Paris for Labor Day Weekend

Yes.  I know. I am just posting this in 2015 and it is from 2014, but Paris WILL ALWAYS be on my mind.  WE had an absolutely amazing time in Paris.  So here it goes.

We went to Paris from Kaiserslautern via ICE train. Unfortunately on our way to Saarbrucken our train was not working properly so we had to switch there.  But THAT train was also broken and we were stuck outside of Paris for about a hour.  It was VERY hot since the A/C was also down.  It was pretty miserable. Though on the way back to Kaiserslautern there were no issues. I booked though SNCF and the price for 2 adults and 3 children (I think my youngest was free) it was about $400. I would highly recommend booking about 90 days out to get the best price. NOTE: The trains have 220v chargers between the seats! Also there is a diner carriage.  They have all sorts of things. If you tell them you have children they will give you a cute little mini “ICE train”, some coloring pencils and a coloring book! I asked if I could get a few extra trains since there were other American kids in the same carriage as us they gave me like 10 more so I gave to some family members back home.

We booked our amazing apartment via AirBnB  It was a perfect fit for us. It was in an amazing location! We were on the (I think) 3rd or 4th floor (I can’t remember ahhhh!) It was a 1 bedroom/1.5 bathroom apartment.  It had a fully equipped kitchen, washing machine, dishwasher, pull out sofa and the host, Nikolas, even had English movies, books and games for us to use! The apartment also had amazing security details.  You had to put in 2 sets of security codes to get through passageways.  There was a very small elevator. My kids loved to jam packed themselves into it to get to our apartment floor. The cherry on top was being able to see >>> right outside our window & the Metro was right outside our “door” as well which was absolutely perfect for sightseeing (and we used the subway quite a bit). Since we arrived so late in the evening we decided to just buy groceries, make dinner and get ready for our next day.

The next day of course our main place that we wanted to see was the Eiffel Tower! And no.  We didn’t go up unfortunately. We were meeting my amazing photographer friend, Crystal, to take our photos in front of the Eiffel Tower. Well she and I and our little ones in tow decided to venture out while my husband, her husband and my oldest, Michael went to the catacombs.  Crystal, me and the

kids went on an amazing river cruise.  It took about 90 minutes and the kids really enjoyed it.  We were able to see lots of sights right on the river.  Of course there are places you just have to see more in depth (i.e. Louvre).  After our river cruise we took the kids to go eat lunch at La Terasse des Vedettes.

They were very accommodating especially since we had FOUR kids with us.  Surprising I had a cheeseburger and it was VERY good! I highly recommend this restaurant! After our river cruise and lunch we met back up with the guys (they took forever!).  So we took more photos by the Eiffel. When the guys returned we went to the Notre Dame to meet up with Discovery Walking Tours.  It is a free tour but they accept tips.  The tour guide showed around Notre Dame.We did the Notre Dame Paris & the heart of Paris Tour. We were able to here quite a bit about the history of Paris.  It was pretty amazing to hear that there were houses right up next to it. Plus we saw the water line of when Paris flooded.  We were also showed the Love Lock bridge.  It is a pretty amazing site but from the weight of the locks it is destroying the bridges.  I highly recommend doing something else to “lock your love”. It was a great tour and I highly recommend it.  Fortunately only we were on the tour and the tour guide was pretty easy going with us.

The next day, we met back up with Crystal & Adam (her husband).  The guys took all of the kids to the park.  I honestly have no idea as what they did, BUT I know what I did! I had some KID FREE time at the Louvre! It was amazing and a nice little break without kids. The Louvre is absolutely amazeballs! When we went there was NOT a line and NO we didn’t book tickets ahead of time.  We went on a Sunday and arrived around between 9-11 (I honestly can not remember what time it was.  Remember this was over a year ago and I just sharing our experience).  We spent a good 4 hours in the Louvre.  We saw the Mona Lisa.  Of course is was super busy.  We couldn’t get close to “her”, but that is fine.  That is why cameras have a zoom feature right? I really loved the Greek statues, the Egyptian sarcophagus and well basically everything.  The whole complex is a piece of art, the ceilings, the walls and doors were spectacular.  We also ate lunch inside the Louvre as well and it was really tasty!  Be sure to check out the “basement” of the Louvre and see the old moat! It is pretty impressive. So after 4 hours of exploring it was time to meet up with guys and have dinner. and surprisingly since we had absolutely no way of communicating with them we only maybe waited for the guys about 15-20 minutes.  We obviously have ESP. We walked around a bit to find somewhat of a kid friendly restaurant and we ran into Restaurant du Palais Royal.  From the front of the restaurant it looked as it was packed, but don’t it confuse you.  Inside it was empty and we decided to sit inside and it was perfect! Our waiter was absolutely amazing! He was so amazing with the kids and it made the experience so much better. Our family all tried escargot for the first time there… and now we are all hooked.  I have to run to Cora in Sarreguemines every few months to get our escargot stash.  They have 100 escargots for 15 euro! That is a good deal! We parted ways from Crystal, her hubby and their kids and we went off exploring on our own. We ended up checking out Jardin de Luxembourg and then had dinner at Quick which is like McDonald’s/Burger King. Also after dinner we went to see the Eiffel Tower twinkle.  This is a sight you, can. NOT. miss! It is absolutely beautiful! We were all in awe.  Especially our then-3 year old daughter (she is now 4).  Our kids STILL talk about the Eiffel Tower.

Our last day it was tough as we were leaving Paris (which was our very first long distance trip since moving to Europe), but we spent some time at the Eiffel Tower and along the river.  Then we went back to our apartment grabbed all of our belongings and started to the train station.  I really loved the train station there.  We did have a couple hours until our train departed.  In one of the restaurants there is a nice little play area for kids and the kids really enjoyed that! Our train back to Kaiserslautern was uneventful and pleasant!

Tips!

    • Use the subways! It is very easy to navigate.  Go into the direction of the last stop on the route.
    • We used a stroller for a good part of our trip. It was nice to have it if one of the smaller ones were tired and cranky.
    • Having an apartment in the city is good for tip #3.
    • Learn some French before you go.  At least know hello (Bonjour), good bye (au revoir), please (S’il vous plaît), thank you (merci), and Do you speak English? (Parlez-vous anglais?). Maybe even a few numbers as well.
    • I hate to say this but we were scammed while in Paris.  There will be a group of people asking for money to give to so-called handicapped people. They will have clipboards and asking for donations.  Usually they won’t have any other “donations” or they will have fake donations.  They are always seeking people that speak English.  I personally would ignore them or say nein danke (no thanks in German) or another language. Here is a post about scams in Paris.
    • There are a LOT of pick-pocketers in Paris be mindful of your belongings.

Below I have posted more photos from our time in Paris! Enjoy!

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