Just to say we are driving distance to Paris for a WEEKEND is amazing to say! We left Friday right after work/school with our friends we met out here, and drove down. I found a campground a twenty minute drive to downtown Paris, so it would be easy to get there. Campground was a great idea. We had a small mobile home – two rooms, small kitchen, bathroom, eating area. It was perfect as we wouldn’t be spending much time there anyway.. We got there at midnight, unloaded our cars, and went to bed right away.
We started Saturday morning early. We were all awake by 7:30, and out the door by 9:00. We didn’t end up taking our car, we took the bus from the campground entrance. We took the fifteen minute bus to the train station, and took a ten minute train ride into Paris. First thing we did was go and buy our Paris Pass – same kind of pas as Amsterdam. Free museums, free attractions, free transportation system (bus, train, metro – turns out the campground bus was part of the pass also, which was a huge bonus!).
Of course, first thing to do in Paris is the Eiffel Tower – so that’s where we headed. On the way, we saw a chocolate museum which was included in the pass – to the make the most of our 129euros! Cute little museum. You see where cocoa originates from, chocolate molds throughout the year. Best part at the end, they showed us how they make the actual chocolate from there and we all got free samples! On to continue to the Eiffel Tower. Again, along the way, we passed by the Grevin Wax Museum – again, included in the pass. It was a nice one! The wax figures looked very real. The kids thought it was weird they could touch someone who looked like they should move, but they didn’t. There are a lot of French actors / actresses / singers, so we didn’t know as many as we thought we would, but we recognized a lot anyways. Kids liked the Ice Age exhibit, John liked the Lara Croft and Angelina Jolie figures, I liked the George Clooney and Brad Pitt – bonus for all lol
At this point we’d been walking a while, so since the Hop On Hop Off bus was included in the Paris Pass, we all decided to Hop On and see Paris from the top! The HOHO was one of the best parts – very worth it! You see every attraction in Paris, without pushing through lines of people to see them. All the kids thought being on the top of the bus was very cool! After we’d seen the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, Place de la Concorde, Pantheon, Place de la Bastille, Arc du Triomphe…etc we decided to HOP OFF right under at Eiffel Tower. I cannot explain the feeling of seeing the Eiffel Tower first hand. THIS is the reason you go to Paris. This is where people from back home travel hours just to see – here we are after driving 4hrs and we are here! Amazing! We literally stood under it in total awe. After a ridiculous amount of pictures were taken, we decided to HOP ON the bus again and head back towards the train station we were at to eat. It did not take us long to decide on The Hard Rock Café for supper. Expensive, but so worth it! Plus… With the pass we got free ice cream 😉 Back to the campground we went for the night.
We started our Sunday morning early again. On the bus at 9:00 and in Paris by 9:45. Since we only saw the Arc du Triomphe from the Hop On Hop Off bus, that was where we were starting our day to see it p close. The Arc is beautiful – very worth seeing! Since the kids were all hungry after the Arc, the moms took the kids who wanted to eat to eat, and the dads took everyone else went to the top. John said the view from the top was something special to see. Our pass got him to bypass the line, and entrance was free. After they got back and everyone had eaten, we went to the Louvre. The Louvre was also free with the Paris Pass, and we bypassed the long line of people waiting to buy tickets. We mainly just wanted to see The Mona Lisa, and Venus de Milo. The entire museum I found to be very hard with the carriage and two kids who were sleeping in it. Lots of stairs to have to carry the carriage up and down. The Venus de Milo was beautiful. The Mona Lia was difficult to see. There were tons of people in front, and no one would let you through. Well, to be honest, I didn’t care. I didn’t go to see the Mona Lisa, not to see the Mona Lisa.. We waited (and pushed through when we could), and I finally got to the front. The painting in enclosed in a case, and then there is barrier around it. It was very cool to see! Just to say I have seen it is something amazing to say!
After finding our friends, we headed to the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the lock bridge, and called it a day. The cathedral was also free with our pass, but the line was very long, and we still had a long drive home afterwards. The Cathedral is stunning. The grounds were beautiful. The flower are definitely cared for! After this, back to the campground to get our cars and head home.
All in all, Paris was amazing! I would go back tomorrow. We used the metro all the time, did as many attractions as we could, and made great use of our Paris Pass. Well worth the 129euros!!!! We will certainly be going back at some point!