Posted on Oct 14, 2013 in European Family Vacation, Paris



Art and architecture were central to the family’s Parisian tour.  They visited Saint-Chapelle, a 13th century royal chapel renowned for its magnificent stained glass windows (featured image for this post) and the Musée d’Orsay, a converted railway station with an outstanding collection of impressionist and post-impressionist art. They also visited the Notre Dame Cathedral which can be seen, in this slider, from the perspective of the Pont de l’Archeveche (Archbishop’s Bridge) where, in recent years, tourists have attached padlocks to symbolize their undying love. And, of course, there was an ascent of the Eiffel Tower and its panoramic view of the city.


Once again, advance museum passes reduced the amount of time spent in admission lines.  In this case, the Paris Museum Pass provided entry to “over 60 museums and monuments in and around Paris” including Sainte-Chapelle, Musée d’Orsay, and the Louvre.  The Pierces did experience long lines at the Eiffel Tower where they had not made advance reservations.

Determined to make Europe “come alive” for her kids, Kim enriched their experience in two more ways:  first, both children attended a camp on the “Art of Europe” at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts before heading overseas; secondly, the family played a “European Fact of the Day” game throughout their voyage.  Alex, a big LEGO fan, found some new projects in Brick City:  Global Icons to make from LEGO, which contained  instructions on how to built models of the Arc de Triomphe, the Colloseum, a London phone booth and other landmarks.

In Paris, the Pierces chose Hotel Ares Eiffel, a boutique hotel with convenient access to public transportation such as the Metro and the Batobus.  While they were pleased with their lodgings, Dan felt that the European hotels were geared towards adults and that it was a challenge to find spacious rooms or suites suitable for family groups.

Not fluent in European languages, Dan and Kim worried that it would be difficult to communicate information about their son’s food allergies when the family dined out.   One tool that eased their minds was a website called Select Wisely which can generate translation cards for food and drug allergies.   Thus, the family flew to Europe with a set of allergy cards in each of the languages they would encounter, cards which they could hand to a restaurant server without fuss, and were confident that Alex wouldn’t get sick from his vacation–and that made everyone happier.


Notre Dame


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