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PEANUT BUTTER

Just wanna say ONE thing! (TWO things)  PEANUT    BUTTER  !!!!

Yes. My husband came back to me as much as he missed his old life in the United States.   ??

And yes, he brought me PEANUT BUTTER – the CRUNCHY kind.  And I have to say – I’ve eaten

about 1/4 of it.  I feel a little sick.

But ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh   – it was sooooooooooooooo   good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Peanut Butter CAN be obtained in Paris, but it’s like 10.00 USD!   Ridiculous!!!

That’s my story –

and I’m stickin’ to it!!!!

Oh là là! Where’s my baguette?

Oh là là! Where’s my baguette?.

GRANDS VISIT PARIS – DAY SIX !!!

FRIDAY PLAN

Sacre Coeur (9:00 – 6:00) – BUS or M to Abbesses – and then walk

Espace Dali (adults 10 euros, kids 6 euros) 10:00 – 6:00 EARLY AFTERNOON =  Cafe across from VanGogh’s house in Montmartre

or Sandwiches      —      Amelie’s Cafe on Rue Lepic (Cafe des 2 Moulins) – very 50’s inside –

Happy hour is 3.50 euros starting at 7p – Plats – tres cher

Montmartre   SUNSET – maybe?

CRUISE ON SEINE – LAST NIGHT!!!

WHAT WE ACTUALLY DID:      

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The Famous Rex Theatre  was our first stop for the “Rex Club” where the kids got to visit this famous Theater and how movies have been made over the years.  Very fun and interactive  and they got to watch KING KONG trying to climb the tower – we saw how famous actors had come to this theatre for the last 70+ years, interacted with a movie doing sound effects, very fun.   The last famous person to come to THE REX, Red Carpet and all  – and to  show his movie there was Stephen Spielberg this last October (2011) – for Tin Tin.  D & I missed him by 10 minutes last Fall!!  – Boooo!  G & O are little movie makers of their own – and thought this would be interesting to them. 

Walked out & saw everyone (Parisian of course) eating their huge meal of the day in the middle of the day at all these cafes – – what  me and D,  who have been here over 7 months,  STILL can’t get used to – but is the way we really need to eat now that we live here.  Walked to the luggage store -Got the cool bag of “little cartoon graphics to match their other bag at a shop next door. Yeah!

From there the metro to Anvers to Sacre Coeur & MONTMARTRE.  Took the funicular up which  Navigos were good for – and then  had a picnic on the steps of Sacre Coeur overlooking the city! Lovely day, really warm, and think we got a bit of a suntan on top of the city. Highest point in Paris, actually. The view overlooking Paris from Sacre Coeur was really lovely.

Saw inside Sacre Coeur, They were having a mass, then to Place de Tetre where all the artists hang out – walked around to admire all the art – and kids had drawings done!!! 

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Dali Musee  was  around the corner.  J had his cartoon/caricature done and the girls together!! What a great job this artist did.  C’est bon!!!

Saw a little of the old streets up on Montmartre, but not much of the non-touristy areas. Way too much walking down and around – 😦

Went back to Pont Alma for :                      ALERT ALERT – MORE PICS TO COME- THIS BLOG IS TAKING TOO LONG TO DOWNLOAD PHOTOS
MIGHT HAVE A TECH PROBLEM< WHERE ARE MY TECH GUYS WHEN I NEED YOU!!!! SO I’LL CHG THIS AGAIN

TOMORROW – BEST PHOTOS ARE YET TO COME!!!!!!!!!

 Cruise  on the Seine that night – on the Bateau Mouche to end a very fine visit with my lovely family from Saint Louis.  (TOO SHORT!!)  The Eiffel Tower sparkled as we came back to Pont Alma – so beautiful! We walked along Pont Alexandre – one of THE most beautiful bridges in the world – the golden statues on the Pont – given to Paris – after  (Franco-Prussian war).   SO LOVELY!!  Took the metro – RER – back to Gare du Nord  & back to Apartment.

Crashed – to wake early for catacombs?   Not.  But just as well.

SATURDAY –

Enghien-les-bains in A.M.  – shops….Pharmancy…The Lake around the Casino-Then more final packing  Then to CDG via PINK TRAIN and the RER  – to UA at CDG  &  plane ride home back to St Louis in afternoon –   😦

Grands visit Paris – Day Six!!

 

FRIDAY PLAN

Sacre Coeur (9:00 – 6:00) – BUS or M to Abbesses – and then walk

Espace Dali (adults 10 euros, kids 6 euros) 10:00 – 6:00 EARLY AFTERNOON =  Cafe across from VanGogh’s house in Montmartre

or Sandwiches      —      Amelie’s Cafe on Rue Lepic (Cafe des 2 Moulins) – very 50’s inside –

Happy hour is 3.50 euros starting at 7p – Plats – tres cher

Montmartre   SUNSET – maybe?

CRUISE ON SEINE – LAST NIGHT!!!

WHAT WE ACTUALLY DID:

The Famous Rex Theatre  was our first stop for the “Rex Club” where the kids got to visit this famous Theater and how movies have been made over the years.  Very fun and interactive  and they got to watch KING KONG trying to climb the tower – we saw how famous actors had come to this theatre for the last 70+ years, interacted with a movie doing sound effects, very fun.   The last famous person to come to THE REX, Red Carpet and all  – and to  show his movie there was Stephen Spielberg this last October (2011) – for Tin Tin.  D & I missed him by 10 minutes last Fall!!  – Boooo!  G & O are little movie makers of their own – and thought this would be interesting to them. 

Walked out & saw everyone (Parisian of course) eating their huge meal of the day in the middle of the day at all these cafes – – what  me and D,  who have been here over 7 months,  STILL can’t get used to – but is the way we really need to eat now that we live here.  Walked to the luggage store -Got the cool bag of “little cartoon graphics to match their other bag at a shop next door. Yeah!

From there the metro to Anvers to Sacre Coeur & MONTMARTRE.  Took the funicular up which  Navigos were good for – and then  had a picnic on the steps of Sacre Coeur overlooking the city! Lovely day, really warm, and think we got a bit of a suntan on top of the city. Highest point in Paris, actually. The view overlooking Paris from Sacre Coeur was really lovely.

Saw inside Sacre Coeur, They were having a mass, then to Place de Tetre where all the artists hang out – walked around to admire all the art – and kids had drawings done!!!  Dali Musee  was  around the corner.  J had his cartoon/caricature done and the girls together!! What a great job this artist did.  C’est bon!!!

Saw a little of the old streets up on Montmartre, but not much of the non-touristy areas. Way too much walking down and around – 😦

Went back to Pont Alma for :

Cruise on the Seine that night – on the Bateau Mouche to end a very fine visit with my lovely family from Saint Louis.  (TOO SHORT!!)  The Eiffel Tower sparkled as we came back to Pont Alma – so beautiful! We walked along Pont Alexandre – one of THE most beautiful bridges in the world – the golden statues on the Pont – given to Paris – after  (Franco-Prussian war).   SO LOVELY!!  Took the metro – RER – back to Gare du Nord  & back to Apartment.

Crashed – to wake early for catacombs?   Not.  But just as well.

SATURDAY –

Enghien-les-bains in A.M.  – shops….Pharmancy…The Lake around the Casino-Then more final packing  Then to CDG via PINK TRAIN and the RER  – to UA at CDG  &  plane ride home back to St Louis in afternoon –   😦

Grands Visit Paris – Day FIVE!!

THURSDAY PLAN

(If it’s Thursday in the 19th arrondissement; it must be Christmas!!!!)

Notre Dame (English Tour Thurs 2pm) Towers 10am – 5:30 (last access 4:45) (Paris Pass) –

Do the Ile de France – walk to Centre Pompidou

Centre Pompidou (Closed Tuesday 13 euros, kids free) 11:00 – 9:00pm (Paris Pass)

BUTTES CHAMONT PARK – around 4:30 – to meet a French/American couple, see their lovely apartment, cuddle a cute baby and have real BRITTANY CREPES !!!

WHAT WE ACTUALLY DID:

Notre Dame in the a.m. -went  all through the cathedral, but were advised that the steps up to the top were “closed today”.  Ah well, another strike. Wasn’t too crowed at all! Yeah!    

Walked out and past the famous “green booksellers” on the Seine, towards

La  Sainte-Chappelle, the famous stained glass Cathedral of Saint Louis IX,  the only King who was canonized and who Saint Louis (MO) is named for.  Musee Pass also good for this! SO BEAUTIFUL-especially on a sunny day (was) because the entire top floor is magnificent stained glass.  Our Saint Louis King did it right!   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sainte-Chapelle

A quick-lunch at Kentucky Fried (shhhhh!!)

To POMPIDOU CENTER to see the Modern Art – incredible which also had a MATISSE Exhibition going on!  Outside we found the Igor Stravinsky Plaza to see the famous water art, the LIPS, etc.  Great place for photos!

Marais, next stop – past a “poupee shop” – and a place for beverage (Cassis drinks), to see the cute streets and special shops in the Marais.

Headed past Hotel d’Ville (where the ice skating is during winter) and then

past lovely perfume shops, clothing boutiques and of course on ROSIERS the famous L’as du falafel

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Europe/France/Ile_de_France/Paris-99080/Restaurants-Paris-LAs_du_Falafel-BR-1.html

my favorite place for an inexpensive all vegetarian pita sandwich.  No time today – had to get to the 19th! So, to ST PAUL Metro stop where we headed to Bastille (did see the TOP of that column) which is where the famous Bastille Prison was – Fr. Revolution –

Got off at Jaures – walked to BUTTES CHAMONT PARK    images          near my friend’s beautiful apartment.  This lovely park was created by Napoleon III in 1800’s.

http://goparis.about.com/od/sightsattractions/ss/parks_gallery_3.htm

From there – we could relax at  our friends luxury apartment where we imbibed in a FEAST  of crepes and all sorts of beautiful fruits, veggies, cheeses, wines, ciders, champagnes, & lovely desserts (along with sweet crêpe desserts!)  WOW! (And she said this was going to be “simple”!!!) 🙂 Then we  played a really fun game-quiz on Paris where my friends made special cards with all-encompassing French, France, Paris questions – some of which I had no idea the answer!!!  SO! we all learned a LOT and 9-year-old J was the “life of the party” with all his “ I know, I know “ enthusiasm!!   We  surprised them with questions on Saint Louis and on Boston which really was fun too as they weren’t expecting this.  And some of the questions were so weird/funny – on Missouri – Thanks to G & O for finding out those the night before.                               

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The winners of the quiz (my family) received 3 big packages that were another incredible surprise!!  Tour de France shirts/caps, gorgeous scarves, t-shirts,sticker art books, museum books,  key chains, lotions and potions from France’s finest cosmetics and an INCREDIBLE bottle of CHAMPAGNE from our host!   They were spoiled rotten         It was so much fun!!!!        

We left to go back to Apt – but B and I took metro to Trocadero to pick up their suitcases while my husband and my son went back to Apartment with kids. http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/parsp-renaissance-paris-le-parc-trocadero-hotel/

What a night!! Took a Taxi to Gare du Nord from the Hotel and made it with only 2 minutes to spare.  Last train!!!  Whew!

FRIDAY PLAN

Sacre Coeur (9:00 – 6:00) – BUS or M to Abbesses – and then walk

Espace Dali (adults 10 euros, kids 6 euros) 10:00 – 6:00 EARLY AFTERNOON =  Cafe across from VanGogh’s house in Montmartre

or Sandwiches

Amelie’s Cafe on Rue Lepic (Cafe des 2 Moulins) – very 50’s inside –

Happy hour is 3.50 euros starting at 7p – Plats – tres cher

Montmartre   SUNSET – maybe?

CRUISE ON SEINE – LAST NIGHT!!!

DAY FOUR – Grands visit Paris!!

WEDNESDAY PLAN – (If it’s Wednesday, it must be VERSAILLES!)

Versailles (Closed Monday 18 euros, kids free) Garden 8 m – 6pm, Palace 9am – 5:30pm (Paris Pass)  –  David goes to teach his class in Versailles so goes with us on RER –

REX CLUB  (Famous Rex Theatre from the 30’s)  10-7pm – 8:50 Euro kids – and me

– CREPE PLACE NEXT DOOR!!

(Ian & B’s  dinner out) -CAFE CONSTANT-139 RUE ST DOMINIQUE- While they’re at HOTEL on Poncaire  they could take:– Bus 82  dir of Neuilly – goes around Eiffle Tower in TROCODERO – & Poncaire,Iena stops etc – Lovely views upclose with the bus and they already have the navigo for it.

WHAT WE ACTUALLY DID:

Relaxing morning- then headed out to VERSAILLES on the RER-C-Papa’O went there to teach his class and left us at the Cafe.  While drinking expressos and snacking I picked up our tour tickets next door at Tourist Information for private tour.

We headed to the huge lake next to Versailles and stretched out for a big picnic, baguette sandwiches, drinks, wine, nuts, chips,  desserts, and dangled feet over the water. (Or in J’s case rolled down the hill!) The kids stretched out and either sketched or wrote postcards!   Glorious day!   (See slideshow – coming up)

Headed  back from the LAKE – to the front of Versailles to meet guide – – again no lines SO – pays to come to Paris EARLY in the springtime as the 17,000 visitors a day isn’t something to relish and the lines to each room are very long! She said sometimes over one hour to move through those rooms.  No thanks.

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There were a lot of other tours going on in other languages, but just our family went through as our own group! Guide was French and she was knowledgeable.  It moved fast & was a great tour.  We met Papa’O afterwards at the station and headed back on the train.

Ian & B left us at RER Eiffel where they went to their hotel and for their special dinner at CAFE CONSTANT on Rue Dominque.

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=fr&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cafeconstant.com%2F1.aspx&act=url

We stayed on the train for the trip back home and for dinner. (Picardi’s famous 4 cheese pizza with salad!!) Dessert cookies – Kids and I thought up more fun questions for the French/Am family –  for tomorrow’s game!    CAFE CONSTANT was a “private occasion” thus, I have no pictures.  But make no mistake about it – Cafe Constant is a great place for a French Dinner that won’t entirely break the bank!   Also, Chef Constant came out and introduced himself, so that was a HUGE HUGE deal!!!

THURSDAY PLAN

(If it’s Thursday in the 19th Arrondisment; it must be Christmas in MARCH !!!!)

Notre Dame (English Tour Thurs 2pm) Towers 10am – 5:30 (last access 4:45) (Paris Pass) –

Do the Ile de France – walk to Centre Pompidou

Centre Pompidou (Closed Tuesday 13 euros, kids free) 11:00 – 9:00pm (Paris Pass)

BUTTES CHAMONT PARK – around 4:30 – to see my friend’s apartment in the 19th – meet my friends – a  French/Amer couple, see the cutest baby ever and have real BRITTANY CREPES !!!

Stay tuned for the fifth day !!! Tomorrow!!! See what we did!!!   (Are we having fun yet?  Are we having leg cramps?  Are we READY to do this again today?- )

YOU BET WE ARE!!!!!  IT’S   P   A   R    I    S   Baby  !!!!!

DAY THREE – Grands Visit Paris!!

TUESDAY PLAN

Musee D’Orsay (Closed Monday 9 euro, kids free) 9:30 – 6:00 (Paris Pass)

Solferino M – or Bus _63__Jardin de Luxembourg – Pantheon – maybe  (Catacombs – 7 euros, kids free) 10:00 – 5:00

Do the “Latin – Laura tour” can use  –  BUS 95 if tired out – 

Crepes a go go – on Rue Soufflot (near the Pantheon) 

Eiffel Tower (Tues 8pm)-RESERVED   

Ian and B to a special stay at a lovely

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/parsp-renaissance-paris-le-parc-trocadero-hotel/

 

in Trocodero area by Eiffel Tower!   

WHAT WE ACTUALLY DID:

Musee D’Orsay in a.m. – LOVELY day!!! The impressionist works and Degas were the favorites!!  

Bus to Latin Quarter after – – Walked to Luxembourg Jardin – ate in Garden –  – walked towards Catacombs, and past OBSERVATOIRE,  past Closerie des Lillas Cafe (in Hemingway’s writings).   Arriving at the Catacombs it had just closed as they stop giving tickets at 4P!! -Did see the “model” of the Catacombs and it’s pretty impressive in that if you can make it down the winding stairs to what seems like the center of the earth, not only do you get many skulls/skeletons  greeting you, but  this is actually BELOW the metro!  Got some shoe inserts for G’s shoes  (it was a marathon walk there, ouch!) – and had I known the BUSES like I do the METRO, we might have been able to take a bus!

Went to famous “Village VoiceEnglish Bookstore  in the heart of the Latin quarter J got a book.  Continued on to LADURIE   where we got fresh beautiful succulent macaroons to have later after Eiffel Tower.

We passed the Delacroix musee – He painted the famous huge LIBERTE  – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_Leading_the_People

(Musee Pass would have got us into this one as well) BUT passed it up – pretty tired. Missed Pantheon – as we had far to go in the other direction for Catacombs.  ;-(

Tuesday night – Eiffel Tower special EVENING tour – which I & B got  3 months in advanceThere were no lines for us. Of all my visits here from the last 40 years – this  was a first (for the Eiffel Tower – ever!)  It was awesome!!!  The “twinkling” came on while they were up there. WOW!  J did his “Mr Bean dance” while it was flashing. Too funny!!!      This is the way to see the Eiffel Tower!!      

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After the Eiffel, walked past through TROCADERO to get particular fantastic view , then to Le Wilson Cafe  on the square where we all ate a great dinner – and had some good drinks.   Had the Ladurie Macaroons for dessert!!!  I owe B a CASSIS!!!

SO the kids mom and dad went to their awesome hotel (Renaissance) on Poncaire

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/parsp-renaissance-paris-le-parc-trocadero-hotel/

and we took kids back to apartment.

Took a trip to the “Moroccan Grocery” around the corner from us for fun candies. (Euros that you could eat!)   Papa’O had a movie for them as they slept in their parents bed.  (Grommet & Wallace)
visions of Eiffel and Paintings all in their heads ……………..

DAY TWO – Grands visit Paris

MONDAY PLAN

Leave Apartment for train at Enghien by 9:15.

Can get bus 48 – at Gare du Nord to Louvre or

Can take BUS back – if  taken Metro there

Louvre (Closed Tuesday -10 euros, kids free) 9:00 – 6:00 (Paris Pass)

(Louve tour at 11:00am on Monday 3/19/2012.  Be there at 10:15am

MONDAY – Eat- SANDWICHES IN PARK near Tuleries – or next to LOUVRE

then to

L’Orangerie at the end of Tuleries Gardens)

WHAT WE ACTUALLY DID:

Got to Louvre early actually – and no line for getting the special tour.  I was so hoping the female violinist would be playing in the metro when we arrived and she was!!!  Had the kids put some coins in her case.  Got to the main Ticket Window and we got  the special tour for all of us with absolutely NO ONE in LINE (unheard of)  and then after I turned around –  a huge line had formed behind me.  Good timing!  Tour was 1 1/2 hours, excellent, and not a minute too short.  It was a LOT of information!!! But ofcourse! It’s the LOUVRE!!! Our guide was really good. Saw, ofcourse, the Mona Lisa, Venus d’ Milo, (Has anyone ever really looked at the BACK of her?!?), Winged Victory and a lot of other wonders, Renaissance paintings, Egyptian statues. Let me insert here, that I cannot stress enough how overwhelming and huge the Louvre is and that a guide (for an extra 9 euros) is by far the best & greatest thing to do.  It’s a synopsis of many of the great masterpieces & just to follow this guide and not get turned around or lost is worth it’s weight in gold.  We  then hit the famous basement Louvre shopping ( Carousel)  where there is every store imaginable,  beautiful boutiques (expensive ) and many places to eat, even a McDonalds, Starbucks (2), Tie and hat shops, Nature shops, Designer handbag boutiques, Apple, Gap,Children’s Louvre shop, Postcard and art shops, and a wonderful POST OFFICE where they will stamp your cards right there and give you beautiful stamps if you request them, plus put a huge LOUVRE POSTMARK on your cards.  (I go to this postoffice a LOT, because I love their stamps, and they speak English and are very friendly. )  I went to APPLE to re-charge my iPhone and Graham played on some iPads as he needed a “tech fix”,

– while the rest  browsed around.  Had coffee at Starbucks – free internet there, Also at Apple if you have your iPhone with you  – – – –

Walked into the lovely sunny  Tuleries Gardens and had our homemade French Baguette with goodies ( lunch)  by a fountain and sat on the comfortable green chairs. BEAUTIFUL DAY!!!!  So relaxing – everyone was out!  After lunch trekked to the L’ORANGERIE down by the end of those gardens -we were the first ones in! – (AGAIN) no lines – and then boom, they started forming!! (did GOD work this out – seriously?) You betcha!    BEAUTIFUL l’ORANGERIE with those water lilys inside —  Monet’s famous paintings – and the children gazed at them  intently !! Other  paintings as well, and and a surprise – Munch paintings!   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edvard_Munch

Then – walked back through the Tuleries Gardens to Palais Royal where the MONARCHY moved to (one of many places) to avoid the masses trying to get rid of them…then  to Rue Vivienne, very famous lovely area and saw one of the first enclosed shopping areas ever (Mall) – Also on Rue Vivienne is  where VIDOCQ had lived in  (famous Fr. detective- 1823-  who started the fingerprints Identification method.)  Saw  & browsed the oldest bookshop in that enclosed “mall”  (see pic) and then once outside the enclosure saw  the Colbert Cafe where Jack Nicholson woos Diane Keaton. Still in the Palais Royal area now and a  Great photo opportunity on  the black and white round controversial “step columns”  that President Mitterand had installed during his Presidency along with the Pyramid at the Louvre – The coin toss on the column in the “moat” was difficult but  Olivia got it on there twice. Her wishes are sure to come true!  Saw where COLLETTE hung out (1873-1954) – her apartment. She is best known for her novel GIGI. Her history and life and writings were controversial, but weren’t a lot at that time?

We trekked to Gare du Nord – got to Enghien-les-Bains- with still energy that- I’m not sure where it came from –  and took the bus to our large market (Auchun) via Bus 14  into the suburbs of Montmorency.  Many good deals, & unusual food stuffs, i.e. Lavender honeys, special chocolates,biscuits, etc  with prices  not found in shops in Paris. Had pasta and meat sauce  either this night or night before with salad & dessert.  Crashed.

TUESDAY PLAN

Musee D’Orsay (Closed Monday 9 euro, kids free) 9:30 – 6:00 (Paris Pass)

Solferino M – or Bus _63__

Jardin de Luxembourg – 

Pantheon – maybe

(Catacombs – 7 euros, kids free) 10:00 – 5:00

Do the “Latin – Laura tour” can use  –  BUS 95 if tired out – 

Crepes a go go – on Rue Soufflot (near the Pantheon) 

Eiffel Tower (Tues 8pm)-RESERVED

Ian and B to a special stay at a lovely Renaissance Hotel in Trocodero area by Eiffel Tower!

GRANDS FIRST VISIT to PARIS – – – 5 Day Itinerary…………

FAMILY VISIT FROM SAINT LOUIS  to PARIS!!!- BOY ARE WE GOING TO HAVE SOME FUN!!        

WE HAVE A FOUR DAY MUSEE PASS THAT WE ARE USING TO THE MAX –

  • even if it means we don’t spend a lot of time in the museums – atleast we GET there and see what we can. We have a 4 Day = 54 euros.  (A two day pass is 39 euros.) If you plan on visiting 3 or 4 places you will break even, but it’s so worth it , because  even if you don’t break even  you avoid all the long lines. These passes are for consecutive days only.
  • TRANSPORTATION:
  • They also have a NAVIGO BUS/TRAIN/METRO CARD that will give them full transportation from the airport(s) – everywhere and anywhere -including our Apartment each night  (zone 4) and to VERSAILLES – – – – with all FIVE of them it was 233 euros for the week – 151 for the week pass + 82 for the expensive-no way around it EXTRA day pass for SUN as NAVIGO doesn’t begin until MONDAY!!   Still – not too bad. ($305.00 – total for 5 persons) for 7 days!                                    

You can’t get a RENTAL car for that, nor would you WANT ONE.  Paris has the world’s best metro/train system in the world. No one should drive in Paris, especially tourists. Parking alone – a nightmare.

Breaking it down for each person:

For one person transportation: = called a PARIS VISITE PASS, minimum  9,50 euros a day ( valid in zones 1-3,- Paris Region Île-de-France,  airport links, &  Versailles)and for 1, 2, 3, or 5 days of travel starting ANY day of the week. This is great if your hotel is in the heart of Paris.   It will cost a bit more for a ticket that includes zone 4 IF you are staying with us (We’re in Montmorency.)   If you stay 7 days the NAVIGO is the best deal = 33 euros for 7 days AND IF you arrive on a Monday! The Navigos start from Monday to Sunday.  That extra day you need transportation from CDG (or even Gare du Nord) is going to be approximately 13-17 euros.

See:  http://www.parispass.com/how-it-works/

Also making fresh baguette sandwiches each morning will save a FORTUNE in eating out . Plan your day to include a JARDIN, PARK, somewhere in your walking – so that you can relax in these beautiful parks and enjoy your lunch.  Our family did this and since it was 7 of us trekking out each day – we saved beau coup euros.

Every day that we went out,  we had to have ALL of our stuff with us as the apartment was in  Montmorency,  15 minutes via RER train from Paris.  So this was a huge deal to be prepared to be OUT all day – no place to quickly “run back to”.   Everything we did left out of Gare du Nord  – which was the main stop from Enghien-les-bains Gare – so planning was pretty crucial.  Once out – we were OUT!  ALL DAY!!!  The Metro was a lot of stair climbing up and down and everyone did really great with all of this – including handling the beggars!!

SUNDAY PLAN –

Pick up Family  at CDG – 6:15am !!                

 – come back to MONTMORENCY APT change – either AMERICAN CHURCH or (only day  for) Porte de Vanves – ck weather –  (bus 95) – – LUNCH – on Rue Cler – at Au Bon Marche – A typical non-touristy very Parisian and affordable restaurant.  

Walk to RODIN musee, open Sundays.     CONCERT at church at 5PM- perhaps

ALSO can take BUS 63 to Trocadero  & show them where their hotel

will be  – then around Latin Quarter & walk –

Or have lunch and take bus 87 to Latin quarter and walk around

the old quarter and go to Ladurie for macaroons –

WHAT WE ACTUALLY DID:

Picked them up – all bags arrived, yeah! – took tram to RER and then to GDN (Gare du Nord) then to Apartment – lots of walking just the first hours – sure it was exhausting  already – but they were troopers!        

Went back on “Pink Train” (as it is now known per Olivia,) and went straight to Port de Vanves FLEA MARKET in the South of Paris via “pink” train then (RER), and Metro – Line 4.    It was overcast and rained all over us,  especially Bridget & Graham!! (Only day it rained though!) Saw a couple of cool things.   Got on Bus 95 to warm up and dry off towards center of Paris,and got off at a stop near Bosquet for the restaurant Au Bon Marche.  This is usually a GREAT place and very French, not touristy, but  they couldn’t get Gracie’s hamburger right, the forks kept flying out of our hands and we had to keep replacing them , service was slow, but the food was good – when they finally got Gracie’s hamburger right. (Which was never quite). 😦 Then back on 95 past the Louvre,  – stopped at OPERA -saw  outside only – then took OPERA metro to St Michel.  At St Michel (by Nat’l Lampoon scene – FOUNTAIN)  had hot chocolate and crème brûlée and chocolate mousse  pretty much a fortune for all 7 of us (48 euros!) – but extremely delicious and we warmed up….THANK YOU I & B!!! Bus to Pompidou area where we got off and went to the ANNE FRANK GARDEN (very few people know about this one)  – nothing blooming quite yet in there but there will be tons of roses everywhere on the lovely iron lattice work . -THEN –  to the POUPEE MUSEE – where it was free for kids – but everyone was just too jet lagged to enjoy poupees and Graham probably wouldn’t have like it one bit.  WHERE were the heroes?  WE Did get serenaded by Rappers on the metro though.    Olivia’s glance to me was priceless……..

Came back to apartment to have light dinner. What a FIRST DAY!

MONDAY PLAN

Leave Apartment for train at Enghien by 9:15.

Can get bus 48 – at Gare du Nord to Louvre or

Can take BUS back – if  taken Metro there

Louvre (Closed Tuesday -10 euros, kids free) 9:00 – 6:00 (Paris Pass)

(Louvre tour at 11:00am on Monday 3/19/2012.  Be there at 10:15am

MONDAY – Have fresh baguette  SANDWICHES IN PARK near Tuileries – or next to LOUVRE

then to

L’Orangerie at the end of Tuileries Gardens) – MONET’s famous and huge Water Lily paintings are held…….

TUNE IN TOMORROW TO SEE WHAT HAPPENED on the 2nd day – MONDAY……………
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