Everything is different for us this year, including today, July 4. Typically, we are up at the lake barbecuing with friends, lighting sparklers and watching the Tahoe City fireworks off of Commons Beach. This year, our independence day will be celebrated on July 14, otherwise known as Bastille Day. Lucky for us, our tiny village- Villebois-Lavalette, has decided to host their very first fireworks show this year.
I hope you enjoy the celebrations today as much as I enjoyed this little date to Paris with my little Eero.
My favorite place in Paris to take my kids is Jardin du Luxembourg. You can go in the morning and grab coffee and pastries at the coffee cart. Sail boats at the fountain, play at the huge park with a zip line, take a pony ride or a ride on the carousel, grab lunch at one of the various cafes, zen out and nap at the Medici fountain, and finish the day off with a performance at the marionette theater. An added bonus, the park is quite stroller friendly, where the rest of Paris, is not.
We also love Jardin des Tuileries! However, in July and August a carnival is set up in the park and hard to avoid if you have kids. There is nothing Parisian, cool, or quaint about it and it's a total ripoff. Luckily, the carnival was not set up for our June trip so we were able to enjoy the trampoline park, vintage carousel, and gelato from the most darling food truck I've ever seen.
I had some friends in town from Oakland who were generously lent this swanky apartment on Rue du Rennes in the 6eme. Look at the view! It took Eero (my shy guy) nearly all day to warm up to his friend but by evening they were half dressed and jumping off the back of the couch in true superhero spirit.
Travel Tips for travel with kids:
1. Go for an apartment over a hotel room, we use AirBnB.
2. In Paris, the locals have posh prams for their babies and razor scooters for when they are old enough to learn (2/3 years). The above photo I took in front of a school where nearly 40 scooters were locked up. In hindsight, I wish we had bought scooters and skipped bringing our strollers to France.
3. Lunch and dinner are served at very specific times at restaurants but you can find footlong baguette sandwiches and fresh fruit from street markets all day. The bakeries are also open all day and they sell little rolls with cheese and ham that most kids would like as a lunch option.
Since 1906, the French government has regulated sales in France. Les Soldes occurs just twice a year and just so happened to begin the day we arrived in Paris. I had no plans to do any shopping, we are trying to get rid of as much stuff as possible before we travel home, but I changed my mind when Eero spontaneously took a nap in his stroller mid-day. This rarely happens so it was a real treat! I bought a couple dresses and a few end-of-year gifts for the teachers. End-of-year gifts are not customary here, as they are in the U.S., but still appreciated nonetheless.
The trip finished with a trip to Jardin des Plantes to visit the menagerie (zoo) before heading back to the train station for our ride home. I really love Paris but there was something refreshing about pulling down our long driveway in the country when we arrived back home.