and I recently wrote about our June 2009 trip on the Haven In Paris blog.
Three years ago when planning our once-in-a-lifetime vacation I found the most amazing apartment on the Champs Elysées next to the Arc d’Triomphe– the best part?– the sleeping arrangements for eight made this plush apartment less expensive than the cheapest hotel rooms. Not only did an English-speaking Parisian meet us at the door, but she prepped us on the use of the Apple laptop, whirred through the kitchen appliances, fluffed the pillows and showed us the way to the grocery store.
It took seven years of planning and saving to get us there and I think the anticipation helped us enjoy every minute. My boys spouted facts about artists and kings and emperors while practicing their French. Truth is, they’ve been obsessed with the language ever since. And you should see Ben and Stefan’s walls covered with prints of their favorite works of art from the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay.
If you’re going to visit one city in Europe with children, I’d suggest Paris (and this is coming from a girl who speaks German). No other locale offers such ease of transportation and varied activities as the City of Lights. Did you know everyone under eighteen receives free admission to every major museum and monument? Did you know Paris has the best Metro system in Europe? In other cities, you’ll walk a mile between stops, but the famous (and beautiful) Paris Metro serves every corner of the beautiful city.
In fact, the only place we paid entrance to was the catacombs– fascinating and worth every penny. Parisians has an amazing chapter on these tunnels under Paris.
Someday, one day, I’ll go back. But probably never again with all six kids in tow– it was a once-in-a-lifetime chance and I’m so grateful we experienced the magic together.