Paris with Kids: Our List

August 28th, 2011 · 11 Comments · Kitchenlightenment, Rituals, Travel

I’d like to begin by saying that is by no means a definitive list of everything one should do with one’s kids in Paris, nor is it a comprehensive one. You will not, for example, find any museum here. That’s because a) you don’t need me to tell you about the Louvre or the Musée D’Orsay and b) because the day we decided to spend more of our time wandering in neighborhoods and less time standing in line crossing our fingers that the girls (ages 7 and 9) would be able to appreciate whatever it was we were waiting to see, was the day we found our vacation rhythm. So this compilation of 26 moments, walks, restaurants, bakeries, shops, cafes, strategies, and parks is merely our list. But I will say that we ended every day exhausted, satisfied, and stuffed. Don’t you think that says a lot?

1. Breakfast in the Gardens. We like routines in our house and perhaps sadly, this extends to vacation. This is how we ended up hiking up rue Monsieur Le Prince from our apartment right near the Odeon Metro station, and stopping by a small local (reasonably priced) boulanger for croissants and caffe crèmes, then heading up to the oleander-ringed fountain in Jardins Luxembourg and eating breakfast. I would say there is no more perfect way to start a day. (more…)

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Voila!

August 19th, 2011 · 21 Comments · Rituals

When I first got my MacBook Pro a few years ago, Abby and I became obsessed with the Photo Booth application — the one that takes your picture and superimposes fake backgrounds to make it seem like you are riding a roller coaster or flying through outer space or floating inside a fish tank. There’s also a background for Paris and when we snapped that photo we got a big laugh out of the resulting image. Look at us! In Paris! Ha ha ha ha! There’s the Eiffel Tower! The day I took Abby and her sister on a trip like that was a day far off in the future, like all those other days in the far off future, such as the day they would be able to keep track of their own shin guards or the day they could drive themselves to ballet or the day we fly through outer space.

But then — voila! — a friend offers a free apartment in Paris (free) any time in the summer (free) and before I know it, we’ve got ourselves another milestone crossed (which is, by the way, free). All of which is to say that the photo above was actually taken at the base of the real Eiffel Tower in the real Paris, where we’ve been wandering and eating and ferris-wheeling and eating and carousel-ing and eating and eating and eating for the past six days. And though I think it took the girls a few days to realize that Paris was something other than a tangle of really old streets you have to hike through in order to get to the crepes and the pan au chocolat and the palmiers and financiers and beignets and macarons, I think they are starting to register how far away from their little world back home they really are. And how strange and wonderful a feeling like that can be.

This post originally was going to be my Bon Vacances email, the one where I say enjoy your vacation I’m going on my annual digital diet, but we’ve been having so much fun in our French kitchen that I think next week we’re going to do our best to post some of the meals we’ve cooked. Mixed in will hopefully be some guest posts that I’m really excited about. In the meantime, some highlights from the week… (more…)

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