We spend A LOT of time working in Paris. I love Paris because the moment we step off the airplane, all of us breathe a bit deeper. I guess it is our second home. From culinary delights to cultural sights, the city of light, love and romance always seems to welcome us back to its streets. In the car ride to our apartments in the 16e, we are already fantasizing about breakfasts full of fresh croissants, shopping, strolling through charming parks and gardens, and soaking up Parisian city life.
I hate Paris because when we are there, I work…A LOT. My hours are long and we stay for long periods of time. I get no sympathy from my husband or friends. They make fun of me…”Where are you going?…Oh yeah, Paris, France. That must be really hard.” Their sarcasm-laced remarks always sober me up. It is true…I get to hang out with a wonderful 5-year-old boy in one of the most spectacular cities in the world. We have a driver that takes us anywhere we want to go, we choose our daily adventures, we indulge our taste buds in Parisian delicacies, and I spend a total of $0. Sounds horrible, right? Okay…so I have it pretty good.
The truth is despite my long work hours…Paris is a wonderful place to visit with a tot in tow. Charles and I are proof that you can never run out of things to do or places to go in this child-friendly city. If you are planning a trip to Paris for the first time, my best advice is to leave your frenzied tourist checklist at home, as Paris is truly meant to be savored. It seems that Paris has more spectacular monuments and museums per square mile than anywhere else, but don’t drive yourself crazy trying to tackle them all with your inevitably exhausted and cranky kids in tow. Pick a select few of Paris’ tourist attractions and indulge yourself, but be sure to set time aside to leisurely play in the city’s lovely parks with your kids. Do not leave the city without taking advantage of French children pastimes, such as pony rides, carousels and marionette theatre.
If you have been to Paris before or often travel to Paris for business, exploring Paris with your kids can be exciting and new, as you uncover unexpected delights. Wherever you choose to go, allow Paris to stimulate your senses, as it beckons to be seen, heard, touched, smelt and tasted. Be sure to soak up city life from a sidewalk café, stroll along the breezy boulevards, picnic in the serene parks, view the impressive monuments, admire the fashionable Parisians going about their daily life and, my favorite, sample the sweetness of Paris. You and your little ones will soon fall in love with Paris as well.