Everyday Paris was like living in a painting. I loved walking around and looking at all of the amazing architecture. The Bastille Market was so fun! I loved getting bread, crepes, fruits, and vegetables. It made me feel like a true local. I also loved getting to practice my French. The baguette at the red shop in the video was the best baguette I have every had. It was so buttery! Speaking of buttery, the crepes were on another level. A bonus is you can find them pretty much everywhere you go. The street performers were really talented. They made it feel like a movie when you are walking around and suddenly music starts playing. French McDonalds has macaroons! That’s crazy! I think American McDonalds should have macaroons. I loved meeting kids from around the world while playing in the soccer dome. If there is one language everyone around the world speaks, it’s football. Even when we couldn’t truly speak to them fluently I tried my French, and we got on just fine. I loved the cooking class! We met the lovely Madam Veronique. She showed us how to properly shop at a local market, and then brought us to her home and taught us how to make some traditional French food! It was delicious!!! I liked torching the crème brûlée. Overall France was a wonderful experience that I will long cherish. -Ava
Ahh, Paris. We had the privilege of spending an entire month in one spot in Paris and it was the magic I hoped it to be. Although we planned early and found a place we were excited about in the 6th Arrondissement, the VRBO host canceled on us 3 weeks before arrival. Although it was time-consuming, stressful and a pain, we lucked out with VRBO’s guarantee and they allowed us to stay in another place that still had the similar amenities for the same price. This was key because there was less selection and prices were sky high. However, this is what we call on our trip a “happy accident.” The new place was much bigger and in an amazing area in La Marias. Sometimes what seems like a big problem works out for the best, a blessing in disguise. Also, thank you VRBO for standing by your guarantee and eating the difference in cost.
When planning a trip to Paris, these are some of our favorites:
Cooking Class- we took a cooking class recommended by a friend that was so much fun. Veronique with Cuisine Elegante (https://cuisineelegantefr.com/gallery )was amazing. We met her at the local farmers market and she taught us how to pick fresh fish and good produce. After that, she took us to buy meat at her local butcher then to a cheese shop. We learned that in France, the cheese board is served after dinner! Also, there are entire charts with the proper way to cut the cheese. At her home, we learned to make beef with the sauce béarnaise, vinaigrettes, quiche Lorraine and crudités. It was magnifique! (Thank you Minnah for the recommendation!)
Bastille Market – We walked to this Farmer’s Market every Thursday and often Sunday for fresh baguettes, fruit, veggies, cheese and most importantly, crepes! I highly recommend the lemon curd but the choices are all wonderful. Farmer’s Markets are my happy place and this was no exception.
Going for a Run – I loved waking up early and heading out before the city got busy. I would head to the Siene and run along the road there all the way from La Marias to the Eiffel Tower. Paris is stunning in the early morning when the hustle and bustle is has not begun.
Although we could have planned activities from morning to night every day, we relished the fact that we did not have to. Spending time wondering the streets, sitting in a park, stopping at a random cafe or reading in the apartment was lovely. Being in one place allowed the kids to catch up on their schoolwork and get a little ahead. I cannot possibly write about all the spots we hit but will list some other highlights. I will always be grateful for our time in Paris, this I would do all over again.
Soccer Dome – Along the Seine by the Pont Louis Philippe Bridge, we found a small dome for the kids to play soccer. We would walk there for our recess and spend a few hours playing soccer. It was a fun way for the kids to interact with kids from around the world.
Kilo Shops – I was surprised that Paris was so into second-hand shopping. In La Marias, there were many kilo shops that you could pick out second used clothes, usually paying by kilo. Strangely, much of it was from the US. We even found a Chief shirt and UNI jacket!
Robert et Louise – Our favorite date night meal. -Teresa/Mom
In Paris, we were in one place for a whole month so it was nice to get into a routine. It was also very refreshing to cook at the house/apartment. We were in a very good spot in the fourth arrondissement. We’d go to markets and buy fresh baguettes from bakeries almost every day. One thing that really helped us get around was the month long transportation pass. Getting that meant we could go anywhere in Paris by subway, bus, or train. I also went to a French tutor, that really helped me with my French and was super fun. – Carmen
Paris was a great place to stay. We walked throughout the city, had delicious food, and saw a lot of amazing sites. Throughout our time in Paris we got a lot of schoolwork done. We would do school in the morning and go out into the city later in the day. Near our apartment, there was an ice cream shop named Amarinos. They would have you choose as many flavors as you wanted and then shape the ice cream into a flower. We spent enough time in Paris that I memorized the subway maps. It was interesting to see how people went about their days. It was really fun. On the side of the river, there was a small dome for people to play soccer in. We played against a lot of cool people from different backgrounds and had a lot of fun. This is what we did during during our days in Paris. -Tucker
I will admit that Paris was not high on my list when we were planning this trip. I thought of tourists and of the judgmental French stereo-type. Happily, I could not have been more incorrect. Paris is not one thing, or even a hundred things. In addition to a heavy schedule of school and work, our days in La Marais were filled with a great mix of site seeing and simply living. The district is, separately, the Jewish Quarter and the center point for all things LGBTQ. Art, bookstores, markets, cafes, and just about anything else one might want.
We never even thought about the fact that we didn’t have a car. The metro was all we needed and the kids quickly learned how to navigate it.
Admittedly, we were in a privileged area and not everyone has these opportunities. Homelessness is as real there as it is almost everywhere, it is simply felt more strongly by the observer, given the level of disparity.
The people we met throughout France could not have been nicer. Walking the streets of the arrondissements surrounding the Seine was a daily joy. If this is all we did in Paris it would still be one of my favorite places. With wonderful foods, amazing people watching and street musicians of all types I couldn’t be happier to have been wrong about Paris. -Dan/Dad