Jun 30, 2012

Paris, May 2012

Paris with the family was fun & busy!  

Day 1 – we arrive in Paris & before we even leave the airport, we buy a museum pass. (note - this will save you lots of time – as you will skip the long lines).  We head to our hotel, The Renaissance Arc de Triomphe. It is a great location, only 2 streets from the Champs Elysee & just a couple blocks from the Arch de Triomphe.  We drop our bags & do what everyone does – head to the Eiffel tower!  We get there & there has to be a 2 hour wait for the elevator, maybe longer.   Then my wonderful husband remembers something from the last time we visited.  You can walk up the 1st two levels & then catch the elevator to the top.  The only catch – it’s 670 steps to the 2nd floor.   My husband & 2 kids don’t think twice & we start our hike to the top.  At each landing we stop to take photo’s (aka catch my breath).  When we get to the top, we were rewarded with a beautiful view!  Next on our agenda was a boat ride down the Seine – it’s a fun way to see a lot of sights (Notre Dame Cathedral, Eiffel Tower, Musee du Louvre ,Musee d'Orsay, Assemblée Nationale, Hotel des Invalides, Pont Neuf (Paris' oldest bridge, dating to the 16th century, Pont Alexandre III (Art Nouveau bridge dating to 1896) & the  Grand Palais).  I think you see about 23 bridges during the ride – all very unique).   After the tour – we head to Makassar for dinner.  It’s a French-Indonesian fusion restaurant.  The food was good. The kids ordered bubble gum mojito’s – these were very tasty & by gaging the amount of energy coming from the kids, I would say have tons & tons of sugar!  Thankfully, there was some music – so the kids danced a little before we went up to the room for the night.
Day 2 - We head to the Arc de Triomphe (stopping at Starbucks for breakfast). We get to the Arch and there is a very long wait but we used our museum pass & went to the front of the line (note - kids are free but still need a ticket, cut to the front – show your pass & tell them how many kids tickets you need).  We started our hike to the top – only 284 steps, considering how many we did the day before – this was a breeze!  Great views from the top – the Arc is in the middle of a roundabout the 12 streets feed into (one of them being the Champs Elysee).  Next we head down the Champs Elysee, stopping for water & ice cream. There are lots of high end watch stores, of course we have to stop into a few to see what they have & try them on). Eventually we end up at the Louvre – again skipping the long line with our pass.  We spend hours here – the kids love it!  We would hit one section, then come out to Starbucks & get a snack. Hit another section, then come back to Starbucks etc..  The 2nd time we were at Starbucks Ratatouille came out to hang with us.  It would have been cute except he was looking a little green – I don’t think he had much time left.  We closed down the Louvre (Mona Lisa being a highlight) & hung out in the park outside the Louvre, it’s beautiful!  We decide to take a tuk tuk back to the hotel.  Which we thought would be fun – until we headed into the roundabout by the Arc – talk about taking a knife to a gun fight.  We get back to the hotel, order room service & we are about to call it a night – when my husband announces the Eiffel tower lights up on the hour, starting at 10:00 pm. So we head back to the Arc (you can go as many times as you want on the pass) – hike back up the 284 steps & wait for the lights.  It was worth it – great view, very pretty!  Finally, around 11:00 pm be head back to the hotel, stopping at Hagen Das but there was 2 hour wait!  We don’t like ice cream that much – so skipped that & went to bed.

Day 3 – We sleep in, get breakfast at Starbucks again (we love Starbucks – it reminds us of Seattle & it has free WIFI).   Walk around town, site seeing & looking for souvenirs – we grab lunch at Pizza Pino’s.  There is a really long line but we wait & it was worth it – pizza was amazing! The kids grab one last Gelato & we head to the airport.
Paris is…well Paris – everyone has to go!

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