Taylor Trove Family Travel to Paris, France!
Posted on April 29 2018
I cried while heading down the stairs of what had been our Paris apartment for a week on Rue Bernard Palissy in the 6th arrondisement. I was completely destroyed and didn’t want to go home. I don’t think any of us wanted to go home. Mike and I were so happy we were able to share such a special place with our beautiful daughters. The week had gone by so quickly and we felt like we had only just begun to scratch the surface of all that Paris had to offer.
The apartment was centrally located, right off of Boulevard St. Germain. Mono Prix, the Paris equivalent to Target here in America, was just steps away and Le Bon Marche was two blocks away. The Boulevard Raspail Street Market with fresh organic fruits and vegetables was also a short walk. Our morning croissants and Café Allonge at Poilâne were thankfully within a couple of blocks. The Café Allonge, the Paris equivalent to our drip coffee in America, was served in smaller cups and Mike and I needed a few before tackling the Paris sights so we always made a couple of coffee runs to Poilâne in the morning. Suffice it to say, we were in a good spot with shopping, cafes, and le metro within easy walking distance.
Funny how the girls were eager to fit in so off we went the very first day to Mono Prix to buy what they considered to be Parisian clothes. Once outfitted, they were ready to head out. Most of our sightseeing was tethered to good food. When you’ve got four kids along on the journey, maintaining steady blood sugar levels is crucial to a good time! Believe me, we were in constant possession of a baguette to combat low blood sugar. Yes, we even sat down for a brief bite at Les Deux Margots. Complete tourist trap with lousy food and even worse service, but with all the literary and artistic giants that had once hung out there it had to be done. Yes, we sat outside, and people watched even though it was raining. Could have been why the service was so bad!
The girls kept up and were up for just about anything… even a couple museums. Le Louvre and Le Musée d'Orsay. No, we couldn’t pause and ponder every brushstroke, but even at their young age they were able to appreciate and pick out some of their favorites. As an artist, I’d hope they’d have some appreciation! Le Louvre felt more kid friendly than Le Musée d'Orsay. It was much easier to maneuver our crew through crowed spaces and gave the kids some opportunity for wiggle room. All except for viewing the Mona Lisa. If it’s really important to you, go for it. Muscle your way through the crowd of people to see the itty bitty painting behind heavy glass. Be prepared to get aggressive. It’s where all cultures seem to converge to catch a glimpse at greatness at have a photo taken. Nope, don’t expect people to be gracious or give you much room to take your photo. It’s a get in and get out operation. It results in a photo like this…
The kids were all too happy to head outside after an experience like that! Le Louvre Gardens were spectacular and gave the kids space to run, do cartwheels and scare the locals and tourists.
Le Musée d'Orsay wasn’t nearly as expansive as Le Louvre considering it had once served as a train station. Narrow corridors combined with crowds did not provide as pleasant an experience as Le Louvre. The kids loved seeing school kids on a field trip though. I think for a moment it reminded them of home and the fact that they were missing school for Springtime in Paris. They loved taking the photo in front of the massive clock. That might have been the highlight for them!
Our lunch that afternoon was one I’d love to replicate in our own home, if possible. We dined at Le Bistro Des Gastronomes, a casual, kid friendly bistro. The server was warm and welcoming, and the cassoulet was scrumptious. You better believe we ordered Soupe à l'Oignon Gratinée and there seemed to be an endless supply of sliced baguette for the kids.
That delectable lunch was followed up with a stop at La Duree for some macaroons. My favorite was the lavender. The girls were overwhelmed with the expansive selection. Believe me, we got one of each, so we could try them all. My sweet tusk was so happy!
We did Notre Dame and the girls were bored, but we promised ice cream at Berthillon after we finished with Notre Dame. Amazing how the thought of a little ice cream treat will get the young (and old) to power through!
When we were all tired and needed a break, we could head back to our apartment to recharge before heading out again. The girls loved the balcony and very quickly learned to enjoy people watching from afar.
Le metro and Batobus were our friends when our feet needed a break. The kids loved riding Batobus up and down the Seine River and it conveniently dropped us near many of the sights at the top of our list. The Eiffel Tower was one of those sights. The view from the top was breathtaking! It was chilly at the top, so we huddled together for a quick picture and quickly made our way back down to the bottom.
We crossed the Seine and made our way to Champs-Élysées and checked out the gardens and the Arc de Triomphe. Why Mike felt compelled to head to the middle of the street to get a photo of the Arc de Triomphe was beyond me. The girls were terrified he was going to be hit by a car…
The girls favorite spot in Paris was Le Jardin Luxembourge. Not only were they impressed by the meticulously manicured gardens, but they loved all the kid friendly sights. When it was time to leave they weren’t too thrilled with us.
The girls were too young at the time for Mike and I to head out to dinner on our own so we relied on the deli counter at Mono Prix or Le Bon Marche for easy dinner solutions. Takeout wasn’t a readily available dinner option near our apartment. Next time we travel to Paris, the girls will be old enough for Mike and I to hit up the late night dinner spots and we’ll make the most of the Boulevard Raspail Street Market so we can shop for everything needed to make a fab dinner in our apartment.
We can’t wait to get back! Je’taime Paris!