafayette and the Opera - the huge department stores are interesting to some, and the Opera was cool (at least I thought so).

    Those are a few things off the top of my head.

    Let me ask my wife. She knows all about the cool chapels and some other kid things. If you have any questions, let us know.

    Oh, I thought of one more thing, the catacombs, but then with the kids, probably not a good idea.

    Oh, another thing. Place des Vosges - a cool 17th century square which houses the home of Victor Hugo, now a museum (entrance was pretty cheap as I remember). There were some street musicians when we visited which made it fun.

    One more thing and that's it. The Pont de l'Alma tunnel where Princess Diana died. Odd yes, but right next to the Seine and within walking distance of a number of sightseeing attractions. Lots of flowers left everyday.


    Excellent list. Montamarte was a hit with my teens but not so much my pre-teen. The basilique was neat, but the local neighborhoods (as you walk back down the hill) made my youngest feel a little edgy, I guess.

    Place Des Voges was also popular wiht my kids. Ther is an excelelnbt patisseriea round the corner. We bought some goodies and then ate them while people watching in the square.

    Pompidou Centre was OK, to my kids, but they enjoyed the neighborhood around it more (esp the cheap t-shirt vendors and toursit tick tack, as thhis is where the biouughttstuff for firends at thome).

    MBN, help me out here, what is the name of that big undeground shopping mall near the pompidou centre? on the sruface are those big head sculptures and underground is a multi-level shopping mall? The stores themsleves were unremarkable, but for some reason that fact that it was underground seems to make ti cool to my kids. It was also nearby the metro we took to the train to go to Versailles, which is also a nice trip.

    I know this will make me sound smug and probabyl rude (more smug and ruder?), but I am just not a fan of the french mouse house. I say let them wander Paris and soak in the sights and sounds. Let them lead you to what thye want to do, even if it is running around a parc chasing pigeons.

    OTOH, it is hard not to enjoy Paris. Bon voyage!
    PLesa excuse the tpyos.

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    I'm bookmarking this post. Our family is eyeing a trip to Paris (3 kids - 13, 11, 6) but we've decided to visit my parents in Cape Town this year.

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    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    One of my favorite parks anywhere is the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. Nice for a walk. Also you are only about a mile walk away from going to see Jim Morrison in the Père Lachaise Cemetery - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    One man.....one pie Moliere's Avatar
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    My first advice would be to leave the kidos at home

    I did serve my mission there and have been back. I haven't read any of the responses in this thread so excuse any repitition.

    I would definitely recommend the following:

    Tour Eiffel: You have to do this and you have to go up it just to say you did. I've done it during the day and night and both are spectacular. It gets windy up there so bring a coat.

    Notre Dame: If you have time, take a self guided tour that allows you to climb up the bell tower and see more of it. The best view of Paris is from the top of Notre Dame (Tour Eiffel is a cool view but it's too high to really see much).

    Montmartre: Home of the Sacre Coeur, it is a cool building from the outside. Make sure you visit the square that is just to the left of the building (on your left when looking at it) as it is full of artists and little cafes. This is my favorite place to sit down and enjoy an Orangina while watching people walk around (people watching). The Salvador Dali museum is around here too and it's cool, but probably not for young kids. Be careful in this area as the north side of Paris is not the best place. Stay in the touristy area here and you'll be fine.

    Musee D'Orsay: Cool museum on the opposite side of the Seine from the Louvre. May not be cool to little kids but it has A LOT of impressionist works that are more familiar to everyone.

    Louvre: Honestly, unless you are a painting buff or you want to torture your kids, I'd avoid spending a ton of time in the Louvre. It has so much stuff it's amazing but also overwhelming. If you are going to visit it, plan before hand what your are going to see (Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, etc.). I would recommend Napolean III chambers as they are cool.

    Catacombs: These are cool to see, but might be a bit much for young kids. YOu get to walk around underground and see walls of bones. I can't remember where the entrance to this is since it's been over a decade since I've been down there.

    Bateau Mouche: Boat ride on the Seine that takes about an hour. Fun ride and you can sit down adn relax. I think this departs by the Louvre.

    Latin Quarter: I'd recommend eating somewhere in here. It is by the Sarbonne. Just walk around and pick a restaurant. Their menus are all up for display beforehand. I'd recommend eating outside but probably not in February.

    Versailles: I lived here for 6 months and would always recommend it. Take the train from Paris (Train C I think) to either the Rive Gauche or Rive Droit stations (you could go to Versailles Chantiller also but it's a longer walk but they used to sell Dr. Pepper at one of the little stands in Chantiller). Make sure you check that it's open the day you go since it is usually closed once a week. Take a walking tour of the inside with one of those phone like things. Then rent a bicycle and pedal around the gardens and be sure to visit the little village out by the petit trianon.

    Pierrefonds: This is actually northeast of where you are staying and you'll need a car but it's a cool castle in the middle of the forest. Beautiful drive and a cool little town.

    Etretat: Again, this is a ways from where you are but I highly, highly recommend it. It is on the coast in Haute Normandy (not near the D-day beaches) and is an awesome town at the base of a place where the cliffs come down and meet the beach. Eat some "moules-frites" at a local restaurant. Climb the cliffs on both sides. This is at least a day trip. You could always get up early on Sunday morning and drive to Rouen to attend sacrament meeting in an old church building across from the cathedral (a fairly good sized ward) and then drive one more hour to Etretat and enjoy it the rest of the day.

    Giverny: If you like Monet you'll have to visit this place. You can get there by train (via Vernon I think) but it's easier by car. Awesome gardens and awesome museum.

    Church: There is a ward in Versailles that has a lot of expats and they used to translate to English for some people and probably still do. If you want a real French ward take my advice above and go to Rouen or even Compiegne, which is north of EuroDisney. Do not go to church on the north side of Paris, in fact don't go to the north side of Paris (meaning north of Montmartre) as you do not want to be a light skinned American walking around there. There is a good ward in Neuilly as well as probably one in the institute building by the George Pompidou museum (next to the pink district).

    Mont Saint Michel: I know you probably won't make it here as it's on the edge of Normandy and Brittany, but this is probably my third or fourth favorite place in France. Just wanted to make a shameless plug for it. I'd recommend this place though and you can rent a hotel room and sit on the balcony and watch the tide come in and surround the island. Truly a wonderous place to see and visit.

    That's all I have time for now and all I have off the top of my head. I'd be happy to expound on any of these if you need it.

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    Rabblerouser statman's Avatar
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    We had a great time staying at Euro Disney a few years back (must've been 8 years ago - yikes! It was the Japan/Korea world cup and I watched a bunch of the games at sportsbars in the park).

    At that time the Disney accomodations were REALLY cheap - Disney had dramatically missed on their estimates of how full the hotels at the park in Paris would be. If you went last-minute, you could get really cheap rooms.

    We spent a day or two in the park as a family, and then later in the week, left the kiddos (10 and 8 at the time) at the park with their grandmother (and a fistfull of Euros) while we went down into Paris on the Metro.

    Everyone had a great time. I liked Paris WAY more than I anticipated. I had almost none of the anti-American sentiment (that Paris is famous for) directed at me - because my wife and I spoke german to each other and because each day I wore a different Bundesliga or German National Team jersey. Also, that confirmed a long-held assumption about the French. they all really do speak English - just not if they think you're American. I had many conversations with locals about how the German National team was fairing in the World Cup. They generally would start with a question and german and switch quickly to english.

    Another good thing abotu the disney hotels - air conditioning & a swimming pool. The week we were in Paris was brutally & abnormally hot - around 40 degrees C (104 F) and humid. As much as we liked walking around the city/park during the day, it was nice to get back to our rooms and have AC and a pool to cool-off in...

    We're going back over this summer (to Germany) and will definitely be checking out the rates at Disney hotels. It's somethign I'd definitely do again. And this trip we'll have a 2 1/2 year old who loves anything and everything to do with Disney...

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    Board Bookworm happyone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Jones View Post
    ...
    Mont Saint Michel: I know you probably won't make it here as it's on the edge of Normandy and Brittany ...
    This one of the places I really want to see, if I ever get back to France. We just didn't have time when I was there in '08.

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    One of the best vacation moments we've ever enjoyed was riding the top deck of a boat (Bateau Mouche) on the Seine. The weather was great and seeing the wife and kids thorougly enjoying themselves as we drifted past so many great views was superb. We caught the boat by the Pont Neuf, a bridge that's featured in many films, including The Bourne Identity. In fact, go up to the rooftop observation deck of L'Samaritaine department store that overlooks the bridge and you can play Jason Bourne for a few minutes.

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    Comfortably Numb John McClain's Avatar
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    All of the good stuff has been covered here.
    Notre Dame
    Tour Eiffel
    Louvre
    Musee d'Orsay
    Versailles
    Monmartre - Sacre Coeur
    Rive Gauche
    Seine Boat Tour

    If you get a chance, and you probably won't, but I think you might like to take the TGV and spend a day in the Alpes. Another beautiful area of France to visit is the Alsace. But these require a couple of days out and back.
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    One man.....one pie Moliere's Avatar
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    Couple other thoughts I had this morning while taking a shower:

    Pastries: You have to eat a lot of them. I'd recommend the following: Millefeuilles (these are my favorites and are addicting), religieuses, royal (only served in Versailles), beignet au chocolat, pain au chocolat, pain aux aumands. Sadly my favorite pastry places are all outside of Paris (mostly in Normandy) but Paris probably still has some really good ones I'm sure. Also buy a bagette sandwich for lunch. They are cheap and very good. If you dare you can also buy a bagette and some cheese (brie or camembert are milder) and eat that for lunch.

    Food: If you dare, eat a grec, at least that is what we called them. They are basically gyros or kabobs, but are very good in some places in paris. Also, eat a crepe from a crepe stand on the sidewalk. I prefer the Nutella ones. If you end up in a creperie, try a galette (basically a dinner crepe with origines from Brittany). If you want a romantic dinner (not likely with kids) I'd recommend "Le Ciel" which is a restaurant on the 50-something floor of the Montparnasse tower (the only skyscraper in Paris). It has a window view of the eiffel tower. Here's the website http://www.cieldeparis.com/.

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    Senior Member myboynoah's Avatar
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    EJ makes some good food recommendations, although he left out tarte citron. Also, if you have the time, you or your wife should take a half day class from Le Cordon Bleu just so you can say you are a Cordon Bleu trained chef.

    My wife noted that there is one of those large play grounds near the base of the Eifeel Tower on the Champs de Mars.

    A word of warning. Be very careful of pickpockets and purse snatchers. It's a very real threat, and they will target you because 1) you are an American tourist, and 2) you have children that will distract you. Be especially careful on the trains and metros. I saw two guys try to lift a guys wallet right in front of me on the metro. It was shocking how they worked together. The whole four years I was in Paris I checked my wallet about every 30 seconds while on the trains and metro. Obsessive I know, but I heard so many stories of Americans getting their wallets, passports, credit cards, bags, stolen that it made me paranoid.
    Give 'em Hell, Cougars!!!

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    Not long ago an obituary appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune that said the recently departed had "died doing what he enjoyed most—watching BYU lose."

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    Where's Wallace? Surfah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by myboynoah View Post
    A word of warning. Be very careful of pickpockets and purse snatchers. It's a very real threat, and they will target you because 1) you are an American tourist, and 2) you have children that will distract you. Be especially careful on the trains and metros. I saw two guys try to lift a guys wallet right in front of me on the metro. It was shocking how they worked together. The whole four years I was in Paris I checked my wallet about every 30 seconds while on the trains and metro. Obsessive I know, but I heard so many stories of Americans getting their wallets, passports, credit cards, bags, stolen that it made me paranoid.
    Call me paranoid but I do that often in large crowds even here in the states. I usually take my wallet out of my back pocket and put it into a front pocket and tuck my thumb into my pocket as I walk.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surfah View Post
    Call me paranoid but I do that often in large crowds even here in the states. I usually take my wallet out of my back pocket and put it into a front pocket and tuck my thumb into my pocket as I walk.
    Paranoid!

    Surfah's right.

    I once chewed out a little Gitane on the Paris Metro whom I saw trying to get into some lady's purse.

    All of these places in Paris are wonderful. Just be aware of what the weather might be like at that time of year (Paris is pretty rainy and cold sometimes) and don't be afraid to take breaks. My wife and I rented an apartment 3 years ago near the Place des Vosges for a couple of weeks and our favorite times were the more serendipitous ones. I know with kids you need a plan, but extraordinary activities will make it more enjoyable (imo). So, I'd try something like buying some paper and trying to draw/paint/color a famous landmark. A quest for the perfect pain-au-chocolat. Try all the different kinds of yogurt in the supermarket. Rent bikes at Versailles and cruise the grounds. Hit the flea-market at Les Puces (Clingnacourt). Etc. These types of activities allow for more spontaneous exploration rather than museum1+museum2+museum3.

    Bon Voyage.
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  23. #23
    One man.....one pie Moliere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by myboynoah View Post
    EJ makes some good food recommendations, although he left out tarte citron. Also, if you have the time, you or your wife should take a half day class from Le Cordon Bleu just so you can say you are a Cordon Bleu trained chef.

    My wife noted that there is one of those large play grounds near the base of the Eifeel Tower on the Champs de Mars.

    A word of warning. Be very careful of pickpockets and purse snatchers. It's a very real threat, and they will target you because 1) you are an American tourist, and 2) you have children that will distract you. Be especially careful on the trains and metros. I saw two guys try to lift a guys wallet right in front of me on the metro. It was shocking how they worked together. The whole four years I was in Paris I checked my wallet about every 30 seconds while on the trains and metro. Obsessive I know, but I heard so many stories of Americans getting their wallets, passports, credit cards, bags, stolen that it made me paranoid.

    I dislike lemon desserts but I would recommend the tarte aux fraises, very tasty

    The pickpocket thing is true. As a missionary I always carried my stuff in a large fanny pack (stop laughing and keep reading, it wasn't that dorky) that I would wear wrapped around my body over one shoulder (think like a guitar strap). In the crowded metros I would pull it around so the zippered part was in front of me. Never lost a thing.

    My last advice, never feel bad about ignoring or bluntly saying no to street vendors. You don't need to be polite to them. One guy started cutting out a silhouette of my face once and I ignored him and kept walking. He followed me and kept working on the silhouette thing and I told him "No". When he finished he gave it to me and demanded 20 francs. I told him I didn't want it and he got upset. I just kept walking and ignored him. They (street vendors) will do all they can to make you feel like you owe them something but just bluntly say no and ignore them.

  24. #24
    Senior Member myboynoah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solon View Post
    All of these places in Paris are wonderful. Just be aware of what the weather might be like at that time of year (Paris is pretty rainy and cold sometimes) and don't be afraid to take breaks. My wife and I rented an apartment 3 years ago near the Place des Vosges for a couple of weeks and our favorite times were the more serendipitous ones. I know with kids you need a plan, but extraordinary activities will make it more enjoyable (imo). So, I'd try something like buying some paper and trying to draw/paint/color a famous landmark. A quest for the perfect pain-au-chocolat. Try all the different kinds of yogurt in the supermarket. Rent bikes at Versailles and cruise the grounds. Hit the flea-market at Les Puces (Clingnacourt). Etc. These types of activities allow for more spontaneous exploration rather than museum1+museum2+museum3.

    Bon Voyage.
    Those are other great recommendations. But one would need two months to try every yogurt in the supermarket.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Jones View Post
    I dislike lemon desserts but I would recommend the tarte aux fraises, very tasty

    The pickpocket thing is true. As a missionary I always carried my stuff in a large fanny pack (stop laughing and keep reading, it wasn't that dorky) that I would wear wrapped around my body over one shoulder (think like a guitar strap). In the crowded metros I would pull it around so the zippered part was in front of me. Never lost a thing.

    My last advice, never feel bad about ignoring or bluntly saying no to street vendors. You don't need to be polite to them. One guy started cutting out a silhouette of my face once and I ignored him and kept walking. He followed me and kept working on the silhouette thing and I told him "No". When he finished he gave it to me and demanded 20 francs. I told him I didn't want it and he got upset. I just kept walking and ignored him. They (street vendors) will do all they can to make you feel like you owe them something but just bluntly say no and ignore them.
    Great advice on street vendors. They target Americans because we are so open and friendly and hate to be rude. BE RUDE! It's Paris.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Space Ghost View Post
    Mrs. Funk... is this the same building that has the English branch, perhaps later in the day I presume? I actually don't mind attending in French as I tend to get glassy-eyed and zone out during the English-version of Church anyway, so it would make little difference what language is being spoken.
    Yes, that's the building. I'm not certain when the English branch met. It appeared they met at the same time and in a different part of the building as the French branch. I only ever attended the French ward, though, so I can't speak authoritatively. The French ward is full of nice people and a number of Americans married to French spouses, so you would be in good company.

    Oh, and this building is on a fairly small side street with a big blue door. There's a small button you have to press on the side of the door for it to open. I stood there stupidly for about 5 minutes not realizing how to get in.

    Looking over the pictures on Google Maps makes me so jealous. I used to walk from my flat to church and it's in a lovely area of town. Enjoy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Space Ghost View Post
    Thanks to all for the tips/suggestions/advice. We had a great time.

    (I'll add some lessons learned later... as time permits.)
    I'm disappointed to see you let your offspring go native.
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    Grooveshark dick tease MarkGrace's Avatar
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    That middle pic is so dang cute.

    Looks awesome.
    So Russell...what do you love about music? To begin with, everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Space Ghost View Post
    Thanks to all for the tips/suggestions/advice. We had a great time.

    (I'll add some lessons learned later... as time permits.)
    A little Notre Dame, a little Tour, a little Versaille.....looks like a fun trip.

    I remember standing in front of Notre Dame and thinking, "not freaking bad for 850 years old."

    Paris is one of my favorite places in le monde.

    PS did your kids OD on Orangina?
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  29. #29
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    Don't have to go to France to OD in that stuff.
    So Russell...what do you love about music? To begin with, everything.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by TripletDaddy View Post
    A little Notre Dame, a little Tour, a little Versaille.....looks like a fun trip.

    I remember standing in front of Notre Dame and thinking, "not freaking bad for 850 years old."

    Paris is one of my favorite places in le monde.

    PS did your kids OD on Orangina?
    It always blows my mind how they constructed any of those buildings back in the day, with the tools they had available. I'm much more impressed by the architecture and size of the Louvre than any of the art within.

    Not to mention Roman structures, I'd say the Coliseum in Rome was constructed better than the one in Oakland, 1900 years later.

    Great pics, and good job on looking like refined tourists. Although I suppose fanny pack season doesn't start til May anyway.

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