We recently spent four days in Paris during the school Toussaint holidays and as usual I took far too many photos so I thought I’d just share some of my Instagramming Paris shots here. Having lived in the City of Light for 10 years and visited several times since we left 7 years ago, we don’t need to pack our days full of sights. We usually only do one or two “touristy” things, perhaps go to an exhibition, definitely catch up with friends, eat out a lot and hit the shops. It makes for a very easy family trip.
This time we were very lucky to be lent an apartment in the 16th arrondissement, an area we actually don’t know that well. So to make the most of the location and the gorgeous unseasonally warm weather we walked the length of the Bois de Boulogne (Paris’s western “lung”) and picnicked by the lake. This is not something I associate with “visiting” Paris, more “living” in Paris, so it felt good to be local again.
We ended our walk at the newest attraction in the city – the Fondation Louis Vuitton, an art gallery/music auditorium, designed by architect Frank Gehry – on its opening day! We didn’t go in as we had tickets for another exhibition later that afternoon and figured one bit of culture a day was enough for the kids. But the building itself is a work of art and framed by perfect blue skies was a marvel to be seen.
The Fondation is on the edge of the Jardin d’acclimatation, an area dedicated to children’s fun with fair rides, a mini train, crazy mirrors, boat rides, a playground and more. But for us the best thing we discovered there was a branch of the famous Angelina tea salon as we had promised the boys a hot chocolate. While it lacked the charm and grandeur of the original salon on the rue de Rivoli, it had the same recipe for the chocolate and we sat outside in the sun, in tee shirts at the end of October. Pretty hard to beat!
Next up was the retrospective exhibition of Niki de Saint Phalle’s work at the Grand Palais. Her work is powerful, disturbing at times, but always very colourful and easy for children to view. We had booked online and had e-tickets on our phones, trying to be ecological and modern, but began to panic when both of us only had 9% battery left as we stood in the queue! Luckily both phones lasted just long enough to get in and even take a couple of photos.
We spent a day shopping and eating with friends. While I went to the Grands Magasins with a girlfriend, where some Christmas decorations were already up (far too early in my opinion and unusual for France…but very, very pretty)…
…Jeff took the boys to read BD (comic books) in FNAC (a bookstore). This is a very popular thing to do in France and a firm favourite of my kids!
We had several delicious meals including this traditional choucroute in a lovely brasserie
and we took the metro everywhere. Such simple things as taking local transport become fun when you live in a small town and rarely use public transport!
The main drawcard for the 9 year old was his first trip up the Eiffel Tower. Last time we were in Paris the queues were too big and it was fully booked online so this time we made sure we reserved our tickets in advance. We went up to the very top (which even JF had never done) and once again, we were so lucky with the weather. We were hot in our jackets and ended up carrying them. It was a beautiful day to view Paris from above.
We also went on the new glass floor. The kids had no trouble at all standing on it. JF and I were much more hesitant, but managed a quick step on and off!
Finally what would a family trip to Paris be without a cheesy tourist photo of its most famous landmark and its biggest fan?
Have you been to Paris? Would you like to visit? Do share some of your memories and dreams.
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Check out my Instagram account for more pictures of Paris and elsewhere!
How very remiss of me not to comment when I first read this post, which I remember doing. Thank you for bringing it to the fore again at this important time and, like you, we will be back there. We will not be frightened away from this lovely city. #Citytripping
Thanks for this Phoebe – very important at this time to remember all the wonderful, good things in Paris and it’s people. It’s a beautiful place and I’ll definitely be taking my girl there at some point. Thanks so much for sharing on #citytripping
Lovely Photos thank you for sharing!
Beautiful photos! #citytripping
What fabulous photos – I wish with all my heart that the recent outpouring of love and sadness for Paris wasn’t needed, but the memories from so many people of so many wonderful times in this great city are the best reminder of the light among the dark. Paris je t’aime… Thanks for linking up to #citytripping
Great photos!! I loved our time in Paris 4 years ago. How awesome that you got to live there! A beautiful city. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
And thanks for linking up with Wanderlust! Our next link up will be on the 3rd December, so mark it in your diary!!
We didn’t climb the Eiffel Tower but got plenty of good views from MontMartre, the pompidou center and the arc d Triomphe. Paris is a great place with kids!
We lived in Paris for 10 years without getting to the top of the tower. I had been once when I was 16 but not as a resident. I’m sure you’ll get there one day! (And I thought you’d like the last photo!!)
I liked that shot too which is why I put it first! Thanks for hosting 🙂
Kids here too are addicted to screens, but this habit of reading comic books in bookstores still continues. I love it too!
Paris never fails to enchant, wheterh as a local or tourist. There’s so much to do!
I love these pictures, Phoebe. Paris is one of my favorite cities and you’re so lucky to be be able to go on a holiday weekend. I’m a bit jealous, actually 🙂 We’ve gone twice and haven’t made it to the top of the Eiffel Tower. You know we love cheesy tourist photos so that last photo is a classic.
Phoebe, I love it! My favorite shot is your very first one. I love the point of view! So glad you linked up with #wkendtravelinspiration ! Thanks.
HI Phoebe, you’re so lucky to have lived in Paris and to be in closed proximity to it now. I love Paris, been there twice and I would to return again and again. I love pretty much everything about it, especially the food, the cafes. Thank you for sharing your lovely photos. Makes me feel I was there with you. My most favorite shot is the one of your boys reading at a bookstore. It such a rare scene lately. Here in the US, you see most kids that age engrossed in their electronic gadgets rather than books.
I would like to visit Paris again, with a different perspective this time, but I think I would rather do more things like picnic and explore the city and art like a local than do the ‘touristy’ things, although I wouldn’t say no to seeing Paris from the Eiffel Tower!
At least you have been Jill, as yes it is far from Australia! Do work on that someone and get back there if you can.
Oh Nancie, you must get back, sooo much has changed since the 70s. Hopefully mainly for the better! Whole districts like La Défense have been built and great architectural structures like the pyramid at the Louvre let alone the newest building, the LV Foundation. I hope you get there again soon.
Going up the Tour Montparnasse is a great alternative to the Eiffel Tower you’re right. This time going right to the top was the request of my youngest son who has always wanted to, so we were lucky with the queues and got there finally.
Paris is the perfect place for soaking up the atmosphere and people watching, thanks for popping by Jackie.
Thanks Denise! A bit of a mix of local and visitor this time.
I have only been to Paris once – and LOVED it – unfortunately it is a long way away from here or I would be back there in a flash….I am working on a repeat visit….just have to convince someone. In the meantime thanks for these wonderful pics. We stayed in our friend’s grandmother’s flat. Wonderful. Happy travels. I am joining you over at Travel Photo Thursday.
What a great visit! Your photos are lovely. I could do with a cup of that famous hot chocolate today. I was in Paris back in the 1970s. A trip back is long overdue, and how I date myself 😉 Thanks for linking up this week. #TPThursday
Gorgeous photos – I love Paris although haven’t visited for a few years. I’ve never been up the Eiffel Tower though – the queues always put me off so we tended to go up the Montparnasse tower instead – still good views plus with the Eiffel Tower in them as well! I’m not sure I would be brave enough to stand on the glass floor if I did go up the Eiffel Tower though. I love that forced perspective photo at the end too.
We have been saying it has been too long since we visited Paris, a place where we are also content to do just a thing or two a day and soak up the atmosphere simply by being there. Lovely photos – especially liked the one at the end!
Haven’t been to Paris. I love this collection of photos because they are not your typically ‘tourist’ photos. I guess the fact that you lived there shows!
Thanks! These are the impressions of an old Paris hack!
happy to do so Catherine 🙂
Everyone needs to go to Paris!
Love your impressions of Paris. 😀
I must go again soon and this last photo made me smile. 🙂 xx
Paris sure is the place to be when you are young or at any time really. I love Paris and don’t get there often enough, thanks for stirring up happy happy memories.
Breathtaking! I need to go to Paris!!
It was truly spectacular, just about a month too early in my opinion!
I’m not sure if I should say “great” or “sorry”!!!
Yes it really is Christina; the pressure is right off and we can just enjoy!
I find the older I get the more I realise I took a lot for granted when living in the amazing places I’ve lived. Lucky you living near the BdeB, you should go back and visit the Fondation LV.
Happy days indeed Christine! 🙂
Awesome photos! The Christmas decor is amazing.
I love Paris. I miss Paris. Sigh – your post was equal parts pleasure and pain. 🙂
Oh I love Paris. It’s so nice when you can go back and only have to do a couple of touristy things and just soak up the atmosphere x
When we were pretty young, and just married, we lived in Paris for eighteen months, not far from the Bois de Boulogne. We took it all in our stride – almost for granted – but your pictures remind me just how lucky we were.
Some lovely photos! Happy Days
Wonderful to see you too Tracey, forgot to get a selfie for Instagram with you though!!! 🙁
Great to see you. Glad you all enjoyed Paris!