Thursday, April 12, 2012

What to do with my family in Paris this summer?

I'm getting excited about my trip to Paris this summer. I've got the flight booked and the apartment deposit paid. I'm still deciding if we should use public transportation to our residence or just hire someone to meet us at the airport - which was so nice when we did it last time!

But I'm now starting to drive my family crazy with the question: What do you want to do on our Paris trip?? I'm not surprised with the blank stare my 11 year old gives me as she was 9 when we were there last and was more or less along for the ride. But I'm hoping to get her more involved with choosing the attractions in Paris to visit.

So far, the very preliminary list looks like this:

  1. The Eiffel Tower. It's usually not high on my list since the lines seem so overwhelming to me which puts the sky scraper Montparnasse at the top of my list for amazing views of Paris. But I've learned from RICK STEVES' PARIS 2012 that you can reserve tickets ahead of time and jump the line with no guilt, at least for the first two levels. Yea, so now I'm psyched. After all, I think it's been about 38 years since I've been up there.
  2. The Rodin Museum. Although I'd already thought it would be a good choice because it is small and has tangible things to see, my recent viewing of Midnight in Paris clinched it. I feel kind of silly that I'd never been there, especially since it was about a 15 min. walk from where I lived in the 7th arrondissement. It's also one of the listed sites from my beloved guide book  AROUND PARIS WITH KIDS - 3rd edition.
  3. Sainte-Chappelle. This is the just-right-sized chapel of King Louis IX. It was built in the early 13th century. Since Megan has a new-found love for this time period which matches my long-time love for it, this should be a great place to visit. Once again, I haven't been there in 38 years!
So, this is all I have so far. The thing I learned from my trip with my older daughter when she was 11 yrs old was that it is amazing to discover your favorite city from the eyes of someone else. Planning trips to Paris with children means recapturing your casual, fun, wandering, child-like nature and putting away the museum, historical, scheduled grown-up tourist that can overtake us when visiting such a significant city like Paris.

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